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When we feel troubled about something or bothered by any event or occurrence, we already know that we are stressed. We can easily identify what our stressors are and point them out without much effort.



For instance, at work, the most common stressors are tight deadlines, unpleasant and gossip mongering colleagues, unruly bosses, or malfunctioning computers. In our social lives, what may stress us most are fights with close friends, the inability to maintain lasting relationships, or the failure to get together with friends because of time constraints.



Whatever these stressors are in our lives, we almost always get to point out what they are when they’re right in front of us. However, this is not the same for all people. There are actually some of us who are unable to identify what causes the stress in our lives and need the assistance of professionals and other stress management tools.



This usually happens with people whose attentions are simultaneously on a number of events and occurrences. It doesn’t mean, though, that they cannot determine what their stressors are; it’s just that they are too preoccupied with other things to stop and find time to analyze themselves. This is common with executives and people who are always on the go. Most of them, instead, opt to hire professional therapists to help them cope with stress using various and previously tested and scientific stress management tools.



One of these stress management tools is the Stress Test. This is probably protocol in almost all stress management programs. What it does is make the patient or client answer a set of questions about a number of possible stressors. Majority of the items in the Stress Test involve physical stress indicators.



Examples are tightness in chest or heart, asthma, indigestion, acidic stomach, increase in blood pressure, tension or migraine headaches, allergies and skin rashes, shaky hands, palpitations, neck stiffness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, menstrual distress, etc. Therapists usually associated the mentioned physical conditions as stress-related, because most of the things that bother us trigger certain malfunctions in our body that lead to the aforementioned conditions.



When trying to determine if a person is stressed or not, most therapists and stress experts employ the Stress Test as the first indicator of stress in a person.



Another stress management tool, which usually follows the physical stress test, is the psychological stress test. In this tool, patients are again asked to answer a series of questions, mostly about their views and opinions about certain things and referents to their personal lives. More often than not, therapists are able to find out what bothers the patient when they start talking casually about his or her daily routine.



Questions like ‘Are you happy?’ or ‘How are you feeling right now?’ usually begin this method. The succession of questions depends on how the patient responds to them. Then, their answers are compared against a grid that will help determine what stress level the patient is in.



Stress management tools aid professionals in identifying stressors in the event that patients become ill equipped or too distracted to do it themselves. This is because, sometimes, self-analysis can be destructive for some. That’s why a lot of people turn to professionals, instead, to seek help.



If you’re feeling stressed, you don’t need to fret. Stress is a normal part of life and all of us experience it at different levels. However, if you truly want to address it and get rid of it, you must acknowledge its existence and seek help. Stress is not a disease. You can fight 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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