Stress in small doses isn't a bad thing. Stress can challenge you to do your best. But too much stress can affect both your emotional and physical health. Learning what brings on stress in your life is the first step toward managing it. This assessment will help you identify your life "stressors."
In each category, check all the items that currently apply to your life.
You selected the following items:
You have indicated that there are no major risk factors in your current lifestyle and circumstances that would put you at risk for developing stress.
Being laid off
Boredom with job
Dislike of job
Working harder, accomplishing less
High responsibility, low control
Problem employee, supervisor or co-worker
Having a child
Death in the family
Making a new friend
Taking a vacation
Children leaving home
Quit smoking, drinking or using drugs
Losing a good friend
Skipping a vacation
Difficulty finding good child care
The items you checked are examples of your possible stressors--the situations that may cause you stress. Any kind of change in your life--whether good or bad--may trigger stress. Certain life events may be very stressful. These include getting divorced (or getting married), having a baby, losing a loved one or retiring from work. Each person's reaction to stress may be different. Some events that you may find stressful may not be stressful to someone else.
Once you are aware of what triggers your stress and recognize the symptoms of stress, you can start using stress management strategies. In fact, many experts believe that the way in which people deal with stress may be more important than the number or type of stressful situations they face.
Although a little stress isn't harmful, persistent, long-term stress can raise your risk for illnesses, including obesity, heart disease and certain cancers. Long-term stress can cause digestive problems and weaken your immune system.
Symptoms of stress include feelings of anxiety, back pain, headaches, sleep problems, unplanned weight gain or loss, upset stomach, and constipation or diarrhea.
Here are some tips for dealing with common stressful situations.