As obvious as it sounds, stopping to think about what stresses you can help you cope for several reasons:
- Uncovering the roots of your stress helps you avoid that stress.
- Knowing where your feelings come from makes you feel more in control, and helps lessen stress.
- Recognizing that stress causes your behavior, not something else, can reduce your anxiety about the behavior itself. For more information, see Sources Of Stressors.
To identify the source of your stress and its severity, see The Stress Scale.
This scale, known as the Social Readjustment Scale, ranks the severity of stress caused by ordinary events, such as marriage and divorce, birth and death, going to college and changing employers. Events near the top of the scale those related to death, injury and illness are associated with greater risk of stress-related physical illness than those at the bottom of the scale (for example, obtaining a mortgage, retiring and receiving a traffic ticket). People at highest risk, those with more than one high-ranking stressor, need the most help with stress management.