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Stress Exploration

Stress is a feeling of being tense, overwhelmed, worn out, or exhausted. A small amount of stress can be motivating, but too much stress makes even small tasks seem daunting. Sometimes stress is the accumulation of many small hassles, while other times it is the result of major life changes or long-term problems.

The Stress Exploration worksheet will help clients learn about their stressors, and factors that protect them from stress. Stressors include daily hassles, major life changes, and life circumstances. Things that protect against stress include daily uplifts, healthy coping strategies, and protective factors.

We recommend using this worksheet toward the beginning of stress management treatment. Additionally, because stress contributes to many forms of mental illness, this handout fits well into a variety of other treatment plans.

For an overview of stress management treatment, and more resources, check out our guide:

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2. Larsson, U. G., Ohlsson, A., Berglund, A. K., & Nilsson, S. (2017). Daily uplifts and coping as a buffer against everyday hassles: Relationship with stress reactions over time in military personnel.

3. Lu, L. (1991). Daily hassles and mental health: A longitudinal study. British Journal of Psychology, 82(4), 441-447.

4. Pinquart, M., & Sörensen, S. (2003). Associations of stressors and uplifts of caregiving with caregiver burden and depressive mood: a meta-analysis. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58(2), 112-128.

5. Totenhagen, C. J., Serido, J., Curran, M. A., & Butler, E. A. (2012). Daily hassles and uplifts: A diary study on understanding relationship quality. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(5), 719.

6. Windle, G. (2011). What is resilience? A review and concept analysis. Reviews in Clinical Gerontology, 21(2), 152-169.

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