Stress doesn't occur in a vacuum. Something---or someone---acts as a stimulus, and you react. These are triggers.
- By recognizing the triggers that cause stress, you can take steps to avoid or manage them in the future. Common stress triggers include meeting with a difficult customer or coworker, worrying about personal problems and facing too much work in too little time.
- To turn off stress triggers, follow this two-step process:
- Turn back the clock. When you first notice that you're stressed, ask yourself, "What happened to me in the last 10 minutes?" Review what you were thinking or doing just before the stress set in. Try to isolate the thought or action that unleashed your stress.
- Deactivate the trigger. Devise a strategy to respond to the trigger so that it no longer induces stress. Example: If you were thinking about your child's daycare just before a wave of stress enveloped you, reduce your daycare worries by scheduling a series of random audits to convince yourself of the high quality of care you have chosen.