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Identifying Stressors

The Power of the Mind-Body Connection

Man with head down and hands on head

Be aware of what you are thinking, it is powerful! Sometimes an event may lead to a negative thought. If you tend to automatically think negatively, then it will affect everything in a negative way. Identify any patterns. Once you are aware of them, you have to practice changing them. This won’t happen overnight, because much of our thinking is automatic. Write down the negative thoughts, as they tend to repeat themselves. Come up with a positive thought to replace it, or even a neutral thought, which is better than a negative one.


Awareness of Stressors

Sometimes, an awareness of our major stressors helps us cope with stress itself. Major stressors in your life probably include some of the following: 

  • People
  • Money
  • Work
  • Body
  • Mind
  • Leisure
  • Perceived loss


Thoughts That Cause Stress

Furthermore, it's helpful to be aware of thoughts that can cause you additional stress. Here are some examples of stressful thoughts:

  • Making mistakes is terrible. 

  • It is essential to be loved by everyone.

  • I must always be competent.

  • Every problem has a perfect solution.

  • If others criticize me, I must have done something wrong.

  • I can't change the way I think.

  • I must rarely show weakness or cry.

  • Strong people do not ask for help.

  • Everything is within my control.

  • Other people should see things the same way I do.

  • People should do what I want because they love me.

  • The world ought to be fair. 


6 Ways You Can Improve Your Mind-Body Connection

  • Track your thoughts. Negative thoughts are automatic, so track your thoughts. This will give you a good picture of how your thoughts impact your daily living.
  • Use support. Having support when making changes has been shown to be very helpful. It also can make challenging changes competitive and fun. Let others help you when you need some positive support.
  • Deal with emotional difficulties. Are you dealing with chronic stress or depression? It may require getting professional help. A counselor or psychologist can help you overcome these types of difficulties.
  • Add relaxation strategies to your everyday routine. This does not necessarily require a huge time commitment. Relaxation promotes overall health and can be accomplished with a quick breathing strategy.
  • Know your feelings. Feelings can trigger thoughts and behaviors. Frustration is a common feeling that can cause a negative thought that can lead to a negative behavior.
  • Listen to your body. Start to identify where in your body you feel various emotions. Often, you can feel emotions such as anger or fear in your stomach with tightness or in your head by experiencing a headache.


This information has been approved by Amy Lukowski, PsyD (February 2015).