Skip to Content

Stress Management: How to Identify Stress & Where to Get Help

Life has a way of turning upside down when you least expect it. Everything can be travelling along smoothly, then all of a sudden you are hit with the unexpected and find yourself struggling to stay afloat. It happens to all of us from time to time, no matter how good your stress management skills are.

Stress management - how to identify the signs of stress

Identifying Stress In Your Life

Sometimes it’s loss of a loved one or serious illness that catch us off guard, or it can be something a little more ongoing and long term building up, such as financial trouble, job satisfaction or relationship stresses. It can be anything really.

Most people don’t think about it until after it happens. Even then, it is often a case of not knowing what support is available, where to go or who to seek advice from. This means the negative emotions and stress can build up and leave us struggling to cope with our everyday life and responsibilities.

As a psychologist, I have seen this first hand in my professional experiences. I think we can all relate to these feelings in our personal lives. For me, I recall the extreme stress I felt when my workplace became somewhere I dreaded. The weight was lifted off my shoulders when I finished up, but for many situations, the solution is not that easy. Especially in the case of loss or illness.

Why Stress Management Is Important

The stuff that we used to be able to brush off suddenly feels like lead weight on our shoulders as we attempt to push through. Each little thing becomes a huge thing and it can become really difficult to see the positives that lie ahead.

In fact, we often end up losing motivation even for the things we would normally love because the stress, grief and emotions are eating us up.

Check out these resources to further support your stress management:

STRESS MANAGEMENT: How to identify stress and where to get help

Signs of Stress and Anxiety

The signs of stress are huge and varied. They also overlap strongly with the symptoms of depression.

The main thing is a change from the norm for the worse, but you may not even realise most of the signs are there. Sometimes someone else will notice them before you do.

Here are a few of the signs of stress to look for:

  • Feeling unusually emotional
  • Tired, unable to sleep or sleeping excessively
  • Lack of patience
  • Unfocused and unable to concentrate
  • Changed appetite – increased or decreased
  • Lack of interest in activities you normally enjoy
  • Dread at the thought of doing certain things i.e. attending work, visiting a certain place
  • Arguments with loved ones
  • Impulsive behaviour
  • Physical tension – tight shoulders, headaches, neck pain
  • Dry mouth

Where Can You Go For Help?

Seeking professional support is available to everyone. You don’t need an official diagnosis to seek professional assistance.

It is there for everyone who needs some extra support or tools to help them through a difficult period in life or to work through negative emotions and stress. This is something many people fail to realise.

A great starting point is often your GP. They can provide referrals to more specialised services and also know of options that may best suit your budget.

You can also seek counselling services through local community services or public health care. Here in Australia, there are many free services available, including online and phone counselling providers, which are easy to access. Similar services exist in most other western countries also.

tips for reducing stress

If budget is not a concern, you can make an appointment with a local psychologist or counsellor who offers private services. This can be quite expensive but it means you have greater flexibility with who you see and how often, without the restrictions of public waitlists or limited availability.

In some cases, if you have private health insurance, you may even find that psychology and counselling services are included as part of your policy, either as part of your hospital cover or as an extras component.

Myths About Stress And Anxiety

Seeking professional support is not a sign of weakness. It does not mean you are ‘crazy’ and it can be beneficial for anyone, no matter your situation, your background or your personal reasons.

Stress, anxiety, depression, grief… they are huge, sometimes debilitating experiences that we do not have to live with long term.

Put your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your family as a top priority in your household as happy people are healthy, productive people too!

Check out these ideas for taking back control of your life:

What is your number one sign you are stressed? Do you have any great stress management tips?


Monday 12th of June 2017

Nice article with a good list of the signs of stress! I think it's also interesting to mention that there are different types of stress. Acute stress, Episodic Acute stress and Chronic stress. In this list Acute stress is the least worrisome type, with small stressors that come and go, while Chronic stress is a type of stress where things got somewhat out of hand and it's time to ask for professional help next to all the stress relief effort that someone can do by themselves.

My number one sign of getting stressed by the way is that I get busy in my head and constantly distracted from the things I am trying to do. For my having healthy morning rituals work very nice, they give a good start for my day. (Like meditation, yoga, stretching, relaxing a bit with a cup of tea :) )

Thanks! Istvan

home care

Sunday 11th of June 2017

Stress is not a good thing. It could let to depression. Yoga, do what makes you happy... Just stay happy as possible.


Wednesday 14th of September 2016

Doing Yoga and playing some mind games like chess,solving puzzles is the best thing i found for managing the stress.I found many great ideas here,and tried for overcoming stress.Thanks for sharing!

Alice Guant

Wednesday 6th of July 2016


The is really interesting and helpfull too..

I must say that for a start you could try doing focused meditation, closing your eyes and breathing in and out slowly and sitting in silence for at least 10 to 15 minutes.This will really help you to refresh your mind.

Also, a highly-effective stress relief method to develop is to not waste time and effort on situations beyond your control and fix your attention on situations you can influence instead.

Thanks for sharing your great ideas.. Keep doing good work.. God Bless U! Hope this will really help people suffering from the same problem.