In my last blog regarding the importance of awareness for stress reduction, I used the analogy of what’s required for maintaining a vehicle so it provides us with reliable transportation. To keep the metaphor going, I’m sharing some “engine diagnostics” I use in my practice when assessing clients for stress.
Before we go further, keep in mind that self-assessments are rather like taking your pulse, temperature, or perhaps even a snapshot. They are meant to see where you’re at right now; they’re meant to measure something. In this case, to measure stress and how it may be affecting your life. As you’ll read, if you choose to use the link below, the test scores on the self-assessments aren’t giving you a diagnosis or a way to treat any diagnosis. They are solely meant as a tool to help you break things down and get a better view of what may be going on so that you can act to change things if you want to.
If you decide to use the link here:
https://www.nysut.org/~/media/files/nysut/resources/2013/april/social-services/socialservices_stressassessments.pdf?la=en you’ll find, in addition to the “Frequency of Symptoms” chart, three different assessments 1.) Perceived Stress Scale 2.) The Ardell Wellness Stress Test 3.) Stress Coping Resources Inventory: A Self-Assessment. I only use the Frequency of Symptoms and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), but it’s up to you if you take one or take them all. You’re in the driver’s seat.
If you find that you experience a good deal of the symptoms related to stress, and/or a high score on the PSS, I urge you to contact your Primary Care Provider or other health provider as well as consulting with a mental health professional to help you incorporate some essential strategies and practices for regaining and maintaining balance and good health.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs, a large portion of the stress we experience depends on how we perceive an event. If we can get a handle on our view of something, we can bring our “temperature gauge” back down into a normal range. Often times, it’s as simple as altering our expectations or thoughts about something. Once we shape those expectations and thoughts into something more fitting, and get a more accurate sense of what we’re all “stressed out” about, we can alleviate a lot of trouble.
In my next post on stress reduction, which will likely be the final in the series, I’ll provide some more information on what happens in the brain when you experience a spike in your “stress thermometer” and what you can do to bring that “temperature” back down into the optimal range for best performance.