Stress Exploration

mind May 28, 2020

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 people 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.

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

Stress Management Guide ( Ctrl and click on link to get to Stress Management Guide)

Stress Exploration worksheet

Symptoms of Stress

Stress causes physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Some people will have an easy time identifying their symptoms, and connecting them with stress. Others—especially those who have had chronic stress for years and years—will need more guidance before recognizing their symptoms as stress-related.

Symptoms of Stress worksheet (Ctrl and click on the link to get Symptoms of Stress worksheet)



Stress Management Strategies

Build Resilience

Resilience refers to the ability to handle stress when it arises, and to protect oneself against future stress. Research has shown that there are a number of qualities that contribute to resilience, including social support, optimism, sense of humor, spirituality, self-esteem, and adaptability (7, 10). Many of these qualities can be fostered in therapy.

Here are a few ways to build resilience:

  • Positive journaling can foster optimism, which contributes to stress resilience. Positive journaling involves writing about daily positive experiences. It tends to be easy to remember negative experiences, but it takes more work to recall and appreciate positive experiences. Positive journaling is a great way to appreciate these experiences. For a journal template, try the positive journal packet:


  • Showing gratitude can increase self-esteem, which contributes to resilience. There are a number of ways to show gratitude, including gratitude journaling, telling someone “thank you”, and visiting someone you appreciate. Check out the following gratitude resources:

Gratitude Journal worksheet (Ctrl and click to get Gratitude Journal worksheet)

Gratitude Exercises worksheet (Ctrl and click to get Gratitude Exercises worksheet)



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