Managing Negative Sources of Stress

Develop an awareness of your negative stressors and how to manage them

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Our everyday lives are made up of moments that affect how we feel. Some of those moments cause us stress and can drain us of our energy. We can’t always eliminate those moments, so it’s important to recognize them and learn how to manage them. Being mindful of sources of stress in our lives can help us be better prepared to manage the stress before it becomes overwhelming. 

This activity card will: 

  • Help you develop awareness of what causes you stress
  • Help you identify existing areas of your life that cause stress
  • Give you strategies to manage specific negative sources of stress

1. Notice people or things in your life that drain your energy.

  • Our attention can be pulled in many directions and our energy can be affected by many different sources. If we feel drained, our ability to handle stress diminishes.  To minimize the stress from these sources, keep a log throughout the day about your activities and how they make you feel. Ask yourself questions like: Have I eaten? Am I hydrated? Have I slept well? Was I part of a conversation that drained me? Once you are more aware of your sources of stress you’re better able to take action toward releasing that stress.

2. Be mindful of your news consumption. 

  • How do you receive your news? Through television, newspaper, social media, etc? What are your sources of news? Consider if the source is a reputable one. Notice how you feel after taking in the news. If you are feeling stressed, which is a common response, you may consider limiting the amount of time you spend watching or reading the news.

3. Evaluate your relationships.

  • Do you ever notice your stress levels rise after being around certain people? Create boundaries with people who tend to increase your level of stress. (Check out the Self-Care Library for activities about creating boundaries with others).

4. Manage your environment. 

  • There are stressors that we don’t have control over and ones we do. Your living environment may be one area in which you have control. Have you ever noticed you walk into a room and immediately feel a sense of relaxation, or the opposite, a sense of chaos? Organizing your space in a way that feels good to you can help eliminate stress caused by your environment. 

5. Identify and address negative self-talk.

  • Be mindful of what you say to yourself and how it makes you feel. We tend to be harsher on ourselves than we are on others. If you’re able to identify your negative self-talk, that awareness can be a step toward cultivating a more positive voice.

6. Practice gratitude. 

  • Identify what you’re grateful for in your life. Write it down in a journal, on a post-it, or keep a jar that you can add notes of gratitude to. You can express gratitude for big or small things and it can help you shift your perspective towards a more positive one. 

If there are other aspects of your life that cause stress, or you could use suggestions for other strategies for managing stress, reach out to a Ginger behavioral coach, who can help.