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When you’re overwhelmed by stress, you can experience many different mental or physical problems. These articles can help you to recognize the signs, understand how stress is affecting you, and take action to deal with the problem.

Depressed Woman

In small doses, stress helps you to stay focused, energetic, and alert. But when stress becomes overwhelming, it can damage your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.

Everyone experiences stress differently but there are some common warning signs and symptoms. Stress can easily creep up on you so that being frazzled and overwhelmed starts to feel normal. You may not realize how much it’s affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll on your mind, body, and behavior.

You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress overload and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.

Do you have a problem with stress? Take this quiz and find out >>

Stress Test

In the last month, how often have you:


Almost Never


Fairly Often

Very Often

1. Been upset because of something that happened unexpectedly?

2. Felt that you were unable to control the important things in your life?

3. Felt nervous and "stressed"?

4. Felt unsure about your ability to handle your personal problems?

5. Felt that things weren’t going your way?

6. Found that you could not cope with all the things that you had to do?

7. Been unable to control irritations in your life?

8. Felt that you weren’t on top of things?

9. Been angered because of things that were outside of your control?

10. Felt difficulties were piling up so high that you could not overcome them?

Please answer all the questions


Interpreting the score:


Your stress level

0 to 10

Below average. Congratulations, you seem to be handling life’s stressors well at the moment.

11 to 14

Average. Your life is far from stress-free so now is the time to learn how to reduce your stress to healthier levels.

15 to 18

Medium-High.You may not realize how much stress is already affecting your mood, productivity, and relationships.

19 +

High. You’re experiencing high levels of stress. The higher your score, the more damage stress is doing to your mind, body, and behavior.

Next Step

Read Stress Symptoms, Causes & Relief.

This questionnaire is not intended to replace professional diagnosis.
Adapted from: Perceived Stress Scale - Sheldon Cohen

Symptoms and types of stress

Stress management and relief

Additionally, it takes energy and focus to successfully make major life changes. You can gain strength through regular exercise and a healthy diet.