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Learning to Cope With Stress: 3 Strategies to Help Young Adults

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Stress is the sense of feeling overwhelmed and struggling to cope with psychological pressure. Stress is something that affects everyone.

As a young adult counselor and working with young adults who struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, depression, and other challenges, stress seems to be the common factor underlying all these struggles.

Young adults are especially prone to feeling stress. Young adults worry about future choices. They're not sure which college they're going to. Or they wonder if college is a good fit for them.

Young adults often stress about financial realities. Young adults tend to be less financially secure and this can be a major concern for them.

Young adults can get stressed out about the expectation to succeed in life. With less established careers and fewer resources this can be as great challenge. With social media and technology, young adults can easily compare themselves to others. This can be one of the greatest sources of stress for them.

According to Hans Selye, we experience stress in similar ways to animals. Selye pointed out that like other animals, we usually respond to stress by:

  1. Being alarmed,

  2. Trying to resist, and

  3. Eventually giving into the stressor

While we are like animals in many ways, there is an important difference.

We have developed a part of our brain that enables us to engage in complex cognition. Cognition refers to our ability to think about our experiences and decide how we are going to interpret them. In light of our ability to engage in cognition, psychologist Richard Lazarus argued that a situation is stressful if we perceive it to be stressful.

What is stressful to one person may be enjoyable or a pleasurable experience to another. What some see as a challenge, others interpret as a threat. Whether something is perceived as stressful is in the eye of the beholder.

Three Strategies to Help Young Adults Handle Their Stress

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As a therapist for young adults working with young adults in the Katy, Texas and Houston area, I have found 3 strategies to be particularly helpful in coping with stress.

1. Problem-Focused Coping

The first approach to stress entails directly addressing the stressor and trying to change the situation. If a young adult is stressed about her finances, they might consider asking for a raise or looking for a new job. When a young adult is stressed about social media comparisons, they might choose to fast from social media in order to gain perspective.

2. Emotion-Focused Coping

Sometimes it's not possible to change the situation. When a parent or friend dies, there's no way to bring them back. In situations where there's nothing to do to change the stressor, young adults can work at trying to make themselves feel better about their situation.

Young adults find that talking to a trusted mentor or a young adult therapist can be a helpful catharsis. Some young adults turn to spirituality or philosophy to help them better manage their stressful emotions.

3. Meaning-Focused Coping

This last approach entails shifting one's perspective about the stressor and seeing it as an opportunity for growth. The Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius once wrote,

"The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way."

According to meaning-focused coping, the stressor can be the catalyst for personal growth and development.

Take the example of a bad boss at work. A young adult can get stressed out and give in to anxiety. If things get really bad, they can quit their job. Or a young adult can see this as an opportunity to grow resilience. The young adult can harness the stress to work on their tendency to worry, their struggles with communication, and their ability to endure difficult situations.

Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Providing Young Adult Counseling in Katy, Tx & Houston

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At the Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, our young adult counselors can help young adults overcome anxiety, panic attacks, social anxiety, school anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD and other emotional or behavioral struggles.

Life can be busy for a young adult. Starting young adult counseling can help you to overcome the stressors, challenges, and obstacles that stand in your way of happiness and success.

If you are ready to start your healing journey with one of our young adult therapists, you can follow these three simple steps:

  1. Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling

  2. Meet with one of our experienced young adult counselors

  3. Take that first step in your young adult therapy journey

Other Counseling & Therapeutic Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling

At our Katy, Tx location of Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we provide other counseling and therapeutic services such as Marriage counseling and couples therapy.

Often, when parenting a struggling teen, this can have a direct impact on the parent's relationship. Our marriage counselors and couples therapists can help.

We also provide other counseling and therapeutic services for teens, young adults, & families at our Katy, Tx location:

Board Certified Neurofeedback

Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)

Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

About the Author

Man standing in front of a tan brick wall, wearing blue, pinstripe dress shirt, tan sports coat smiling. He provides neurofeedback for anxiety houston texas and social anxiety therapy katy, tx 77494. He also provides social anxiety treatment katy texas 77494.

Quique Autrey is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Quique specializes in young adult counseling and helping young adults build upon their innate strengths while developing skills and tools to overcome depression, anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD, and more.

Quique views each individual through that lens and provides therapy for the family system which includes: teen therapy, young adult counseling, family counseling, marriage counseling & couples therapy.

Quique also has a passion for helping teens, young adults, and adults who may be on the Autism Spectrum. He has a talent for connecting with and helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

If you're ready to start your healing journey in teen therapy, you can call us at 346-202-4662 or email us at

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