Know Yourself

Know Yourself

Ask yourself some important stress-related questions:

What are your sources of stress?

Once you know your sources of stress, see if you can do anything to reduce them. For example:

  • Can you work to resolve conflicts with others?
  • Can you prepare in advance for stressful situations, so you feel more confident going in?
  • Can you set realistic goals and let go of perfectionism or other unrealistic expectations you might have for yourself and/or others?
  • Can you deliberately choose to view change as a positive challenge, rather than a threat?

If you can’t eliminate or reduce a stressor, simply being aware of it can help you recognize when you need to take corrective action.

How do you experience stress?

Knowing how you experience stress will help you recognize when you are at risk. When you are feeling stressed:

  • What are your symptoms or behaviors?
  • Do you become irritable?
  • Do you develop tense shoulders or get a headache?
  • Do you get stuck in negative thoughts?

Answering these questions could lead to greater awareness and understanding how stress affects you.

How do you cope with stress?

Do you have healthy coping mechanisms, such as exercise, meditation, or getting support from family and friends? Or do you overeat, watch too much TV, drink, smoke, or rely on other destructive coping practices to reduce stress? The more certain you are of the strength of your coping skills, the less likely you are to feel overwhelmed by stressors.