Being a parent can be one of life’s most joyful and rewarding experiences, but there are times in everyone’s life when the demands and hassles of daily living cause stress. The additional stress of caring for children can, at times, make parents feel angry, anxious, or just plain “stressed out.” These tensions are a normal, inevitable part of family life, and parents need to learn ways to cope so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by them.
Assessing our mental health is not as simple to do as measuring our physical health. There are no scales or endurance tests that rate mental fitness. But with the help of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Meter, you can reflect on your unique strengths and identify areas where your level of mental fitness could be improved to help you cope with all of life’s up and downs.
We all talk about stress, but we are not always clear about what it is. This is because stress comes from both the good and the bad things that happen to us. If we did not feel any stress, we would not be alive! Stress becomes a problem when we are not sure how to handle an event or a situation. Then worry sets in, and we feel “stressed.”
Stress is a fact of life. No matter how much we might long for a stress-free existence, the fact is, stress is actually necessary. It’s how we respond to stress that can negatively affect our lives.
Although we all talk about stress, it often isn’t clear what stress is really about. Many people consider stress to be something that happens to them, an event such as an injury or a promotion. Others think that stress is what happens to our body, mind and behaviour in response to an event (e.g. heart pounding, anxiety, or nail biting.) While stress does involve events and our response to them, these are not the most important factors. Our thoughts about the situations in which we find ourselves are the critical factor.
Stress can be difficult to understand. The emotional chaos it causes can make our daily lives miserable. It can also decrease our physical health, sometimes drastically. Strangely, we are not always aware that we are under stress. The habits, attitudes, and signs that can alert us to problems may be hard to recognize because they have become so familiar.
Find your stress level right now by completing this test.