Here’s Your Life Raft in a Stressful World

how to cope with stress

Keep a Stress Journal

Everyone gets stressed, but productive people can fight through the challenges that weigh them down. It’s all about having a go-to routine for managing stress.

That’s why I recommend using a Stress Journal as a healthy way to cope with stress. It should be a regular component of your weekly planning process.

What is a Stress Journal? It’s not so much a *what* as it is a *how.*  It’s a series of activities that you run through each week to stay organized with your thoughts.

Any notebook will do, but I recommend you begin with a dedicated journal. My stress journal is a medium-sized Plan. Write. Remember. notebook that is always in my bag, briefcase or coat pocket.

How to Cope with Stress

Stress not only makes you distracted and unproductive, but worst of all it can be harmful to your physical health.

Getting stressful issues down onto paper can change your perspective. When problems lie unresolved they can add-up to a much larger issue in your head, so by writing even something as simple as a list you are able to face the specific stress points one by one.

Take that specific project, task or appointment that is haunting you on your weekly plan and do the following:

  • Choose a dedicated notes page in your journal or notebook 
  • Write down your issue as a project heading
  • Create a bulleted list of reasons you are stressed, making sure to leave space between each item. Describe your concerns in detail.
  • Below each bullet, write a potential fix – or at the very least, a reason not to worry about the topic
  • Note: never forget that asking a co-worker/friend/boss for help is often the reasonable fix

It’s that simple. You will be amazed by how therapeutic it is to maintain an outlet for solving your stress issues. Having the words out of your head and down on paper will assist you in understanding your feelings. Oftentimes, the mere activity of journaling will reduce stress. The sources of your tension are typically less problematic when seen from a new perspective.

Now repeat!

As an additional bonus, you will soon find you have a great resource for handling the repeating stresses in your life. Just refer back to last week’s notes to see how you managed your way through a particular issue. See? The routine pays you back in no time!

Managing stress is a challenge everyone must face, and is necessary to a productive life. A stress journal can become a step-by-step blueprint for dismantling your anxiety and getting a project done.

photo credit: rbbaird via photopin cc