Stress by Peter Newhouse, PhD, LMSW, ACSW

What is Stress?

Stress is the feeling you have when you are under duress.  Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your emotional balance in some way. Some stress is good. This type of stress keeps you on your toes, sharpens your concentration, and gives extra energy for various life events. When working properly, stress can help you stay focused, alert, and has been known to help save lives in emergency situations.

The ability to tolerate stress depends on many factors including the quality of relationships, and general outlook on life. Because stress can easily creep up on you, it is important to recognize when your stress levels are out of control. How much stress is “too much” differs from one person to another. Beyond a certain point, constant stress stops being helpful and has far-reaching consequences on your mood, productivity, relationships, quality of life, and your physical and mental health.

For those dealing with stress, counseling has proven to be effective in providing tools to help reduce stress symptoms for your physical and mental health as well as your quality of life.

Indicators of Stress

The signs and symptoms of stress can be from  almost any source and affects the mind, body and The signs and symptoms of stress can be from  almost any source and affects the mind, body and behavior in many different ways, such as:

  • Depression/sadness
  • Anxiety/fear/panic
  • Boredom
  • Feeling exhausted, fatigued, or overwhelmed
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty problem solving or concentrating
  • Withdrawal from people
  • Aggression or hostility
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty focusing or learning
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Change in appetite
  • Headaches
  • Questioning/doubting

When to Consider Help

If you are overwhelmed and struggling with symptoms of stress, consider putting a plan for change in place.

  • Be aware of what stress is and periodically assess for it.
  • Monitor your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
  • Take time to evaluate your priorities.
  • Talk regularly with others who understand and are supportive.
  • Be aware of your attitude. Could you afford to look at change as an opportunity?
  • Proactively develop a program of self-care that is effective for you.
  • Recognize that the attributes that contribute to your professional success and your work environment may be contributing to an imbalance in your life.

Seeking professional assistance for treatment of stress may be beneficial.  It will help you
implement change and redirect the thoughts that tell you “I should be able to do this by
myself.”  Your new mantra can become, “I don’t have to do it all by myself or my way.”


Blessed are those whose attitudes are shaped by their hopes, not their hurts.

Family Wellness – Hours

Monday – Wednesday 8:00 AM – 8:30 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Morning, afternoon, and evening appointments
can be arranged around your schedule.

Wellness Forms – Download

Family Wellness – Contact Us

300 S. State Street Suite 10, Zeeland, MI 49464

Phone: 616.772.1733

Fax: 616.879.0072