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Stress

it's 06 Jul, 2024 6:57 am

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Stress

Background

This information is about the specific health area mentioned above. It comprises a combination of textual and video information, on our site and on external sites.  We will be adding new specific health areas and further information continually.

The idea is for you to understand more about the health area you are addressing before you get too far building your action plan.

General Information

Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. Stress is your body’s response to anything that requires attention or action, particularly harmful situations – whether real or perceived.  When you feel threatened a chemical reaction happens in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury or harm. This is called a ‘flight or fight’ response and your heart rate increases,breathing speeds up, muscles tighten ready for action and blood pressure rises.

Everyone experiences stress to some degree. The way you respond to stress, however, makes a big difference to your overall well-being.

WebMD say: Stress affects us all. You may notice symptoms of stress when disciplining your kids, during busy times at work, when managing your finances, or when coping with a challenging relationship. Stress is everywhere. And while a little stress is OK — some stress is actually beneficial — too much stress can wear you down and make you sick, both mentally and physically.

It’s sometimes difficult to work out whether stress is the result of problems or actually the cause of them!

Stress is closely linked to your mental health:

  • Stress can cause mental health problems (and make existing problems worse) – you might develop anxiety or depression
  • Mental health problems can cause stress – coping with mental health issues can be a cause of stress

If you’re not careful, this can turn into a Vicious Circle.

Background Information

There is information available which will help you formulate your action plan – both on our site and on external sites.

On our site

StressDrive

StressDrive is about understanding what stress is. it shows you how to manage stress and helps you understand yourself more and the specific causes of stress.

We have relevant information on StressDrive
ChangeDrive

ChangeDrive is a must read. It identifies the type of person you are, your attitude to change and your history to demonstrate whether you are a real change agent or a procrastinator.

We have relevant information on ChangeDrive

On external site(s)

Stress is a long term killer but you can do something about it.

Click on the link below to see what ten steps you can take to reduce stress levels.

Stress often is identified as mood. Why not take a mood test from the NHS and if you identify your issues place them into an action plan

Video

Sometimes the owner of a video will not allow the video to be played on external sites.  If you see the video is unavailable on the left just click the ‘WATCH NOW’ link on the right and the video will play in a new window.

tips on dealing with stress instantly

Feeling stressed out and overwhelmed? These 7 stress management techniques will give you the quality of life and the happiness you deserve. Learn more about how to relieve stress in this article: https://www.lifehack.org/838426/stres…

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Questionnaire

In order for you to assess what you know about this health area, we suggest using a questionnaire. This might help you understand your situation in this area, or taking it might improve your understanding of the area.

You may be able to take this questionnaire online – either here on our site or on an external site – or download it and complete it on paper – it depends on copyright (and whether we’ve managed to build it on our site!).

The ways you can take a questionnaire:

Questionnaire on our site

Take Questionnaire on our site

You can take a questionnaire on our site. This will score the questions automatically and give you a summary showing what your score means.

Our Questionnaire

The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is the most widely used psychological instrument for measuring the perception of stress. It is a measure of the degree to which situations in one’s life are appraised as stressful. Items were designed to tap how unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloaded respondents find their lives. The scale also includes a number of direct queries about current levels of experienced stress. The PSS was designed for use in community samples with at least a junior high school education. The items are easy to understand, and the response alternatives are simple to grasp. Moreover, the questions are of a general nature and hence are relatively free of content specific to any subpopulation group. The questions in the PSS ask about feelings and thoughts during the last month. In each case, respondents are asked how often they felt a certain way.

Welcome to your Mental Abuse Questionnaire

Our test has 15 multiple choice questions which give you a score which indicates the extent there is mental (or emotional) abuse in your relationship.

The same questions can be found in the quiz at DV (Domestic Violence) Assist, although the scoring is different there.

 

1. My partner never admits when she or he is wrong.

2. My partner is unwilling to adapt to my needs and expectations.

3. My partner is more insensitive than caring.

4. I am often forced to sacrifice my own needs to meet my partner's needs.

5. My partner refuses to talk about problems that make him or her look bad.

6. My partner withholds affection unless it would benefit him or her.

7. It's hard to disagree with my partner because she or he gets angry.

8. My partner resents being questioned about the way he or she treats me.

9. My partner builds himself or herself up by putting me down.

10. My partner retaliates when I disagree with him or her.

11. My partner is always trying to change me.

12. My partner believes he or she has the right to force me to do things.

13. My partner is overly possessive or jealous.

14. My partner tries to isolate me from family and friends.

15. Sometimes my partner physically hurts me.

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All areas of health are interlinked

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Find your initial focus

You might think that physical, financial and mental health are quite separate, and for some people they are. However, often a problem in one area has a knock-on effect on others. Losing your job can lead to anxiety and depression, which can turn you to drink and impact your health.

You might have a severe issue in one area but that can lead to problems in other areas, and the people treating you for the first problem won’t be equipped to deal with these linked issues.

For example, doctors and nurses can treat you for a physical problem but can’t advise you about your job or finances.  Nor for the anxiety that comes with it, apart from prescribing some drugs, which might or might not be the best solution.

We encourage you to take a holistic view – we look at all areas and offer support across the whole spectrum.

health areas interlinked

Even this view of health is simplistic, as you’ll discover later if you go down that route.  You might want to consider overall health, or wellness or wellbeing, which include additional types of health, such as occupational health (how you are in your job).   Then there’s happiness and quality of life – how do these fit?

If you’re interested in that, click the link here to see more information.

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Health Areas in Domains

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Domains

We break down the overall concept of health or wellness into ‘bite-sized chunks’ that we can actually do something about.  The first level we call health domains. 

We like the Life of Wellness site and we have chosen the following domains.

1. Emotional Wellness: Awareness and acceptance of feelings
2. Spiritual Wellness: A search for meaning and purpose
3. Intellectual Wellness: Recognition of your creativity, knowledge and skills
4. Physical Wellness: Need for physical activity and balanced nutrition
5. Environmental Wellness: Positive awareness and impact on your environment
6. Financial Wellness: Debt reduction, cash flow balance or financial future planning
7. Occupational Wellness: Personal achievement and enrichment from your career
8. Social Wellness: Contribution to your community

Health Areas

Within each domain, we have included a number of health areas. These are specific issues that you can tackle.  Within each health area, e.g. Depression, we have built additional information and exercises which you can do to help in the area. You can create your own Action Plan to address this area, and see

Emotional: Anxiety, Compassion Fatigue, Depression, Gambling, Laughter, Narcissistic, Personality Disorder, Sleep, Stress

Environmental: Environmental Issues, Greenness

Financial: Debt, Family Finance, Financial Planning, Financial Wellness

Intellectual: IQ, Personality, Procrastination

Occupational: Jobs for Different Personality Types, Retirement Income, Work Life Balance

Physical: Alcohol, Disabilities, Dizziness, Drugs, Fitness, Food Preferences, General Health, Healthy Ageing, Illness, Nutrition, Sleep Apnea, Smoking

Social: Communication Skills, Communication Styles, Domestic Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Love Partnerships, Mental Abuse, Parenting Styles, Sexual Addiction

Spiritual: Are You Sensitive, Mystical Guidance, Spirituality

Each health area has supporting information and its own questionnaire.

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Understand Health

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Physical, financial and mental health

One definition of health is:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. 

The NHS define health as: ‘We use a broad definition of health that encompasses both physical and mental health, as well as wellbeing. This means we are not only interested in whether or not people are ill or have a health condition, but also in how healthy and well they are.’

We believe we also have to consider financial health, as this can easily impact physical and mental health. Click the button to see an example of how these are connected.

 It gets more complicated…

What is Health? How about Wellness, Wellbeing or Happiness?

The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) define Health as a state of the overall mental and physical state of a person; the absence of disease. They define Wellbeing or wellness as a way of life that aims to enhance well-being and refers to a more holistic whole-of-life experience which also includes emotional and spiritual aspects of life.  We expand on this definition of health to include financial health and mental health, to make it synonymous with wellbeing or wellness.  

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Health domains

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We break down the overall concept of health or wellness into ‘bite-sized chunks’ that we can actually do something about.  The first level we call health domains.

We like the Life of Wellness site and we have chosen the following domains.

1. Emotional Wellness: Awareness and acceptance of feelings
2. Spiritual Wellness: A search for meaning and purpose
3. Intellectual Wellness: Recognition of your creativity, knowledge and skills
4. Physical Wellness: Need for physical activity and balanced nutrition
5. Environmental Wellness: Positive awareness and impact on your environment
6. Financial Wellness: Debt reduction, cash flow balance or financial future planning
7. Occupational Wellness: Personal achievement and enrichment from your career
8. Social Wellness: Contribution to your community

wellness wheel

Health Areas

Within each domain, we have included a number of health areas. These are specific issues that you can tackle.  Within each health area, e.g. Depression, once you have subscribed we have built additional information and exercises which you can do to help in the area.

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See which domains you should address

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Having established that we use 8 domains, you need to understand which you should concentrate on.

The 8 are:

  • Emotional
  • Environmental
  • Financial
  • Intellectual
  • Occupational
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Spiritual

 

You can take a questionnaire, which scores you in each domain.  You can decide which domains you are strong in, and which you need to improve.

Another analysis shows which domains you should look at, but also which domains you want to look at.

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Locus of Control

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  • We want to help people in all aspects of their health  – physical, financial and mental. We also provide detailed explanations of how overall health (or well-being) is measured.
  • We believe these things are often linked, so we try and address health holistically. We are building templates, questionnaires and exercises to help you identify what’s important to you.
  • We think people should try and take responsibility for  of their own health as much as they can.  See below for what that means.

People look at things differently.  Some people believe things happen to them, while others believe they can influence what happens to them. Technically this is called the ‘locus of control’.  People can have an Internal or external Locus of Control

So how do you see things?

Psychology Today have a 15 minute test which gives you a summary of your position you can buy the detailed results if you want to.

My Personality Test have a 10 minute test which gives you a summary.

People tend to take more responsibility (locus gets more internal) as they get older.  However, external isn’t always bad – for example if you are physically unable to do some things you can accept it and focus on the things you can do.  This American video explains the concept and gives examples of how this can affect relationships.

locus of control

Internal

  • More likely to take responsibility for actions
  • Tend to be less influenced by others

External

  • Blame outside forces for what happens
  • Don’t believe they can change their situation themselves

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Add your attitude to change - see how you view changes in your life

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Do you need to change?

No matter how healthy you are at the moment, the chances are that there are some areas you could improve. It may be that you have a real problem in one or more areas, and you would like to make some improvements.

At YouDrive we accept that there are many different degrees of ‘not wellness’ in a large number of different health areas, ranging from physical illness such as covid-19 through mental illness such as anxiety through to financial problems like debt.  We try and help where the problem ranges from ‘slight’ to quite bad’ – after this expert help and intervention may be needed.

However, especially in these times, we have to try and make these changes ourselves, possibly with some help from others, whether remotely or face to face.

The thing is, to make an improvement we have to change some things.

This involves changing our behaviour in some respects, and that’s not always easy.

Henry Ford, the creator of the assembly line, is quoted as saying “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.  

henry ford

Another way of looking at this: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” – attributed to Albert Einstein.

Consequently we need to make some changes.  The problem is that we have already developed a lot of habits, some of which we need to break and replace by better ones.  Some of our bad habits have become entrenched, and the bad results they create in turn engender further bad habits to develop – in effect the bad habits can feed on themselves.

We need to understand how we can make changes and stick to them, and that’s what this part of your health profile is about.

It will involve some learning, through reading, some videos and some additional information and also seeing how you react to change currently.

It will also ask you to consider whether you feel you are in charge of your future, or whether you feel it’s all fate.

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Assess your overall health using a health questionnaire

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At YouDrive we try and help people improve their health. We use ‘health’ but we understand there are other terms such as wellbeing or even happiness that reflect how we are doing in our lives – if you’re interested in the different definitions and ideas see our page on the subject.

We want to help whether you have a particular problem – physical, financial or mental – or if you just want to improve some specific part of your life or just make some improvements overall.

You’d be surprised, but there has been a serious amount of scientific work done in this area over the last twenty years.

So first we allow you to assess your current health (or wellbeing, or happiness).  We do this by questionnaire.  Which one is determined by the type of person you are:

  1. You understand yourself well and want a quick overview of your health and wellness, and will drill down in any areas needing work
  2. You want to do a more detailed assessment and then focus on areas you’re already aware of
  3. You want to look at the whole situation in more detail across all the health domains.

By the way, we take your privacy seriously – we collect information that you choose to provide but we de-identify it as much as possible and will never share it with anyone without your explicit consent.

You can then drill down into some specific areas and there are more questionnaires to see your situation in these particular areas.  We provide you with specific information and refer you to other potential aspects of help. Our next step is to build a personalised action plan – for now we will make a suggestion for you to develop your own plan and then after a time you can see whether this has had a positive impact by retaking the test.

In future we will be engaging with medical and behavioural specialists to devise action plans for individual people with specific situations.

We have an overall questionnaire which you can complete which will assess your current state.

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Values, Attitudes and Beliefs

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We all have our beliefs, attitudes and values – these have developed throughout our life based on who we are and what we have done. Let’s look at what these are.

The University of Reading explain: “People’s values, beliefs and attitudes are formed and bonded over time through the influences of family, friends, society and life experiences. So, by the time you’re an adult, you can hold very definite views on just about everything with a sense of “no one is going to change my mind”.

The combination of your personal values, beliefs and attitudes are your moral principles that guide you in life and affect your behaviour. However, your views can wildly differ to others and in an institution such as a school, these beliefs may be counter to the values of the school, child development or indeed the law.” 

Let’s look more closely at the differences between beliefs, attitudes and values.

Beliefs

These come from real experiences – we think our beliefs are based on reality, but in fact our beliefs colour our experiences; also, an original experience e.g. when we were a child is not the same as what’s happening now. Beliefs can be moral, religious or cultural and reflect who we are. They can be rational (‘it gets colder in winter’) or irrational (‘I am never going to make something of myself’).

Attitudes

This is an immediate belief or disposition about something specific. It is a recurring group of beliefs and behaviours aimed at specific groups, people, ideas or objects. They will normally be positive or negative and we will always behave that way to the target group. Examples of attitudes include confidence (I can or can’t do something), grateful (I an entitled to / grateful for XXX) and cheerful (I am generally happy / miserable).

Values

These are things (principles or qualities) that we hold in high regard or consider to be worthwhile or right / wrong. They are formed by a belief related to the worth of something – an idea or behaviour. Some values are common (e.g. family comes first, the value of friendship) or cultural (which the whole community have – see video at Study.com here)

The theory

Links to Wikipedia

Expectancy Value Theory suggests you balance your beliefs about something with the value you attach to it. The Theory of Reasoned Action suggests that beliefs and evaluation about behavioural outcomes determine attitudes, and intentions lead directly to behaviour.

Beliefs

Expressions of confidence – can change over time

Attitudes

Learned predispositions to something – are subject to change

Values

Ideals that guide our behaviour – Generally long lasting and often need life changing experience to change

Iceberg demonstrating implicit and explicit bias – from Owlcation

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A Butterfly Life: 4 Keys to More Happiness, Better Health and Letting Your True Self Shine

Times of change can be a challenge, no doubt! Whether it’s a relationship breakup, job loss, or being diagnosed with a serious health issue. Or you may WANT things to be different, but it feels a little scary or overwhelming. The butterfly reminds us change can be beautiful, even necessary, in order to realize our full potential and live our best life.