You Only Find Balance When You Know What’s Out Of Balance
Stress producers are those events, situations, thoughts, or habits you engage in that trigger your stress response. Often times people are unaware of their stress producers, focusing more on the stress response their body is having to the trigger. Common stress producers are someone cutting you off in traffic, kids not following instructions, limited funds to pay bills, smoking, insomnia, or relationship problems.
Create an appropriate plan to counterbalance your response. The most effective tool for this is a stress journal - a method by which you are going to track information. The tool you use to document your answers isn’t important. What is important is that you pay close enough attention to your body and mind to answer the questions necessary to identify your stress producers. For convenience, you can download the JB Partners Stress Journal.
Other options are to use a notepad app on your phone or computer, write it down on a pad of paper, or create a voice recording with your phone.
1. Understand why this is important.
- Narrow the causes of your stress so that you can then prioritize and manage them
- See trends to your day or week so that you can implement appropriate coping methods
- Identify your stress threshold- the imaginary line that divides productive stress levels from those levels that weigh you down
- Get to know effective coping methods for you so you can repeat them again and again
2. Listen to your body.
- Your body tells you when you are stressed
- Examples are adrenaline rush, butterflies in your stomach, instant headache, a migraine, sweaty palms, or a cold sore
- All of these classic signs of stress are your body’s way of telling you something and that it’s not healthy
- Trust your body to tell you what it needs and what’s happening to it
3. Document right away.
- Complete the stress journal as close to the event as possible to get the most accurate data
- The longer the duration between the event and when you write down the information, the higher chance your emotions, thoughts, and bodily reactions will be different
4. Analyze with openness.
- After a week or two of journaling, take a critical look at your entries
- Remove any judgement, excuses, or defensiveness you might be feeling.
- Accept the whole you: how you think, feel, and react to stress
- Learn the facts about you so you can decide if you want to stay the same or change