We all cope differently with stress, sometimes we cope and other times it just all gets too much.
If it’s a major event such as bereavement or divorce its obvious what’s causing the stress, but more often it’s the accumulation of lots of small stressful events that build up over time that is making us feel so bad.
A good way to start to tackle the problem is to keep a stress diary.
Just as keeping a food diary when going on a diet makes us aware of what we are eating, by recording the small stress events over a period of time we can start to recognise where the problems lie. See the stress diary template in the tools section. Try using it for a week to note when and what stresses you – rating each event on a scale of 1 to 10 – noting how it makes you feel and what you do to cope.
At the end of a period of time, look for patterns, it may be a certain time of day when you feel stressed or a certain situation or person causing the problem
Once we recognise a problem its far easier to find a solution ie if the rush hour traffic on the way to work is making us stressed, maybe it would be better to allow a bit more time, or find alternative transport. Looking at how you coped may also help you to identify what worked best for you.
Often we can start to feel better by doing an exercise like this simply because we are taking control of the situation.