How Do You Relieve the Stress in Your Life? Take the Stress Quiz
“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” – Dennis P. Kimbro
We can’t get through life without some stress. But when stress is chronic, unrelenting, ongoing, it can affect your health and compromise your immune system.
There are people who see stress as a challenge and take it in stride. And there are others who become overwhelmed and end up physical wrecks. Since unrelieved stress is detrimental to your health, it is helpful to understand exactly how you handle stress. Are you making yourself more vulnerable because your coping strategies are less than resourceful?
Below is a list of some common ways people cope when faced with stressful situations. Take the Stress Quiz and check all that apply to you.
When Under Stress
1. _____I withdraw emotionally and do nothing.
2. _____I confront the problem and work to resolve it.
3. _____I eat or sleep more than I should.
4. _____I engage in physical activity to “blow off” the pressure.
5. _____I drink and/or smoke too much.
6. _____I unwind with a hobby or creative interest or other relaxing pastime.
7. _____I worry to the point that I can’t sleep nights.
8. _____I talk with family and friends for input and support.
9. _____I become irritated and take my anger out on those around me.
10. _____I practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, etc.
11. _____I ignore my needs and try to please others.
12. _____I get away from it all periodically to rejuvenate.
Your Score: Did you check more of the even-numbered answers or more of the odd-numbered answers? The even-numbered answers represent the more constructive coping strategies. Take a look at the odd-numbered strategies you checked. Those are the areas you need to work on. Recognize them as opportunities to take charge of an aspect of your life that you are not handling to the best of your ability.
Focus on what is possible and set your sights on accomplishing it. Begin by drawing from the self-assertive (even-numbered) answers. Adapt those strategies to fit your specific needs. When you believe you are in control, you are better able to handle stressful situations. That’s empowering.
There are many techniques to help you relieve stress. You should try a few to see which work best for you and your lifestyle. The simplest and most effective techniques do not require pills or prescriptions. They are relaxing and energizing at the same time.
Five of the most effective relaxation techniques are BAM VP – Breath, Affirmations, Meditation, Visualization and Progressive Relaxation. They require no equipment, just your breath and imagination and can be performed in five minutes or less. They are quick stress busters that will give you immediate stress relief.
The lesson to learn from the Stress Quiz is this: It is not the stress but the way you handle it that is most important to your physical and emotional health.
For an in-depth look at life events that raise your stress levels, Google “Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory”.