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7500 Memorial Parkway Suite 133

Huntsville, Alabama 35802


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Self Help: Stress Log

Developing the skill of maintaining emotional control in the face of normal, stressful, demanding or even crisis situations begins with a personal assessment and continuous monitoring. With our clients we recommend utilizing a stress log and a measure of relative stress, subjective units of discomfort (SUD). Follow these steps in creating your personal stress log. 

1. When you notice an increase in stress write a brief description of the situation or EVENT in the first column of your log (see example below). Describe what was happening at the time. It could be that what was happening did not seem to directly relate to your feelings of stress, but describe the situation nevertheless.

2. In the next column record the specific THOUGHTS you were having at the time you felt the stress. If you were not aware of any specific thoughts, write a description of what you may have thought, believed, or imagined. Don?t clean up your internal language when you make the entry. Also, if you use colorful descriptions in your thinking or make absolute statements in your thinking, such as, never, always, a million times, etc., don?t edit, just write it down the way it occurred to you.

3. Now, name your emotional feelings and write them down next to your thoughts in the EMOTION column. For example, you may have feelings of nervousness, anxiety, disgust, hurt, anger, or dread. You may have a complex combination of feelings. Record it all. You may have difficulty coming up with a good word to represent how you feel. Don?t get hung up on this, just start with the relatively easy words like mad, bad, sad and glad. Yes, you can even have discomfort when you are glad.

4.  When you notice an increase in your feeling of stress, estimate your stress level, SUD, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing very little stress and 10 representing as much stress as you could possibly stand. Enter your SUD (Subjective Units of Discomfort) level in the appropriate column of the log as in the example below.

Keep your log for at least a week. This should provide a good baseline measure of your stress and provide some idea of specific situations, thoughts and events that trigger most of your stress. Continue to keep a running log as you work on changing targeted behaviors, thoughts and emotions.

Click Here For Stress Log Example


Stress Log







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