Assess how you manage stress
You can't always avoid the pressures of life. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help you cope. Take this assessment to learn about proven ways to ease your stress.
Note: This assessment is not intended to be a substitute for medical care or professional help.
Do you exercise regularly?
YES: Great! Keep moving! In addition to being good for your overall health, physical activity triggers the body's feel-good chemicals. It also helps take your mind off your worries.
NO: Exercising regularly is a great way to lower your stress and lift your spirits. Physical activity triggers the body's feel-good chemicals. It also helps take your mind off your worries. It doesn't take a lot of exercise to see benefits either—even 30 minutes of walking a day could help.
Your healthcare provider can help you start exercising safely.
Do you get enough sleep?
YES: That's good. Getting enough sleep may help you handle stress. One reason is that a good night's rest can help you concentrate on daily challenges in your life. Sleeping enough can also improve your mood, which may help you cope better in stressful situations.
NO: Everything seems more stressful when you don't get enough rest. One reason is that a good night's rest can help you concentrate on daily challenges in your life. Sleeping enough can also improve your mood, which may help you cope better in stressful situations.
It's a good idea to talk with your doctor about your sleep problems. You can also learn more by taking this sleep assessment.
Do you use relaxation techniques?
YES: Good! Activities that trigger the body's relaxation response may help counter the fight-or-flight reaction that comes with stress. Relaxation techniques include deep breathing exercises, yoga and mindfulness, which is when you focus on living in the moment. Mindfulness can be as simple as sitting peacefully outside and noticing the sights and sounds around you.
NO: Activities that trigger the body's relaxation response may help counter the fight-or-flight reaction that comes with stress. Relaxation techniques include deep breathing exercises, yoga and mindfulness, which is when you focus on living in the moment. Mindfulness can be as simple as sitting peacefully outside and noticing the sights and sounds around you.
Do you eat a well-balanced diet with limited caffeine?
YES: Keep up these healthy habits. A nutritious diet can help you deal with stressful situations. Avoiding or limiting caffeine can help, too, since caffeine can make you jittery and keep you from getting the sleep you need to cope with stress.
NO: There are many good reasons to start eating better. In addition to being a good idea for your overall health, choosing a healthy diet can improve your mood and help you deal with stressful situations. If your diet includes caffeine, keep in mind that it can make you jittery and keep you from getting the sleep you need to cope with stress. Your healthcare provider can give you advice on improving your diet.
Do you lean on your support network?
YES: Reaching out to your support network during stressful times is a great idea. Connecting with others can have a calming effect. People in your network may also be able to offer practical help with the things that are stressing you out.
NO: You don't have to face stress alone. Talking to someone can have a calming effect. That person—perhaps a friend, a loved one, or a member of a faith or community group—might offer encouragement and support. And if you ask, members of your social circle might be willing to help with errands or other areas of your life that are causing you stress.
If you're concerned about your stress levels, talk to your doctor, regardless of the results of this assessment. Together, you can decide what the right next step is for you.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the confidential, free, 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, or chat online at 988lifeline.org/chat.
- Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Sleep and caffeine." https://sleepeducation.org/sleep-caffeine.
- American Psychological Association. "What’s the difference between stress and anxiety?" https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/anxiety-difference.
- Helpguide.org. "Sleep Deprivation: Symptoms, Causes, and Effects." https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/sleep-deprivation.htm.
- Helpguide.org. "Stress Symptoms, Signs, and Causes." https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-signs-and-causes.htm.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. "5 Things To Know About Relaxation Techniques for Stress." https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/tips/things-to-know-about-relaxation-techniques-for-stress.
- National Institute of Mental Health. "5 Things You Should Know about Stress." https://www.nimh.nih.gov/sites/default/files/documents/health/publications/stress/19-mh-8109-5-things-stress.pdf.
- National Institute of Mental Health. "I’m so stressed out! Infographic." https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/so-stressed-out-fact-sheet.
- National Institutes of Health. "Mindfulness for Your Health." https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2021/06/mindfulness-your-health.
- Sleep Foundation. "Why Do We Need Sleep?" https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/why-do-we-need-sleep.
This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual's particular health plan.