When stress takes over we tend to neglect the things that keep us healthy. Removing these components from our day-to-day lives can result in continued, or enhanced levels of stress, ultimately causing a cyclical effect of deteriorating health on our mind and body.
Many turn to stress management to alleviate these problems but how do we determine it is stress that is making us feel the way we do? Common symptoms or signs of stress include headaches, irritable bowels, hives, and feelings of nervousness and anxiety. But stress is a spectrum and can we not all be expected to fall under the massive umbrella that it implies.
A few ways to determine if your lifestyle falls victim to high levels of stress is to answer a simple Q&A.
One example test is from the University of Texas Learning Center shown below:
1. Do you worry about the future?
2. Do you sometimes have trouble falling asleep?
3. Do you often reach for a cigarette, a drink, etc. in order to reduce tension?
4. Do you become irritated over basically insignificant matters?
5. Do you have less energy than you seem to need or would like to have?
6. Do you have too many things to do and not enough time to do them?
7. Do you have headaches or stomach problems?
8. Do you feel pressure to accomplish or to get things done?
9. Are you very concerned about being either well-liked or successful?
10. Do you perform well enough in life to satisfy yourself?
11. Do you get satisfaction from the small joys or simple pleasures of life?
12. Are you able to really relax and have fun?
If you answered Yes to questions 1-9 and/or No to questions 10-12 it may be in your best interest to seek opportunities for stress management. Examples of this include exercise, mediation, yoga, and/or Reiki, a Japanese technique of mediation.
Each method of relaxation will work differently for each of us. Finding a balance between work, life, and time for yourself can immensely improve your state of mind. If a simple Q&A test reveals that stress may be a large factor in your daily life it may be time to make changes. Changes towards a better you; a clearer mind and healthier body.