Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.
Keep a Stress Diary
I’ve spoken several times about the deleterious effects of stress and offered numerous tools for managing stress yet I’ve yet to comment about recognizing stress and tracking it as a coping mechanism. A stress diary is the perfect way to do this.
Essentially, it is a record of when you feel stress, what was the triggering event, the intensity of the stress response, and how it manifested. Lastly, identify how you attempted to manage it and whether or not it helped. By tracking each of these elements, you may discover a pattern that enables you to shift or make a change that eliminates the stress.
Is there a particular time of day, or a week of the month, or a time of year that stress is magnified?.
What triggered your stress? Was it a person? A task? A thought? A sound? Go deep here… what about that person? What in particular about that task? Exactly what was the thought? Etc.
Rate your stress response on a scale between 1 & 10 – 10 being pure panic. Here again, we’re seeking to identify those stressors that are manageable and those that need attention or adaptation.
Where does stress appear in your body? Do you perspire? Rapid heart rate? Shallow breathing? Back or shoulder pain? Headache? Do you have a nervous twitch? Do you cry, yell, shut down?
What did you do? Here, we’re trying to notice what helps and what doesn’t. Often, when we’re stressed, we’re not paying attention to how we worked it out and yet this is truly helpful information that we can use over. Keep track of the techniques that you used. Did you take a walk? Meditate? Breathe? Journal?
A stress diary can be formal or not so much. It can be a simple notebook, a bullet journal, or an excel spreadsheet depicting the key elements discussed here.
Keep the diary for 30 days during a typical period of your life and then analyze it for patterns. You’ll be amazed by what you discover when you…
Keep a stress diary.
I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.