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Stress Diary Journal Guides

Guide 4: Reactions to Stress

Your Stress Reaction?

Stress Diary Journal Your Guide

Do you?

 Do you Tense up?  Do you reach for something to eat?

How do You react to S tress? In a typical stressful situation – how do you react? Stress manifests from every possible angle in our lives and could be brought upon in myriad of ways. How we react as individuals depends on our make-up and our unique individuality. Your response to stress though is THE most important factor in determining how you are going to overcome it. Epictetus, a first century A. D. Philosopher, said – “Man is disturbed not by things, but by the view which he take of it ” and it rings true for most of our responses to events in our lives. So how do you handle your stress? Reactions to stress vary...

symptoms as well. [Exerting control or loss of it] Do you reach for something to eat? Stress and overeating are often closely related. Stress may trigger you to eat even when you’re not hungry or to lose track of your meal and exercise plans. [Compensation or projection] Do you get impatient? You

Some people seem to take everything in their stride. Their natural laid-back attitudes shine through in every situation. Another deadline? Bring it on. You needed to be there 10 minutes ago? OK, let’s go. The television not showing a picture? No problem. It’ll be a simple repair. Others get anxious at the first sign of trouble. They may pace the floor or have difficulty concentrating on the task at hand. Panicking ‘for I have not been in class when this work was done and therefore I am going to fail…’ breaks down the confidence you had in yourself and questions your beliefs about yourself. If you feel cornered in this way, your stress levels may rise… Slight differences in the genes that control the stress

response may also make you more likely to take problems and challenges as they come – or get worked up in stressful situations. Your childhood relationship with your parents may play a role as well. Adolescents who have positive relationships with their parents tend to handle stress more effectively as adults…

may find yourself pacing the floor, twitching nervously, have trouble concentrating or falling asleep at night. [Perceptions of how others should react]

things that have nothing to do with what’s actually triggering your stress. [Loss of control]

Do you get angry? Stress leaves many people with a short fuse. When you’re under pressure, you may find yourself arguing with colleagues/friends or loved ones – sometimes with little provocation or about

Guide 4: Reactions to Stress

Patterns of coping behaviour To better understand your reaction to life’s stressors consider your coping behaviours. Do you tense up? Neck and shoulder tension or clenched jaws or fists are often early warning signs of stress. Stress may cause an upset stomach, shortness of breath, back pain, headaches and other physical

Are you reduced to tears? Stress may trigger crying spells or other emotional releases. [Feeling of powerlessness or anger control] Do you give up? Sometimes stress may be too much to take.

 Do you get impatient?  Do you get angry?  Are you reduced to tears?  Do you give up?  Do you let negative thoughts take over?  Do you smoke?  Do you turn to alcohol or other drugs?  Do you rely on one single coping technique?

“How do you cope! The techniques you could have is at your fingertips”

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Stress Diary Journal

You might deny the issue, avoid the problem, call in sick or simply give up. Do you let negative thoughts take over? When you’re under stress, perhaps you automatically expect the worst or magnify the negative aspects of a situation [Thought patterns about self, beliefs and values] Do you smoke? Even if you quit smoking long ago, a cigarette may seem like an easy way to relax when you’re under pres-

“ Knowing you have options make managing stress easier”

Stress comes in many disguises How you respond happens Externally [Happens TO YOU] and Internally [What you SELFINDUCE]. External causes [things that happen to you] Major Life changes [Moving, Parental disputes] Environment [Neighbours, threats, noise, poor accommodation] Unpredictable events Family School, College, University Social [Pressures to conform, relationships]

sure. [Allows you to ‘Feel’ in expressing anger or isolating control] yourself from a problem that you can’t possibly ‘fix’, can Do you turn to alcohol or serve as effective stress manother drugs? Stress leads agement techniques. The same some people to drink too much goes for exercising, confiding in or engage in other risky behav- friends and other healthy iours, including drug use. coping techniques. But in the [Feeling of managing and taking long run, you may need new control of events deemed more ways to handle stress too. dangerous than your stressors When you find yourself using and thus giving a false sense of one technique all the time – or control in your life] you see yourself engaging in unhealthy behaviours – it’s time Do you rely on a single coping to open yourself up to other technique? Sometimes crying, stress-reduction strategies.

[‘what if’ there are spiders…] or more subtle apprehensions like speaking to a group of strangers at a party or fellow students Uncertainty – Not being sure of what to expect or what is expected from you. Attitude – Having a negative view of the world in and of itself can be stressful, since your reality creates an unpleasant environment in which to live. Unrealistic expectations – A perfectionist or controlling personality may lead to unnecessarily high stress levels. Over-scheduling and not planning ahead can lead to a world of worries.

Task Oriented: You may feel comfortable analysing the situation and taking action to deal directly with the situation. Emotion Oriented: You may prefer to deal with your feelings about the situation and seek social support Distraction Oriented: You may use activities or work to take your mind off the situation.

Note your mode of immediate response to your stress. You could use these in combination to a situation or use these in different proportions to parts To better understand your Internal irritations [the response to stress better, of your stress situation. thoughts that pop into your determine if you react in one Knowing you have options make managing stress easier. of these three ways: head and cause you unrest] Fears – These can be particular fears or fears you create for

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The Stress Diaries we have available

The Stress Diary Journal This 4 week programme to complete stress mastery, is an invaluable tool to effectively manage your stress to gain insight and explore self understanding. The Stress Diary Journal allows you to record your daily stress incidents & to monitor these incidents and analyse them – on a daily basis, for a period of 4 weeks. Divided into 4 weekly sections for you to master your stress progressively and more competently, it helps you review your initial appraisals, stress responses, your reactions & to identify your stress triggers, to then restructure your thoughts, your attitude and subsequent behaviours. You will be able to easier identify negative behaviour patterns, to increase your stress awareness, to learn new coping skills and to let you adapt new & alternative strategies. You will learn renewed self management skills, inner control, effective goal setting, time management skills, to overcome obstacles and increased perseverance to complete set tasks and to instil newfound routines, competencies and behaviours. It helps you to know yourself and manage your life more completely. This is an invaluable tool to gain unique insight, explore self-understanding, learn stress management skills and effectively manage your stress – in 4 weeks!

With a purchase of any of these Diaries, you get full Stress Management Support @ www.stressdiaries.com Stress Diary: Daily Recorder Journal A companion guide to the Stress Diary Journal in a handy size to carry about , and for you to easily record your daily stress entries. Each Stress entry is individually presented for ease of recording ‘on the go’ and to then transfer these entries to your Stress Diary Journal, or this Stress Diary: Reflection Journal, at the end of your day. Making remembering these Stress incidents/events much easier and keeping you in touch with managing your stress more effectively.

Get a FREE Relaxation Music MP3 ! With your purchase of any of these

Stress Diary: Reflection Journal This Stress Reflection Diary Journal is a companion guide to the Stress Diary/Journal and used as an additional tool to further enhance your insight and understanding of your stress. You are to choose 1 significant Stress Entry per day, from your Stress Diary Journal for the length of your 4 week programme, that you may want to elaborate and focus on. Using the guideline questions and answer spaces that are provided, and you can add your personal notes or thoughts about your day or progress. Weekly summaries of your progress are included, to advance and monitor your progress and by answering these questions and adding your own observations, you will increase your skills at understand, managing your reactions and responses to your daily stress triggers and stressors. The Reflection Journal is an easy way to record and focus on how to reflect on your experiences and how you can learn from it.

Get these Stress Diary Journals at www.stressdiaries.com

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Stress_Diary_Guide 4. Reactions to stress