Living with Stress? Congratulations you're Human!

The Psychology Foundation of Canada introduces Stress Strategies – a free online coaching tool designed to help Canadians manage life's stress

TORONTO, April 28, 2015 /CNW/ - Stress is a normal part of life and a certain amount can actually be good for us. However, if not properly managed, stress can build up and negatively impact both physical and mental health. To help Canadians build the resiliency to effectively manage their stress, The Psychology Foundation of Canada, with support from a panel of leading psychologists and experts and Pfizer Canada, has developed Stress Strategies – an online tool empowering Canadian adults to explore the sources of their stress and develop their own customized plans for managing it.

Stress Strategies is mobile-friendly, free and easy to use. The coaching tool walks you through the process of identifying simple and actionable strategies to manage stressors that are having a negative impact on the quality of your life. From there, you are empowered to develop a personalized action plan with concrete, practical steps that will enable you to manage stress more effectively.  

The Majority of Canadian Adults are Stressed Out
"More than 75 per cent of Canadians have at least one source of excessive stress and nearly one in four Canadians report that most days are quite a bit or extremely stressfuli," says Judy Hills, Executive Director, The Psychology Foundation of Canada. "At The Psychology Foundation, we understand that stress is a part of life and our goal can't be to eliminate it altogether. We designed Stress Strategies to help more Canadians build the resiliency to successfully live with their stress and reduce its negative impact."

In Canada, there are nearly 15 million doctor visits annually for either depression or anxietyii, both of which can be exacerbated by stress. Other severe stress-related health issues include increased risk of heart disease, weakened immune system, gastro-intestinal problems, headaches and weight gain. The purpose of Stress Strategies is to help Canadians reframe the way they perceive and manage stress to live positive, productive lives.

Reframing How We Think About Stress
"People often talk about stress as a negative thing, but that's not always the case," says Dr. Louise Hartley, Ph.D., C.Psych., Chair of The Psychology Foundation's Workplace Committee and Director, York University Psychology Clinic. "A healthy amount of stress can help increase energy levels and alertness. Our body's natural response to stress helps us compete in sports and games or tackle a demanding task."

Studies have proven that if we focus on changing our thoughts associated with stress, the body's response to stress will change and minimize the negative health risks associated with itiii. In addition, a natural side effect of the stress signal is the production of the hormone oxytocin, which supports bonding and interpersonal relationships as well as helps heart cells regenerate and heal from stress-induced damageiv.

"How we perceive and manage our stress can have a major impact on how our stress effects our health, happiness and overall wellbeing," adds Dr. Hartley. "Stress Strategies can help Canadians address their stress and develop a plan for managing it, before it becomes a problem."

Stress Strategies is 100 per cent confidential – you will receive your own private profile where multiple strategies can be saved and you can return to make adjustments at any time. The tool can be accessed at www.StressStrategies.ca.

Stress Strategies was developed by The Psychology Foundation of Canada, with an unrestricted grant from Pfizer Canada and the support of an expert panel of some of the leading psychologists and experts in Canada including: Dr. Louise Hartley, Claire McDerment, Dr. Nasreen Khatri, Dr. Steven Stein, Dr. Robin Alter, Dr. Liane Davey, Dr. Ruth Berman, Dr. Cheryl Pohlman and Dr. Janette Pelletier.

Is Stress Strategies A Good Fit for Your Stress?
Stress Strategies is designed for information, self-help and skill development purposes.

Individuals dealing with acute levels of ongoing stress are advised to seek help from a mental health or medical professional.

About the Psychology Foundation of Canada
The Psychology Foundation of Canada is a national registered charity dedicated to supporting parents and strengthening families through a number of initiatives, including using the best psychological knowledge to develop practical programs helping children become confident and productive adults.

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i Statistics Canada. 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey.

ii IMS Health. Canadian Disease and Therapeutic Index (CDIT). Canada, 2009.

iii Dr. Kelly McGonigal, "How To Make Stress Your Friend," TED Talk video, 14:28, June, 2013,        


http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend?language=en

iv Ibid

 

SOURCE The Psychology Foundation of Canada

For further information: or to schedule an interview with a The Psychology Foundation of Canada representative, contact Rebecca Crittenden at Strategic Objectives. Toll free: 1-866-366-7733 x268, E: rcrittenden@strategicobjectives.com

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The Psychology Foundation of Canada

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