Stress management | Kay Trotter

By Appointment : Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm & Saturday 8am to Noon
  Contact : (214) 499-0396

All Posts Tagged: Stress management

How Stressed Are You?


Do you diminish or categorize your stress as “normal” or “it’s no big deal, everyone has stress?”

It is not uncommon for people to downplay the stress in their daily lives, not really knowing the true amount of stress they are under, or what is considered a stressful situations. It is important for you to know what causes your stress and stress needs to be understood, especially how stress can impact your health. This STRESS QUIZ is designed to help you discover the amount of stress you may be under and do not even realize it.

Rate yourself as to how you typically react in each of the situations listed below. There are no right or wrong answers. Circle the statements in each column that apply to you. If a particular area of your life doesn’t generally cause you stress, skip it.

Cause of Stress
Mild – 1 pointModerate – 2 pointsSerious – 3 points
WorkI work part-timeI work full-timeI work more than 40 hrs wk

Number of kidsOneTwoThree or more

ParentsMy parents occasionally need my helpMy parents have chronic problems and need my help more and moreMy parents live with me because of chronic problems

In-lawsMy in-laws occasionally need my helpMy in-laws have chronic problems and need my help more and moreMy in-laws live with me because of chronic problems

HealthI have typical complaints for my ageI have mild heath problemsI have moderate to severe heath problems

MoneyI manage to save a little but not muchI am often worried that I don’t have enough moneyI have serious money problems

WeatherI experience seasonal problems, such as depression on gray daysI experience severe weather problems, like hurricanes and tornadoesMy home has been affected by a weather related disaster.

SpaceWe are crowded at homeWe have just barely enough space at homeWe have fights over space every week

CommutingI commute less than half hour a dayI commute from a half hour to an hour a dayI commute more than one hour a day

Support SystemI have some friends and family near by but not enoughI have family and friends, but most are not nearby.I have almost no one I can talk to or get support from.

Family ProblemsMy family has normal problems with friends, and neighborsMy family has moderate problems that affect our happinessMy family members have serious learning, physical, or mental problems

NeighborhoodIt could be betterIts marginalIts not safe

Other ProblemsI have occasional other problems at home, work or schoolI have frequent other problems at home, work or schoolI have multiple other problems at home, work or school, that never seem to get better


If you score in the 0-13 range, you have a MILD amount of stress.

If your score is 14-26, you have a moderate amount of stress. You are approaching the DANGER ZONE

If your score is 27-39, you need to understand that stress is a SERIOUS THREAT TO YOUR HEALTH. You need some extra support from a counselor, or close friend. I urge you to make your health a priority for you and your family.

How Stress Impacts Your Health – short-term stress can keep you awake at night and make you feel irritable and edgy. High stress levels over a long period of time can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure. And high stress can weaken your immune system and make it difficult for your body to fight disease. Stress is linked to health conditions such as depression, heart disease, and asthma.

If you would like Dr. Kay Trotter to come talk to your group or find out more about Kaleidoscope Counseling please call 214-499-0396

Dr Trotter also post regularly on her: Facebook Fan Page and Pinterest.

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Coping Skills

S  T  R  E  S  S:   the problem

Whenever we experience emotional distress arising from the four core wounding experiences – loss, rejection, betrayal and humiliation – we have a choice of “hiding” from or ignoring these upsetting experiences.

Our ability to effectively cope with challenges and upsets requires learning and practicing skills so they become everyday coping tools. Just learning about these principles is not enough. Remember about 75% of what you do is out of HABIT.

Training our brain to use health coping methods means we can heal our own emotional wounds so we also feel better about ourselves.

We need all three coping brain functions, thinking, feeling and self-protection, to get over experiences that make us stressed, worried, angry or upset.

C   O   P   I   N   G:  principles

  1. Recognize that no thought or feeling is wrong in itself, it is what we do with it that really counts.
  2. Become aware of the way your body feels as tension begins to build up— remind yourself to breath.
  3. Recognize that you don’t have to go through this alone — help is available from a wide range of sources.
  4. Work to improve communication with your family and friends
  5. If you are experiencing fatigue or feeling overwhelmed, reduce your responsibilities for a period of time.
  6. Recognize that family and friends have to deal with their feelings too.
  7. Share honestly and lovingly how you are feeling
  8. Do things each day that are nurturing to you. Include fun activities, relaxation, time alone, and exercise.
  9. You can work to solve some of the problems that are causing you stress.
  10. Accept that guilt and worry about things you CAN’T change are useless and energy-draining.
  11. Give yourself credit for whatever level of coping you are achieving.
  12. Remember, there is no “instant fix” for stress.
  13. Develop a love and respect for yourself — because each of us is, with our strengths, a special and worthwhile person.

L   I   F   E   S   T   Y   L   E:    body – mind – spirit

You can’t always avoid stress but being able to identify what causes it is the first step toward helping yourself cope better. If you have difficulty pinpointing the causes or “triggers” of your stress, try keeping a record to help you identify patterns of stress.

To effetely use this chart, make a note of all your activates during the day and how you felt at the time. Fill in the chart whenever a stress symptom occurs, noting what happened just before. At the end of the week evaluate when you felt stressed and when you felt relaxed.


R   E   L   A  X  A   T   I   O   N:   restores balance

For long-term stress relief you need periods of mental and physical relaxation throughout the day. Relaxation is a set of skills that teach you how to combat the effects of stress and restore the balance between body and mind to enable healthy, happy living.

WHY: long-term stress changes the balance of hormones in the body and leads to exhaustion. A suppressed immune system, slower metabolism and slower cell repair, result in rapid aging, weight gain, and greater risk of degenerative disease.

S   I   M   P   I   L   E:  coping skills

  • Learn to become aware of when you are experiencing stress — listen to your body
  • Practice deep breathing – just 3 deep breaths will change your body chemistry
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness practices – the state of being attentive to and aware of the present moment only
  • Guided Imagery or Visualizations
  • Journal about your feelings, thoughts and worries
  • Use Positive Affirmations to change negative self-talk
  • Exercise daily
  • Get a Massage
  • Pick a hobby
  • Cut down on activities
  • Unplug from technology – turn down the noise
  • Get outside – your brain is created to respond positively to nature — soothing your soul
  • Get enough sleep
  • Seek social support  – talk to someone
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