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Navigating Stress And Tools For Resilience


By Elizabeth Dosoretz, LCSW

You’re Stressing Me Out

Stress is defined as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation. And we certainly have had our share of difficult situations over the past four years. Starting with the COVID-19 pandemic four years ago this month, to the constant political volatility to the tragedy of Hurricanes Ian and Idalia, stress is everywhere.

Unfortunately, that stress can be detrimental to your mental health. High stress can lead to fatigue, lack of sleep, increased irritability and strained relationships.

Many times, the stress that you feel is brought on by the routine in your daily life. Does your routine consist of unhealthy choices? Lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, not taking time to participate in relaxing activities and lack of sleep all contribute to stress.

Learning how to navigate the stress that we are constantly dealing with and becoming resilient will lead to a much happier and healthy life.

How do I Know if I’m Stressed?

When the body senses a threat (or stressor), it goes on high alert, and once the threat passes, the body usually quickly recovers. Stressors can include health matters, work, money, family issues, racism or gender inequality, and regular daily hassles. With unrelenting or too many stressors, your body might be on a constant state of high alert, leading to poor concentration, bad moods, professional burnout, and mental and physical health problems. When stress becomes chronic, the body cannot return to normal functioning. Chronic stress can be linked with health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and anxiety.

Minor disruptions such as waking up five minutes late can lead to stress that lasts throughout the day, causing headaches, anxiousness and inability to focus on tasks at work.

Be Resilient

Using your resilience while you’re stressed can be extremely beneficial and can help you deal with what life is throwing your way.

Here are just a few things that you can do to help build resilience:

  • Find a sense of purpose: Don’t get discouraged and stressed out by your problems. Have a defined purpose, which will give you more motivation to learn from past experiences and keep going.
  • Believe in your abilities: Be confident in your ability to cope with the stresses of life, including your ability to respond to and deal with a crisis.
  • Embrace change: Flexibility is an essential part of resilience. By learning how to be more adaptable, you’ll be better equipped to respond when faced with a life crisis.
  • Be positive: Staying positive during bleak times can be hard, but maintaining a bright outlook is an important part of resiliency.
  • Take action: Simply waiting for a problem to disappear only prolongs the crisis. Instead, start working on resolving the issue immediately.

Should I Seek Help From a Professional if I’m Feeling Stressed?

The elephant that remains in the room is whether people that are feeling stressed should seek mental health assistance from a professional.

For those experiencing overwhelming stress, seeking professional mental health assistance can be a crucial step toward finding relief and building resilience. While some may hesitate to seek help and believe they should simply “deal with it,” accessing support from trained professionals can provide valuable techniques for managing stress more effectively.

For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has a strong track record of helping individuals change how they respond to life’s stressors. Based on the belief that our thoughts and behaviors influence the way we feel, CBT helps identify, challenge and change unhealthy thought patterns so that you can modify how you react in a stressful or difficult situation. Extensive scientific evidence supports the idea that CBT methods produce change and can effectively treat a range of mental health conditions.

By proactively addressing stress and implementing constructive changes, individuals can equip themselves with the tools needed to navigate daily pressures and foster greater mental well-being.

In the midst of addressing stress and fostering resilience, it’s imperative to remember the importance of self-compassion and prioritizing your own well-being. Giving yourself grace and acknowledging the necessity to care for your needs is not just beneficial but essential. You cannot effectively care for others if you’re not well yourself. Therefore, it’s crucial not to place your own needs last on the list. Taking time for self-care, whether it be through relaxation, exercise, or engaging in activities you enjoy, can significantly contribute to your overall resilience and ability to manage stress.

About the Author

Elizabeth Dosoretz, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and mother of three. Her personal journey through the challenges of postpartum depression inspired her to establish Elite DNA Behavioral Health in 2013 with a goal to provide accessible, affordable mental health care to everyone. Ten years later, Elite DNA has become one of the largest mental health providers in the state, providing in-person and virtual behavioral health services to children, adolescents and adults at more than 30 locations across Florida. For more information, visit

You’re Not Alone … We Can Help

Whether in person, or virtually, our mental and behavioral health experts are here to support you every step of the way. Get started today by finding your nearest Elite DNA location.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before und

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