There are two different kinds of stress - Distress and Eustress. We feel distress when we are unhappy, agitated or anxious about an activity or event, we feel eustress when we are uplifted, focussed and driven by an activity or event.
Something that I teach in my meditation classes is to chronicle your stress levels via events and activities. This can be done over a day, week, year or lifetime. Whatever you need to do in order to get a handle on what consitutes a stress trigger for you.
So - take an average day, average events and figure out a timeline. With each event, give it a stressor indicator from 1 (being not stressful) to 10 (being very stressful). Next look at the type of stress that has occurred. Is it something that has caused distress - anxiety, friction, anger, worry, or eustress - anticipation, excitement, happiness, achievement.
By looking at these things you will begin to figure out what consitutes stress triggers for you. Obviously everyone has different ones, so figuring out what yours are is a valuable exercise. When you hit on a stress trigger, and you are aware of it, you have a greater control over your reaction to it, and thus a greater control over your stress level. If you know that a certain event or situation will set off a distress trigger you can pre-empt your mental and emotional response to it, and diffuse your reaction. And the flip side is that when you recognise your eustress triggers you can encourage and activley enhance the uplifting experience that comes with good stress.
From a daily stress trigger examination, punch it up to weekly, yearly and lifetime. Take all the time you need. You are examining your past emotional and mental responses to stress in order to control your future ones, to allow for a clear-headed response to all levels of stress.
Stress is a part of life. But it doesnt have to be a bad part.