Please note: this scale is not a clinical diagnostic instrument and is provided for educational purposes. It merely identifies some of the more common symptoms of stress. If you have any concerns about your state of emotional health, you should consult with a mental health professional.

INSTRUCTIONS: In the last month, how often has the following been true for you? Write the number that fits your reality on the line before each question.


0 | Never

1 | Seldom

2 | Sometimes

3 | Often

4| Always


  1.   I feel tired.

  2.   I find it very hard to relax or “wind-down.”

  3.   I find it hard to make decisions.

  4.   My heart races and I find myself breathing rapidly.

  5.   I have trouble thinking clearly.

  6.   I eat too much or too little.

  7.   I get headaches.

  8.   I feel emotionally numb.

  9.   I think about my problems over and over again during the day.


INSTRUCTIONS: In the last month, how often has the following been true for you? Write the number that fits your reality on the line before each question.


10.   I have sleeping problems (e.g., trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, trouble waking up, nightmares, etc).

11.   I have trouble feeling hopeful.

12.   I find myself taking unnecessary risks or engaging in behaviour hazardous to health and/or safety.

13.   I have back and neck pain, or other chronic tension-linked pain

14.   I use caffeine or nicotine more than usual.

15.   I feel overwhelmed and helpless.

16.   I have nervous habits (e.g., biting my nails, grinding my teeth, fidgeting, pacing, etc).

17.   I forget little things (e.g. where I put my keys, people’s names, details discussed during the last work meeting).

18.   I have stomach upsets (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, gas).

19.   I am irritable and easily annoyed.

20.   I have mood-swings and feel over-emotional.

21.   I find it hard to concentrate.

22.   I have trouble feeling that life is meaningful.

23.   I am withdrawn and feel distant and cut off from other people.

24.   I use alcohol and/or other drugs to try and help cope.

25.   My work performance has declined and I have trouble completing things.





0 – 25:

A score in this range suggests that you’re probably in great stress-shape!

26 – 50:

A score in this range suggests that you may be experiencing a low to moderate degree of stress.

51 – 75:

A score in this range suggests you may be experiencing a moderate to high degree of stress.

76 – 100:

A score in this range suggests that you may be experiencing a very high degree of stress.


Credit: Headington Institute

Image by Eric Ward

How you can help your own mental health

Coping Strategies. You can help yourself by building up your mental resilience by learning tapping.  Meditation also helps as it grows that part of the brain.
When you think a bad thought about yourself, ask if it’s really true. Remember, thoughts aren’t real. They are just thoughts. Your mind cannot hold two thoughts at the same time. Replace the negative thought with something positive. Your mind learns by repetition, so tell yourself over and over that you are good enough etc, that everything will be ok.

The mind doesn’t know the difference between something real or imagined, so go over in your mind that difficult conversation, interview etc but with a positive outcome. Your mind will think that you’ve already done this, so making it easy when you actually come to do it for real.


Stop constantly criticising yourself all the time , you wouldn’t do that you your best friend, so don’t do it to yourself. Every day say nice words to yourself, and treat yourself with kindness. Take time out to do the things you love without feeling guilty. Look at this as recharging your batteries. 
Praise yourself and let in praise from other people. Write down everything nice anyone has ever said to you or done for you.
Really question your thoughts, are they real, it is true what you are staying to yourself? Go back and think where has that negative self-belief come from.
Seek help if your issues is impacting your life in a negative way. If you find yourself becoming irritable, short tempered, snapping at people, drinking too much, taking medication for anxiety, not sleeping, have no energy, feel no joy in your life.
Speak to a family member, or a friend. Some people won’t do this because they think they have to suffer, they want to punish themselves. ‘My husband died I feel guilty if I’m happy’.  

Don’t watch the news, or any soaps. Instead, watch comedy, laughing produces endorphins Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
Studies so far have shown that laughter can help relieve pain, bring greater happiness, and even increase immunity.  
Don’t buy any newspapers. Instead read a funny book or meditate.
Stay away from those negative people. Practice learning to say ‘no’ to things you really don’t want to do.
Praise yourself. Say positive things to yourself every day.

Anxiety tips

Inhale deeply twice through the nose, then extended exhale through the mouth.
Do this 1 – 3 times
This bring your body and mind to a relaxed state
This will bring your autonomic arousal back to baseline
You will be blowing off carbon dioxide
Stroking your face and chin is very calming. You have receptors on the side of your face.
Drink plenty of water.
Roll saliva around your mouth – you get a dry mouth when you are stressed and this sends a message to your brain that you are stressed.
Push down your shoulders, again tense shoulders send a message to your brain that you are stressed.
Rub hands together slowly
Stick tongue between your lips
Keep telling yourself that you are calm and in control
Visualise that are in the interview, or giving a speech feeling calm, relaxed and smiling.

Hypnosis recording to boost your confidence