Monday, 5 January 2015

Are You Suffering from Stress? How you can tell if you are suffering from stress

How do you know when you are stressed? Take the free stress test.
image from
Only a few years ago, stress was called the 'yuppie' disease, supposedly affecting those in high-stress jobs. Fortunately we are much more enlightened these days and allow that stress can affect anyone at any time. Yet many people fail to recognise the signs and symptoms and that stress is adversely affecting their health. Of course, levels of stress can vary in degree and not all stress is harmful. Indeed, in many ways we need stress in our lives and today we certainly cannot avoid it. What we can do is learn to cope with it, to ensure that the stress within our lives does not become debilitating.
Here, you will find a simple breakdown of how stress affects the body, and how you might recognise that stress is having an adverse effect on you. The quiz is not fool-proof and should NEVER be used as an ultimate diagnosis. It is not meant to be or should be used as an alternative to medical advice. 

The fight or flight response - The body's natural response to stress

The body has a natural response when it is under stress. This is quite appropriate in some cases, it is only when it is sustained over periods of time that it adversely affects health.
  • The adrenal glands gives out a surge of adrenaline.
  • To produce an instant energy surge, blood sugar is released into the blood stream.
  • Your heart rate increases and the blood pressure rises.
  • Your breathing becomes more rapid.
  • Your muscles tense ready for action.
  • In response the body 'shuts down' non essential activities like digestion and some hormone production.
panic button
Image from 'panic button'

Sign and symptoms of stress

At first you may just notice some tension in your neck, shoulders or lower back. Headaches too are often the first sign that stress is beyond what your body can deal with. It may start as muscle pain in the neck, shoulders or lower back.
You may feel the muscles in your neck and shoulders tightening or be suddenly aware that your shoulders are making their own journey up towards your ears.
We have a tendency to treat it all as normal, we get used to little aches and pains and don't pay particular attention until more stress factors have an affect.
  • Headaches - often radiating from the back of the neck up and over the forehead. Also commonly felt behind the eyes.
  • Tense muscles. As it progresses this develops into more and more painful aches and pains.
  • Difficulty in sleeping.
  • Inability to maintain your concentration.
  • Mood changes - intense feelings of being unable to cope.
  • Feeling fatigued, weepy or irritable.
  • Palpitations.
  • Digestive problems that might be indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea.
  • You may find you catch more colds or other virus infections.
  • More severe include ulcers, stroke and heart attack.
young man and questions
Image from 
young man and questions

How to take the free stress test


On a separate paper, answer each question.
The questions only refer to the last 12 months.
Only score your answer if it is YES - negative answers have 0 score.
Sorry I lack the skills to make it interactive you will need to jot your score down on a piece of paper as you go along.
Only answer if relevant in the last 12 months
If yes: add  points to your score

Do you grind your teeth when you sleep?
3 points
Have you moved house or changed your living arrangement in the last year?
4 points
Do you have or have had trouble with in-laws or relatives in the last year?
3 points
Do you tend to fall behind with things you should do?
3 points
Do you worry about falling behind with tasks?
3 points
Do you have trouble sleeping?
3 poings
Do you have a large loan or a mortgage?
3 points
Do you tend to over-eat, drink more than you should or smoke?
3 points
Do you watch 3 or more hours of TV daily?
3 points
Have you or your partner changed jobs or work responsibilities in the last year?
4 points
Are you dissatisfied or unhappy with your work or do you have excessive responsibility?
4 points
Do you find it difficult to make decisions recently?
4 points
Are you dissatisfied with your sex life or find it hard to reach orgasm?
3 points
Have you been pregnant in the last year?
3 points
Do you find yourself feeling hostile, impatient or angry?
4 points
Do you worry about making ends meet?
4 points
Is any of your family in poor health?
3 points
Do you suffer from neck and shoulder pain?
4 points
Are you often impatient or edgy with family members?
4 points
Do you often feel nervous, restless or edgy?
4 points
Do you have frequent headaches or digestive upsets?
5 points
Do you experience anxiety or worry for days at a time?
5 points
Are you excessively forgetful?
5 points
Have you been married or reconciled with a partner in the last year?
3 points
Have you had a serious illness, accident or surgery in the last year?
6 points
Has anyone in your immediate family or close circle died in the last year?
7 points
Have you been divorced or separated in the last year?
7 points
Do you find it difficult to cope?
5 points


0-1 points
Well done, you are in great shape
11-20 points
Although you seem to have some stress you are handling it well.
21-35 points
Watch out for any increase in stress, you should try to find some means of taking the pressure off or learn ways in which to cope with it.
36-50 points
Shows very high levels of stress in your life you should take steps to help relieve the pressure and try to avoid any major life changes just at present.
Over 51 points
This shows an excessive amount of stress. It might be a good idea to consult your Doctor for a check up. Just don't tell him about this quiz!

I'll be back to show you some ways of coping with stress. 

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