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Holding up the mirror of awareness: your Stress Quiz

In private practice, when I would give someone a stress quiz, I always found it interesting how people rated their stress. For the most part, they rated their stress levels far below where they actually were.

These same people walked into my office in all sorts of pain and discomfort, were on multiple medications, dealing with depression, experiencing challenges in their relationships, and were not sleeping (or sleeping with the use of sleeping pills). Yet when faced with a stress quiz and asked to rate their level of stress on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extreme amounts of stress, they usually said 2 or 3.

Time for a reality check!

There is no judgement in being honest with where you are at. In fact, the only way you will heal and get a handle on your stress level is by becoming aware of what stress actually is.

Before we get to the stress quiz itself, I need to give you a little more background information.

To begin, stress is not simply a mental or emotional phenomenon. Stress exists in three dimensions:

  1. Physical Stress: poor posture, old injuries, surgeries, poor sleeping habits
  2. Chemical Stress: poor diet, dehydration, environmental pollutions, allergies
  3. Emotional Stress: fears, anxieties, relationship issues, self-love challenges

True wellness requires us to look at all three types of stress and create a plan of action for dealing with all three dimensions simultaneously.

Why do I have to look at all 3 dimensions of stress?

The concept of stress has been distorted in society to only mean mental or emotional stress. This is a false view and if we fail to understand the importance of embracing all three types of stress, we will only partially succeed.

Do you want partial wellness? Do you want partial weight loss success? Do you want to heal only some of your relationships?

No, of course not. You want to feel 100% whole and well.

But, this feeling of wholeness, and wellness on all levels, only comes when you address all levels. Right?

Let me explain with a very common example that I see in society today. The example of weight loss. Being overweight is very stressful to the body on all three levels: physically, bio-chemically and emotionally.

Many people struggle with losing weight. What do most people do? They start one of 100’s of diets on the market. That is, they begin to address the bio-chemical dimension of stress, or at least part of the bio-chemical dimension.

They may change what they are eating, alter their water intake, switch to organic, begin to take various vitamins or even begin a detox cleanse. All wonderful choices, but this is only the beginning.

If you only address the bio-chemical dimension, what usually happens is the person goes off the diet eventually and yo-yo’s back to their previous weight, plus.

Some may combine a diet with a gym membership. Now they are taking action in both the bio-chemical and the physical dimension. Great work. So then, why are so many people that are eating better and also exercising finding it a challenge to loose weight or keep it off?

It is the third dimension; the mental/emotional dimension that is often ignored in this example. Do you see people lining up at a shrink’s office in order to lose weight?

Although we logically understand that mental stress is a huge issue, we do not really want to, or even know how to, deal with our emotional baggage. It is too hard for many of us to admit.

How can we possibly admit to ourselves that we are 40, 50 or 60 years old and yet have never followed our true dreams, expressed our deepest passions, have settled on being treated poorly in our relationships, or never really felt loved or accepted.

I have personally witnessed how dealing with our emotional baggage is really the key and the missing link to this simple example of weight loss, as well as many other stress related conditions.

Why do I have to look at all 3 dimensions of stress?

Absolutely.

This stress quiz is not designed to give you all the answers of how to shift your life and reduce your stress. Instead, it is about holding up that mirror of awareness.

The first step in any transformative process is awareness. The stress quiz serves to highlight areas that are going well for you, as well as areas that need improving. I have used it in private practice and find it very helpful.

There is no mathematical or quantifiable score to this quiz. There is a reason for this. I find that people get stuck on a number, rather than using the information as a valuable tool for insight into themselves.

You can add up your score if you want. What you will find is the higher your score, the greater your stress levels. The lower your score, the lower your stress levels.

Here are my instructions:

  1. Take the stress quiz today.
  2. Then go to work on improving yourself.
  3. Use the website as a resource. Look up Healthy Living Tips, Relaxation tips, Learning Yoga or Learning Meditation. Whatever calls to you in order to create stress relief.
  4. In 2, 3, or 4 months, come back. Take the stress quiz again. Use it as a benchmark for your progress and improvement.

Ok, let's go. Have Fun!

Yours In Wellness,

Dr. Lisa

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