Survey Finds Constantly Checking Electronic Devices Linked to Significant Stress

Put down your mobile devices and smell the roses.
Over the last decade, I have encountered an increase in patients who are reporting higher levels of stress. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) many Americans have admitted to having an increased level of stress as a result of the significant amount of time spent on their mobile devices. The APA conducted a survey and concluded that Americans admit to constantly checking their social media, texts and email and thus have formed an unhealthy attachment to their devices. Parents also report their struggle in limiting their children’s screen time. Further inquiry into their screen time habits reveals their difficulty balancing addictions, their neglect of others, or their own personal self-care.

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Cut Thanksgiving Stress in Four Easy Steps

The holidays are supposed to be a welcome break from the stresses of work. However, for some who are returning home to break bread with their families, often find themselves frustrated and stressed as they attempt to deal with family issues and old dysfunctional patterns of behavior.  Holidays can also be difficult for an individual who has lost a family member or whose family or a support network is far away.  Link to the article.

The economy is still trying to recover and for many, the holidays are an in your face reminder that budgets are still tight and gift giving is difficult.  The holidays are also a difficult time for those trying to manage their weight.  Trying to say no to Aunt Jenny’s apple pie can be quite difficult when trying to count carbs especially when you know she makes great pies. A  recent article published by  the American Psychological Association has helpful holiday tips for parents with young children and those watching their waist lines. Link to the article.

Headaches and stomach aches as a stress signal

Do you experience headaches, muscle tension or stomach aches due to a demanding work/ life schedule?  This is an issue I see all too often in my practice.  Over the years, various patients have complained of these physical symptoms that tended to make their work and home lives less productive and frustrating.

One patient expressed his guilt over being unable to participate in sports activities with his young son because of his tension headaches and severe jaw pain.  In addition, he admitted that he experienced a great amount of pressure from work to fulfill a quota and that his wife was recently laid off from her job.  Financial stressors as well as life and work demands had increased and he was “holding it all in.”  The physical symptoms he was experiencing were directly related to his emotional stress and how he was dealing with it.

We began to explore the ways that he could incorporate relaxation and exercise in his life.  He admitted that he used to ride his bike and work out regularly. However, the responsibilities at home and at his job increased and he was “unable” to find the time to return to these healthy stress relieving habits.  By the end of the session, he realized that it was imperative that he change the way he thought about his stressors and that he needed to make the time to practice self care.  After several sessions of exploring and fine tuning the tools to cope more effectively, he found that his headaches and jaw pain significantly subsided. He was finally able to participate and enjoy playing sports with his son.  He also found he was more productive at work and was able to receive the bonus that helped his family pay their mounting bills at home.  Please do not ignore the physical signs of stress.  They are your warning indicator lights telling you that you have to make changes in your life. l;/