Identifying sources of short-term stress
Stress Diaries are important for understanding the causes of short-term stress in your life. They also give you an important insight into how you react to stress, and help you to identify the level of stress at which you prefer to operate.
The idea behind Stress Diaries is that, on a regular basis, you record information about the stress you are experiencing, so that you can analyze these stresses and then manage them.
Make an entry in your diary after each indecent that is stressful enough for you to feel that it is significant.
Every time you make an entry, record the following information:
- The date and time of the entry.
- The most recent stressful event that you have experienced.
- How happy you feel now, using a subjective assessment on a scale of -10 (the most unhappy you have ever been_ to +10 (the happiest you have been). As well as this, write down the mood you are feeling.
- How effectively you are working now (a subjective assessment on a scale of 0 to 10). A ) here would show complete infectiveness, while a 10 would show the greatest effectiveness you have ever achieved.
- The fundamental cause of the stress (being as honest and objective as possible).
You may also want to note:
- How stressed you feel now, again on a subjective scale of 0 to 10. As before, 0 here would be the most relaxed you have ever been, while 10 would show the greatest stress you have ever experienced.
- The symptom you felt (e.g. “butterflies in your stomach”, anger, headache, raised pulse rate, sweaty palms, etc.).
- How well you handled the event: Did your reaction help solve the problem, or did it inflame it?
Use the STRESS WARNING CHECKLIST to determine if you have a high stress risk.