“I am so stressed out!” Whether we are saying it ourselves or hearing it from family members or friends, there are few, if any, of us who have not fallen prey to the deleterious effects of stress. From weight gain, to higher levels of blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, eating disorders and more, stress can really be a detractor in our lives.
Wondering about how high your stress levels really are? Here is a quick little self-evaluation to help you. If you find that you are scoring high, it is time to make some major changes. We will discuss ideas on what some of those changes should be later. For now, let’s see how high your stress levels are.
Circle the number that corresponds best with how you feel about the statement:
1 – Always 2- Often 3 – Sometimes 4 – Never
1. I find it hard to get up in the morning and go to work: 1 2 3 4
2. It is difficult for me to say no, even when I really want to: 1 2 3 4
3. I have trouble letting my feelings out and hold them in so much I want to explode: 1 2 3 4
4. I get sick with mild ailments like colds and headaches a lot: 1 2 3 4
5. I work my butt off but I cannot seem to get anything accomplished: 1 2 3 4
6. My reactions are often way out of balance with the situation; my friends or family say I am
“emotional.” 1 2 3 4
7. I have a really hard time focusing on activities I enjoy like hobbies or reading a book: 1 2 3 4
8. I feel like my contributions just do not have any meaning at home or work: 1 2 3 4
9. I avoid confrontation like it was the plague and I have difficulties facing conflict: 1 2 3 4
10. I just cannot seem to get enough sleep: 1 2 3 4
Add up your responses and compare yourself to the following:
If your number was between 31 and 40: Your friends probably refer to you as the queen or king of cool. It takes a lot to ruffle your feathers and you tend to take on new things in stride. When stress does enter into your life you tend to “shake it off” with ease. The only caution here is that sometimes you need a little stress to help keep you sharp. Beware complacency.
If your number was between 21 and 30: For the most part you handle stress well and do not let the negative sides of stress get you down. You seem to know where your borders are and what you need to do to stay within them. You should identify some pre-stress strategies to help you through future stress scenarios. It is nice to have tools to fight the stress with!
If your number was between 10 and 20: Okay! We need to get serious. You obviously have some stressors in your life that are really taking a toll on you. In fact, your health may be suffering. It may be time to take an evaluation and look at some readjustments of priorities to lower the levels. Remember, perspective can make all the difference in the world. Reach out – if you cannot lower your stress levels, ask for help!
In my next article, we will take a look at some easy stress relievers that we can do for ourselves!
Holding doctoral degrees in Divinity and Theology from the Esoteric Interfaith Theological Seminary, Dr. Nikki Judge is the executive director of Black Rose Spiritual Center. A gifted spiritual reader she has helped nearly 175,000 people in her career. Along with a good book and a purring cat Dr. Nikki enjoys getting out in the sun and fresh air of western Montana. You can visit her at www.YourSpiritualGrowthCenter.com