Making a stress diary

Stress diary

With a general idea of what causes stress and how to deal with it, the next step is to tune in and really look at how you react to stressors from day to day. The best and most revealing way of doing this is to keep a ‘stress diary’.

Keeping a record of the events that create stress, as well as your reactions to them, will help you to pinpoint the biggest stressors in your life. In Part Two of Stress Management, you will learn how to apply appropriate stress management techniques to deal with particular events.

In your diary, make a note of the time a stressful event occurs and also jot down how you felt.

Your diary should look something like this:

Date: Friday, June 4
Time Stressful event How I felt
7:30am Alarm didn’t go off Irritated
8:00am Rushing for the bus Headache
10:30am Disagreement with Jim Angry/stomach tension
11:00am No milk left for tea Furious
12:30pm Lunch cancelled Disappointed

Keep your diary for a week. It will help you to spot any patterns and you will see how particular stressors produce predictable symptoms. For example, rushing may make you feel irritable or give you a headache, and interpersonal difficulties may result in that all-to-familiar knotted stomach. Stick to keeping the diary if you possibly can – it may seem to be an additional hassle to start with but the results will prove invaluable.

Now move on to the next section where you can learn about the link between stress and personality.

The Link Between Stress and Personality >>

Text Copyright © Alix Needham
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