EVERYONE EXPERIENCES STRESS. STRESS AND ANXIETY LOOK ALIKE. Stress is difference than anxiety in that stress is typically caused by an external trigger. Stress is defined as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation by the World Health Organization. Anxiety is defined by persistent and excessive worries that do not go away with no stressor.
Stress is a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges. Everyone everywhere experiences stress at some point.
Stress can become unhealthy when it upsets your day-to-day functioning. Stress involves changes affecting nearly every system of the body, influencing how people feel and behave.
What Stress Looks Like? What Symptoms Would I Notice?
- Feeling tired or overwhelmed
- Lack of motivation
- Feeling sad or depressed
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling irritated or angry
- Trouble concentrating
What should I do? What should I NOT do?
- DO build resilience.
- DO NOT ignore the feeling or trouble.
NINE WAYS TO BUILD RESILIENCE
- Communicate-talk to someone about how you are feeling.
- Control what you can and leave the rest to someone else.
- Create a daily routine.
- Implement a sleep schedule-pick a bedtime and stick to it!
- Take breaks during the day to simply stretch.
- Go outside for 10 minutes.
- End work on time WHEN THE DAY IS OVER ITS OVER!
- Practice mindfulness techniques
- ENJOY! Your down time. Be creative!
According to apa.org
Around a third of adults (34%) reported that stress is completely overwhelming most days. Some groups were even more likely to report feeling this way. For example, adults ages 18 to 34 and 35 to 44 were more likely than their older counterparts to report feeling this way (56% and 48% vs. 24% of those 45 to 64 and 9% of those 65+). In addition, younger women (ages 18 to 34) were more likely to report feeling this way than women ages 35 to 44, 45 to 64, and 65+ (62% vs. 48%, 27% and 9%, respectively). Younger men also were more likely than older men to report feeling this way (51% of ages 18 to 34 and 48% of ages 35 to 44 vs. 21% of ages 45 to 64 and 8% of ages 65+). Black men were more likely than White men to report feeling this way (42% vs. 28%), and members of the LGBTQIA+ community also were more likely than those who are not to report that most days their stress is completely overwhelming (50% vs. 33%).
The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is a stress assessment instrument used to help you measure how different situation effect your feelings and your perceived stress levels. The questions in the scale ask about your feelings in the last month. You will be asked to indicate how often you thought or felt a certain way. Some of the questions may seem similar but they should be treated as separate and different questions. Answer quickly and instinctually. Do not analyze or anticipate the final rating.
Take a moment and read through each of these statements below. For each one, choose from the following scale:
0 - never
1 - almost never
2 - sometimes
3 - fairly often
4 - very often
- In the last month, how often have you been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly?
- In the last month, how often have you felt that you were unable to control the important things in your life?
- In the last month, how often have you felt nervous or stressed?
- In the last month, how often have you felt confident about your ability to handle your personal problems?
- In the last month, how often have you felt that things are going your way?
- In the last month, how often have you found that you could not cope with all the things that you had to do?
- In the last month, how often have you been able to control irritations in your life?
- In the last month, how often have you felt you were on top of things?
- In the last month, how often have you been angered because of things that happened that were out of your control?
- In the last month, how often have you felt difficulties were piling up so high that you could not overcome them?
You can determine your PSS score by following these directions:
First, reverse your scores for questions 4, 5, 7, & 8. On these 4 questions, change the scores like this: 0 = 4, 1 = 3, 2 = 2, 3 = 1, 4 = 0.
Now add up your scores for each item to get a total. My total score is ______.
Individual scores on the PSS can range from 0 to 40 with higher scores indicating higher perceived stress.
Scores ranging from 0-13 would be considered low stress.
Scores ranging from 14-26 would be considered moderate stress.
Scores ranging from 27-40 would be considered high perceived stress.
If you scored in the BOLD range please reach out to your support system to assist you in managing your currently level of stress.
How should I do this?
- MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH A THERAPIST
- CONTRACT YOUR EMPLOYEE AND ASK ABOUT YOUR EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP)
- SPEAK TO YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN FOR AN APPROPRIATE REFERRAL
National Institute of Health hr.nih.gov
Perceived Stress Test HN. Org