How to Check-In With Your Stress Levels
When we have the goal of improving our mental wellness, the first step is learning how
to check in with our feelings and mood patterns.
It can feel awkward, maybe even uncomfortable at first to step outside the business of our life and really check in with our mind and body.
Find a space, free from interruptions and distractions and take a few minutes to ask yourself these questions:
“How am I feeling?”
If you’re genuinely not feeling well, take a moment to think deeper and pinpoint what
emotions you have been experiencing.
If you can’t find the words to name the emotion, describe how it makes you feel.
“How is my body feeling?”
Stress shows up in your physical body in addition to the mind. Are your shoulders tight?
Is your jaw clenched? Your heart racing? Your breathing shallow?
Are you feeling nauseous or queasy?
These are all physical symptoms of mental stress.
“What’s taking up the most headspace right now?”
What’s on your mind? Is there a specific worry that keeps tapping you on the shoulder?
Are you overwhelmed with an upcoming project, task, or decision that you have to
make? Do you feel as though there’s a relationship in your life that’s somehow being
Jot down your thoughts and reflections in a notebook.
Repeat this process regularly
Awareness is a great first step. When we take the time to ask ourselves these questions, we become better adjusted to the idea of thinking through our thoughts instead of just letting them ruminate in our minds. Furthermore, by verbalizing your emotions with yourself, you begin to develop a broader vocabulary for describing your feelings, thus gaining better emotional literacy.
Practicing regular check-ins will help you sort through your feelings and help
ensure that you’re not taking out your anger, worry, or stress on those around you.
When you understand your mental state, you can better care for your needs. How do I care for myself and renew my mental health? Be sure to read my favorite self-care activities.