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How to Test Your Stress Levels

By Sandy Schroeder

As the year rolls to a close, many of us are feeling the heat as we spin through shopping, cooking, and baking tasks with our family, keep jobs going, and take time out to breathe here and there.

If you can relate, you might be interested in a quiz on UC Berkley's Greater Good magazine site, Stress Quiz

Here are a couple of sample questions from the quiz that was adapted from a scale developed by Peter Lovibond at the University of New South Wales. There are no right or wrong answers. You can give your reactions to stress in the past week. When you are done, you will get a score and some answers for ways to combat your stress level. 

Three Sample Questions

Read the statements and check your response to stress in the past week from the four choices.

Statement 1 - I found myself getting upset by quite trivial things.

  • Did not apply to me at all
  • Applied to me to some degree or some of the time
  • Applied to me very much or most of the time
  • Applied to me a considerable degree or a good part of the time

Statement 2 - I was aware of dryness of my mouth.

Statement 3 - I tended to over react to situations

Ways to Work Through Stress

Here are some ways to let go of the stress.

Look for positives - That may be difficult to do if you are up to your eyeballs in challenges, but finding the silver lining in the midst of it all may cheer you up and keep you moving.

Treat yourself as you would a friend - When stress builds, it is tempting to beat yourself up, criticizing everything that you have or have not done, but it might be wiser to ask what would you say to a friend if they were this stressed out? Try to accept yourself, as is, and treat yourself with the kindness that you give others.

Write it all down - When feelings are just too hard to express, they can be written down, saying what you think, and feel and wish. This could help cut through the stress, revealing ways to feel better in the future.

Get moving and meditate - Spend time outdoors, add more walks to your day, or create a retreat spot to meditate at home and another at work.

Reduce stress at your house - Lowered lights and voices help everyone slow down and mellow out. Home-cooked meals or baked breads add a heavenly smell, and quiet times before bed help everybody wind down and rest better.

Work on fears - If you know a mild, everyday fear is at the center of your anxiety, slowly confront it to get a grip and cope better.

If feelings of stress persist, see your doctor and a therapist to work on the issue.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Irvine, Calif.

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