Stress has become a normal way of life for many people and sometimes it can be good for us. It can provide us with the energy to overcome obstacles but too much stress can cause life-threatening health issues. Everyday people die from stress-related illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
It isn’t possible to eliminate all stress from our lives, however we can learn how to control it. We need to determine what is causing the stress in our lives and learn how to minimize or eliminate it.
When you feel stressed, try using the following STRESS method to analyze what is happening.
S – Stop what you are doing. Don’t allow your emotions to control you.
T – Take note of the situation in your journal or notebook if possible and outline what is causing the stress. If you aren’t able to write it down, keep a mental picture of the situation and write it down as soon as you can.
R – Review your notes. Do this later on in the day when you are not so emotional or you won’t see the situation clearly.
E – Evaluate your reaction. Was it proper, logical, realistic? Was it necessary? Did it help or hinder the situation?
S – Situation – can it be changed, minimized or eliminated. YES___ NO___ HOW? _______________________
S – Set-up a plan of action for the next time this situation comes up. Write it down to help you remember it.
Every day, write down your stressful situations in your journal or notebook using the STRESS method. Seeing these situations written down will help you see any patterns and understand where the problem areas are.
Determine what situation causes the most stress in your life, how you normally react and what the outcome is. Then you can consider ways to make positive changes so you can feel less stressed the next time it happens.
You CAN control the stress in your lives!