Stress diary (A complete guide)

In this brief article, we will be discussing stress diary, the contents of a stress diary, the benefits of a stress diary, and more information about a stress diary.

What is a stress diary?

This kind of diary can be an effective tool to help you manage your stress in your life. You can find this kind of diary to help you know about your thoughts right now.

The following are ways that this kind of diary can help you with:

  • you determine your main causes of stress in life
  • you determine your symptoms of stress in life
  • you determine how you currently react to stress in life
  • you gather important baseline information on stress which allows you to develop stress management goals in your life

You are also more willing to share your thoughts which is a healthy alternative than keeping them inside.

How to record details into your stress diary?

You can record details into your stress diary, using distress markers by following some tips below if you are a beginner. You should put some details that are important to you in this kind of diary.

You can work on your own format as well if you want. The following are some tips that you can do to this kind of diary:

  • Time of day in the day. Include the time of day that you are feeling stressed in the moment. Be conscientious about this detail. You may find it useful to carry a copy of this stress sheet with a professional if you are meeting one and record in the diary just after the event in the day.
  • Intensity of stress during the day. Rate from 1 or very little stress to 10 or extreme stress
  • What was the situation at the time. Determine the situation that caused you stress in the moment. Attempt to be as precise as you can with this kind fo detail. Was it the annoying comment from a coworker or were you stuck in a traffic jam at that moment.
  • What was the preceding event before the stressor. Perhaps you have woken up late or you are late to a meeting or have an impending deadline and you just didn’t need that traffic jam or the annoying comment from your co-worker at that time. Sometimes the preceding cause rather than the actual situation such as the annoying comment can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back at that time.
  • Remember that stress is typically how the situation is perceived at the time – so if you can, attempt to determine the thoughts underlying the stressful situation or preceding event at that time.
  • What were your symptoms at that time. Was your heart racing, did your breathing speed up or perhaps you got a tension headache at the time? These are examples of some physical symptoms of this condition. Alternatively, you may notice that you have difficulty concentrating, adopt a more negative outlook or feel more anxious and fearful at the time. These are some of the psychological and emotional symptoms of this condition. 
  • How did you respond at the time. Here you can describe how you responded in this kind of diary. For instance, did you react to the annoying comment from the co-worker or see the situation as an opportunity to practice your breathing exercises at the time? How are you currently coping with each of the causes of this condition?
  • How effective was your response in a stressful situation. Here it is important to rate from 1 which is estimated as not effective at all to 10 which is estimated as extremely effective. This kind of rating will give you an idea of whether you want to improve on the way that you react to this psychological condition.
  • Rate your mood now in the present. At the time of the stressful situation and immediately after your response to it, rate your mood from 1 which is estimated as not a good mood at all to 10 which is estimated as a very good mood

Analyzing your stress diary

The following are things you can do to make this diary more detailed and understandable:

  • First, look at the different stresses that you experienced during the time you kept your diary at this time. Highlight the most typical stresses and the ones that were the most unpleasant in the diary.
  • Look at your assessments of their underlying causes and your appraisal of how well you handled the stressful events in your life. Do they highlight difficulties that need to be fixed in your life? If so, list these concerns.
  • Next, look through your diary at the situations that cause you stress in your life. List methods in which you can change these situations for the better in your life.
  • Finally, look at how you felt when you were under pressure and explore how it affected your happiness and your effectiveness in your life. Was there a middle level of pressure at which you were happiest and performed best in your life?

You will finally be clear about what you have done to deal with the stressful situations in your life. 


You can also use these details to motivate yourself to change your lifestyle to better manage this kind of psychological condition. You are also able to know what you need to work on more to help you in your life.

Next steps

The next step is to get your stress under control using this diary. You need to start by looking at the people and events that cause you the most stress in your life.

If a person or a group of people is causing your stress, you can try to research some articles that can help you deal with your condition right now. You need to know that you have to be resourceful when you need to when it comes to this psychological condition.


Of course, this condition can’t be easily avoided in your life. You just need to apply some psychological strategies that might work such as cognitive restructuring.

What you can use the stress diary for?

You can use this kind of diary to know your current baseline of stress. This means you are more knowledgeable about the level of this condition in your life and the environments that you find stressful in your life.

You can work on this kind of baseline and use it to try to get yourself into stress management. You can use this kind of diary to know what you need to improve upon your management of this condition when you have the time if you are working right now.

Identifying work stress using a stress diary

You can also use this kind of diary when you are feeling too stressed in your workplace. You can work on making sure that you have the luxury of time to write in this kind of diary when you are resting from work.

This kind of diary can make you less easily to get these symptoms that are associated with stress such as getting easily frustrated. You can use this kind of diary when you are at work so that you can feel more enlightened when you need to let go of some frustrations that you feel right now. 

You might be undergoing some pain right now because of this condition in your life. The following are uses of this diary at work

  • What stressor you have faced at work
  •  How stressed you are at work. It’s typically recommended to use a number scale instead of descriptive words in this kind of diary. This way you can easily compare different stressors and their effectiveness in this kind of diary.
  •  Physical symptoms of stress in this kind of diary.
  •  What you did to ease your stress in this kind of diary.
  •  How well it worked in this kind of diary.

You can work on making this kind of diary a daily occurrence for you in your work life. You are meant for a better life where you don’t have to be stressed out about work all the time.

You can do this kind of situation by knowing when to draw the line when you are feeling stressed. You are more likely to get relaxed when you know how to deal with this kind of psychological condition.

You can learn more about working on your stress by reading articles that can help you look for more ways aside from this kind of diary. Maybe you are the type of person who would like different tasks to handle with when it comes to this kind of psychological condition.

The point of this diary is to make your life more manageable if you have been having a hard time managing your life as of late. Stress can make you feel like you have no meaning in life anymore since you are not doing well in a lot of things as you have observed.

This is why you can be innovative by writing some positive comments in this kind of diary if you are feeling negative generally. This can be your motivation in living another day in a new light.

If you are having a hard time finding noticeable patterns in this kind of diary, you can always talk to a psychologist or a counsellor. You are always welcome in their offices if you are feeling unwell mentally.

If you want to make someone you love feel a little better, less stressed, and more relaxed, try these Best Gifts for Stress & Anxiety.

If you’re stressed, you should try these Best teas for stress and depression.


In this brief article, we have discussed stress diary, the contents of a stress diary, the benefits of a stress diary, and more information about a stress diary.

If you have any questions about a stress diary, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

FAQs: stress diary

What do you write in a stress journal?

You can write about your thoughts and feelings in a stress journal. As you write, you don’t only need to vent your negative emotions or catalogue events but wite about your feelings and thoughts about the emotional event. Studies have shown that much greater advantages from journaling when people write about emotional concerns from a mental and emotional framework. 

Can writing relieve stress?

Yes, writing can relieve stress. One instance is writing about stressful events, expressing one’s feelings through writing or traumatic experiences. This kind of activity minimizes this kind of psychological condition as it helps people process their thoughts and emotions. 

How do I write down my thoughts?

You can write down your thoughts by trying to write daily, write whatever feels right, make it easy, and use your journal as you see fit. You need to set aside a few minutes daily to write in this kind of journal. 

Why is journaling good for mental health?

Journaling is good for mental health because it helps you manage your symptoms and improve your mood by healing you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns, offering an opportunity for positive self-talk and determining negative thoughts, and tracking any symptom so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to control them. 

Why journaling is good for stress?

Journaling is good for stress because it helps get rid of negative thoughts. These kinds of thoughts but in the short-term, the symbolic act of throwing them away does help with clearing these thoughts from your mind which will help you feel better and problem-solve more effectively. 


Aspire Training Team. How to keep a stress diary?.

MindTools. Stress Diaries.

Simplicity Marketing Inc. How to Use Stress Diaries to Identify Your Work Stresses. Stress Diary.

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