What is your level of stress?
Do you suffer from chronic or bad stress, or is your stress moderate and situational?
If you think you might be suffering from too much stress, this informal test will help you check your stress level, so you can decide what to do.
Everyone responds differently to bad stress; some may experience anxiety, panic attacks, or even aggressive behavior. Some people find it simply makes them feel tired or run down. For others it affects digestion.
Listed below are many of the most common indicators of bad stress.
As you read these, rate each from 0 to 5, where 0 is “never or very rarely” experience this and 5 is “very frequently or all the time”.
- Feeling very tense or wound up, ill at ease, edgy, irritable, bad tempered.
- Waking up very early in the morning and not able to return to sleep.
- Feeling very stressed and anxious when waking in the morning.
- Irregular eating patterns; compulsive snacking on junk food late at night.
- Upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation.
- Unable to concentrate well or poor foggy memory.
- Feel apathetic, unmotivated, depressed – lack of interest in your life.
- Fear you will lose control or feel threatened.
- Constantly “awfulizing” – expecting disaster to strike at any moment.
- Very pessimistic and worried about the future.
- Feeling under intense pressure that you don’t understand.
- Sudden intense feelings of fear or panic.
- Feeling short of breath or breathing that is shallow and fast.
- Tightness in your neck, shoulders or back.
- Tightness or anxiety in your stomach.
- Bad headaches or migraines.
- Emotional and easily upset.
- Feeling foggy, distant, dizzy, unreal or remote.
- Feeling physically or emotionally exhausted.
- Frequent extreme mood swings from very high to very low.
- Smoking or drinking to excess regularly.
- Other intense negative feelings or unproductive behaviors not mentioned here.
Now review your answers, and if you have more than a few (3 or more) with a 4 or 5 rating you may be suffering from bad stress. If you do suffer from a high level of bad stress, pay attention and take some action to reduce it.