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Stress

 What is Stress
 Signs of Stress...
 Are You Stressed? - Take A Test!
 How to reduce your stress
 Help relieve your stress
 Stress at Work
 Other Links

 What is Stress

  • Difficulty that causes worry or emotional tension

  • An emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health which can be characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability and depression. Stress does not cause migraine but can be a migraine "trigger".

(taken from google.com)

 Signs of Stress

You may be suffering from stress if you:

**feel guilty when relaxing - uneasy if not 'on the go'

**lie awake worrying about tomorrow

**are tense… your neck may feel 'knotted up'

**are impatient or irritable, or interrupt when others are talking

**feel that you have a lot on your mind and have difficulty concentrating

**are smoking or drinking more - and eating in a hurry

**feel that life is full of crises - are you always having rows?

**feel frustrated when people don't do what you want

**frequently experience a butterfly stomach, a dry mouth, sweaty palms or a thumping heart

(taken from floraproactiv.com)

 

 Are You Stressed... Take A Test!

STRESS SCALE FOR ADULTS
In the following table you can look up representative changes in your life and see how much stress value each of these changes is adding to your life. NOTE ANY ITEM THAT YOU MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED IN THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS. Then, total up your score.

(Adapted from the "Social Readjustment Rating Scale" by Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. This scale was first published in the "Journal of Psychosomatic Research", Copyright 1967, vol.II p. 214. It is used by permission of Pergamon Press Ltd.)

STRESS
EVENT VALUE
DEATH OF SPOUSE
100
DIVORCE
60
MENOPAUSE
60
SEPARATION FROM LIVING PARTNER
60
JAIL TERM OR PROBATION
60
DEATH OF CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER OTHER THAN SPOUSE
60
SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY OR ILLNESS
45
MARRIAGE OR ESTABLISHING LIFE PARTNERSHIP
45
FIRED AT WORK
45
MARITAL OR RELATIONSHIP RECONCILIATION
40
RETIREMENT
40
CHANGE IN HEALTH OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER
40
WORK MORE THAN 40 HOURS PER WEEK
35
PREGNANCY OR CAUSING PREGNANCY
35
SEX DIFFICULTIES
35
GAIN OF NEW FAMILY MEMBER
35
BUSINESS OR WORK ROLE CHANGE
35
CHANGE IN FINANCIAL STATE
35
DEATH OF A CLOSE FRIEND (not a family member)
30
CHANGE IN NUMBER OF ARGUMENTS WITH SPOUSE OR LIFE PARTNER
30
MORTGAGE OR LOAN FOR A MAJOR PURPOSE
25
FORECLOSURE OF MORTGAGE OR LOAN
25
SLEEP LESS THAN 8 HOURS PER NIGHT
25
CHANGE IN RESPONSIBILITIES AT WORK
25
TROUBLE WITH IN-LAWS, OR WITH CHILDREN
25
OUTSTANDING PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT
25
SPOUSE BEGINS OR STOPS WORK
20
BEGIN OR END SCHOOL
20
CHANGE IN LIVING CONDITIONS (visitors in the home, change in roommates, remodeling house)
20
CHANGE IN PERSONAL HABITS (diet, exercise, smoking, etc.)
20
CHRONIC ALLERGIES
20
TROUBLE WITH BOSS
20
CHANGE IN WORK HOURS OR CONDITIONS
15
MOVING TO NEW RESIDENCE
15
PRESENTLY IN PRE-MENSTRUAL PERIOD
15
CHANGE IN SCHOOLS
15
CHANGE IN RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES
15
CHANGE IN SOCIAL ACTIVITIES (more or less than before)
15
MINOR FINANCIAL LOAN
10
CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OF FAMILY GET-TOGETHERS
10
VACATION
10
PRESENTLY IN WINTER HOLIDAY SEASON
10
MINOR VIOLATION OF THE LAW
5

Total Score _________________________

 

***We have asked you to look at the last twelve months of changes in your life. This may surprise you. It is crucial to understand, however, that a major change in your life has effects that carry over for long periods of time. It is like dropping a rock into a pond. After the initial splash, you will experience ripples of stress. And these ripples may continue in your life for at least a year.

So, if you have experienced total stress within the last twelve months of 250 or greater, even with normal stress tolerance, you may be OVERSTRESSED. Persons with Low Stress Tolerance may be OVERSTRESSED at levels as low as 150.

OVERSTRESS will make you sick. Carrying too heavy a stress load is like running your car engine past the red line; or leaving your toaster stuck in the "on" position; or running a nuclear reactor past maximum permissible power. Sooner or later, something will break, burnup, or melt down.

What breaks depends on where the weak links are in your physical body. And this is largely an inherited characteristic.

(taken from teachhealth.com)

 How to reduce your stress

**When the phone is engaged, or the taxi ignores you, take a deep breath and exhale slowly - think how silly it seems that minor hassles like these can make you uptight.

** Stop trying to do more than one thing at a time. Take jobs in order of importance and try to plan ahead. Take control and have a positive action plan. You'll soon find that instead of doing everything at the last minute, you can get things done at a relaxed pace.

** If you suspect you've been talking 'at' other people, make the effort to listen more generously to what they have to say.

** Over lunch, eat more slowly, savour your food, forget your work problems and have a good look around.

** Gentle rhythmic cycling, jogging or swimming are ideal ways of reducing the tensions caused by stress. They help release all that pent-up energy and will encourage deep refreshing sleep.

** Yoga, body conditioning classes or relaxation techniques may also be helpful.

** Try to cut down on drinking and smoking. If you use these to 'unwind', the relief can only be temporary, because they won't solve the problems that make you tense.

(taken from floraproactiv.com)

 Help Relieve Your Stress

  • Strive for balance--take care of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Build a support system. Have someone--friends, family, co-workers or classmates--you can discuss things frankly with, get support from, and trust to keep private matters confidential.
  • Take routine breaks from your school work. You'll be more productive if you take time to do nothing--just to browse through a magazine, or walk in nature, or chat with a friend.
  • Eat regularly and well. The additives in many foods may make stress worse, so eat as much whole, natural food as possible and avoid highly processed foods.
  • Don't skip meals.
  • Live within your means. Overspending will just cause you grief later.
  • Be aware of the power of music and use it consciously. Music can agitate you and make stress worse, or it can relax you. Choose music that helps you unwind or release tension. If music is on but you're not really listening to it, shut it off.
  • Learn to meditate or do relaxation exercises, and then do them daily.
  • Laugh! See a funny movie, go to a comedy club, or just be silly with a friend.
  • Doodle or write in a diary.
  • Cry. Crying is a great release. A sad movie can be a great catalyst.
  • Be here now. That means the single task (or pleasure!) before you is all that occupies your attention. Stay focused and concentrate.
  • Share healthy, consensual touch with your friends. We can all benefit from more hugs.
  • Pamper yourself - with a hot bath or shower, a pedicure, a massage or whatever makes you feel nurtured. Take time for romance. Meet a friend for breakfast.
  • Spend time with children and animals. No, not party animals--pets. Petting dogs, cats, hamsters, ferrets, even lizards can lower heart rate and blood pressure, and kids can give you a fresh perspective on the world.
  • Build moderate physical activity into your life.

(taken from ualberta.ca)

 
 External Informational Websites

 
* Psychology Self Help Resources On-Line

* Center for Stress Release & Anxiety

* American Institute for Stress

* Stress Management & Emotional Wellness Links


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