• Stress Management

Stress Management

Explore effective strategies to help you build resilience, manage overwhelming emotions and bring balance to your life. Develop a personalised toolkit for managing stress, from relaxation techniques to time management skills. Strengthening your stress management skills, will empower you to not only manage life's challenges, but to thrive in the midst of them.

Navigating and managing stress

Navigating and managing stress

Stress is unavoidable in our fast paced, modern world – whether its pressure from creating work/life balance, relationships, finances, school or your health, these stressors might be starting to take a toll on your emotional and physical health and wellbeing.

Common life stressors

Major Life Changes

Experiencing life transitions like moving to a new place, getting married, or coping with loss presents challenges, demanding adaptation and sometimes adding stress to life's journey.

Financial Concerns

Financial worries, such as debt, unexpected expenses, or job instability, can trigger anxiety and strain overall well-being.

Work-Life Balance

Juggling work and personal life responsibilities can be difficult, leading to feelings of overwhelm and the risk of burnout.

Health Issues

Dealing with health challenges, whether for oneself or loved ones, can be emotionally draining, leading to worry and stress.

Relationship Struggles

Navigating conflicts or tension in relationships with partners, family members, or colleagues can cause emotional distress, affecting mental well-being.

Navigating Uncertainty

Facing uncertainty about the future or feeling powerless in certain situations can exacerbate stress and anxiety levels.

Understanding unhealthy stress

Understanding unhealthy stress

Stress is a natural response to life's challenges, triggering physical symptoms and demanding our attention. While manageable in the short term, prolonged exposure to high stress levels can have significant repercussions on both our mental and physical well-being.

Everyone responds differently to stress. Where one person may thrive in a high-pressure work environment, another may feel overwhelmed and inefficient. According to the Yerkes Dodson Law, we each have a ‘comfort zone’ within which we operate effectively under stressful conditions. Levels of stress beyond this comfort zone can lead to negative emotionality, exhaustion, and poor health, so it's important to check in with your stress levels, understand your triggers, and seek support where needed.

Finding support for stress

During stress counselling sessions, your psychologist can help you to better understand your triggers and responses to problem stress and help you learn strategies to more effectively respond across different domains of life. You'll focus on practical strategies, identify strengths, and work toward actionable goals to manage and reduce stress.

While there are many ways you can manage stress on your own, working with an experienced psychologist will ensure you are receiving evidence-based care that is customised to your specific circumstances.

Mental Health Impacts

Effective stress management can enhance mood and behaviour, reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, burnout, irritability, and emotional exhaustion. By mitigating these mental health effects, individuals can improve their daily functioning and enhance their overall quality of life.

Physical Health Impacts

Stress can wreak havoc on the body, and effective stress management can reduce sleep disturbances, strengthen your immune system, and reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and chronic pain conditions.

Cognitive Impacts

Successful stress management can improve cognitive function, including memory, concentration, and decision-making abilities. This cognitive enhancement can help with productivity, learning, and your overall cognitive well-being.

Available psychologists who can help with stress


What is stress?

Stress is a natural, normal process that all people experience. It is a physical, emotional, and mental response to an external event that you feel overwhelmed by, or fear you may not be able to cope with. 

The physiological symptoms of stress are often short-lived, preparing you for either ‘fight’ or ‘flight’. Stress can cause your heart to beat faster, your breath to quicken, your stomach to feel unsettled and your sweat glands to activate. In moderate amounts, stress is not a problem. In fact, can be quite helpful to motivate you to act, whether that is running away from physical harm or knuckling down to get a work assignment finished.

The threshold for a ‘healthy’ amount of stress is different for everyone. It is based on the stressor, the perception of one’s internal resources, and a range of attitude and personality factors. When stress is prolonged, or extremely heightened, it can become problematic for your health, and is a risk factor for several physical and mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. 

Most of us live busy lives full of stress, so learning to identify unhealthy stress and develop strategies to deal with stress is an important protective factor for our health.

What are common stress triggers?

While different things lead to stress for different people, there are a few common incidents/situations (known as, stressors) that many people find difficult to manage.

Common stressors include:

  • Relationship conflict – tension or breakdowns in romantic, family and friend relationships are common causes of stress. Major events like Christmas, weddings and birthday parties can be particularly triggering.
  • Financial problems – losing a main source of income, being unable to make important payments or not being able to live the lifestyle you want due to debt can be major sources of stress.
  • Health concerns – managing ongoing health concerns or the diagnosis of a serious illness, either for yourself or your loved ones can be incredibly distressing.
  • Work issues – starting or ending a job, feeling unable to manage your workload, or having difficulties with management can all be major stressors, particularly if your work is a large part of your identity.
  • Caring for a baby – the responsibility of caring for a newborn, paired with the sleep deprivation and dramatic change to everyday life can be overwhelming for many parents. Persistent feelings of anxiety and sadness may be indicative of postnatal depression.
  • Traumatic events – experiencing or witnessing physical and emotional trauma is highly distressing. Persistent feelings of stress, vigilance and/or disruptions to everyday life following the incident may be a sign you are experiencing post-traumatic stress.

What are some strategies for managing stress?

Developing effective strategies to manage harmful, prolonged stress has benefits on both our physical and emotional wellbeing. 

The first step is to become aware of your reactions to stressful events. Consider a stressor you encountered this week. On a scale of 1-5 how stressful did you consider it to be? What were your thoughts and feelings about the event? Did your behaviour change in reaction to it (e.g. did you have trouble sleeping, eat unhealthy food, smoke or drink more than usual?) Were you able to calm yourself down? If so, what was most effective? 

Secondly, remember to engage in behaviours that help to manage and reduce stress. These healthy behaviours are also considered protective factors for mental health in general. These include healthy routines, exercise, engaging in activities that recharge you and managing situations or potential conflicts that will lead to further stress. It’s no surprise that these behaviours can be hard to put into practice when you are feeling overwhelmed, so having an idea of the things that help you destress and practicing these habits can help you to put this into practice in the moment more effectively.

Finally, if you need some further support in managing stress, reaching out for help, whether from a friend, family member or accredited psychologist may be the most important action you take.

How can you use solution focused therapy to reduce stress? 

  • Goals – Learn to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely goals relating to reducing stress.
  • Coping – Work together to identify some practical tips and strategies to manage stress and improve resilience.
  • Identify strengths – Your psychologist can help you understand your strengths (or sometimes see strengths you didn't even know you had). This knowledge will help you better understand what internal resources your have to help you cope with stress more effectively.  
  • Problem solving - Psychologists can help you problem solve by being a great sounding board, or they can give new perspectives or insights. They can help you to be more confident to find solutions to the challenges you are facing. 
  • Improve relaxation techniques – Psychologists are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to relaxation techniques and strategies. They might teach you things like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, meditation or even used guided imagery to help reduce your stress levels.
  • Mindfulness – Sometimes we get caught up in future worries or dwelling on challenges in the past. You may explore and introduce mindfulness based practices (like mindful breathing, eating or body scan exercises) to help bring you back to the present moment and reduce rumination and focus on past or future stressors. 
  • Routines and healthy habits – Your sessions might focus on the development of healthy routines and habits that can help incorporate relaxation, resilience and self care strategies.
  • Improve communication skills – By enhancing your communication skills you will be better able to express your needs and be assertive in getting your needs met.
  • Healthy relationships – A key focus of reducing stress could be around harnessing social supports. This can include cultivating supportive relationships, learning about enforcing healthy boundaries, and also how to navigate relationships and seeking emotional comfort or practical assistance during times of overwhelm and stress. 

What clients say about My Mirror

06 April 2023

So grateful

I am so grateful for my psychologist from My Mirror, and having my psychologist available via telehealth has been so much more beneficial for my mental health. Being able to be seen, heard and listened to rather than waiting so long on a waitlist has been a godsend.

03 May 2023

Fantastic experience

Having been initially sceptical, my overall experience with My Mirror has been fantastic. My Mirror matched and connected me with a psychologist who simply “got” me from the very beginning. I cannot recommend this service enough.

05 January 2024

Big tick

I'm one of those people who doesn't enjoy going out of my home or talking to a doctor, let alone a psychologist. Without My Mirror and the services they provide I would most likely neglect seeking help, so it's a big tick from me for these guys.

18 January 2024

What we need

One of the best online platforms I have ever used. The simplicity of the bulk billing system, rebates and the selection of well educated clinical psychologists is what we need. Couldn't of found a better website. 🙌


If you are feeling suicidal or are in crisis call 000 (AU) or use these resources to get immediate help.