1. Evaluate your level of job stress.
2. Identify and list your job stressors. Ask yourself, "What aspects of my work cause my stress?" (Is it deadlines, job insecurity, work interruptions, conflicts with coworkers, having too much work, a poor work environment or feeling undervalued?)
3. Recognize and record your feelings, thoughts and behaviors when confronted with each of these stressors. For example, one of Dave's stressors is not knowing what his boss expects from him. This "stressor" leads to the thought "I'm not performing well," and a feeling of insecurity. Dave's muscles tense and he loses focus.
4. Review your list of stressors and what feelings, thoughts and behaviors you have that relate to them. Do you see any common threads?
5. Write a plan that describes how you will make changes in the feelings, thoughts and behaviors that promote stress. Your plan should describe how you will:
- Change outside factors you can control (such as clarifying your responsibilities with your boss);
- Change your thinking patterns (such as valuing your skills and avoiding self-criticism);
- Change factors affecting your physical health (such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol, using relaxation skills, getting enough rest and exercise).
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