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    Stress Survey: Who Are You?

    We could fill an entire book on the stress we face just in trying to make it from day to day, with sufficient illustrations of pathological personalities to depress us all. Instead, I want us to look at some specific, postive ways to move beyond the prison of the there and then to the excitement of living an emotionally healthy life in the here and now.

    Take a few moments and answer the following questions. Your answers will help you determine whether or not you are living out a previous, largely erroneous life script or whether you are doing a creative rewrite of ancient copy that is more in line with whom you have chosen to become today. Answer yes, often, sometimes or no to the following:

    Are you weary and tired with your work?

    1) Are you drained emotionally?

    2) Do you hate waking up in the morning because you have to go to the same old job again?

    3) Does your work frustrate you?

    4) Do you clash with colleagues at work, often finding yourself at your wit’s end?

    5) Do you ever think about death as your only means of escape?

    Are you callous toward others?

    1) Do you regard others as objects more than people

    2) Do you have a hard attitude toward colleagues at work?

    3) Do you rejoice to see a coworker endure a hardship, especially if you feel that person has wronged you?

    Have you thrown away your dreams?

    1) Do you blame others for your lack of success?

    2) Have you stopped making plans to do great things with your life?

    3) Do you regard life as little more than a treadmill?

    4) Is life just one big disappointment after another?

    Are you an emotional hermit?

    1) Do you avoid people who make your life stressful?

    2) Do you feel others drain you and take value from you?

    3) Do you enjoy being the Lone Ranger and a law unto yourself?

    4) Is there any value to you in self-imposed isolation?

    If you answered no or only sometimes to most of these questions, you are well on your way to living an emotionally fulfilling life. If, however, you said yes or often to most of the questions, you may well be at some stage of emotional exhaustion. That means you are becoming weaker, not stronger.

    These questions lead you to the larger question: Are you getting on with your life with courage and enthusiasm, knowing that somehow you will fulfill your dreams, or have you all but thrown in the towel? Your answers reflect how you see yourself today but they also may suggest that you are still believing and living out too many of the lies your life script may have been feeding you.

    Next Tuesday: Know Your Gifts

    SOURCE: Chapter 2: “The Long Journey from Darkness to Light” in How to De-Stress Your Life by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.

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