The question is: how stressed are you and should you be doing something about it?
Many people suffer a lot of stress before they admit to themselves they have a problem.
Very often, their partner, friends, colleagues will notice a change before they do.
It’s probably because admitting you are stressed would appear to be a weakness (whether you are stressed at home or stressed at work).
We want to be able to ‘take the pressure’ and show everyone we remain in control however hard things get. But, when the pressure is just too much and sustained over a long period of time, we don’t just suffer mentally but we suffer physically too and, unintentionally, we make our entourage suffer as well.
OK, So How Can I Tell If I Am Stressed?
If you suspect you might be stressed or if you have been told by others that you are stressed, don’t ignore it. Take our simple test below to ascertain whether you are stressed or not.
Simply go through the list below and tick, honestly, each bullet point that applies to you.
- You feel less eager to go to work after the weekend
- You are less patient with others
- You often are moody
- You discourage conversations with others
- You are less fun
- You take less care of your friendhsips
- You find it difficult to concentrate
- You seem to have lost your sense of humour
- You feel almost constantly tired
- You feel trapped
- You take less care of yourself (bad diet, less exercise)
- You feel no dedication or motivation at work
- You feel less or no sense of responsibility in life
- You do not feel like making efforts to change the situation
- You muscles are stiff
- You do not sleep well or have difficulties falling asleep
- You feel drained
- You have stomach problems (pain, cramps, heartburn, diaorrhea)
- Your blood pressure is higher
- You have lost a lot of weight
- You have gained a lot of weight
If you have ticked less than 4, you might just be exhausted rather than stressed.
If you have ticked more than 4, there’s a high chance you are stressed.
Now that you know if you are likely to be stressed or not, let’s try and find out how much stress you’re under.
How Can I Tell How Bad It Is? What Level Of Stress Am I Under?
This time, rather than looking at mental and physical signs of stress, let’s look at potential causes. The higher number of stressful situations you are faced with, the higher your stress levels are likely to be.
Once again, go through the list below and tick, honestly, each bullet point that applies to you.
- You are going through a divorce or a separation
- A close family member or friend has died
- You have a grave illness
- A close family or friend has a grave illness
- You have lost your job
- You are starting a new job
- You are getting married
- You have just had a baby
- Your children are leaving home
- You have relationship problems and regular arguments with your partner
- You have relationship problems and regular arguments with your children
- You have relationship problems with your family / in-laws
- You have relationship problems at work with your boss
- You have relationship problems at work with your colleagues
- You have been given responsibilities without the resources or the authority necessary to fulfill them
- You are constantly overworked
- You are being ‘managed out’ of your work / your company
- You have taken a new mortgage or new loan
- You are short of cash
What’s your score?
If you have ticked 3 or more, your stress levels are likely to be high.
What Do I Do Now?
Take a step back and analyze honestly the situation.
Untreated stress has many consequences:
- it is unhealthy for you (it will destroy your health)
- it is unhealthy for people around you (it will weigh on your relationships and might destroy them)
You do not need to admit to being stressed to your boss or colleagues but you can
- to yourself
- to your partner
- to your friends
If you have a strong support system in place, you are more likely to overcome it and find solutions.
Next, push yourself to take action to solve the problem.
Causes of stress will always appear and rather than trying to avoid them, it’s best to learn how to face them.
There are many ways to tackle causes of stress.
The best thing you can do is to learn to manage your stress and turn it into a positive source of
challenge and motivation for you. You can do it by yourself or, if you feel you need more help and structure, contact a Life Coach or take a look at our new Stress Management e-Course.
Whatever you decide, act now. Don’t let stress overtake your life.