GPS Counselor
Serving Youth, Adults, Older Adults, Individuals, Couples, Families

*Farsi and Spanish also available

Stress and Pain

Stress is like a computer system that is ready to crash. It is overworked, has too many apps open, the cache hasn’t been cleared out and it is overdue for a good old fashioned system clean up and reboot. We know it’s overworked and overloaded because the computer is slow and non-responsive, or it may even crash. What usually helps a “stressed” computer is to start closing down the open applications, give a little space and time to process all of the functions that are running in the background and then clear out the clutter.We tend to experience stress due to some of the same reasons, being overworked and simply just over-functioning. One of the most effective approaches is to give yourself some space and clear out the clutter in order to function at your optimal again. If we continue to ignore and avoid the signs of stress, it may lead to emotional pain and physical pain and we may just crash!

How a cycle of stress may look and feel:


So much to do, so little time

Your body needs to decompress and starts craving comfort foods, alcohol and/or watching hours of television to switch off

  • You don’t truly relax because in the back of your mind you are beating yourself up and feel weighed down by the pressure of your responsibilities

High self-imposed pressure to do everything extremely well

Leading to pushing yourself really, really hard

You go to bed feeling heavy because your burden is unresolved and you sleep restlessly

  • You wake up unrefreshed with anxious thoughts triggering a release of stress hormones to flood your body – starting the up & down, draining and defeating cycle all over again

High stress leads to burnout and overwhelm with battling inner thoughts of:

“It’s too much. I can’t do this.”

  • The manic rush of productivity crashes and you suddenly hit the wall of no-productivity. You may isolate because you feel depleted

Then the emotional and physical symptoms of stress shows:

Stress as emotional pain:

  • Anxiety
  • worry
  • Depression
  • Indifference
  • Overwhelm
  • Foggy thinking
  • Overwhelm
  • Foggy thinking
  • Anger
  • Hasty decisions
  • Irritability
  • Negativity
  • Loss of confidence
  • Impaired judgment
  • Apprehension
  • Indecision

Stress as physical pain:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Constricted breathing
  • Frequent infections
  • Skin irritations/rashes
  • Being accident prone
  • Substance abuse
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach cramps, reflux and nausea
  • Loss of libido
  • Aches and pains in the joints and muscles
  • High blood pressure
  • Suppressed immune system
  • Breakouts/acne
  • Eczema
  • Dizziness