Last time I talked about our stress levels at Christmas. I mentioned that if we are too stressed then we might not function to the best of our ability. I talked about trying to find and stay at our optimal stress level. (Too little stress can be as bad for us as too much) One question I left us with was’ How can we measure the stress in our lives?

Measuring our stress

Here is a picture of me holding a diary given to me by a good friend for next year.

One way of measuring our stress is to carry out a diary of the stress in our lives each day for a week and see what stresses we are under. Each day we can write down the situations or problems that are causing us stress and write next to this  how stressed we are feeling on a score of 1-10. Then we can add in how we coped with this particular stress. This process can be quite revealing. As well as the more obvious pressures, there may emerge relationship difficulties, unresolved problems from the past, bad habits etc.  We can then look at this list after a few days and begin to ask ourselves the question, ‘What can I change on this list? ‘ ‘Are there any ways to avoid some of this stress?

Writing down what causes us stress can be very helpful. Instead of the stressful thoughts going round and round in our minds they are now on paper and can be examined carefully. Then we can begin to take responsibility for the stress in our lives, and I will talk more about this later. More about this can be found in my book- Mindful of the Light-practical help and spiritual hope for mental health

Next time I will look at unhelpful ways of dealing with stress, having discussed measuring  our stress.