Keeping a Diary

by Peter Thompson
(Glasgow)

It may sound strange but keeping a diary may give you useful hints how to deal with stress. The main reason is that keeping a diary will help you know better the effects stress has on you.

Learning about your enemy is a key part of your overall strategy against stress.

  • As a first step you can write down all your reactions due to stress and how long the effects last.

  • Afterwards write down all possible reasons you can figure out and sort them by importance. Keep in mind that several small irritations can be much more serious than expected.

  • It is worthless paying attention to all those reasons which will disappear by themselves. Your lazy boss for instance will soon be fired if he continues to not do his job; and your neighbor may forgo his plans to open a bar in his apartment. Worrying about problems like this is just a waste of useful resources which could be used productively somewhere else.

  • It is better to focus on those reasons for which a practical solution can be found and you can manage by yourself. Do not stop with the first one which comes to your mind. I know you are in a hurry to solve your problem but usually the first one is not the best one. If you focus you will be astonished how many practical solutions can be found out.

  • Make a complete list of them (write all of them - not only the ones which please you) and choose the most appropriate one. It would be better if you considered how your solution would affect other people as well. The fact that you suffer should not make you feel free disregard other people interests.

  • Using the list reasons and actions control yourself until you erase them completely from your daily round. For sure this will help you feeling better and less stressed.

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