How to Identify Resources and Stressors: Find What Supports You and What Doesn’t
Identifying resources and stressors is an important part of taking care of yourself. By understanding what supports you and what doesn’t, you can make decisions that help you to feel more balanced. In this article, we’ll explore how to identify both your resources and stressors.
What are resources and stressors?
When we talk about resources and stressors, we’re referring to the things that help us and the things that make us stressed.
Internal resources are things like our beliefs, our attitudes, our values and our strengths. External resources are things like our relationships, our social networks, our material possessions or our financial security.
Internal stressors are things like self-doubt, perfectionism and fear. External stressors are things like difficult relationships, financial insecurity, health problems or the death of a loved one.
Practices to uncover what is giving you energy
A practice you can use to uncover what is giving you energy is to make a life resource list. On a piece of paper, write down everything in your life that feels supportive to you. Resources can be people, a practice, or an action. This could be things like spending time with your friends, going for walks in nature, savoring your favorite foods, practicing yoga, meditating, or listening to your favorite music.
Take a moment to really reflect on what gives you energy and makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Once you have your list, refer to it often and make a point of incorporating more of these things into your life. The more you surround yourself with what supports you, the more energetically balanced and fulfilled you’ll feel.
And as you go about your day, pay attention to what is filling up your battery. Add this to your resources list. Be aware that your preferences might vary over time so it’s perfectly okay and normal for the items on your list to change.
Practices to uncover what is draining your energy
Start by taking a look at your daily routine. Are you struggling to find a balance between work and play? Do you feel like you’re always running on empty? If so, you may be using up all your energy on things that are not really important.
There are a few key practices that can help you identify which activities are draining your energy and which ones are supporting you. One is to balance work and play. If you’re always working, you’re not going to have any energy left for fun. And if you’re always playing, you’re not going to get anything done.
Another tactic is to manage your energy, not your time. We often feel like we don’t have enough time to do everything we want, but that’s not really the issue. The real problem is that we’re trying to do too many things at once and we’re not taking the time to recharge.
A third practice is to use mindfulness exercises to check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What’s going on in your life right now? Are there any areas that are causing you stress? Taking the time to reflect on these things can help you understand what’s draining your energy and what needs to change.
If you’re not sure where to start, try journaling about your energy levels throughout the day. Notice when you feel most energized and when you start to feel tired. This will give you a good idea of what is and isn’t working for you. When you become more aware of what affects your energy, you can start making changes to support a more balanced life.
Ways to create more space and support for yourself
There are many ways to create more space and support for yourself. You might consider:
- Identifying your resources and stressors are a helpful first step in setting boundaries.
- Becoming more mindful of your thoughts, emotions, and actions: Pay attention to what makes you feel stressed and try to avoid those triggers, if possible. On the flip side, make an effort to do more things that make you feel good.
- Creating a support network: Lean on your friends and family when you need to. If you don’t have a lot of people in your life who you can rely on right now, that’s okay. You can still invite supporting energies and connect to them.
- Practicing self-care: This looks different for everyone, but doing things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising can help reduce stress levels.
Strategies to better manage stressors and challenging experiences
One way to start managing stress is to get clear about what your stressors are. This allows you to focus on the things that you can control. Once you identify your stressors, you can begin to look for ways to reduce or eliminate them.
For example, if you identify self-doubt as a challenge, you can begin to work on developing self-compassion and self-care practices. If you identify a difficult situation at work as a challenge, you can start looking for new job opportunities. But if you try to control everything, you’ll just end up feeling more stressed. So take a deep breath and focus on the things that you can change.
Setting boundaries is another way to better manage stress. If you find yourself saying yes to everything and everyone, you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. Learning to say no can help you to focus on the things that are truly important to you.
Finally, it’s important to find ways to relax and recharge. If you’re constantly going, going, going, you’ll eventually burn out. Make sure to schedule in time for yourself, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Do something that you enjoy and that makes you feel good. This can help you to reduce your stress levels and feel more capable of dealing with challenging experiences.
Benefits of recognizing your resources and stressors
There are many benefits to taking the time to identify your resources and stressors. When you know what supports you, you can direct your attention and energy there. You can also take steps to minimize or eliminate the stressors in your life.
In addition, when you’re aware of your resources and stressors, you’re more likely to be in alignment with your values. This means that you’re more likely to make choices that support your well-being and help you achieve your goals.
Finally, when you identify your resources and stressors, you’re more likely to be able to ask for help when you need it. When you know what makes you stressed, you can share that information with others and ask for their support in managing it.
How to create a plan of action from these discoveries
So you’ve done some soul-searching and you have a pretty good idea of what your resources and stressors are. Now what?
The next step is to create a plan of action. This will help you make the most of your resources and minimize the effect of your stressors.
Here’s how to do it:
- Pick up your list of your resources and stressors.
- For each resource, brainstorm ways to use it to support your health and well-being.
- For each stressor, brainstorm ways to reduce its impact on your life.
Some examples might be:
- If one of your stressors is work, you could brainstorm ways to reduce the amount of time you spend working or ways to make your work environment more supportive.
- If one of your resources is nature, you could brainstorm ways to spend more time in nature or ways to bring nature into your home or workplace.
Once you have a plan of action, put it into practice and see how it goes!