Orange clouds over mountains

Stress Test

We’ve come to take stress for granted. It’s an inevitable part of life so we complain, adapt and accept more and more stress as the way it is. We’re turning into stress athletes using today’s stress as basic training for even more tomorrow. No pain, no gain. Until everyday stresses accumulate to a level that hurts our health, damages our relationships, compromises our performance and reduces our overall sense of well-being. Ouch!

When did we forget that stress is the body’s way of telling us something is out of kilter? Take this short ‘stress test’ if you’re still not sure it’s time to stop all the talking and do something about it.

Low stress levels

  • I feel well
  • I am able to relax
  • Physical recreation brings me pleasure
  • Increasing pressure enhances my performance
  • My thinking is clear and I learn easily
  • I am able to say “No”
  • Others see me as adaptable & approachable
  • Others see me as energized and successful

Moderate stress levels

  • I feel driven, hyperactive, and restless
  • I tend to make snap decisions but with errors
  • I feel over-burdened but can still say “No”
  • I often feel tired but am taking steps to recover
  • I often try to squeeze a few extra drops out of my performance
  • Discipline, fitness, social pressure & stimulants play a greater role in my ability to perform
  • My sleep is just about adequate
  • Others see me as tired yet successful

High stress levels

  • I often lose perspective
  • I feel irritable & on edge
  • I complain and grumble regularly
  • I work longer hours but get less done
  • My home/work balance is suffering
  • I have repeated minor ailments, aches and pains
  • I don’t think as clearly as I used to
  • I have sleep problems
  • I feel like I’m operating in survival mode

Now don’t get stressed out about stress! Remember, stress is not the event (the traffic, the deadlines, the stock market, etc.), but your negative reaction to it –how you feel– that does the damage. And your reaction is something you can change. Next time you’re annoyed or irritated or angry don’t just talk about it, do something: Focus on the area around your heart, take a deep breath and recall a positive time in your life. Shifting to a positive emotion is fast and an easy way to change your forecast!

Take care,
Kim Allen