Assess your stress
Stress is a part of everyday life for everyone. Although we can't eliminate it altogether, we can work to manage it. Just as physicians first diagnose a patient and then recommend a course of treatment, we must first work to understand how much stress we have in our own lives before we can begin to better manage it.
Stanford University recommends physicians take a stress test developed by Mental Health America.
Watch Andrew Reisner, M.D. discuss the stress test assessment from Menin:
Tips and tricks for managing your stress
If you have five minutes or less, you can:
- Breathe: Close the door and take some time for you. Take a few deep breaths: Inhale through your nose as you slowly count to five. Pause and slowly exhale as you count to five. Repeat.
- Recover: Schedule strategic 30 second (or up to a few minutes) recovery breaks throughout your day. Stretch, mediate, call a friend or listen to music. Review tips from Anthony Cooley, M.D., for incorporating recovery time in your day.
If you have 15 minutes or less, you can:
- Move: Try a 10-minute walk outside or walk up a few flights of stairs (and back down) or do some simple stretches at your desk.
- Prioritize: Make a to-do list. Determine one thing you can defer, delegate and eliminate from your list.
If you have time to explore additional stress relievers, you can:
- Meditate: Meditation can help manage stress and anxiety, decrease blood pressure and hypertension, and lower cholesterol. Take a five-minute recovery break and use guided meditation.