In which areas do you experience stress?
2. Material necessities (food, clothing, etc.)
3. Material luxuries (large home, expensive car)
4. Stamina, endurance, energy
5. A negative outlook
6. Health and attention to physical needs
7. Health of family members
8. Personal flexibility and adaptability
9. Intimacy with one or more family members
10. Primary relationship
11. Not having a supportive, involved partner
12. Time for self, personal leisure pursuits
13. Relationship with children
15. A sense of control over life
16. Feelings of success
17. Stable employment
18. A meaningful career
19. Opportunities to grow and advance at work
20. Meaningful friendships
21. A support system
23. Household chores
24. Continuing education growth
26. Opportunities to be involved/contribute
27. No purpose
Choose one of the above areas you would like to change.
Now, try a coping mechanism (CM) for at least a week and track the results.
CM 1: Change Your Language
1. The language you use to describe your feelings and situations has a powerful impact on your stress level.
2. Words like “should,” “ought,” “must,” “always” and “never” are absolute and can lock you into a mindset harmfully impacts your self-esteem, relationships and outlook.
CM 2: Reduce Unproductive Guilt
The negative emotion of guilt can be paralyzing. You can feel guilty for something you did, for something you didn’t do, for something you thought you did or for not doing enough. Enough reasons. The question is, do you want the guilt to control you or not?
CM 3: Question Your Standards and Expectations
Which ones can be lowered? Which ones need to be raised?
CM 4: Explore Organizational Flexibility
Some arrangements you may be able to negotiate include:
• Flexible start and end times
• Working at home
• Job sharing
• Part-time work
• Not working after 6 p.m., not working before 9 a.m., etc.
CM 5: Focus on What is Right
Sometimes we become so focused on what’s wrong that we forget to notice the things that are going right. Taking time to look for what is right increases our appreciation and restores perspective to our lives.