Before you embark on a program of change, it is important to consider how you are currently managing your stress.
Instructions: Listed below are some common ways of coping with stressful events. Mark those that are characteristic of your behavior or that you use frequently.
_____ 1. I ignore my own needs and just work harder and faster.
_____ 2. I seek out friends for conversation and support.
_____ 3. I eat more than usual.
_____ 4. I engage in some type of physical exercise.
_____ 5. I get irritable and take it out on those around me.
_____ 6. I take a little time to relax, breathe, and unwind.
_____ 7. I smoke a cigarette or drink a caffeinated beverage.
_____ 8. I confront my source of stress and work to change it.
_____ 9. I withdraw emotionally and just go through the motions of my day.
_____ 10. I change my outlook on the problem and put it in a better perspective.
_____ 11. I sleep more than I really need to.
_____ 12. I take some time off and get away from my working life.
_____ 13. I go out shopping and buy something to make myself feel good.
_____ 14. I joke with my friends and use humor to take the edge off.
_____ 15. I drink more alcohol than usual.
_____ 16. I get involved in a hobby or interest that helps me unwind and enjoy myself.
_____ 17. I take medicine to help me relax or sleep better.
_____ 18. I maintain a healthy diet.
_____ 19. I just ignore the problem and hope it will go away.
_____ 20. I pray, meditate or enhance my spiritual life.
_____ 21. I worry about the problem and am afraid to do something about it.
_____ 22. I try to focus on the things I can control and accept the things I can’t.
Evaluate Your Results: The even-numbered items tend to be more constructive tactics and the odd-numbered items tend to be less constructive tactics for coping with stress. Congratulate yourself for the even-numbered items you checked. Think about whether you need to make some changes in your thinking or behavior if you checked any of the odd-numbered items. Consider experimenting with some even-numbered items you haven’t tried before.