Stress Stoplight: A Visualization for Identifying Stress

Stress. We all have it. But sometimes we don’t slow down enough to see it creeping up on us. How many times have you looked back and said, “Oh yeah, I guess there WERE red flags waving at me…”

So how do you know if you’re stressed—I mean really stressed? Well, in order to avoid a full on meltdown, I’m sharing with you a little visualization I do with myself when I feel things starting to get overwhelming. The interesting things is that I often think I’m handling it ok and when I tune in, I find out I’m not. I hope this helps!

Visualization for Identifying Stress

Take a few moments and just breathe deeply. Don’t worry if it’s quiet in your space—it doesn’t matter. Just breathe into your feet, your legs, your back, your neck, your chest, allowing yourself let go a little bit. We’re not going deep today, just focused on letting go of the moment and creating a little space. Once you feel relaxed, visualize or imagine a stop light. Green is at the bottom. Yellow in the middle, Red on top. You’re not connected to an outcome with this. What ever light color comes up it is perfect as is. It’s not about changing it, it’s about seeing it. Continue to breathe deeply and ask the stoplight what color is your stress. Is it red? yellow? Green? What appears? You may find it flickering between two and that is fine. If you can’t see a light tune in to what you’re feeling or what you just know—do you feel or know red, yellow or green?

Once you have your color write it down on a piece of paper. This is your current stress level. Red means you’re very stressed and you need to just apply basic things to keep your head above water. Yellow means you’re approaching very stressed, but not quite there yet. Take action now to reset the scales. Green means you’re doing ok and while there are challenges you are handling them. This is the perfect time to go deeper and connect with Spirit. Which level are you?  

Now that you know, you can apply the first aid that you need.

First Aid Suggestions

My red light people—keep it simple. Music to shift you, naps, a call to a friend for support.

My yellow light people, take a moment to look for magic in you day. Write it down or text it to a friend. Take a bath. Sit outside under a tree and breathe. Make space for joy. Eat something that supports you.

My green light people: Mediate, pull cards, journal.  Connect to your guides, ground, and clear. Make a cup of tea or coffee and chat with a friend that lights you up. Let go of one thing on your to-do list and fill that with something that invigorates you.

If you have time, I want you to make a list of things that you can do when you’re red or when you’re yellow or when you’re green. Keep this list handy so that when you check in, you can immediately apply what you need. I like to write mine on a notecard, but you can put it on a sticky note or tape it to your mirror. Wherever you’ll see it easily. So tell me, where are your stress levels right now and what one action are you taking to meet yourself where you are at?

Last Updated:
April 21, 2024