A: I’m sorry that you are all going through this difficult time and hope that things get better soon. We all respond to stress differently. Some react with more physical responses, others experience extreme emotional changes, while some folks demonstrate both. It is crucial for our overall health to develop insight into our own tendencies and to then have a plan to combat the stress reactions. Since you are having some concerning physical symptoms with an increased pulse rate, chest constriction and breathing difficulties, I would suggest that you see your doctor for a complete physical. Hopefully there is nothing seriously wrong, but it’s a good idea to be monitored during this time of high stress.
Obviously, seeing a therapist during this time would be a good idea as well. Therapy would provide a safe and neutral place to vent about the situation, but it’s also a way to increase your coping skills and learn new ways to relax while managing the ongoing situation. I would also suggest that you get a book or take a class on meditation, yoga, Tai Chi or some other form of mindfulness based practice. There’s a lot of research coming out showing the benefits of these types of techniques on our overall mental health and our ability to manage stress. Let’s face it, we live in challenging times and we will periodically go through times that push us to our brink. However, we can equip ourselves with self-knowledge and methods of coping that serve to keep us on track. We can’t always change our situation but we can change how we react to it. Good luck and I hope there is a peaceful resolution soon.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts