Stress Triggers: How To Identify Yours

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Knowing what causes pressure to turn into stress for you is vital. The more you recognise your personal triggers the more chance you have of combating them before they take effect. Remember your triggers are personal to you and can be different to even your closest family and friends, let alone colleagues and complete strangers.

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Resilience is a set of skills that can be practiced and developed. Whilst there is no shortage of stress in our lives, proactively managing your stress will put you back in control.

You will discover that you are triggered less often and your responses will be more manageable. It’s time to take a quick tactical breath and read on.

Manage your stress by identifying what triggers it

Knowing what causes pressure to turn into stress for you is vital. The more you recognise your personal triggers the more chance you have of combating them before they take effect. Remember your triggers are personal to you and can be different to even your closest family and friends, let alone colleagues and complete strangers.

Here’s six ways to identify your triggers:

1. Know your body’s stress response. When we are feeling stressed our body sends us signals. Our heartbeat gets faster, we begin to sweat and our breathing gets faster and shallower. Our digestion decreases and it can be harder to focus and make decisions. Watch out when you are focused on your work and miss the signs. Beware of your body tightening and your shoulders going up to your ear holes. What signals do you recognise? You may need to reflect back on the day to gain true insight on your body’s response.

2. Listen to the words you use. Do you sometimes say things like “my blood is boiling, they are a real pain in the neck. They are doing my head in, I can’t take anymore of this, not this again?” Or maybe it’s “I need to get this done, I can’t do this, they should have that information, I have to do this by a certain time or it’s game over.” Listen to your language. You are telling yourself you are under stress.

3. Keep a note of the times you get stressed. By noting your triggers you will develop a better ability to manage and respond to them positively and proactively. Pay attention to FIRES, both yours and the people around you. We tend to fall into patterns and we can easily get stressed with certain people and certain situations.

4. Recognise rumination. If you feel like you can’t settle and there’s a little nagging thought in the back of your head and you can’t quite put your finger on it, you are ruminating. As our stress response kicks in and cortisol is released into our system it can often feel as if we are “fizzing”, it wont take much before it turns to rumination – recognise and begin to deal with it using the skills we showed you.

5. Ask other people. Other people can often see what we can’t. As we get stressed our perspective narrows and it’s easy to pass on secondhand stress. If you are really brave ask other people if you’ve set their FIRES off or if you seem a little sharp today. Often, it’s our tone that people pick up first. If you can’t spot it, then others may be able to.

6. You’re ill and can’t shake a simple cold. If you’re run down and can’t seem to shake off a simple cold perhaps it is down to stress. That said; if the symptoms are long lasting remember to seek medical advice.

Stressing about not being able to remember the skills we showed you? Maybe you need more information? Download our app from the Play or Apple Store. Just search for “Resilience Development Company.” Access to it is free, it’s full of information and it’s there for your personal use as part of the programme. Not sure if you are stressed? Sign into the Skills Academy and take a stress test. Please note: This post was specifically written for people attending week two of our nine week resilience programme where we showed you triggers and buffers to stress. Practice the skills and tools we shared to reduce Cortisol.

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