Use this simple worksheet to identify ways to reduce stress through changing your situation, changing your perception of the situation, or changing your capacity to deal with the situation.
Managing Stress Worksheet
Stress often gets a bad rap. We think of endless to-do lists, financial problems, tense relationships, etc. However, the reality is that stress is essential for our growth and progression. With no stress in our lives, we would be operating at a low performance rate and the opposite is also true. With excessive stress, our ability to function well is compromised and our physical and mental health are put in jeopardy. The key then is to figure out how much stress allows us to perform to the best of our ability and find happiness and satisfaction in life.
With the managing stress worksheet, you will be able to identify your major stressors and explore three ways to cope with those stressors effectively.
Changing the situation
First is evaluating how to change the necessary stressors in your life to be more positive and motivating than harmful. You can practice better communication by expressing your feelings and being more assertive. It’s important that instead of simply striving to get what you want, you work to meet the needs of both people involved as you work to improve your communication. In addition to improving communication, you can also set goals to manage your time more wisely, thus decreasing your stress due to procrastination.
Changing our perception
Perception is our personal interpretation of reality. Hence, reality is often tainted by our personal filters which distort the truth. We choose how to interpret each event in our lives and we can train ourselves to be more optimistic. An important concept in stress management is the locus of control. This refers to where we believe our ability to influence the world around us lies- inside ourselves or with others. If you feel you are in control of your life, you are said to have an internal locus of control. On the other hand, if you feel there is little you can do to influence the events around you, then you have an external locus of control and are more likely to be stressed and pessimistic. Therefore, remember to focus on the things you can change and let go of the rest. You will find greater satisfaction and happiness.
Changing our capacity
In addition to a changing the situation and your perception, you can also increase your capacity to deal with the stress. There will always be some demands upon your time that simply can’t be eliminated. Hence, we can seek to increase our spiritual strength, our skills, and personal strength to better handle those stressors. Some strategies for each of these are listed in the action plan.