How Can a Stress Journal Help Me Identify Stressors?

Read Transcript

What I really talk about is journaling your life. Becoming a journalist to objectively look at how you live, what your stressers are, what your responses are to the stressers. If you eat things that are unhealthy for you when you're stressed and what it does to your body. This book, I call it the heart book, really gives you a lot of information, for you to then identify, and then be able to manage, and eventually reverse all of those stressers in your life.

It could help you determine those that are so important, that you have no control over that you need to manage, and those that you could kind of let go. Not every stress is created equal and the ones that are small and little and don't make a difference, let them go. Those big ones, learn to manage them, and learning to manage them changes everything.

A wonderful example was a patient who came in complaining of palpitations and she kept saying that they were happening often, she didn't know when, she could't manage them, they were really affecting her life. I said keep a heart book, journal it, become objective, write it down.

And she did that for me for about two weeks. When she brought it in, she showed me that every time she had a meeting with her boss, she had palpitations. Voila! There we go, there was the reason for her symptoms. We then implemented a breathing technique. Something really simple she could do right before those meetings, and guess what? Her palpitations stopped.

Managing your stress, dealing with it, is as important as any medication. You just have to learn what they're, when they happen, the triggers, and then you've to learn how to control them, and sometimes, that starts by simply writing it down.