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How to identify your stressors

Updated: Dec 1, 2019

Stress is a natural part of our daily lives. Both positive and negative experiences can result in emotional and physical burdens on health. Sometimes it seems as though there are not enough hours in the day to complete the enormous loads of laundry, cook dinner, or fix that leaky faucet in the kitchen that has been leaking for weeks. I tend to find myself experiencing the overwhelming need to have the superhuman power of controlling time, thus my stress levels.

Stress reduction begins with being aware of your triggers. It is important to gain insight into the characteristics of your stressors. Asking yourself the five W's during stressful moments can aid you in determining the best way to respond to the effects of stress. The five W's of stress can be used to identify that a stressor is present and becoming problematic.

Who: Is my stress due to my spouse, another family member, children, annoying neighbor, irritable co-worker?

What: Could my expectations, job, home life, relationship, chores be causing me a stress overload?

When: prior to a job presentation, before a speak, with in-laws, during a test or interview Where: your office, crowded places, stores, parties

Why: Why does this stress me? Why I am allowing this to bother me?

If you find that stressful events begin to interfere with your daily routines, you may be at risk for experiencing extreme effects of anxiety. Engaging in a healthy self-care routine and relaxation techniques can lower your heart rate, blood pressure, increase oxygen consumption, and reduce stress hormones in the body. For ways to manage or reduce the effects of stress, implement healthy activities in your daily routine such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, breathing techniques, or daily exercise.

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