When you know your early warning signs of stress, you can head tension off at the pass. This is such a worthwhile habit to develop because chronic stress is a killer. Too much of it kills your joy, ruins your relationships, and wrecks your health.
Take 5 minutes right now and jot down your immediate response to the following questions. When stress starts to mount:
- How does it feel to you?
- What happens in your body?
- What emotions tend to arise?
- What types of thoughts take over?
- What are the small signs that occur before overwhelm hits?
Here are a few examples: irritation, frustration, heart pounding, palms sweating, muscles tightening, trouble sleeping, and craving food or another addictive substance.
Then observe yourself for the next week. Whenever stress starts to arise, write down any early warning signs that occurred.
You may miss them at first, but immediately look back. You'll probably be able to see them clearly.
You could use a small notebook that you carry with you or your digital device to record these early warning signs. At the end of the week, add these indicators to your initial list of early warning signs. Now, you have a complete picture.
Monthly Stress Challenge
This month practice catching stress before it catches you. Keep your list of early warning signs in a handy place so you'll see and remember them.
As soon as a small early warning sign appears, take action. Interrupt the building cycle of stress by engaging in a relaxing activity.
While we might like to believe that stress is out there and impossible to conquer, that’s not entirely true. Even if you’re more sensitive to stress than the average person, you can learn to turn it around through awareness before it becomes a damaging factor in your life. The best way to begin is to learn your early warning signs.
Do you know your early warning signs? I would love to hear.
P. S. My e-course, Living with Ease, The Mindful Way to Less Stress, offers a complete roadmap for dissolving stress and preventing it from overwhelming you again. The course combines mindfulness, self-inquiry, and supportive stress reduction techniques to help you give stress the boot. Check out the course details here.
Thank you for being here. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with others, every share makes a big difference. Thank you! May you be well, happy, and safe – always. With love, Sandra