In our day-to-day lives, we are often faced with many stressors. A stressor is simply any situation, experience or even that causes us stress and is often perceived as a significant challenge.  People experience stress for many reasons, including common situations such as work demands, academic pressures, finances, or health concerns. Other sources of stress can include any major life milestones or change, such as the loss of a loved one, marriage, birth of a child, divorce, or job loss. Crises, natural catastrophes and even the current COVID pandemic often cause a great deal of stress for those impacted.

While the average person is faced with a number of stressors in their lives, much of the time it is possible to navigate these stressful experiences. However, when life stressors become overwhelming, disruptive, chronic, or uncontrollable, individuals may experience both physical and psychological difficulties. 

Physical signs of stress:

  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia 
  • Elevated blood pressure and heart rate
  • Digestion problems

Psychological signs of stress:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lack of motivation
  • Irritability 
  • Anger 
  • Lack of mental clarity or focus

Stress management refers to a variety of psychological interventions and coping strategies aimed to identify, reduce, and better manage a person’s level of psychological stress.  These can include problem-solving, assertiveness training, relaxation, breathing exercises and connecting to social supports.  Psychological counselling can be helpful when stress is overwhelming, and the psychologists at Willow have extensive training in helping clients work with stress and the impact of stressful life events. 

For more information on Stress: 

American Psychological Association