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Quality of Life Pyramid: Part 2 of 4

Stress Management

Stress affects everyone in different ways. Some people get cranky, others just wanna nap, we eat our feelings… etc. Everyone is different and awareness is key.

There are two major types of stress:

Bad Stress: defined as the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable.

Good Stress: a positive form of stress having a beneficial effect on health, motivation, performance, and emotional well-being.

Why do I tell you about both types? Because life isn’t easy and THAT IS OK. Everyone has something going on. The focus should be on how you manage and react to the stress.

I invite you to task yourself the following questions:

Stress Checklist Inventory

This inventory checklist is a quick and easy indicator if your stress level is too high. It can also help you recognize some of the conditions that determine your stress level.

To complete the inventory, assign a number from zero to five to each of the statements below as they relate to your experience:

0 = Never 3 = Sometimes 5 = Almost always Stress Checklist Items:

  1. I have a lot of worries at home, at work or both

  2. I have too much responsibility

  3. My family makes too many demands on me

  4. My work situation is unclear; there are too many people to satisfy

  5. I do not have enough time for leisure or taking care of personal needs

  6. There is a great deal of time pressure at work

  7. I have difficulty expressing how I feel about situations or people

  8. I have trouble focusing on a given task

  9. I have difficulty communicating with my spouse, children, family, boss or co-workers

  10. I handle most things alone with little support from my family, friends or co-workers

  11. I do not have enough say in decisions that affect me

  12. My personal needs are in conflict with my work or family

  13. I am short of cash or have other personal/business financial concerns

  14. My life is one crisis after another

  15. I regularly have headaches (2-5 times per week)

  16. I have muscle tension in my shoulder, neck or back

  17. I have stomach pains, indigestion or other digestive problems

  18. I regularly take aspirin, indigestion medication, sleeping pills or tranquilizers

  19. I have a tendency to overeat – especially sweets

  20. I regularly have to drink to relax

  21. I drink a great deal of coffee or other caffeinated beverages

  22. Family, friends, or people at work tell me I drink too much

  23. Most of my time is spent sitting – I get little exercise

  24. I would like to make changes in my life but do not know how

Now add up your numbers and use the total to determine generally where your stress level is at.

If you scored in the Bad or Dangerous range, your next task is to make a plan to lower your stress level.

Don’t wait until you explode! Read a book, listen to calming music, journal, talk to a friend, and if it’s bad talk to a mental health counselor.

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