Stress Self-Assessment

Key Concepts: Stress Self-Assessment

Imagine for a moment how much more enjoyable and productive life might be in the absence of such overwhelming stress.

How STRESSED are you? Find out and start feeling better today. Stress is seemingly unavoidable these days. Technology enables us to work almost anywhere at any time. Balancing responsibilities with work and family in a healthy way is more challenging than ever.

EVALUATE YOUR STRESS INDICATORS

The following examples represent a sample of the common physical, emotional and behavioral stress reactions. Read through the following list of indicators to gain more insight:

  • Back pain, headaches, nausea, jaw or fist clenching, muscle tension, etc.
  • Difficulty with short-term memory, reduced attention span, or distractibility
  • Feeling short-tempered; arguing with coworkers or loved ones
  • Frequent worrying, or fearing the worst possible outcomes in situations you’re facing
  • Beginning or increasing behaviors such as gambling or use of internet pornography
  • Overeating, skipping meals, or regular snacking on nonnutritional foods

EVALUATE YOUR STRESS MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

The following examples represent stress-reducing practices. Read through these to see whether or not you are practicing healthy stress-management strategies.

  • Being closely connected with family and friends who provide support and encouragement
  • Regularly engaging in healthy, stress relieving activities like sports and vigorous exercise
  • Regularly engaging in enjoyable activities such as listening to music, dancing, or hobbies
  • Centering thoughts through practicing mindfulness, meditation or worship
  • Getting good sleep; sleeping 7-9 hours each night, waking up feeling rested
  • Managing responsibilities and workload by saying no to overly demanding expectations
  • Staying organized by periodically reducing clutter and focusing on what’s important
  • Regularly eating well-balanced meals and limiting use of caffeine and alcohol
  • Maintaining yearly check-ups with health care providers to assess health

ACTION STEPS

If you found you are experiencing a number of stress indicators and utilizing few stress management strategies you are likely experiencing a high level of stress in your life. Here are a few action steps you can take to address and reduce your stress:

✓ Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider for a check-up.

✓ Follow your health care provider’s advice regarding diet, exercise, etc.

✓ Enlist a friend or family member for support and encouragement.

✓ Develop an action plan for addressing sources of stress and conflict.

✓ Regularly use this assessment to monitor how you are doing and make changes as needed.

KEEP IN MIND

You’re not alone, and help is available. Consider reaching out to your health care provider and engaging other counseling resources for guidance on next steps.

What steps will you take today to be well and live life more fully?

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