Some types of stress come on very quickly and – fortunately – pass very quickly.
If you hate spiders, it’s the moment of horror when you spot one suspended from the ceiling before your loved one whisks it away. Or, if you’re in the house on your own and are convinced you heard someone downstairs, it’s the vice-like fear that kicks in before you discover it’s only the wind rattling a badly fitting door.
While these things are distressing, you soon restore your calm when the moment has passed.
Things Are Building Up
In contrast, chronic stress comes on slowly and lasts much longer. Typically, it’s caused by one of two things:
A major event that seems to go on and on, such as a life threatening illness, the risk of being laid off or a messy divorce.
Or, a series of small incidents that accumulate so you don’t have an opportunity to recover from one stressful situation before another one kicks in.
In both cases, you keep on keeping on, often without realizing that stress is starting to take its toll. What’s happening behind the scenes is that your body remains in a state of continual fight
or flight readiness which, over time, is harmful for your mental, physical and emotional well-being.
The Tipping Point
Sometimes when you’re under a lot of pressure, you get so used to it, that it’s difficult to judge whether you can cope with just a little bit more, or whether that extra something will send your life spiraling out of control.
Most of us are remarkably resilient and able to cope with a lot of stress, but in spite of this, there’s a limit to how much pressure we can handle without it adversely affecting our health and wellbeing.
The Stress Management Society has provided a stress test to help you work out just how stressed you are.
Like all tests, this one is intended to help you get a better understanding of the level of stress you’re under. It’s not intended to be prescriptive, so whatever your score, if you have any doubts about whether the stress in your life is adversely affecting your health, then it’s advisable to discuss your case with a qualified medical professional.
Take the test now by clicking here