What makes you stressed out??
What are your trigger points?
What drives you up the wall?
What makes you more stressed out than anything else?
We often don’t take the time to sit and think about what the root of our stress is. We know we are stressed right NOW – but why?
When I was taking my undergraduate psychology degree, one of my favourite courses was Stress and Coping.
I remember vividly one of the activities we had to do. This was an extremely useful and helpful activity, and I urge you all to try it!
Keep a journal of your stress for a week.
Carry around a notebook with you (or create something on your phone) to keep track of the information.
For one week, every time you start to feel stressed, write it down.
What time did it happen?
What was the situation?
And what was your level of stress? (rank it from low to high)
Here is a sample chart you can use.
When the week is over, look at your chart.
Is there a common theme amongst your stressful situations?
There definitely was with mine, that I had never thought about before.
Not having enough time.
Wondering how to get everything done in time.
25 years after having first completed this exercise, I find myself coming back to that assignment. Still today, my biggest stressors all revolve around time!
Will I have enough time to complete everything before the kids get home from school?
Will we get to practice on time?
Between my husband and I, especially when the kids were really little, most of our arguments seem to be about time.
Who gets the time?
Who gets the time to work and who spends the time looking after the kids?
Once you figure out your stressful trigger, you can then start to work on it.
Realize you are approaching a stressful situation, and be prepared.
Develop some calming and coping strategies.
Make a plan.
Then, you are on your way, to at least, the first step of a less stressful life!
**Please note that if you are suffering from significant stress, please reach out and seek help from someone who can help you come up with coping strategies. This activity is meant as the first step towards awareness.**