Stress Management

Stress can appear in our lives as a response to our environment, or created by our bodies as an internal stimulus.

By Davis Steward

Stress is something that everybody experiences to varying degrees. Whether it be work, friends, family, or money, it can often stem from external environmental factors or our interpersonal relationships. Stress can appear in our lives as a response to our environment, or created by our bodies as an internal stimulus. In this case, stress can be caused by a series of internal cues that indicate a need to prepare for danger or action. When the way we manage stress does not serve our best interests, our bodies can respond in dysregulated ways producing physical and mental ailments. 

Learning how to cope with, and manage stress is essential in developing emotional resilience and improving long-term health outcomes. Group therapy can act as an outlet to share your stresses in a non-judgmental environment. It can also provide an opportunity to learn stress management skills. Several ways to help manage and understand stress involve:


Balancing relationships, work, and the increasing demands of the outside world can cause us to overlook how we treat ourselves. Self-care is an indispensable aspect of holistic health care and mental well-being that can make the balancing act easier. Daily implementation of self-care practices can reduce stress levels and burnout rates, promote personal growth, and improve our interpersonal relationships. Additionally, understanding our self-care practices, engaging in self-compassion, and adopting new self-care strategies are all tools for managing stress. 

Boundary Setting

Boundary setting is a form of self-care. It can protect our individuality and autonomy while establishing what behaviours we will tolerate from others. Learning how to set appropriate boundaries is essential in stress management. Boundary violations can result in feelings of resentment, guilt, or discomfort. Evaluating our boundary-setting skills can highlight areas of strength and areas for growth.

Understanding Physiological Responses to Stress

Exposure to stressors early in life such as abuse, living with someone abusing drugs or alcohol, living with domestic violence, or living with someone who has a mental illness, can increase one’s vulnerability to stress symptoms in adulthood. We call these stressors ACEs. Individuals can come to expect stressful conditions that require psychological and biological preparedness. For example, someone who has experienced ACEs may be more sensitive to potential threats in their environment. They may also experience more intense internal physical responses such as an elevated heart rate, feeling sick, or tense in stressful situations.

Understanding how stress can impact our bodies can motivate us to adopt more beneficial self-care practices and preventative health measures. Additionally, it can help us recognize and alleviate the early symptoms of stress and promote mental health literacy.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation involves the ability to identify one’s emotions, analyze the causal reasons behind the emotion, and choose an appropriate reaction. Learning how to emotionally regulate involves being able to identify and name our feelings, differentiating between thoughts and feelings, and practicing skills such as mindfulness and emotional acceptance.

Conscientia Counselling will be offering 5 weekly group therapy sessions on managing stress. Sessions begin on Monday, March 18th from 5:30-7:30 pm. Join us as we embark on an exploration of stress and its impact on our lives. Spaces are limited so reserve your spot today by following the link: