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Stress Awareness Month

We all deal with stress one way or another, let's get down to the basics of stress and how Dr. Schoger recommends we start dealing with stress. Dr. Schoger is one of our providers at Southern Oregon Wellness Clinic.

Why is stress important to talk about?

Stress is an important health risk issue that sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves. First of all, stress is not all bad! In fact, studies show that a manageable amount of stress helps us perform at our best. The problem is when we carry too much stress for too long. That’s because our bodies prepare us to meet a challenge by putting stress hormones in our blood stream. These hormones are powerful and effective for a short time. They were never mean to be present for a long period of chronic stress. In prolonged stress our organs reach a stage of exhaustion. That’s when we begin to have pain. Digestive problems, ulcers, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, we’re all affected differently, but chronic pain may be associated with a prolonged stress reaction.

How can I reduce stress?

The good news is you can reduce your stress in two primary ways. The first is called stress inoculation. Basically, you evaluate the various stressors you are experiencing and give them a rating – say 1 to 10. Then, you look at what resources you can bring to bear on the stressful situations (you have more resources than you think). Finally, you reevaluate your stressors on the same scale. Many times you’ll find a reduction in your stress level.

The second thing you can do is take an honest look into the decisions and lifestyle that have brought you to this place of chronic stress. Ultimately, we are in control over much of the stressful situations in our lives. I often help people reevaluate and reorganize their lives around reducing the ill effects of over-stress. It may not only reduce chronic pain, but also elevate and stabilize your mood so you can get more enjoyment out of your busy, but not stressful, life.

Steven Schoger, Psy.D.


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