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THIS IS first tool for TRAINING in real time by measuring the stress that has built up over the past 4- 5 hours of the day.  The chronic stress build up of weeks, months, years and may be the cause of very specific personal reactions and patterns of behavior.  This self-measure will help you find the markers for stress and anxiety that are unique to you.

In the Training Program read through all the categories of stress reactions:  Physical, Emotional, Social, Behavioral and Thoughts.  The list of example keywords are supplied for you to use until you have a better personal vocabulary from your own experience over the next few days.

Fill in the scale from highest levels to lower levels. You can get cued into stress by just writing the words and descriptions.  Yes, your brain is that sensitive for good reasons! The brain is identifying ” Useful” experiences to log in for potential later use. So – work your way down to zero… when Life is Good. This may be a few minutes but a zero is in your day somewhere.

We do not reactions at level 8- 10. These strong reactions are biologically driven and have very little room for using any  behavioral prevention. High levels call for physical treatment or recovery.  Like sleeping to recover from exhaustion it takes time for a biologically dominant reaction to subside.

You will be able to step into stress experiences at level 4 – 7 to work with stress and make use of the experience.

If you feel overwhelmed by looking at the scale – start at level 6 (Overwhelmed) and work your way down, then choose another category.  You can fill in Level 7 later as it feels more accessible. Be sure to add in behaviors such as the use of food, alcohol or other substances if these are part of checking out or numbing out.

The lower levels, 3-0 are the normal stresses of everyday concerns.   At these levels you feel capable of dealing with these and can be a little worried and figure out the solutions.

REMEMBER: If you are tracking chronic stress and specific medical symptoms be sure to put these on the list and use as one of your key measures on your stress scale.

EXAMPLE:  TRACKING STRESS DOWN THE SCALE
Jamie is usually very outgoing. He has a lot of anger at level 7 and “goes mute” every afternoon about 5:00 PM. His colleagues would tell you they can set their clocks by this guy. In fact, they have placed bets on his ” shut down” time!

He knows that biggest stress behavior is picking at himself and snacking.  At level 7 his cuticles are a “bloody mess”, at a level 4 he starts picking at them and cursing to himself.After lunch he just keeps going with whatever is in the office break room.

He is ” fuming” and overwhelmed at level 6 by around 2:00 PM and isn’t aware that he is eating   It all begins with a sense of failure when he can’t resolve something and doesn’t want to ask get other people to help.  Jamie was brought up to ” Go it Alone”. That will be obvious in Day 3 when he puts together his biography page and sees the theme throughout his adolescent years.

He can feel the frustration at level 4 – Failure was a big part of his teen years at a new school in a new town.  He now knows that he is the “number one critic” and not most other people in his current life.

You will use the stress scale throughout the process of your day to find the patterns of stress that you already know but now need to become the expert in what happens when stress builds.

 

START USING YOUR STRESS SCALE NOW.  Use the stress cue at level 4 that you have written on the scale. What behavior or physical cue can you grab?   This is a powerful new early warning signal that you can turn into self-knowledge.

 

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