You may not know what is causing your stress, exactly how your body responds to stress, or how you cope with stress. To find out, use a journal to keep track of each time you feel stressed. Write down:
Here's a sample of what a stress journal might look like.
|Time||Stressful event||Reaction (symptoms, thoughts, behaviors)||Coping response|
Kids not getting ready for school
Felt tightness in stomach, yelled at them
Had a doughnut when I got to work
Late for meeting with supervisor
Tight stomach, fear about performance review
Talked with Janet about it and felt better
Copier broke down again
Headache, snapped at Bill to call repair person
Call from sister about her divorce interrupted my work
Headache got worse
Daydreamed about trip to Hawaii
Meeting ran overtime, couldn't leave at 5:00
Headache still there, neck begins to ache
Went out for a few drinks with colleagues
The more notes you take, the more you can learn about your stress patterns. Keeping the journal for 1 to 2 weeks is best, although taking notes for even 1 or 2 days can be helpful.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry|
|Last Revised||April 20, 2011|
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