Manage Your Stress by Identifying What Triggers It

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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We all have things that set us off — particular triggers that cause a less-than-helpful knee-jerk reaction.

Understanding what stresses you out can help you improve your emotional intelligence and resilience.

o One way to identify your triggers is by completing statements like “I become overwhelmed when…,” or “At work, I wish people would…,” or “I think it’s rude to…”

o You can also pay attention to your stress symptoms, such as sweaty palms, headaches, or tightness in your chest.

o Start watching for patterns in the situations that cause these symptoms. Maybe your manager learned that you missed an important deadline, or your colleague embarrassed you at a meeting.

o Once you’re aware of your triggers, you can actively manage how you react to them — instead of letting them control you.

Adapted from “Handle Your Stress Better by Knowing What Causes It,” by Anne Grady

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