"We all know the stakes that we are playing for," said McCarthy ahead of Sunday's derby clash with Birmingham. "But I don't allow it to ruin my life.
"I can't say I am not thinking about it all the time because I am, but I have had a check-up twice a season for the last six or seven years.
"Jobs in general put you under stress. It is how you handle it that matters and whether you let it ruin your life.
"It is whether you keep yourself healthy as well, and I do. That is vital.
"It was stressful at the top of the Championship last season because of the level of expectation that was on us, but it is more stressful where we are now."
Victory against Birmingham would certainly ease the stress on McCarthy after Wolves slipped into the relegation zone on the back of just three points from the last seven games.
McCarthy admits his team are already playing catch up and added: "We have to get that scrappy 1-0 win from somewhere and then another one and then we will all get better on the back of that.
"I think you can say we are five points away from being thought of as a decent side.
"If you have 15 points a third of the way through the league, then get another 30 in the final two thirds, that would keep you up.
"We are minus five points on that first target and we have got to pick those five points up now from somewhere else, which is difficult to do. But it can be done.
"The players give me everything. They will never let me down intentionally and that is a nice quality for a team to have and for a manager to believe in."
McCarthy is pinning a lot of his hopes on winger Michael Kightly finding his best form after a stuttering start to his first taste of life in the Premier League.
England Under-21 international Kightly has struggled with a series of niggling injury problems but McCarthy can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.
He said: "When Kights first came back, he was not really at first-team level.
"But he seems to be getting his strength and sharpness back and we have missed that this season.
"He was one we thought could play in the Premier League and when he has had the opportunity so far he has not been fully fit.
"It has been difficult for him. He has not really had the opportunity yet to show what he can do.
"I want Michael Kightly in the team for me, the club and the fans because if he is fully fit he will be a threat."
Kightly is likely to start on the bench against Birmingham. Striker Kevin Doyle returns after being rested at Chelsea while Kevin Foley is on alert to make only his fourth appearance of the season at right-back in place of Ronald Zubar (ankle).