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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Understand and Manage Stress

Managing stress is an important part of a healthy balanced lifestyle. Learn more about stress management with this course.  Anxiety, tension, mental and emotional strain are all common problems in today's society. This course will introduce you to some practical approaches to combating stress.

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Learn about Stress, its impact, and how to deal with it 

Develop an insight into stress and how it affects a person’s mind and body.

  • Learn about the sources of stress.
  • Understand the impacts of stress.
  • Learn different ways to manage stress.
  • Understand how stress may affect you, and others.
  • A 100-hour distance learning course, available for you to start at any time.
  • Our courses include exercises and self-assessment tests for students to complete as an aid to their learning.
  • Each lesson in the course features and assignment for students to complete and submit to their tutor for marking.  Your tutor will provide you with feedback and guidance. 


The course is divided into 8 lessons as follows:

Lesson 1. Body Changes
  • Modern Day Stressors including Controls, Complexity, Competition and Computers.
  • Symptoms and Effects of Stress.
  • Muscle Responses to Stress.
  • The Gastrointestinal Response to Stress.
  • The Cardiovascular Response to Stress.
  • The Skin Response to Stress.
  • The Fight or Flight Response.
  • Stress Effects on Well-Being.
  • Stress and the Immune System.
  • Developing a Stress Management Response Program.
Lesson 2. Easy Living
  • Workaholics.
  • Symptoms of Stress, including Confusion, Depression, Changes in Sleeping, Eating or Sexual Habits, Mood Changes and Drugs.
  • Determining the Cause of Stress.
  • Deciding How to Deal with Stresses.
  • Stress Terminology.
  • Understanding Self-Image.
  • Tips for Relaxation, e.g. Massage, Aromatherapy, Relaxation, Hobbies, etc.
  • Controlling Stress.
  • Too Little Stress is Bad Too.
Lesson 3. Pills and Alcohol
  • Understanding Alcohol.
  • What is too Much Alcohol.
  • Over the Counter or Non-Prescription Drugs.
  • Drugs Prescribed by a Doctor.
  • Illegal Drugs.
  • Seeking Help.
Lesson 4. Self-Esteem
  • What is Self-Esteem.
  • Realistic Expectations.
  • Altering Your Perception.
  • Social Support.
  • Building Self-Esteem in Others.
Lesson 5. Managing Your Own Career
  • Work Satisfaction.
  • Managing a Career.
  • Reviewing Your Career.
  • Standing Out and Progressing.
Lesson 6. Security and Decision Making
  • Self-Assurance.
  • Developing Security and Self-Assurance.
  • Analyzing Ourselves.
  • Decision Making.
  • Strategy.
  • Problem Solving.
Lesson 7. Relaxation and Nutrition
  • Relaxation.
  • Nutrition - We Are What We Eat.
  • Dietary Fibre, Vitamins and Minerals, and a Balanced Diet.
  • Problems of Nutrition and Diet.
  • Weight Loss.
  • Tips for Healthy Eating.
Lesson 8. Personality and Stress
  • Relationship Between Personality and Stress.
  • Personality Types -Type A and Type B Personalities.
  • Introvert.
  • Extrovert.
  • Personal Style Inventory - How to Determine Personality Type.


  • Identify changes that occur to the body as stress develops.
  • Identify the relationship between lifestyle and stress.
  • Discuss the impact of legal drugs on the psychology of a person.
  • Discuss the importance of self esteem in minimising stress.
  • Determine options for career management that will minimise potential for stress.
  • Identify and address security issues that impact on stress levels.
  • Identify aspects of relaxation and nutrition in a person’s life that may impact upon stress levels.
  • Identify the relationship between stress and personality type.

The Effect of Stress on Health and Well-Being

  • It is crucial that people learn to effectively and not destructively cope with the everyday stresses around them.

Chronic high levels of stress is linked to reduced immune system function, leaving you open to bacterial infections, viruses etc., and there is increasing evidence that serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease occur more frequently in people with higher stress levels. Digestive problems can also occur, because when you are fighting or fleeing, the energy your body produces is diverted to the muscles that you will need, and withdrawn from the digestive tract. If you are constantly on edge, your digestion will suffer. Negative behaviours in response to stress, such as high alcohol consumption, prescription and illegal drug abuse and smoking all have their own obvious effects on a persons health and well-being. Inability to cope with stress can result in psychological illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, paranoia and, most commonly, depression. A complete inability to deal with stressors any longer can result in a nervous breakdown.  This is a state of complete mental exhaustion which is often accompanied by serious physical illness.

It is important to have coping mechanisms and a realistic attitude when it comes to stress. Low levels of stress appear to aid our immune system, improving both levels of response and strength. Acknowledging stress and being aware of our comfortable zone is an important step in dealing with stress and the affects of it. We can acknowledge that we are under stress, what it is from, and how to successfully deal with it. In doing so, each time we deal with a certain stress, we build our capacity and system to enhance it for the next time we need to undertake that task. Attempting to ignore a stressful situation will generally lead to an increasing build-up of tension and anxiety.  As stress levels rise, the ability to rationally cope with the issue will tend to diminish, fuelling a further increase in stress; a vicious cycle. The results of unrelenting high stress can be catastrophic, such as life threatening diseases, family breakdowns, chronic illness and addiction.

Insecurity, boredom and frustration at work can erupt into "stress sickness" which can, in extreme situations lead to depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses, other chronic illnesses, family breakdowns, alcoholism and drug abuse. There is anecdotal evidence linking life-threatening conditions such as heart attack and some forms of cancer with high stress. Unrelenting high stress can seriously compromise a persons feeling of control in their life and work and can lead to a complete mental breakdown. It is always important to ensure a person has a time/space that is stress-free or as low stress as possible. If you are working in a professional setting, as a counsellor, life coach, fitness trainer or similar, stress management training and coaching for your client should be a top priority.

Stress, Distress and Eustress

We use the term ‘distress’ to indicate negative stress, which can lead to harmful effects, such as being fired from ones job. The term ‘eustress’ is used to refer to positive arousal which provides a healthy challenge, such as being promoted in one’s job.

Levels of stress will differ from one individual to another. Certain individuals experience a higher degree of stress than others (e.g. a job promotion may cause eustress for most people but for some it could cause distress). The level of stress also changes over time - you might be experiencing less stress now than you did a year ago.

With proper self awareness and management techniques stress levels can be lowered, perceptions altered and responses improved.

How to Recognise Stress

It is important to recognise whether you or someone you know or a client is under stress. Often, even if we are under the influence of a stressful condition and our body reacts to it internally as well as externally, we fail to realise the symptoms of our stress. This also happens when the causes of stress are there long enough for us to get used to them. The body may try to tell us that it is stressed or that something is wrong, through symptoms such as:

  • heart palpitations
  • dizzy spells
  • tight and sore muscles, or
  • various body pains and conditions
  • blurry vision
  • inability to eat or over-eating
  • loss of interest in usual activities
  • unexpected emotional reactions.

It is important to remain attentive to such symptoms and to have a stress management system in place to counter the adverse affects of stress.

Dealing With Stress

Understanding the cause of stress can be the first step toward dealing with it; however, understanding alone, or even eliminating the cause, is not necessarily going to eliminate stress.

Negative emotions can be hard to shake. If someone is seeking help to combat their negative feelings they may well be finding strategies which work for them. Sometimes they discover strategies in a book, or through advice from friends. On other occasions they may seek help from a practitioner (e.g. a psychologist or counsellor), who may assign homework to a client, where they can put solutions into practice.

Not all strategies work for all people, and psychologists will only usually advocate those which have some scientific backing. There are different ways that are more appropriate to different issues: anger, physical pain, shame, guilt, self-doubt, and other negative emotions.

Why Study Stress Management with ACS?

Study Stress Management and gain a greater understanding of what stress is:-

  • the causes of stress,
  • ways of responding to stress,
  • How to cope with stress, and more.

You will learn about dealing with physical problems related to stress:-

  • how to achieve easy living,
  • dealing with drugs,
  • developing self-esteem,
  • relaxation,
  • diet, and much more.

This course is equally relevant for self-improvement, or professional development for those working in areas such as:-

  • health professionals
  • counsellors
  • life coaches
  • fitness instructors
  • nutrition consultants.

Studying our Stress Management course may help you to help others, and it may help you to help yourself as well.

Enrol Today, or Find Out More

You can enrol on the course today; or, if you have any questions, please get in touch with our specialist tutors. They will be pleased to answer your questions and explain more about the content of the course and what it is like to study with ACS.

Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Towergate Insurance welcomes Professional Liability insurance applications from ACS graduates across all disciplines. Click here for more details.

Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Jacinda Cole B.Sc.,M.Psych.Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA. Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Jacinda joined ACS in 2001.

Check out our eBooks

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Human NutritionBoth a text for students, or an informative read for anyone who wants to eat better. While covering the basics, the book approaches nutrition a little differently here to some other books, with sections covering ”Modifying diet according to Genetic Disposition or Lifestyle”, “How to find Reliable Information on Nutrition” and “Understanding how Diet relates to Different Parts of the Body” (including Urinary, Digestive, Respiratory and Circulatory System, the Brain, etc). This ebook was written to complement the ACS Nutrition I course, and provides a solid foundation for anyone wanting to grasp a fundamental understanding of Human Nutrition.
How to be a Life CoachLife coaching is a relatively new profession - although coaches have been around for a long time in the guise of trainers, instructors, managers and tutors for various professions and disciplines. Life coaching is not easily defined, but it is a type of mentoring which focuses on helping individuals to achieve what they would like to achieve and thereby to lead more fulfilling lives. Unlike other forms of coaching, it takes place outside of the workplace and is concerned with all aspects of a person’s life.
Human BiologyFor any new student of human biology, being confronted with thousands of unfamiliar words can be overwhelming. It can also be difficult to identify which words you need to learn first. This book presents words that have been carefully selected as the most important for new biology students to learn and understand. It also provides more information about each word than is often found in traditional dictionaries, giving students a more in-depth understanding of the word's meaning. The book is intended as an aid to all new students of human biology.