In today’s fast-paced world, stress has reached epidemic levels.
To give you an idea of the size of the issue, a 2018 survey from the U.K. revealed that in the past year, 74% of people had felt “stressed to the point of being overwhelmed or unable to cope.
And in the U.S., the annual 2022 Stress In America survey states 27% of people report feeling “so stressed they cannot function” most days.
Ongoing stress (often referred to as “chronic stress”) increases an individual’s risk of a range of physical and mental health problems. It also saps creativity, decreases cognitive performance, strains relationships, and generally just sucks the fun and enjoyment out of life.
Therefore, working with stress is something all therapists, coaches, and mental health professionals must know how to do. And one of the best ways of working with stress is through stress management worksheets. Such worksheets can help people systematically identify stressors, understand their response patterns, and develop effective coping strategies to better manage stress.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of stress management techniques. Then, explain how using a software platform like Quenza, with its library of 250+ worksheets, can help you take your coaching or counseling practice to the next level.
We’ll provide examples of how Quenza works throughout the article. But if you want to try it out for yourself right now, you can sign up today for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.
Stress, in itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a normal part of life that can sometimes serve a useful purpose, providing the drive to meet deadlines or react in dangerous or high-pressure situations.
However, when stress becomes ongoing or is poorly managed, it can lead to severe health problems.
High-stress levels have been linked with:
- High blood pressure and heart disease
- Anxiety and depression
- A compromised immune system
- High levels of inflammation
- Impaired blood sugar control
There are 2 main reasons why stress management is important in the workplace:
- Many people identify the workplace as one of the main contributors to their stress levels. In fact, 40% of workers describe their job as “very or extremely stressful.” And 25% identify their job as the number 1 stressor in their life.
- Chronic stress can severely affect an employee’s productivity and overall performance. Research shows that stress in the workplace can also lead to increased absenteeism, workplace conflicts, and even higher healthcare costs for employers.
For this reason, many therapists and coaches offer stress management training and interventions in corporate settings. This is often in the form of employee well-being services, seminars and workshops, and organizational coaching.
The challenge with stress is that much of the “problem” (and solution) lies in an individual’s perception of their circumstances—not their actual objective life situation.
This makes stress an exceedingly difficult thing for therapists and coaches to work with.
For example, consider an Olympic athlete or a successful CEO. On an objective level, both are likely to experience a huge amount of daily stress from their chosen occupation. But neither is likely to respond well to a suggestion that they quit their job to manage their stress.
While many people get to a point where they eventually retire or change careers. The fact is, individuals usually seek therapy or coaching to learn how to better manage the stress that’s already in their lives. Not to be told to simply stop doing the things that stress them out.
Therefore, your main role as a coach or therapist is to help people find new ways of perceiving their life stressors and becoming more resilient against stress. And this will usually take the form of stress management or reframing techniques.
Stress management involves a wide array of techniques and practices designed to help individuals cope with stress more effectively.
These techniques may include:
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Breathing exercises
- Yoga and tai-chi
- Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
- Cognitive behavioral strategies (CBT)
- Lifestyle changes, like exercise and improving diet and sleep
Regular practice of these techniques has been associated with a reduction in stress levels, improvement in concentration and focus, increase in job satisfaction, and enhancement of overall life satisfaction.
For instance, mindfulness, a practice that involves maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental well-being. Similarly, deep breathing exercises can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety, contributing significantly to stress management.
Exercises and activities covering all of the above stress management techniques are available in the Quenza app. And using them is as simple as choosing an exercise or stress management worksheet from our Expansions library, then clicking a button to send it to your client.
The features in Quenza even allow you to customize each activity, send a fully automated series of activities to your clients, track and manage your client’s results, and coach multiple clients at once, with Quenza Groups. Some practitioners even choose to scale their practice through automated care, by creating online courses.
Here are a few screenshots from our Diaphragmatic Breathing (Belly Breathing) Activity to give you an idea of how it works.
We begin with a written overview of the concept.
Stress Management Worksheets: An Empowering Approach to Stress Management
Stress management worksheets offer a practical, structured, and client-focused approach to dealing with stress.
These tools can help individuals:
- Identify their stressors
- Understand how they respond to challenging situations
- Evaluate their current coping mechanisms
- Develop more effective strategies for managing stress
One of the best things about stress management worksheets is their flexibility. They can be used in session, as homework exercises, or a combination of both. Worksheets are also suitable for clients of all backgrounds, including adults, students, people seeking therapy for mental health issues, coaching clients, and even employees.
We’ll take a look at the different types of stress management worksheets below, including some examples from Quenza. And remember, you can access our entire library of 250+ worksheets and activities, along with a comprehensive yet easy-to-use practice management platform, by signing up today for a full-access 1-month trial for only $1.
The progression through early adulthood to middle age can sometimes seem like a non-stop path of ever-increasing responsibilities.
Whether it be through career, family, community service, advancing your education, or chasing down a new fitness goal, we largely seek out these new challenges intentionally. However, that doesn’t stop many of us from feeling overwhelmed and stressed out from time to time.
Stress management worksheets for adults promote self-awareness about stress triggers and responses, helping individuals identify patterns and devise strategies to handle stress more effectively.
One great worksheet from the Quenza library to help adults manage stress is Solution Focused Scaling Questions. By helping people focus on their strengths and resources, this stress management worksheet for adults helps to reduce the feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness that often leads to chronic stress.
The exercise starts by explaining the link between perspective and stress.
Then takes the participant through a 5-step process of exploring solution-focused scaling questions. The 5 steps are:
1- Where are you currently on the success scale?
2- What is working well for you?
3- Examining earlier success
4- Visualizing a higher position on the scale
5- Taking action
Stress-Busting Tools for Students
Academic stress is often cited as the main factor that impacts the mental well-being of college-age students. However, learning to navigate peer relationships, future career uncertainties, and changing levels of independence and autonomy are also common stressors for youth.
Stress management worksheets for students can provide an invaluable resource, guiding them in:
- Balancing their academic workload
- Managing time more effectively
- Improving focus and concentration
- Remembering to savor and enjoy their time as a student
Compared to those for adults, worksheets on stress management for students are best viewed as educational and developmental exercises.
Just like with therapy activities for teens, the goal is to teach students the skills they need to successfully navigate stress now and in the future. Ideally, this will help ease the transition to early adulthood, reducing the risk of experiencing chronic stress in their later years.
A worksheet for teens from Quenza that can help reduce stress, is Facing the Effect of Fear-Based Beliefs on Goal Achievement. Many students have to make big decisions about life in high school and college, so by reducing fear and anxiety in this area, overall stress levels can be improved as well.
The worksheet begins by explaining the link between fear-based beliefs and goals.
Stress Management in the Workplace
Stress in the workplace is something we can all relate to. Even as therapists and coaches, we’re not immune to feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and even burnt out from work
Stress management worksheets for employees and corporate clients can cover a range of issues, such as:
- Achieving a healthy work-life balance
- Anxiety worksheets to improve well-being and productivity
- Tailored organizational solutions to improve staff retention and reduce medical leave
- Meditation and mindfulness exercises
- Learning to get into “flow states”
These resources provide the convenience of self-paced learning, by offering a flexible approach to stress management that can be tailored to personal needs and schedules. Individuals can download stress management worksheets in PDF form and work on them on their own or with a team of colleagues.
One of the best types of stress management worksheets for employees is those teaching people about flow states.
Flow is described as a state of deep immersion in a complex task. And there is a huge amount of research demonstrating the positive impact it has on everything from productivity to mental well-being and motivation.
In Quenza, we teach flow by defining the concept and its benefits.
Free Stress Management Resources
While we believe Quenza is the best resource for stress management worksheets, we understand it might not be the right choice for everyone.
To ensure that we leave you with a few resources, here are our 3 top picks for free stress management worksheets online.
- The National Institute of Mental Health has several great resources on stress and anxiety. A good starting point for clients is the I’m So Stressed Out! Fact Sheet.
- SafeSpot is an app designed to help young people improve their coping skills. In addition to the app, they also put out helpful free content, like this Stress Management Workbook.
- Head to Health is an online mental health resource developed by the Australian Government. While the information on accessing services is only relevant to people living in Australia, anyone in the world can use their digital resources, like their Stress Management Program.
In the whirlwind of modern life, many people feel like stress is a constant companion. Yet, it doesn’t have to be a negative one.
No matter what area of counseling or coaching you specialize in, one of the best ways you can help your clients is by teaching them evidence-based stress management techniques. And the most effective way to do this is by incorporating client-led tools, like stress management worksheets into your practice.
Whether it’s in the workplace or in your clients’ personal lives, these stress-management resources can play a crucial role in promoting well-being and productivity. They offer a structured and proactive approach to managing one’s stress, allowing everyone to live healthier, more balanced lives.
If you would like a full library of expert-produced, evidence-based stress management worksheets to use today, sign up today for a full-access 1-month trial of Quenza for only $1.
Not only will you get access to the 250+ exercises in the Quenza expansions library, but you’ll also be able to use our innovative practice management software to deliver 1:1 coaching and therapy, run group therapy sessions, and build online courses.
If you’re struggling with stress yourself—it’s time to take control.
Don’t let it overwhelm you. Download a stress management worksheet today and embark on your mission towards a healthier, happier, and calmer life. Remember, the journey toward effective stress management is a personal one, and every step you take brings you closer to your goal.
Share your experiences and progress in the comments below, and let’s support each other on this journey.
- ^ Mental Health Foundation. (n.d.). Stress: Statistics. Retrieved June 24, 2023, from https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/statistics/stress-statistics.
- ^ American Psychological Association. (n.d.). More than a quarter of U.S. adults say they're so stressed they can't function. Retrieved June 24, 2023, from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2022/10/multiple-stressors-no-function.
- ^ Mariotti, A. (2015). The effects of chronic stress on Health: New Insights Into the molecular mechanisms of brain–body communication. Future Science OA, 1(3). doi:10.4155/fso.15.21.
- ^ The American Institute of Stress. (2023). Workplace stress. Retrieved June 24, 2023, from https://www.stress.org/workplace-stress#:~:text=40%25%20of%20workers%20reported%20their,or%20extremely%20stressed%20at%20work.
- ^ Harvard Health. (2020). Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response. Retrieved June 24, 2023, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response.
- ^ Keng, S.-L., Smoski, M.J., & Robins, C.J. (2011). Effects of mindfulness on psychological health: A review of empirical studies. Clinical psychology review. Retrieved June 24, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679190/.
- ^ Ma, X., Yue, Z.-Q., Gong, Z.-Q., Zhang, H., Duan, N.-Y., Shi, Y.-T., Wei, G.-X., & Li, Y.-F. (2017). The effect of diaphragmatic breathing on attention, negative affect and stress in healthy adults. Frontiers. Retrieved June 24, 2023, from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874/full.
- ^ Barbayannis, G., Papathanasiou, I., Gourgoulianis, K., & Tsaras, K. (2022). Academic stress and mental well-being in college students: Correlations, affected groups, and covid-19. Frontiers in Psychology, 13. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.886344.
- ^ Peifer, C., Zentgraf, K., & Wirth, R. (2022). A Scoping Review of Flow Research. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 815665. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2022.815665.