The first hurdle to beating stress is recognizing its existence – acknowledging that stress is a problem is a vital step towards reducing it. Measure your level of stress regularly by responding to the following statements, and mark the options closest to your experience. Be as honest as you can: if your answer is “never”, mark Option 1; if it is “always”, mark Option 4; and so on. Add your scores together, and refer to the Analysis to see how you scored. Use your answers to identify the areas that need improving.

Q: I blame myself when things go wrong at work.
Q: I bottle up my problems, then feel like I want to explode.
Q: I concentrate on my work to forget about personal problems.
Q: I take out anger and frustration on those nearest to me.
Q: I notice negative changes in my behavioural patterns when I am under pressure.
Q: I focus on the negative rather than the positive aspects of my life.
Q: I feel uncomfortable when experiencing new situations.
Q: I feel that the role I play within my organization is worthless.
Q: I arrive late for work or important meetings.
Q: I respond negatively to personal criticism.
Q: I feel guilty if I sit down and do nothing for an hour or so.
Q: I feel rushed, even if I am not under pressure.
Q: I have insufficient time to read newspapers as often as I would like.
Q: I demand attention or service immediately.
Q: I avoid expressing my true emotions both at work and at home.
Q: I undertake more tasks than I can handle at once.
Q: I resist taking advice from colleagues and superiors.
Q: I ignore my own professional or physical limitations.
Q: I miss out on my hobbies and interests because my work takes up all my time.
Q: I tackle situations before thinking them through thoroughly.
Q: I am too busy to have lunch with friends and colleagues during the week.
Q: I put off confronting and resolving difficult situations when they arise.
Q: People take advantage of me when I do not act assertively.
Q: I am embarrassed to say when I feel overloaded with work.
Q: I avoid delegating tasks to other people.
Q: I deal with tasks before prioritizing my workload.
Q: I find it difficult to say no to requests and demands.
Q: I feel I have to finish all outstanding work each day.
Q: I think I will not be able to cope with my workload.
Q: Fear of failure stops me from taking action.
Q: My work life tends to take priority over my family and home life.
Q: I become impatient if something does not happen at once.
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