Stress is a part of life. It can hinder you or it can help you , depending on how you react to it. Stress affects your body in different ways and understanding that can help you understand how you are reacting and how stress affects you. Harvard Business Review recommends the following steps to monitor your stress:
- Take an Inventory. Once a day, pause what you’re doing, and turn your attention to yourself. Ask yourself: What’s on my mind? What do I feel? Is my body calm or agitated — what physical sensations do I notice?
- Label Your Thoughts and Feelings. Once a day, tune in closely to your thoughts or emotions. Detach a bit from having the thoughts or feelings, and label them. For example, if you’re thinking “things like this never work,” you might give a label like “skepticism” or “cynicism” to the thought, and “discouraged” to the feeling.
- Ask Yourself Objectively. Once a day, pause for a few minutes and prepare to take some notes (grab your phone, paper, etc.). Ask yourself as though you were asking an outsider: What do you notice right now about me? Then write down observations objectively. For example, you might say: “You seem bored” or “You’re excited about the new client, and you’re cooking along with the project plan.”