‘Tis the season to be jolly but adding regular day-to -day life to holiday planning and activities can be very stressful. Being aware of your stress level is the foundation of an effective stress management and resilience building for a healthy, happy, and highly productive life. Though, it may seem that there’s nothing you can do about stress- the bills won’t stop coming, traffic isn’t getting any better, there will never be more hours in the day, your emotions will always be tampered with, and your job and family responsibilities will always be demanding; but you have more control than you might think.
In fact, “you are less stressed by what you can’t control; you are more stressed by what you can control but don’t know why and how;” and the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the crux of stress management and resilience building.
HOW TO KNOW YOUR STRESS LEVEL
Using The Dr Osaz Stress Response Scale
0 : if it never happens
1 – 3: if it happens but rarely
4 – 6: if it happens occasionally
7 – 9: if it happens frequently
10: if it happens always
Warning Sign 1: Frequent/sudden emotional outbursts (Score= )
You find yourself frequently/suddenly angry and lashing out at the people around you, your family, friends &/or work colleagues without a real cause.
Warning Sign 2 : Overwhelming feelings (Score= )
You feel overwhelmed with the little things in your home/work life like your usual routines of relating with family/friends, listening, reading, writing, domestic chores, or hobbies, etc. and feel like getting away from them all.
Warning sign 3: Exhaustion (Score= )
You get very tired easily, or get tired but find it difficult to sleep and staying awake is no option because of lack of strength, or you’re beginning to feel weak in your legs & light-headed while standing for a duration you are used to.
Warning sign 4: Sudden appetite change (Score= )
You experience a sudden change in your appetite for food, drink, sex, &/or power e.g. Inability to eat, eating impulsively, uncontrollable crave for sugar/alcohol/coffee/smoking, frequent change in sexual drive (fluctuating libido), or unexplainable craze for power and respect.
Warning sign 5: Loss of sense of purpose/values (Score= )
You lost interest in things that you formally hold dear like personal principles, religious fellowships, fitness control, community service, self development or You now notice a pattern of reckless spending and unexplainable debt that keeps recurring in your life.
Warning Sign 6: Too frequent Colds/infections/illness (Score= )
You catch every single cold or flu bug that comes around and just can’t seem to get over them as quickly as you used to or you’re starting to feel like you are constantly ill.
Warning Sign 7: Waning mental strength (Score= )
You find it much harder to concentrate than before or to gain clarity of mind on issues or You now give up on tasks easily or Your memory seems to be going and you are frequently starting to do something and then forgetting what it was you were doing.
Warning Sign 8: Mood Swings (Score= )
Your mood (state of mind) changes from happy or motivated to sad or angry or to tears or worry and doubts all at the drop of a hat with no apparent cause.
Warning Sign 9: Social apathy (Score= )
You no longer care as much about your appearance or your environment as you once did and you even go out without brushing your teeth/touching your hair/ironing your clothes, etc. more often than not or Your paperwork is piling up, posts/mails go unopened, your usual social networks like peer groups and social clubs or facebook and twitter now become boring, or hanging out with friends becoming less appealing.
Warning Sign 10: Time pressure (Score= )
You now feel as if someone has removed twelve hours from your day and you struggle to keep up unlike before or You find it difficult to track how you spend your time.
HOW TO SCORE
NOW, sum up your scores for these ten warning response signs to get your total score (………)
Check your stress response level by pitching your total score with the appropriate category below:
Scores between 0 & 20 … HYPOSTRESS- Sounds like you’re living an overtly chilled out lifestyle that could turn unproductive. You possibly need a fresh drive for personal and/or professional goals!
Scores from 20 to 50 … EUSTRESS- You’re on point in handling stress regardless of the challenges you face. Ensure you stay here by being in charge of your lifestyle- don’t lose the control over your life.
Scores between 50 & 80 … HYPERSTRESS- Take time-out to master your lifestyle response to stress ( through your Weight fitness, Emotions, Leisure, Learned behaviours, Nutrition, Environment, Sexuality, Spirituality) before it masters you and becomes too serious a problem. You may need a wellness coach/psychologist to help you on this.
Scores from 80 to 100 … DISTRESS! Now, this is a real risk for burn-out and organ failures! Seek urgent expert help immediately!
Dr Osaz (Deji Osasona), a.k.a The Lifestyle Doctor is a Physician & Psychologist turned Life Coach, NLP/CBT therapist, Management consultant, Corporate trainer, Public speaker, Author, & Talk show host. For expert help on effective stress management and resilience building, send a mail firstname.lastname@example.org for enquiries on available coaching and therapy bookings or training programs.