How Should You Treat Your Stress?

By: Elisabeth Henderson

How Should You Treat Your Stress?
Image: GlobalStock / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Our fast-paced culture teems with reasons to stress out: traffic on the way to work, overwhelming projects on the job, interpersonal conflicts in the office, traffic on the way home, needing to portray your life on social media and not living up to the expectations that social media creates. Women, in particular, often carry extra emotional stress as primary caregivers in their families, as well as the expectation to keep a beautiful home. Whether or not we agree with society’s expectations, they weigh on us. Even fighting against social expectations can create stress. 

But stress is not something that we can afford to ignore. It’s not an ailment, like a cold, that will go away on its own. Stress lives in the body as well as the mind, and it eats away at the health of both, wearing people down over time. Unattended stress can lead to the breakdown of systems of immunity, digestion and the heart, to name a few. The stress hormone, cortisol, which creates the fight or flight response that can save your life if you’re running from an attacker, can damage your health if it’s allowed to continue pumping when there is no present risk.

How can stress be treated? Isn’t it just an unfortunate fact of modern life? While stress is present everywhere, there are strong strategies that can counter its harmful effects. You may have tried traditional stress relief methods and been disappointed. Dive into this quiz and we’ll share methods for shocking the stress out of your system!  

Woman at work When a weekday evening rolls around, what is most on your mind?
I’ve got to get food on the table.
All that I didn’t complete at work
A desire to get on social media
A sense of despair

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Lunch Break When you have a busy week at work, how do you spend your lunch break?
Call my partner
Eat at my desk and crank away on work
Scroll through my social media feed
Eat outside and stare into space

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Women at gym What does a weeknight exercise routine look like for you?
Walking around the neighborhood
Cleaning my house
Riding the exercise bike at the gym
Jogging in the park

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Woman at coffee When you think about your romantic relationships, past or present, what feeling do you have in your body?
Tightness
Increased heart rate
Arousal
Upset stomach

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Scratched bumper If you got into a minor car accident, how would you react when you had time to process it?
I’d want to talk to my friend.
I’d start planning and calling insurance.
I’d be blaming myself over and over.
I’d start slipping into depression.

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Woman waking up When you wake up in the morning on a weekday, what is the first thought that comes through your mind?
Wishing someone was closer to me
Going through my list of things to do
What should I wear?
I don’t know if I can do this.

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Woman lifting If you were to exercise, what would be your main reason?
To get healthy
To work off anger
To lose weight
To be able to think

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Friends having cocktails When you get together with friends for drinks, where does the conversation usually linger?
Problems with spouses
Problems with work
Discussing our favorite shows
Existential problems

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Family dinner What impact does a family gathering have on your well-being?
It spikes my stress levels.
It leads to more things to worry about.
It gives me a lot to laugh about.
Depending on how everyone is feeling, it can bring me up or down.

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Mature woman laptop When you get online, what do you usually seek out?
Relationship advice
The news
Pictures of what my friends are up to
Travel narratives

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Woman meditate When you know you have to do something major and you really do not want to do it, how does it feel in your body?
Like a weight on my chest
Butterflies in my stomach
A pounding in my brain
My pulse beating too quickly

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Woman driving How would your friends describe your driving style?
Granny
Speed racer
Defensive driving mascot
Paranoia paradise

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Can't Sleep If you wake up at night in a sweat, which of the following may be whirring through your mind?
A fight I had with my partner
A problem at work I don’t know how to solve
A feeling that I’m not good enough
A sense that something is very wrong

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Business Partners Which person are you in the office?
The person who tells what’s really going on
The person who shuts themself in their office
The person who won’t stop talking
The person who is kind but quiet

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Smartphone How do you feel after you spend an hour on social media?
Depressed about my relationships
Like I’ve wasted too much time
Like my life is kind of lame
Like I don’t know what the point is

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Woman sitting If you sit quietly and try to still your mind, what happens in your thoughts?
My fears keep rising to the fore.
I keep ticking off boxes of things to do.
I think about how uncomfortable I am.
I question the importance of what I’m doing.

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Cheese Pizza Which of these get-togethers with friends would sound appealing after a stressful week?
Having drinks at someone’s house
Ordering pizza and watching a movie
Going to a movie
Taking a hike with a close friend

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Woman work laptop If you are feeling really low, how will that show itself when you’re at work?
I’ll just keep to myself.
I’ll act totally normal.
I’ll tell everyone that I’m having bad week, but I won’t tell what’s really going on.
I’ll be more quiet than usual.

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Woman eating pizza Which of these potentially unhealthy stress responses do you sometimes engage in?
Excessive exercise
Stress-eating
Partying hard
Isolating myself

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Yoga Which of these activities would actually take your mind off your main stressors?
Reading a good novel
Binge-watching a series
Going for a long run
A long yoga session

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Women hug What kind of friend do you crave when you start to feel like everything is just too much?
Someone who will really listen
Someone who can make me laugh
Someone who likes me for who I am
Someone who understands what I really think

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Nature woman sleep How much sleep do you need to cope with the stress of daily life?
Six hours
Eight hours
Seven hours
Nine hours

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Laundry What starts slipping first in your home when life starts piling up?
Laundry
Dishes
Clutter
Bathrooms

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Woman at doctors How do you notice your health changing when you’re under a lot of stress?
I make unhealthy eating decisions.
I don’t have the energy to exercise.
I suffer from indigestion.
I’m not able to sleep.

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Woman watch tv What kind of movie is your go-to after a week of hating your job?
A dark comedy
A romantic comedy
An action movie
A drama

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Woman weekend couch What’s your vibe on Sunday night?
Trying to milk the weekend for all it’s worth
Ready to get back to work so I can make some progress
A sense of anxiety creeping in
An overwhelming dread at about eight o’clock

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Summer sun During what season do you feel the most free of anxiety?
Summer
Spring
Winter
Fall

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Breakfast How important is breakfast to your mental health throughout the day?
If I don’t have breakfast, I’m sure to be hangry by lunch.
I don’t think breakfast is connected to mental health.
I try to eat just enough to take the edge off.
A breakfast full of protein can get me through the morning.

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Bouquet of flowers What kind of gift would make you feel deeply appreciated?
Flowers
A necklace
A piece of artwork
Spending time with someone I love

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Two women coffee If you could reset any aspect of your life, where would you start?
My partner
My job
My friends
Where I live

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