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I Took a Stress Test and Failed *Miserably*

This post was written by Angela
on October 4, 2011 | Comments (2)

I took a simple stress test today and was told by this test, “You are basically addicted to stressful states, and your health is at risk.” That was it. No words of wisdom, no encouragement for what I might do to remedy this addiction. So basically they let me know I have an addiction, I’m abusing myself, and my health is going in the pits. *Thanks for that.* I was left more stressed than I already was to begin with.

If you’re wondering if you’re too stressed, best guess is you probably already know the answer to any sort of stress test before you take it. I pretty much did in a not so abrupt and unsupportive way. Distracted thoughts, interrupted sleep, procrastination, overwhelmed moments, falling off the exercise wheel (which my dog has obviously noticed), and endlessly craving and consuming sugar, sugar, sugar all add up to cue something amiss.

I understand we are now in a world that is fast-paced, technology driven, and outside the natural flow that existed even several generations ago. I like the modern age, but my stress-induced state doesn’t. Even beyond that, stress is also caused by the food we eat, health issues, relationships, and even all the exciting new twists and turns in life. Since I can’t leisurely romp in nature every day blissfully avoiding all of these ups and downs, what is there to do?

I did a quick search to find some solutions and came across what looks to be a great resource for all of us stressed-out-people: HelpGuide.org. A peak at their Quick Stress Relief  ideas had me feeling better. If I am chronically overstressed, at least I’m already working to balance it out by practicing quite a few of their suggestions.

One of my stress-relief remedies includes a monthly (or bi-monthly or tri-monthly) book club. In honor of calling this a book club I still throw in a pitch about what I’ve read (since I’ll always have read something!), but it’s boiled down to six women, all with crazy hectic schedules, who rarely read a common book. Still, somehow we find time for each other. We eat good food, share in each other’s ups, and vent about our downs. This is a stress-buster for all of us and it doesn’t hurt that two of these ladies are skilled social workers!

Beyond talking with my support network of close friends and family, I realize I have been acting on other solutions. I’ve started listening to books in the car to make my commute something I actually look forward to. Yesterday I put procrastination aside and prepped a form and letter I had needed to mail out so I wouldn’t worry about it today. I honored my one chore on weekdays rule and did the dishes so they wouldn’t be piled up the way they always seem to do, but didn’t worry over anything else that had to be done. And finally, I made quiet time before bed to finally read a book I’d been excited for and I went to bed a half hour early knowing it would make work today that much easier. I’d say if I’m not in recovery, I’m on the right path.

There are still things to improve on. Now that it’s all in the forefront of my mind and I’ve been confronted with the idea of stress as an addiction, I’ll put better effort into managing and resolving it. Maybe I’ll take that bath I keep dreaming about and I’m sure my dog would love a return to our nightly strolls. In truth, I would too.

How is stress effecting you? Do you balance it like a pro or is it overwhelming your life right now? What are your tips and tricks for keeping things in balance and staving off that stress addiction?

For more tools on stress management and healing, also check out some of our books, including Inner Power by Colleen Deatsman , which will help you understand how you have power to transform your stressful life. It’s at the top of my books to read list!

Reader Comments

avatar
#1 
Written By Jen
on October 6th, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

Angela,

I’ve really enjoyed your recent posts, and most specifically this one on stress. I’m sorry to hear it wasn’t a good experience for you. I’ve taken many tests similar to this and been really skeptical of how this data was even generated. I wanted to share with you a different type of stress test and stress relief in the form of smartphone apps. Starting with Stress Check which actually measures the variability of your heart rate to determine a level of stress and then coupled with Stress Doctor which leads you through a breathing exercise to phisiologically reduce stress by slowing your breath, taking full breath cycles and drawing conciousness to the process. Love for you to check them out! Stress Check and Stress Doctor by Azumio.

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