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Stress: 50 Suggestions--page 4

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
"...although stress does not directly cause health problems typically, it does indirectly influence many, if not most, health conditions..."
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Some of the following suggestions are similar to the list of suggestions for happiness or depression. This is because some of the same techniques will work for different problems. However, this list is also specifically focused on the issue of stress.

SUGGESTION 8: TAKE OR REVIEW COGNITIVE STYLES TEST

Download the app Cognitive Styles Test by Excel At Life and take the test to learn about your cognitive styles. Your cognitive styles can show you the areas of your thinking that can contribute to your stress or that can interfere with taking care of yourself. These factors can lead to a worsening of the stress symptoms.

If you find that you have irrational thinking styles based on the results of the test, you will likely find the methods of cognitive therapy such as the cognitive diary helpful to managing your stress and improving your self-care. By using these techniques you can gain better control over your symptoms.

Once you take the test, it is important to frequently review the results so that you can keep in mind the thinking that you need to address. As with any of the CBT methods, the more repetition the more benefit can be obtained. This test can also be emailed so that you can share it with your therapist or sponsor to get their assistance.

SUGGESTION 9: READ ABOUT USING THE COGNITIVE DIARY

The cognitive diary is a CBT method that helps you to change irrational thinking by recording events that occur, your feelings and self-talk in reaction to the event, and how you can challenge the irrational self-talk.

Often people are aware of how their self-talk discourages them or prevents them from achieving what they often but they feel as if they can't change the way they think. Research with cognitive therapy has shown that thinking can be changed with frequent attention and repetition of the more accurate self-talk.

It is not enough to just know that your thought may be inaccurate or irrational, you need to deliberately and consciously change the thought to one that will allow you handle a situation better. The cognitive diary provides the means for doing this. Read: Using the Cognitive Diary.

SUGGESTION 10: USE THE STRESS JOURNAL

The "Stress Journal" included in the app takes you step-by-step through the process of writing about a stressful situation, identifying what you can do the change the situation, and choosing which of these suggestions can help you cope with the stress. Once you have used the different suggestions you can record the outcome and what helped. That way you can learn what works best for you.

In addition, the suggestion list is customizable so that if you are using a specific method and want that included in your list, you can customize in SETTINGS.

You will have a history of your events in which you can keep track of what you need to do and what you have done to manage the situation.

SUGGESTION 11: SEND STRESS JOURNAL ENTRY

Sometimes it may be difficult for you to see what can be done about a stressor. In particular, when people are stressed they may tend to believe that the situation is completely out of their control when there may actually be something that can be done.

It is often helpful to have the perspective of another person to help you see your options regarding changing the stressful situation. The other person may be a therapist, a 12-step sponsor, minister, or close friend. The most important criteria is that you value the person's opinion.

This app allows you to email a journal entry which will include how you have identified the situation and what you can do. READ MORE: page 5



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