How do you tame tension? Take the surefire stress-busters quiz.
Feeling frazzled? Are you one of the millions of people who feel they may be just one e-mail or traffic jam away a breakdown? Take our stress-busters quiz to test your stress management skills and learn new ways to keep your cool.start quiz
Question 2 of 21
Fact or fiction: All stress is bad for your health.
... Fiction: Stress can be good or bad. Good stress often accompanies exciting events, such as a wedding or the birth of a child, while bad stress comes with negative events, like losing your job. Good stress can actually sharpen your senses and increase focus during challenging times.
Question 3 of 21
Studies show that sniffing this scent can help lower stress levels.
... Aromatherapy can significantly lower stress levels and reduce anxiety. Lavender, in particular, has a calming effect.
Question 4 of 21
Fact or fiction: Taking deep, slow breaths can cut stress and help you relax.
... Fact: During times of stress, people often take shallow breaths that fail to fill the lungs. Slowing your breathing and taking deep breaths lowers cortisol levels and temporarily reduces blood pressure.
Question 5 of 21
Fact or fiction: In order for meditation to be effective, it must be performed under the guidance of a trained professional.
... Fiction: Meditation can be performed almost anywhere, from the car to the workplace. Studies show that employees who practice self-guided periods of mental silence and thought reduction can significantly lower workplace stress levels.
Question 6 of 21
Fact or fiction: The act of laughing is enough to lower stress levels.
... Fact: Laughing provides both short-term and long-term stress reduction benefits. In the short term, it lightens your mood, improves circulation and helps you relax. In the long run, laughing boosts the immune system to help you fight stress more effectively in the future.
Question 7 of 21
The Mayo Clinic recommends this style of yoga as one of the best forms of yoga for stress management.
... The Mayo Clinic suggests taking up hatha yoga for stress relief. While all types of yoga can reduce your stress levels, hatha's slow, easy style is particularly beneficial for beating stress.
Question 8 of 21
Fact or fiction: Being more passive in your relationships with others can help reduce stress.
... Fiction: Passive behavior can lead to increased stress levels. Instead of being passive, try being more assertive to make sure your needs are met. This is particularly important during busy times, like the holidays, when too many commitments and events can send stress levels soaring.
Question 9 of 21
Snack on this food to reduce stress naturally.
... Research suggests that Vitamin C, which is found in oranges, can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and boost your immune system.
Question 10 of 21
Fact or fiction: Feeling stressed? A simple smooch from your partner can help you relax.
... Fact: Kissing eases stress hormones and may promote bonding. Holding hands works too, but doesn't pack quite the same stress-busting power as a kiss.
Question 11 of 21
Fact or fiction: Research suggests that chewing gum can reduce stress and anxiety.
... Fact: In a scientific study, researchers found that salivary cortisol levels during periods of mild stress were 16 percent lower in gum chewers than in those who don't chew gum.
Question 12 of 21
How many hours of sleep does the average person need each night?
... The average person needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night to maintain good health and keep stress under control.
Question 13 of 21
Exercise fills your body with these feel-good hormones, which can help lower stress and boost your mood.
... Exercise activates endorphins, which boost your mood and cut stress. Exercise also forces your mind to focus on movement, which can keep you from dwelling on negative or stressful thoughts.
Question 14 of 21
This gentle form of martial arts consists of a series of postures that connect together to create a flowing, relaxing workout.
... Tai chi provides both physical and emotional benefits, combining a low-impact aerobic activity with a focus on a calm mind and inner peace.
Question 15 of 21
Scientific studies show that drinking this beverage cuts cortisol levels and relieves stress.
... Drinking black tea lowers cortisol and aids relaxation and stress relief.
Question 16 of 21
Fact or fiction: Both religious and spiritual activities can help people cope with stress.
... Fact: Studies show that people who practice religion or engage in spiritual activities are better able to cope with stress than people who aren't spiritually active. Regardless of your religion, engaging in spiritual activities often provides a stress-busting social support network.
Question 17 of 21
Fact or fiction: Dog owners report lower levels of stress than people without pets.
... Fact: People with canine companions report lower levels of stress than those without pets. Interacting with animals is also a proven way to cut tension and improve your mood. Pets not only provide a source of companionship, they also offer mood-boosting physical contact.
Question 18 of 21
Fact or fiction: While exercise can lower stress levels, you really need to go to the gym or participate in organized sports to see any benefit.
... Fiction: No need to hit the gym -- even walking briskly a few days a week can be enough to keep stress in check. The National Institutes of Health recommend fitting exercise into your schedule at least three days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes per session.
Question 19 of 21
Fact or fiction: Caffeine can help ease stress.
... Fiction: According to Duke Medicine, the effects of caffeine consumed in the morning can last all day long. Caffeine not only amplifies physical signs of stress and increases blood pressure, but also increases one's perceived stress levels.
Question 20 of 21
Fact or fiction: Consuming alcohol is an effective way to relieve stress.
... Fiction: Drinking actually prolongs feelings of stress, while stressful situations can take away from the typical mood boost provided by a few drinks.
Question 21 of 21
This type of stress-relieving meditation works by increasing your conscious awareness of everything that happens in every moment.
... You might reduce your stress levels by practicing mindfulness meditation, which is focused on heightening your conscious awareness of and attention to your body, your surroundings and your thoughts at every moment.
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