1. Get a sheet of paper
2. Draw a line down the middle of your paper
3. On the left side write a list of your stressors. Below are some examples.
b. Relationship difficulties
c. Household tasks such as cooking, cleaning
d. Work stress
e. Health related issues
4. Look at your list and circle the ones that you can control
Not much to circle is there? Most people find that very few stressors are really within their control. A lot of our stressors happen and are completely out of our control.
5. On the right side of your paper write at least one coping skill/problem solving skills or ways you can handle each stressor you wrote on the left side. An example is below.
a. Learn to budget, keep practicing, don't give up when if it doesn't work out the first time
b. Set boundaries, walk away
c. Make a plan or check list, take breaks
d. Take breaks and get up to stretch
e. Go to appointments, take medication as directed, relaxation tips
6. Now circle what you can control.
All of them right? The purpose of this exercise is to take control of your stress and understand that it doesn't have to be completely overwhelming. While the events may be out of your control, there are elements of each stressor you can control again.
Did this turn things back in your favor? Hopefully this gives you more power over your stressors and gives you a little more hope when dealing with stressful situations. I have personally completed this activity many times and feel a little more relieved each time about my stressors. Repeat this activity as often as you need because stressors change all the time as well as coping skills.
Take control of your stress, don’t let it control you!
And p.s. You CAN do it!