Create a stress plan!

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This is when it starts: holiday stress. Most people don’t think about actively managing stress. Instead we suffer through it and hope for the best. Instead you can do a lot just by coming up with a plan and giving yourself specific guidance. If you can anticipate stress, you are more likely to get ahead of it and stop it before it starts.

Step One: Set a Goal

Determine your goals to reduce stress. Keep it simple; a single sentence will do. Something like “I want to keep my cool during pressure situations”. Focus on what you want to achieve or what you want to avoid.

Step Two: Acknowledge your Triggers

What sets off your stress reaction? Be honest with your triggers no matter how big (your family) or small (the toilet that won’t stop running).

Step Three: Your Strategies

After listing the triggers, prioritize them. Put the ones at the top of the list that evoke the greatest discomfort for you. Do you clench, tense up, grind your teeth, exhale, get nauseous? List those triggers first. Next to each one, suggest a way to deal with it: go for a walk, confront the culprit with words (“I’d prefer to eat out”) or actions (fix that toilet), deep breathing, etc. You could use the same technique for all your stressors or find different ones which work each occasion individually. Whatever works for you.

Step Four: Write and Review a Stress Journal

Keep your notes in one place. Review them often and make adjustments as you learn more about what sets you off and how you successfully handle it. Celebrate as you confront your triggers and disempower them, but be patient. New behaviors take time to establish.

Source: Katherine Raymond/Alere


This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, family planning, child psychology, marriage counseling and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care or mental health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, application of medication or any other action involving the care of yourself or any family members which results from reading this site. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

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