Monthly relaxation technique #11 - Stress Inventory


As you have been learning, the basic aspects of mindfulness based stress reduction includes one of the following: breathing, gentle movement, journal writing, and meditation. If one of the components works better for you (for example, if you are really into the journal writing), you should seek out more of those activities because there are literally hundreds to choose from. We have incorporated many of them in the Discover / Thrive area of the app, as well.


Today's activity is a tool that assists you in acknowledging and managing stress. The ""stress inventory"" can be done weekly or monthly. Check out the entire module in the Discover / Cope / Stress Management area of the app.


Stress inventory:


Please take out a piece of paper and divide it into three sections. In the top section of your page, write down the word “Low” and create a list of the 4-5 things that are a “low” level on the stress scale for you today. These might be things like getting ready for school, getting to class on time, getting homework done, etc. Please take a moment to write down 4-5 things that are on the “low” level of stress.


After you have completed those, please write “Medium” in the middle section of your page and start thinking about the things that are on a “medium” level of stress for you. These might be

relationships or communication issues you are noticing with people in your life. As you are working, try to list 4-5 items for these “medium” level stressors.


- At the bottom of the page, save room for the “Large” level of stressors. You may start noticing that “large” level stressors are entering your mind, so please include those at the bottom of the

page.


- After a few moments, you will have a list of a few “Low,” “Medium” and “High” level stressors in your life.


- What you have created today is a stress inventory. It is so important to take a moment and look at all of the different kinds of stress we are under on a daily basis. Stress is “normal” and healthy – especially when we acknowledge all that we are dealing with each day! Most importantly, we can actually manage our stress by looking at it closely … let’s try that now.


- Take a moment to look at the things on the list that – in general – you feel okay about. These might be things in the “Low” level stress area that you don’t really worry about too much. For any stressors in that you feel okay about, simply draw a line through those.


- After you have completed drawing a line through those low level stressors that you aren’t too worried about, then take a look at your list and see if there are any stressors that you can delegate to another person or someone from whom you could ask for help.


- For example, could you ask your brother or loved one to help you with one of the things that are stressing you out? Could you ask me or another teacher? For any of the items in your list that you can ask for help or delegate to another person, please write the initials of the person you can delegate to next to the item.


- Lastly, looking at your list, see if there are still a few things that are stressful. There may be some “large” things on the list that make you feel worried, upset or like it is something you cannot control. Circle those items. For each of the items that you circle, we can try to come up with a stress management exercise to help you manage all you are feeling about those items. For example, sometimes writing about your feelings can help you manage some of those

really big stressors in your life. Sometimes talking to a teacher or counselor can help. If you have a certain technique or exercise that YOU like to use when you are worried or very stressed, please write that technique next to the item.

- We recommend that you take a moment to do a stress inventory each week. Perhaps before you go to sleep at night, or perhaps on a morning where you are feeling particularly worried or upset – these are excellent ways to start acknowledging all that you are going through, which decreases your stress level.


For more information about stress, please see the Discover / Cope / Stress Management area of the app.



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