In order to take healthy steps to manage stress in your life, it helps to identify what your stressors are so that you can determine which of the Four A’s (Avoid, Alter, Adapt or Accept) is best suited to the situation.
Find out what creates stress for you. Track your stress for about a week by keeping a diary of stressful events, your response to them, and the coping methods you used. For example:
This is an important exercise because not only does it help you at a glance to see what situations or which people cause you stress but also shows whether you’re making things better or worse with your responses and coping strategies. A clue to the underlying problem often becomes obvious as well. The above diary points to a problem with time management.
The next step is to set a goal. Think about a long-term and a short-term goal to avoid this particular stress in your life. A short-term goal in this situation would be to go to get yourself and the kids to bed 30 minutes before your usual bedtime and wake up 15 minutes earlier.
After you’ve figured out what is causing your stress, try making some changes in your life that will help you avoid stressful situations. Here are some tips from www.healthwise.org :
Manage your time
Take a good look at how you spend your time. Time management is a way to find the time for more of the things you want and need to do. It helps you decide which things are urgent and which can wait. Managing your time can make your life easier, less stressful, and more meaningful.
Support in your life from family, friends, and your community has a big impact on how you experience stress. Having support in your life can help you stay healthy.
Change your thinking
Stressful events can make you feel bad about yourself. You might start focusing on only the bad and not the good in a situation. This negative thinking can make you feel afraid, insecure, depressed, or anxious. It’s also common to feel a lack of control or self-worth. Negative thinking can trigger your body’s stress hormones just as a real threat does. Dealing with these negative thoughts and the way you see things can help reduce stress.
Reducing stress in your life won’t be easy but by identifying your stressors and applying the 6 stress management strategies, you will develop healthier ways to cope with stress and its symptoms that will benefit you and your family.