I picked up an O Magazine at the market the other day. Who doesn’t love Oprah’s Favorite Things List? As I perused the cover I realized that she had included a list of “ways to relax” inside the magazine, and as I looked up, I realized that almost every single December issue of a magazine displayed before me had some sort of article touting the relief from holiday stress.
Stress is something that most of us know a little bit about, but when is it too much? Sometimes we do not know when we need to take steps to regain balance because everyone around us seems to be more stressed than we are. Enjoy taking the stress questionnaire adapted from Dr. Shawn Talbott’s book, The Cortisol Connection, below to find out if you are in fact negatively affected by stress.
For each question, write your score adjacent to the statement.
Please tally your points after the last question.
Never/No: 0 Points
Occasionally: 1 Point
Frequently/Yes: 2 Points
- How often do you experience stressful situations?
- How often do you feel tired and fatigued for no apparent reason?
- How often do you get less than 8 hours of sleep?
- How often do you feel anxious or depressed?
- How often do you feel angry or aggressive?
- How often do you feel self-conscious or inadequate?
- How often do you feel overwhelmed or confused?
- How often is your sex drive lower than you would like it to be?
- Do you tend to gain weight easily?
- Are you currently dieting?
- How often have you attempted to control your body weight by dieting?
- How often do you crave sweets and breads?
- How often do you experience difficulty with your memory or concentration?
- How often do you experience tension headaches or muscle tightness in your neck, shoulders, and jaw?
- How often do you experience digestive problems such as gas, bloating, ulcers, heartburn, constipation, or diarrhea?
- How often do you get sick (catch colds/flu)?
- Do you have high cholesterol (greater than 200mg/dl)?
- Do you have high blood sugar (greater than 100 mg/dl)?
- Do you have high blood pressure (greater than 140/90 mm/Hg)?
Please add up your points.
Are you ready for the big reveal? Drum roll please.
0 – 5 POINTS:
You are relaxed. You are at low risk for stress related disease.
6 – 9 POINTS:
You are at moderate risk for stress related disease. You may be suffering from an overactive stress response. You should incorporate anti-stress strategies into your lifestyle whenever possible.
High risk for stress related disease. Take immediate steps to gain control.
What was your score? Hopefully you are as cool as a cucumber. If you are alarmed at the number you tallied, then tune in to Part 2 as we will discuss options to help you regain balance. In the meantime, take some deep belly breaths amidst your tense moments, and daydream of your holiday wishes coming true.
Tamara Joy Patterson was raised in Northern California and lives in Palo Cedro with her husband and their two children. She is a graduate of CSU, Chico, and Clayton College of Natural Health with degrees in Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, and Natural Health, and is a certified mind-body expert and ACSM certified exercise specialist. Tamara has been in the health-and-wellness field professionally for more than 12 years as a wellness expert, college health instructor and yoga teacher. To learn more about Tamara Joy you can visit her website at: www.tamarashealinggarden.com