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STRESS MANAGEMENT TOOL: THE PHYSICAL STRESS TEST

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Experts in stress management employ a variety of methods and tools to help their clients or patients identify and cope with what is bothering them. These strategies vary, depending on the clients’ needs and experiences, but what is most common stress management tool among all is probably the physical stress test. The physical stress test usually precedes any stress management program, because it is a scientific belief that stress almost always manifests itself via physical means.



If a person feels ill, more often than not, this is caused by stress. Examples of stress-related ailments include ulcers, tension and migraine headaches, nausea and vomiting, palpitations, asthma, allergies and rashes, indigestion, hyperventilation, sweaty hands and feet, dizziness, diarrhea, shallow/rapid breathing, increased blood pressure, and the like. The physical stress test is almost always a reliable indicator of stress in a person.



As a stress management tool, the physical stress test bases its findings on the responses of patients to certain physical ailments, which are then placed against a grid of 1 to 5. Around 40 health conditions are mentioned.



Readings between 40 to 75 indicate low physiological symptoms of stress response, 76 to 100 points to moderate physiological symptoms of stress response, 101 to 150 reflects high physiological symptoms of stress response, while anything above 150 is considered excessive and, well, pretty alarming.



Once therapists determine a patient’s stress level, based on their findings from the physical stress test, they then usually move to another stress management tool that measures stress based on psychological factors. Similar to the physical stress test, the psychological stress test also measures a person’s stress level based on his responses to certain questions about his personal views and his life.



When talking about stress management, we are really talking about managing psychological and sociological stressors. Although stressed can be caused by biological agents, the environment, and other sources, they can also be caused by threats to our psychological tolerance of certain life events. Such events are perceived by the mind and translated by the brain. The brain, in turn, instructs the rest of the body to adjust to the stressor.



Both stress management tools mentioned can stand on their own, but they become all the more reliable and credible when their results are compared against each other. It should be noted that stress is reflected in various aspects and it is the duty of therapists to tap all possible tools and resources to be able to pinpoint the main cause.



Identifying stress is really not that difficult. In fact, you can identify the stressors yourself. However, there are some of us that do not respond well to self-analysis and do need the assistance of professionals and the guidance of stress management tools like the ones mentioned in this article.



We should not fear if we feel compelled to seek professional help to combat stress. Stress is one of the main enemies of happiness and productivity. If you truly want to live, you should seek to combat it.



Christine P. Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of stress management. Her website www.selfimprovementsguide.com provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about self improvement. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.


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