STRESS  
         MANAGEMENT

  1. Managing Director
 
 
WHAT  IS  STRESS?
 
 
 
 
       Stress comes in all sizes and shapes.  There are huge stresses like death of a loved one and there are the daily hassles, a flat tire, or your car won't start.  And then there are all the things in between.
      STRESS  can be either ACUTE or CHRONIC.  ACUTE STRESS is disruptive changes that take place, disruptive because they are unexpected, inconvenient, and force you to readjust. CHRONIC STRESS refers to the conflict between your views of yourself and what you want on the one hand, and the roles you are playing at work and at home on the other hand. You would encounter this chronic stress most every day.
      STRAIN is your body's response to the messages of danger sent to it by your mind when you encounter stressful circumstances. Your body prepares to fight the danger or to run a way from it.  
      Signs of STRAIN are sweaty palms, tightening of muscles, headaches, inability to concentrate, a racing heart, a rumbling stomach, loss of appetite. irritability, anxiety. inability to get to or stay asleep. Other signs that you will not notice but are very important include an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol level. As the exhaustion due to a prolonged fight or flight reaction deepens, you risk WELL-BEING BREAKDOWN.
      WELL-BEING BREAKDOWN  At a mental level, we are talking about BURNOUT. At the behavioral level, there's inefficiency, passivity, and lowered productivity. At the physical level, breakdown shows itself in a wide range of illness, from such mild disorders as the flu to the major killers, like heart attacks.
     
Fortunately, there is good news as well.  There are two kinds of buffers that decrease the effects of  STRESS before it leads to BREAKDOWNS. The first of these is HEALTH PRACTICES, and includes such things as physical exercise, relaxation practices, sound nutrition, and medication. These help to quiet the body's reactivity (relaxation) or to siphon off some of the excess energy (exercise).   The second is COPING AND RESILIENCE
 
COPING AND RESILIENCE

     Establishing new  COPING styles involves dealing with stress directly by enabling  your mind and body to change the stressful situation itself.  You can do this mentally by setting the circumstance in perspective and creating a plan to cope with it. Ultimately, this plan must be carried out so that the Stress itself becomes ameliorated. The action part of  COPING involves developing a decisive plan and carrying it out in the real world. This is not easy and can initially be quite uncomfortable. That's where RESILIENCE comes in.
      RESILIENCE is the ability to bounce back, despite the obstacles and involves three core beliefs, referred to as the "three C's,"  
-- COMMITMENT :  you can enjoy and value yourself and your world,  finding it easy to involve yourself in what you are doing, feeling that it has something of interest and importance. 
-- CONTROL:  you believe that you can influence what is going on around you, and are ready to act on that belief. 
-- CHALLENGE :  you think that what's important about life is development and growth, rather than static comfort and security.  Thus you anticipate change as a stimulus to personal growth rather than a threat to comfort and security.  
     More that 25 years of state-of -the-art research stands behind this RESILIENCE approach which shows that it is the single most effective factor in remaining free of STRAIN and BREAKDOWNS.  Relaxation, exercise, and social support are also effective buffers, but the strength of RESILIENCE is the element that makes it possible to face the stress in your life and turn it to advantage.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Test yourself to see if your are suffering from STRESS and STRAIN below.
 
Return to Home Page
  
STRESS Inventory
 
On a sheet of paper, write down numbers from 1-10 and next to each number write down the number beside the answer that best fits you( on the scale from 1 to 4).  When finished, add the numbers together to obtain your Total Score.  On the next page are scoring levels based on your total score.
 
 
1.  I find it hard to bounce back after something upsets me.
1  Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 2.  I can be irritable or grouchy sometimes.
1 Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 3.  My palms are sweaty or I perspire when there’s nothing physical occuring
1 Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 4.  It is sometimes hard to stop feeling nervous
1 Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 5.  It’s difficult to tolerate interruptions to what I am doing
1 Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 6.  I find myself worrying about things or unable to concentrate
1 Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 7.  I have  headaches or body aches
1 Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 8.  I become impatient waiting in line, in traffic, etc.
1 Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 9.  I sometimes feel stretched to the limit
1 Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 10.  Lately, it feels like it is more difficult to cope
1 Not at all true    2 Somewhat true    3 Mostly True    4 Very True
 
 
TOTAL SCORE _______________
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SCORING
 
 
 
 
 
If you add up your score on each item you will have your total score. You can see where your score falls in the 3 areas below.
10-16 NORMAL
17-27 MAY WISH TO EXPLORE YOUR STRESS MORE FULLY
28-40 MAY NEED TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT
 
Scores on this test do not in any way prove conclusively that you do or do not have an STRESS problem! This score does not represent a mental disorder diagnosis or any type of behavioral healthcare treatment recommendation. Consult with a trained mental health professional or your family doctor if you are experiencing feelings, thoughts or difficulties that are of concern.
If you suspect that you have an STRESS problem, you may wish to consult a local health professional regardless of how you score on this screening test.
 
  
Tips for Managing Stress
Return to Home Page