Therapy for Stress Management

Work with a registered psychologist to better manage your stress

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Therapy for Stress Management

Get started with online therapy

  1. Unlock rebates (optional)

    A referral letter & mental health treatment plan from your GP are required to access Medicare rebates.

  2. Choose a psychologist

    Match with your best fit online psychologist via our unique matching tool or browse individual profiles.

  3. Book your session

    With early, after-hours and weekend availability, there's always a spot for you for your 50-min session. No wait times. 

  4. Track your progress

    Meet your goals with regular DASS21 tracking and next steps recaps from your psychologist after every session. 

What is stress?

woman using online therapy service

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. While stress itself is not a clinical disorder, it 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 manage it is an important protective factor for our health.

Benefits of My Mirror

Benefits of My Mirror

  • No wait times
  • Up to 21h/day access
  • Access from anywhere in Australia
  • Affordable therapy sessions

Available psychologists who can help manage stress


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.

When does stress become a problem?

Everyone responds differently to stress. New research suggests there are genetic differences in the way that our bodies express stress hormones, making some people more vulnerable to stress than others. 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. While ‘problem stress’ is not a diagnosis, it can be very impactful and plays a major role in the development of clinical disorders such as anxiety and depression. It is therefore important to be aware of what too much stress feels like in our bodies.

Unhealthy or prolonged stress often affects us in the following ways:

  • Emotionally: Increasing feelings of anxiety, low mood, exhaustion, tension or anger
  • Cognitively: Brain fog, forgetfulness, hypervigilance, circling negative thoughts, hopelessness or apathy.
  • Behaviourally: Affected sleep patterns, an increase or decrease in appetite, being accident-prone and an increase in unhelpful coping strategies such as smoking, drinking, or gambling.

What are the health impacts of prolonged stress?

Chronic stress takes a physical toll. Every major system in the body is affected, leading to a range of health concerns. Reproductive issues, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, chronic fatigue, and cardiovascular disease have all been linked to problem stress. Stress has also been found to impact the immune system making you more prone to infection.

Many of the symptoms of prolonged stress are also present in several mental health conditions, particularly generalised anxiety disorder, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. If left untreated, these disorders can severely impact your ability to function and enjoy daily life.

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 I get help with stress today?

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

Therapy 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 can book a session with a registered psychologist within 24 hours via our online portal. Select your psychologist based on their bio to find the practitioner best suited to help you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Talk to a psychologist from the comfort of home

Talk to a psychologist from the comfort of home

Online counselling sessions available up to 21 hours/day, 7 days a week.

Get matched with a psychologist

What clients say about My Mirror

12 July 2021

Easy & Low Cost

Tele-tech sessions eliminate travel and wait times, it simplifies the whole process. Booking an online appointment is super easy, and low-cost, which is also really appealing.  

28 April 2021

Really grateful!

I was able to book in almost immediately and was really grateful to be matched with a psychologist who suited both my situation and personality.

27 September 2021

Great help

I live in a regional area with very little resources available for mental health. My Mirror was a great help and were super quick with any questions including how to add my mental health plan. Great work Mirror team


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