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10 Second STRESS TEST

2011  Dr. Tim Lowenstein

Each of us reacts to stress differently. Some of us tighten our muscles, others dump more acid into their stomach, still others have freezing cold hands or feet, can't sleep, headaches, ......... That's the bad news and, of course, it gets even worse as things get out of hand. Stress, unchecked, can make you ill and can even kill. Not news to you, I'm sure. What you can do is learn to detect your own level of stress accurately. Even more impressive is when you learn to master your own response to stress. Don't panic, kids learn this easily and so can you.

This is a simple test of your stress level. Not all stress or tension is bad. You need to have some to drive a car safely down a city freeway or watch a two year old at the playground. But too much stress can slowly build like a kettle on the stove. Within minutes it is hissing. After a few more minutes it is bubbling with the lid rattling. This can happen in a few minutes, a few years or over a life time. Now you can learn to check your body to get an idea of the Stress Factor.

STRESS TEST

Body temperature is the simplest way to determine your level of stress . To better understand the relationship of stress and body temperature read - STRESS AND BODY TEMPERATURE.

PART 1 FINGER & NECK STRESS TEST

A simple way to test your stress level is by comparing your hand temperature to your neck temperature. Neck temperature is typically around the high 80's to low 90's F. Hand temperature can vary from 60 degrees to 99 degrees in a normal room temperature. So you can test your hand temperature by touching your neck with the fingertips of both hands.

Do your fingers feel colder than your neck? How much colder? Allot or just slightly?

Do your fingers feel warm like your neck?

Remember "Warm Hands are Relaxed, Cold Hands are Tense!"

Warm Hands are Relaxed

Cold Hands are Tense

If your fingers feel really cold, then you are showing extra tension perhaps too much stress.

If your fingers feel cool, then you are showing some tension.

If your fingers are warm like your neck, then you may be relaxed and comfortable.

If your fingers feel hotter than your neck, then you may be deeply relaxed.

This is a simple test. Some people feel stress in muscle tension, sweaty hands or other ways that may be more apparent than hand temperature.

PART 2 MAKE YOURSELF TENSE

  • Close your eyes and check your finger/neck temperature again.

Make yourself Stressed Out! Now sit and think of something really upsetting - a divorce, problems at work, a death, children problems, a bad experience in childhood, credit card bills, loneliness, etc. Really think about that problem for 3 minutes until you can feel your body change and react to that pressure.

  • Check your finger/neck temperature again.

Did your fingers get colder? What else happened inside your body?

If were not able to make yourself feel tense then try this. Sit and imagine putting your hands in ICE COLD WATER. Feel the ice cubes rubbing against your fingers. Hear the freezing cold cubes clang against the glass bowl. Or imagine making snowballs or a snowman [person] with NO GLOVES. Imagine this for 3 minutes.

  • Check your finger/neck temperature again.

Did your fingers get colder? What else happened inside your body?

PART 3 MAKE YOURSELF RELAXED

  • Close your eyes and check your finger/neck temperature again.

Now let us test to see how well you can relax and make your hands warmer. Sit with your eyes closed. Take long, slow, deep breaths. For 3 minutes imagine that you are laying in the warm sunshine or under a heavy blanket in front of a fireplace. Feel the warmth flowing down your arms and into your hands. Feel the warmth pulsing and throbbing over your entire body.

  • Check your finger/neck temperature again.

Did your fingers get warmer? What else happened inside your body?

By doing this simple test and then practicing 5 minutes of deep relaxation, I have had people report that headahces left, pain subsided and they felt much better. Years later people still use this simple method to relieve pain and pressure!

YOU CAN MAKE YOURSELF ILL AND YOU CAN MAKE YOURSELF WELL

You choose. We offer the finest materials to teach how to master your life in order to be healthy and stay well. Click on the Products and Services to visit our pages of products to help. Be Well. Dr. Tim Lowenstein

Resources to Master Stress - a complete catalog of educational materials to measure and master stress. Health Master catalog of wellness products, stress management, biofeedback, Stress Meter, relaxation, pain, anxiety, Holographic Music, books, audio cassettes, Stress Thermometer, Mood Card, stress spots, training, stress card, biodot

Now take a Life Stress Test this scale will help determine the level of pressure you are facing from major life stress events in the past year.


References

If you would like to read more about how Stress affects Body Temperature go to :
STRESS AND BODY TEMPERATURE
Research Articles on Biofeedback
Resources on Stress - various articles on stress. See Hot list for web sites.
Headaches - describes headaches and recommends relaxation and biofeedback

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