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Excerpt
The following is an excerpt from the book The Longevity Bible
by Gary Small, M.D. with Gigi Vorgan
Published by Hyperion; June 2006;$23.95US/$32.95CAN;
1-4013-0184-3
Copyright © 2006 Gary Small, M.D. with Gigi Vorgan

How Stressed Out Are You?

Understanding yourself -- what stresses you out the most and how you instinctively react -- is a first step to figuring out how to possibly avoid or detoxify your most stressful situations, as well as how to manage your reactions. The symptoms of stress are not always obvious, since they can be both physical and mental. If you can link up the specific stress symptom to the cause of the stress, you have taken a big step toward low-stress living. Answer the following questions to get a better idea of how stressed out you are and what triggers your stress response.

Stress Level Questionnaire

 

Low 

Medium 

High 

How would you rate your overall stress level?............................................................

1 2

 3 4 5

6 7 

To what degree do the following situations make you tense or irritable? 

 

Little 

Somewhat 

Very 

Argument with friend or relative..........................................................

1 2

3 4 5

6 7

Waiting for a table in a restaurant......................................................

1 2

3 4 5

6 7

Arriving late for an appointment..................................................

1 2

3 4 5

6 7

Anticipating work deadlines.......................................................

1 2

3 4 5

6 7

How easy is it for you to relax when you . . .

 

Easy

Medium

Difficult

Watch a television show or movie...................

1 2

3 4 5

6 7

Read a book or magazine...............................

1 2

3 4 5

6 7

Take a walk, jog, or do other physical exercise..........................................................

1 2

3 4 5

6 7

How often do you experience each of the following?

 

Never 

Sometimes 

Always 

Insomnia........................................................

1 2

 3 4 5

 6 7 

Shortness of breath............................................................

1 2

 3 4 5

 6 7 

Rapid heart rate................................................................

1 2

 3 4 5

 6 7 

Cold hands or feet..........................................

1 2

 3 4 5

 6 7 

Impatience or irritability..................................

1 2

 3 4 5

 6 7 

Headaches.....................................................

1 2

 3 4 5

 6 7 

Apologizing for snapping at people...........................................................

1 2

 3 4 5

 6 7 

Tension or worry............................................

1 2

 3 4 5

 6 7 

Add up your total score, which can range from 16 to 112, and record it below:

Stress Level Total Score: ____

If your score is less than 40, then your stress levels are manageable, but you will still benefit from doing some stress-relief exercises. If you scored between 41 and 80, then you are experiencing mid-range stress levels. Learning and practicing stress-relieving techniques will be an essential strategy for improving your quality longevity. If you scored between 81 and 112, then you are in the high-stress group and will definitely benefit from the stress-reduction strategies outlined in this section.

Because people respond differently to the same environmental stimuli, some individuals seem to cope with stress better than others. However, anyone willing to challenge the control stress has on his or her life can lessen its harmful effects. Try the following strategies to lower your stress levels and increase your quality longevity.

Excerpted from THE LONGEVITY BIBLE by Gary Small, M.D. Copyright (c) 2006 Gary Small, M.D. All rights reserved. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold.