By Hanna Snorradottir
Are you busy or are you stressed?
As a stress consultant, I (fortunately) hold my own ears by taking my own medicine. In a good way! Once I met two from my old business network in a café. We talked about the day and the road and I told you that I had a busy week. One said with a twinkle in his eye: “Now you have to be careful not to get stressed out – but if you do I know someone you can talk to … ”. She handed me my own business card out of my pocket. Now I was fortunately not stressed – so I didn’t have to book sessions with myself. But when I was stressed, almost 13 years ago, I did not know if I was just busy or stressed.
My mission is to help people out of stress related situations, and to help them gain more surplus energy, happiness, and balance in life, and to support them in their endeavours.
For where is the boundary between stress and bustle?
To help you as a reader I hereby give you the thumb finger rule (and if you have more time you can take the test).
The rule of thumb says: If you have had a busy period, hand in your assignment and feel a relief in the body afterwards – then you are in a hurry. If you still feel restlessness and anxiety in the body, you are stressed.
But if we go into more depth, whether you’re stressed or busy, you can take this test by answering yes or no to the following questions:
- Do you sometimes notice butterflies in your stomach when you need to perform something?
- Do you ever feel your heart beat?
- Do you notice dryness in the mouth when pressed?
- Do you sometimes feel the need to urinate, even if you don’t really need it?
- Do you sometimes get cold feet even though it is really warm enough in the room?
- Do you have muscle tension in the neck, back and shoulders?
- Do you sweat when you are under pressure?
- Do you get intense breathing when you really need to perform something?
- Do you sometimes feel the knuckle in the chest or stomach?
- Are you often more tired than you normally would be?
- Do you sleep properly at night?
- Are you more irritable than you would normally be?
- Do you get tearful easier?
- Do you find it difficult to pull yourself together for the day’s chores?
- Are your thoughts running around in circles, -monkeymind?
- Do you often have a headache?
- Do you forget more often than usual?
- Are you often distracted / not really present?
- Do you have gastrointestinal problems?
- Do you have unexplained pain in some places?
- Do you have eczema or other diseases that are worse than normal?
- Have you lost your sex drive?
- Do you want to see other people and be social?
- Are you more aggressive when things don’t go the way you want?
- Are you more sensitive to criticism?
- Have you lost your sense of humor?
- Do you use coffee, cola, alcohol or other stimulants just to clear the day?
- Do you have bleeding disorders?
- Do you experience making more mistakes at work?
- Do you have more conflicts than usual?
- Do you often feel insufficient and with a bad conscience?
If you have answered yes to one or more of questions 1 – 9 , you experience acute stress. It is the stress that comes with great hustle and bustle. The body is designed to handle this type of stress. It occurs just as you experience the stress cause; It may be that you have a deadline and push yourself a little over your limit or that you stand in front of an assembly of people and must hold a presentation. Acute stress passes within minutes or an hour.
If you only answered yes to questions 1 – 9, you have nothing to worry about – at any rate not yet and hopefully not in the future.
You are in the borderland between bustle and stress:
If, on the other hand, you have answered yes to one or more of questions 10 – 16 , you begin to be stressed with stress. The stress hormones remain in the body between the situations that stress you. You feel stress around the clock – even in your sleep.
Stop it if you can and start weeding out your appointments to have time to rest and rest. In that case, the stress symptoms disappear within a few days or a week. The condition is not serious, but this is where it is easiest to intervene.
You are stressed:
If you answered yes to one or more of questions 17 – 31 you are probably overloaded with stress. However, the symptoms may be due to something other than stress. Get your doctor on the track.
Important: Stop – and get a lot of rest and rest. Seek help from a professional – a stress coach or a business psychologist who has experience working with stress-stricken people.
The stress test is inspired by Bjarne Toftegård’s stress test from Prevent Stress. The test is only indicative, as there may be other causes of the symptoms than stress.