Don’t Have A Cow, Man…Or How To Cope With Stress
September 13, 2013

Don’t Have A Cow, Man…Or How To Cope With Stress

A week or so ago, I was playing around on the internet—looking stuff up, sending emails, reading up on the news—when I came upon the redOrbit Stress Quiz. Now, for the life of me, I am not sure how I came to this page or what in my Google searches led me there, but I was curious. I mean, I write for redOrbit, so I wanted to know what this quiz was all about. One of the things I love about redOrbit is the variety in its articles, blogs, references, and other helpful tools, like the Stress Quiz.

As the Stress Quiz page explains, if stress continues over the long term, “it can increase your risk of health problems, including heart disease, depression, infection, and sleep problems.” Science, medicine, and experience prove all this to be true. Stress also takes its emotional toll on us. We feel stress even in our confidence levels and abilities.

So, redOrbit put together the Stress Quiz, which focuses on how we cope with stress. Stress is almost inevitable in 21st century America, so knowing how we cope with stress is important as is healthy coping mechanisms for stress.

So, I took the stress quiz to learn about how I cope and in turn figure out where I need to improve those coping skills. The quiz asked the following six questions:

  1. In a stressful situation, what are you most likely to do first?
  2. How do you act when you’re under stress?
  3. When you’re stressed, how do you relate to your friends and family?
  4. How do you treat yourself when life gets stressful?
  5. When everything is changing around you, how do you react?
  6. Have you noticed any of these signs of stress lately? Select all that apply to you.

As I answered each question, I wondered about the outcome and how I would react to it. Here is redOrbit’s breakdown of my results:

How do you approach a stressful situation?
When you’re under stress, you like to deal with your feelings up front. You recognize and work through the emotions that you feel in the situation. This can be very healthy, as you are in touch with yourself and can deal with your emotions. However, make sure that you are also able to look at the situation objectively when it’s time to deal with it.
How does stress affect you physically?
You may show some signs of stress, but it does not seem to be taking control of you. You have found a healthy balance: you are not holding the stress in, but you aren’t taking it out on others either.
How do you relate to others when you’re stressed?
When you’re stressed, you withdraw into yourself. Even introverts need to be able to talk to someone in stressful times. Make sure that you do not cut yourself off from friends and family.
Are you kind to yourself when you are stressed?
When it comes to the crunch, you put in some extra work, but you’re careful to keep some personal time. You have found a good compromise between hard work and taking care of yourself.
How much control do you need?
When everything’s changing around you, you go with the flow. You realize that change, like stress is a fact of life. You have found a way to adapt to change, and still feel like you are in control.
How well are you coping with stress?
In general, you’re doing a pretty good job of coping with stress. But your body is still giving you some stress signals. Listen to your body, and learn how to reduce your stress level. Here are some stress coping tips.


I actually feel pretty good about my results and how I cope with stress. Obviously, I need to watch my introvert tendencies to withdraw into myself, but that is really more a part of my personality than it is a reaction to stress. I am an introvert. That’s what I do.

My results suggested I check out some stress coping tips (see the link above), so I thought I’d list what those are:

  • Take care of myself by eating healthy, exercising, resting, avoiding certain stimulants or addictive substances, and scheduling some quiet time.
  • Talk to a friend or family member.
  • Simplify life by setting priorities, organizing time, eliminating clutter, saying no when it’s appropriate, and delegating and asking for help.
  • Learn to recognize stressful situations.

You know…these aren’t bad bits of advice. Of course, stress can lead to very serious medical issues thus if you feel like the stress is more than something you can handle or if it leads to serious medical conditions, contact your doctor. redOrbit suggests doing so if you seriously suffer from any of the following symptoms:

  • depressed mood
  • loss of interest and pleasure
  • unexpected weight loss or gain
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • thoughts of death or suicide
  • major changes in your activity level (either agitation or loss of energy)
  • sleep problems (either sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping)
  • major difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • chest pain
  • trouble swallowing food
  • changes in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea)
  • heartbeat that is fast or erratic (for no obvious reason)

All in all, I am really glad I stumbled upon this Stress Quiz from redOrbit. With the beginning of a new semester with new classes and new students, I needed a moment to remember just how important stress management is. Thanks for this, redOrbit.

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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