Sunday, March 20, 2016

Stress Management Tests

Many people in today’s fast-paced environment feel stressed. People are so over-scheduled and challenged with trying to balance activities and responsibilities that they forget to take care of themselves. Those caught up in such a fast-paced, stressful lives and who are not managing the stress of their lifestyles, may find themselves experiencing  job burn-out and falling victim to stress-related illnesses. Learning about stress and stress management tests is the first step to coping with stressors.

What is Stress?

Stress is the body’s response to the pressures and demands of our environment. Stress can stem from pressure at work or from problems, worries, and concerns at home and with friends and family.  Regardless of the source of stress, the result can be both an external response that has a profound physical effect and an internal interpretation that reflects varying personalities and has an effect on emotional well-being.

What are the Symptoms and Effects of Stress?

Stress can be caused by any environmental demands or pressures that threaten one’s coping strategies. A certain amount of stress is a normal part of life. However, excessive stress for prolonged periods of time is the kind of stress that has negative impact on one’s physical and emotional health. 

Stress symptoms can take both physical and psychological forms. Stress can contribute to severe and chronic headaches, muscle tension in the neck and back, irritable bowel syndrome, weight loss, and even heart attacks. Psychological or emotional illness from stress results from the inability to cope with life demands and life changes. Such stress can result in nervous conditions, anxiety and depression.

What is the Treatment for Stress-Related Disorders? 

Treatment for stress may include anxiety medication, tranquilizers, and antidepressants. Additional treatment approaches include meditation and relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises, as well as regular exercise. Massage therapy is frequently recommended to relieve the muscle tension that accompanies stress. Cognitive therapy is sometimes prescribed to help stressed individuals learn to reinterpret the stressors in their lives and better cope with them. Stress management programs effectively help evaluate the sources of stress and often focus more on job related sources of stress.

How Can One Determine if He or She is Stressed?

Doctors can determine if a patient is overly stressed by taking a history of the patient’s personal stressors and by evaluating the patient’s personality. There are personality and psychological tests that primary care physicians, psychologists or psychiatrists can use to determine the amount of stress a patient is experiencing and how well they are able to cope. In addition, people who suspect they are overly stressed can locate and take similar personality and stress tests themselves without the assistance or supervision of a doctor.

What are Stress Management Tests?

Stress management tests are personality tests and self-assessment resources that help one better understand the role stress plays in his or her life. Understanding such factors is the first step to handling a stressful life.

How Can One Determine the Validity of Stress Management Tests?

In order to determine the validity of a stress test one must first understand the kinds of stress tests and what they are designed to do. The most common stress test is the simple pen and paper test which asks questions designed to determine where a person is in life, what one does, and what troubling concerns one has. There are many stress tests available in books, magazines and on the Internet. Some are useful and some not so useful because of being subjective. There are valid and useful stress tests one can take, and one’s doctor can assist in locating reliable ones.

Where Can Stress Management Tests Be Found? 

Anyone wanting to take a reliable personality or stress test can consult his or her physician for valid tests to take. There are many tests on the Internet that are reliable. There are multiple reliable self-tests offered in articles on One is called “Personality Tests for Stress Relief”. The other is called “Stress Tests / Personality Tests / Stress Assessment”.  Those stress test resources, as well as other website links to online stress tests, are listed in the Resources section of this article.

How Can One Reduce Stress?

Once the stress test has been taken to determine the level of stress and the coping abilities, one should try to reduce stress and stressors. Stress management techniques may include self-hypnosis or guided imagery to get into a relaxed state, journaling thoughts and ideas, meditation and Yoga, deep breathing exercises, cardio and strength-training exercises, music therapy, aroma therapy, eating a healthy diet, and practicing time management skills. Stress can be conquered if one attempts to identify it, understand it, and manage it. Henry David Thoreau summed it up most  aptly in saying, “In the long run, men only hit what they aim at.”

An Invitation to Readers of Water Cooler Wisdom Blog

I am the author of three award-winning children's books that aim to advocate for the well-being, education, and entertainment of children. The books include What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World Strangers (published by Headline Books, Inc.), Scary Ghosts and Playful Ghosts: Children's Tales of Fright and Delight (published by Crimson Cloak Publishing), and The Bully and the Booger Baby: A Cautionary Tale (published by Write Solution Ink).
Purchase information for these books can be accessed via my Amazon Author Page.

Readers may also access book information, as well as useful information and resources that advocate for the education, well-being and entertainment of children by visiting my book website, Melissa Harker Ridenour Books.