Stress Management

Learn to be healthier by managing stress better. Understand how stress affects the body, how to deal with the symptoms, tools you can use to combat stress and develop self-esteem.

Course Code: VPS100
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Stress can be Overcome

Learn  to relax and manage stress


Stress is modern man's constant enemy. As life becomes more and more hectic, people work longer hours under greater time constraints, with less recreation time. Consequently more and more people struggle to cope with their stress levels.
They need your help!
With proper self awareness and management techniques stress levels can be lowered, perceptions altered and responses improved.
Learn about:
  • Causes of stress - physical changes that occur in the body as a result of stress, short term and long term problems, cumulative affect of stressors.
  • Understanding relaxation - fostering an easy living attitude, putting stressors behind you -forgiving yourself.
  • Common drugs and their relationship with stress: short term and long term affects (Alcohol, cigarettes, cough mixtures, decongestants, headache tablets etc).
  • "Self Esteem" (how we feel about ourselves) is influenced by many factors. A person's upbringing, peer group pressure, current employment, physical appearance and so on, all interact to help determine how we feel about ourselves.
  • The effect of our career and our mindset around our career and its effect on stress.
  • Improving decision making - Problem Solving techniques, Self Assurance and Insecurities
  • The impact of diet and lifestyle factors on stress.
  • Relaxation techniques - which ones are most suitable for you or your client?
  • Understanding what type of person you are; and living with that knowledge - undertake an inventory of your own personality, and gain insights into yourself


This course prepares the graduate to manage their own stress, and support others to manage their stress.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Body Changes
    • Modern Day Stressors: Controls, Complexity, Competition, Computers, etc
    • Symptoms and Affects of Stress
    • The Muscle Response
    • Gastrointestinal Responses
    • Cardiovascular Responses
    • Skin Responses
    • The fight or flight response
    • Stress Effect on Wellbeing
    • Stress and the immune system
    • Stress Management Response Program
  2. Easy Living
    • Work Addiction
    • Understanding Stress Symptoms (Confusion, Depression, Changes in sleeping, eating or sexual habits, Mood changes, drugs)
    • Determining Cause of Stress
    • Deciding How to Deal with Stress
    • Terminology
    • Self Image
    • Tips for Relaxation (Massage, Aromatherapy, Relaxation, Hobbies, etc)
    • Controlling Stress
    • Too Little Stress
  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
  4. Self Esteem
    • What is Self esteem
    • Realistic Expectations
    • Altering Your Perception
    • Social Support
    • Building Self Esteem in Others
  5. Managing Your Own Career
    • Work Satisfaction
    • Managing a Career
    • Reviewing Your Career
    • Standing Out and Progressing
  6. Security and Decision Making
    • Self assurance
    • Developing Security and Self Assurance
    • Analyzing Ourselves
    • Decision making
    • Strategy
    • Problem solving
  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
  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

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • 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 minimizing stress.
  • Determine options for career management that will minimize 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.

Enrol now - scroll to the top of the page and follow the prompts on the right

Learn to recognise the signs of stress

While the understanding of the relationship between stress and disease is still in its infancy, there is increasing evidence of the physiological changes induced by prolonged high stress. Some of the more common symptoms of stress include:

  •  Dry mouth and throat
  •  Sweaty palms
  •  Yawning, feeling bloated
  •  Rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure
  •  Headache or jaw pain when you wake up (clenching your jaw in your sleep!)
  •  Restlessness, fidgeting
  •  Stomach ache (butterflies)
  •  Anxiety, panic
  •  Inability to sleep
  •  Inability to concentrate
  •  Feeling generally ‘on edge’

The physiological effects of stress are varied and can include:

  •  Poor immune system function   ... Constantly catching colds and flus, feeling run-down
  •  Digestive disorders   ... Stomach ulcers, weight gain, bowel and intestinal diseases
  •  Psychological illnesses  ... Anxiety, paranoia, depression
  •  Chronic and serious diseases   ... Constant high stress levels appear to leave a person at increased risk of developing diseases such as cancer and heart disease, and to suffer heart attacks.

Learn to Respond to Problems of Stress and Minimise the Associated Problems

Stress is linked to a range of different physical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, headaches, infectious diseases, gastric ulcers, and so on.  

But firstly, what do we mean by stress?  Our bodies are primed to protect themselves. If we perceive a threat, our body reacts. It gets our muscles ready, our heart rate up, our adrenaline up, and so on - we prepare to run away from the threat or to fight the threat. This is known as the 'fight-or-flight' response.  

The fight-or-flight response, also known as the acute stress response, was first described by Cannon in the 1920s. He was expressing how all animals react to stress. When animals first experience stress, there are specific physiological reactions in the sympathetic nervous system in response to the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline (epinephrine and norepinephrine) from the medulla of the adrenal glands.  This is triggered by acetylcholine released from the sympathetic nervous system.

This release leads to physical reactions such as:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Tightening muscles

These responses prepare us for action. But we may not be facing situations that we can run away from or fight. If we have had a bad day at the office, it’s probably not a good idea to punch your boss or hit your computer. And you can’t really run away from work and so this stress has nowhere to go. So people living stressful lives can experience chronic stress because their body is ready to run or fight most of the time, but is not able to do anything about it.

Our lifestyle impacts on both our physical and mental health.  Drugs, caffeine, alcohol, our diet, exercise levels, amount of sleep, age, gender and medication can also affect how we feel mentally and physically.  This can also influence our stress levels.  If we feel stressed we will often use coping mechanisms in order to deal with that stress. If these coping mechanisms are unhealthy, it can actually make our physical and mental health worse. For example, some people drink too much, take drugs, eat too much or smoke when they are stressed and these are poor choices.  If instead they were to exercise to relieve stress or use relaxation techniques they would be doing their body a favour. Positive coping mechanisms relieve symptoms of stress without causing detrimental effects.



ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Tracey Jones

Widely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience.
Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

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 holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She has co-authored several psychology text books and many courses including diploma and degree level courses in psychology and counselling. Jacinda has worked for ACS for over 10 years.

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head for TAFE, she brings a wealth of skills and experience to her role as a tutor for ACS.

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