How Stressed Are You?

Phoenix_DentistStress is a common factor in both failure and success.  Too little stress and you aren’t stimulated or energized enough. Too much stress and you feel hopeless and overwhelmed. The magazine Prevention reports that the right balance of stress and calm (between adrenaline junkie and couch potato) keeps you alert and healthy in several ways, including making you more resilient to changes and other stresses in your life.

“Stress shows up in your mouth,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix dental office. “People with too much stress often grind their teeth or clench their jaws, and that can result in tooth damage and joint wear,” she adds.

Just how stressed are you? The test below isn’t scientific, but it will give you an idea if you are out of balance.

Use the following numbers to fill in the blanks in front of the numbers: 1=never, 2=sometimes, 3=frequently, 4=always.

_____1. I get eight hours of sleep at least four nights a week.

_____2. I exercise enough to sweat at least three times a week.

_____3. I have income enough to meet my basic expenses.

_____4. I have relatives or a very close friend, on whom I can rely, within 30 miles.

_____5. I have clubs or social activities I attend regularly.

_____6. I give and receive affection regularly.

_____7. I can talk openly about my emotions without crying or getting angry.

_____8. I do something fun at least once a week.

_____9. I think of myself as “crazy busy” at least once a week.

_____10. I like to win; if I don’t win a game, I get angry at myself or others.

If you answered items 1,2,4,5,6,7,8 with Sometimes (2 pts) or Frequently (3 pts) and item 9 and 10 with Never (1) or Sometimes (2), and number 3 with Frequently (3) or  Always (4) you live a well-balanced life–enough stress to keep life interesting, but not so much as to keep you in an adrenaline overload.

If you answered numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 with Always (4) and numbers 9 and 10 with Never (1) you may need to add some change to your life or challenge yourself more. A life with no bumps can signifying avoiding anything challenging and it lower your problem-solving skills.

If you answered numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 with Never (1) or Sometimes (2) and numbers 9 and 10 with Always (4 points) you are stressed on too many levels at once, and need to widen your social circle to bring others into your life for balance.

If you are waking up with a sore jaw, headaches, and feeling exhausted because you grind or clench your teeth, a visit to your dentist is a good place to start. Sometimes we don’t know how much stress has taken over our lives.

If you don’t want to answer the questions, but you feel a mix of rush and calm, friendship and conflict, and sleep well at night, get enough rest and exercise, and eat a healthy diet, you don’t need to answer the questions. You are already living a life that makes you smile every day!



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