Take The Quiz: How Stressed Are You?

African American man headache stressedAny change in your life can lead to stress. This includes even pleasurable activities, such as vacations or new forms of recreation. You can also be in a stressful situation such as a difficult job or a long-term illness of a spouse. If you think you might be experiencing stress, this assessment may help you identify its effects on you.

You probably know some of the common signs of stress. They include a pounding heart, sweaty palms, and feeling anxious. But you may respond to stress in many other ways too, from feeling irritable to driving recklessly. Recognizing how you react to stress is an important step toward managing it.

Everyone responds to stress differently. This assessment will help you identify your particular stress profile. Listed below are the kinds of physical, mental, and emotional responses people may have to stress—some of which you may not have considered before. Review these lists and think about which reactions apply to you when you’re under stress. Check all the reactions you have experienced in stressful situations.

In each category, check any symptoms you’ve had in the past month. Remember, the reactions you choose may be indicators of stress. But stress is only one of the possible causes of these symptoms. Share this with your health care provider, along with any questions or concerns you have about the items you check.

Tightness in the chest
Muscle aches (neck, shoulders, back, or legs)
Constipation or diarrhea
Problems with digestive system
Change in appetite (increase or decrease)
Tense muscles and muscle cramps
Sleep problems (too much or too little)
Nervous habits (nail biting, tongue clucking)
Dry mouth or throat
High blood pressure
Excessive sweating
Pounding heart
Grinding teeth
Nervous tic
Difficulty breathing
Frequent colds
None of the above