Reduce Stress : Calculate Your Personal Stress Profile (part 1) - Your Stress Tolerance Point Analysis

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1. Part I: Your Stress Tolerance Point Analysis

Circle your answers in the following chart, and then determine in which column you had the most answers:

“Your stress tolerance point indicates how much stress you can take.”


Your stress tolerance point indicates how much stress you can take. If your answers fell about equally in more than one category, that probably means you can take lots of stress when it comes to certain things and less when it comes to other things, or that some parts of your life are too high in stress and others are just right or even too low. Read on to learn what your stress tolerance point score indicates.

2. If You Scored “Just Right Low”

If you scored the most points under JUST RIGHT LOW, you don’t tolerate too much stress, but you are already good at taking measures to limit the stress in your life. You perform best and feel happiest when your routine runs smoothly. You can deal with stressful situations for short periods of time, but you are always thrilled to get home after a vacation, and you are very attached to your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual rituals.

You’ve crafted a routine that works for you, and when events throw off your routine, you tend to experience stress. Having recognized your low stress tolerance, however, you’ve already got the tools in place for keeping your life low-key and systematic whenever possible. Maybe you are good at saying “no” to things you don’t have room for in your life.

The coping skills you need to cultivate are the techniques that will help you deal with those inevitable times when life changes dramatically or when you aren’t able to stick to your routine due to circumstances beyond your control. Long-term or permanent changes will require you to make your routine flexible enough to accommodate new circumstances, either temporarily or permanently. Short-term changes may require a temporary suspension of your beloved routine.

3. If You Scored “Just Right High”

If you scored the most points under JUST RIGHT HIGH, you can take a fairly high level of stress, and you actually like life a bit more exciting. You are probably an easygoing person who enjoys seeing what lies around the next bend in life, and strict schedules bore you. You’ve designed your life—whether consciously or not—around keeping yourself happily stimulated. You know you like things to be interesting, so you resist routines and let just enough stress into your life to keep you humming along efficiently.

Of course, not all change is pleasant, and the stress management techniques you can successfully master are those that help you deal with the less pleasant changes life sometimes has to offer—for example, illness, injury, loss of a loved one. Even you can’t go with the flow all the time. You may also find it difficult to sit still and concentrate. Meditation and other techniques that cultivate inner as well as outer stillness can be of great benefit to you; they can teach you self-discipline and the skill of slowing down once in a while.

4. If You Scored “Too Low”

If you scored the most points under TOO LOW, you probably have a very high stress tolerance point and you are operating well below it. Or, maybe, your stress tolerance is relatively low, but you are still operating below it. Your peak of functioning and happiness is best reached under more stimulation than you are currently experiencing. Maybe your life is necessarily highly routine and you can’t stand it. You long for excitement and change.

Not meeting your stress tolerance point can result in frustration, irritation, aggression, and depression. But you can do something about it! Afraid to change jobs? Make saving a nest egg an active goal, then take the plunge. If you feel your marriage is stagnating, don’t go out and have an affair but find a counselor who can help you add excitement and vigor to your relationship. Stress management techniques can help you, too. Ironically, not having enough stress to meet your own stress tolerance point is stressful. Meet your needs with interesting, positive changes and handle your frustration, aggression, or depression with stress management techniques.

5. If You Scored “Too High”

If you scored TOO HIGH, you probably know all too well that you are operating well above a healthy stress tolerance level. You are probably also suffering from some of the ill effects of stress, such as frequent minor illness, inability to concentrate, anxiety, depression, or self-neglect. You may often feel like your life is out of control or your situation is hopeless.

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