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Do you know what is stressing you out? Are you familiar with your triggers and coping behaviors? Are you using soothing mechanisms that hurt more than help?
Stress is so endemic in our society that we often just suffer along accepting it as part of our modern lifestyle. Much of the time, feelings of anxiety and stress just spill over and seem to run together creating a continuous stress experience.
However, when we pay attention to our stress triggers and track when they rise, we begin to notice patterns. Of course recognition is only the beginning and it’s the most important step.
Everyone experiences stress differently. It DOES NOT matter that others seem to sail through an experience that you have a hard time with. Everyone handles stress differently. Some stress-handling skills are natural and others are learned but just remember: don’t worry what others can handle, this is about you and your stress triggers and response!
So what can you do today? Start by paying attention to when you feel stress rising. Chart it, journal it.
Listen for the thought or emotion that preceded the feeling. Then look at how you cope. Do you shut down? Get angry? Grab a beer? Eat a candy bar? Take a cigarette break? What are your coping mechanisms? Are they good for you?
Everyone experiences stress and everyone copes differently. Some have healthier coping skills, others have dangerous coping skills, most are somewhere in between.
What are your triggers? How are you coping? Are you happy with what you’re doing? If not, are you ready to change?