How To Format A Book Review In Associated Press Style The Ardell Wellness Stress Test Self-Assessment

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The Ardell Wellness Stress Test Self-Assessment


Forty-three years have passed since Rodale Press published the first one

popular work on the topic of well-being. The title, “High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs and Disease,” paid tribute to Halbert L. Dunn, a physician who coined the phrase “high level wellness” and used it to promote personal responsibility for health and happiness, including daily attention to sufficient exercise, scientific nutrition, exuberant living and environmental sensitivity. As early as the 1950s and early 1960s, Dr. Dunn promoted a shift in emphasis away from continued reliance on medical care for chronic illnesses and diseases caused in large part by poor lifestyle choices and hazardous environments.

Despite the growth of a wellness movement, the emphasis is still on treatment and cure, rather than prevention and wellness. This fact is one of the many main reasons why the US health care system now costs $3.2 trillion annually. In my opinion, the focus on chronic disease and the associated neglect of life enrichment is the main reason for this staggering level of medical spending, unmatched anywhere else in the world.

A simplified version of my stress test self-assessment appeared in that 1977 book noted above. I have spread it over the years. The test has always been designed to give a broad idea of ​​a number of factors that can lead to emotional and mental tensions of an unpleasant nature, which is basically the meaning of stress, although the term has also been interpreted to include such occasional tensions due to positive factors, such as overexcitability caused by sudden and extreme good fortune. (Personally, I always appreciated such stress and still do).

Basically, though, too many unmanaged positive or negative stressors will lead to health and other problems ranging from misery to ruin. My stress test, still a self-assessment tool after many expansions over the years, remains a self-report instrument aimed at personal insights. It is not a test in any technical sense. Unless validated under controlled conditions over time with scientific rigor, it will serve only for purposes of self-awareness and insights into areas that warrant attention. Which, by the way, has always been and still is the intention.


Many books have been written about the phenomenon of stress. It is a popular term in our culture and receives a lot of attention in various workplace health promotion programs. Among humans, there are large individual differences in how people respond to and manage stressors at different times and under varying circumstances. What stresses you can, paradoxically, delight me, and vice versa. People thrive and also suffer from stress in their lives in a wide variety of ways. Thus, any self-assessment of stress that increases awareness should lead to less suffering and more prosperity. It seems like a very good thing.

If effective stress management is as beneficial to health as experts in this specialty field claim, the benefits of mastery are considerable. A partial list of benefits includes less brain shrinkage (!), improved emotional health, better management of distressing events, help with concentration, sharper focus, less presenteeism, expanded potentials, lower risk of dementia, and improved sleep cycles.

In short, the following stress test is a test of

assessment or survey of satisfaction with life to date. It should help you embark on or add to a wellness mindset and lifestyle.

We can all improve our ability to manage stress. This test should be useful in exploring issues and concerns that lead to positive resolutions of many challenging situations.

Rating scale

The Ardell Wellness Stress Test, updated and expanded many times since the small chapter of “High Level Wellness,” now incorporates physical, mental, emotional, spiritual (ie, meaning and purpose), and social aspects of wellness. This is one of the reasons many users find the test useful: it provides a balanced assessment of various sources of stress based on a six-point scale, plus a neutral option that indicates no positive or negative emotions associated with any given item. Simply rate your satisfaction in positive or negative degrees for each item.

  • Enter “+3” if your satisfaction with how your life is currently being lived with respect to the given category is “exuberant to ecstatic,” as good or positive as could be expected or hoped for.

  • Enter “+2” if your satisfaction level in the category is “very happy or very satisfied”.

  • Enter “+1” if your satisfaction is “OK to slightly satisfactory”.

  • Enter “0” if your most accurate sense is “not sure” or “no problem”.

  • Enter “-1” if the most accurate answer appears to be “slightly disappointed” to “not quite right”.

  • Enter “-2” if the most/best response is “very disappointed” to “quite unhappy with this”.

  • Enter “-3” if you think the problem in question is “I’m on my way to nowhere” to “I think I’m about to go off a cliff.”

With this scoring system, enter a number to the left of each factor on how much positive or negative stress it generates. When you’ve completed all 25, add your score and read your stress assessment.

The final recommendation when you complete the test and score, regardless of your score, is to familiarize yourself with and commit to a REAL wellness mindset/lifestyle. Real wellness means lifestyles and mindsets guided by reason, inspired by exuberance, and supported

athletics and enabled by freedom.

The self-assessment test

_____ 1. Choice of profession or career

_____ 2. Present work or ability to earn a satisfactory living

_____ 3. Marital status or partner

_____ 4. Primary relationships (family and best friends)

_____ 5. Ability to have fun and the extent to which you experience good times regularly

_____ 6. Number of recent times you have felt exuberant, filled with the feeling that “life is good”

_____ 7. Financial situation and future prospects

_____ 8. Sense of who you are and how you are evolving (self-respect and confidence)

_____ 9. Meaning and purpose in life (includes “spirituality”)

_____ 10. Level of self-esteem and estimation of how others see you

_____ 11. Perspectives of impact on those who know you and possibly on others

_____ 12. Sexual life

_____ 13. Body, how it looks and how it works

_____ 14. Family life, including the variety of interests and passions

_____ 15. Life skills and education: awareness of issues and facts not related to your job or profession

_____ 16. Capabilities to face changes, crises, setbacks and all kinds of unexpected situations

_____ 17. Knowledge, attitudes and nutritional consumption guidelines

_____ 18. Ability to recover from disappointments, injuries and tragedies

_____ 19. Potentials

_____ 20. A variety of interests and a balanced quality in your life

_____ 21. You feel that life for you is on an upward curve, improving and completing all the time

_____ 22. Level of involvement in issues and concerns beyond your immediate interests

_____ 23. Parenting choices and styles/principles for the

guidance of children

_____ 24. Role with the network of friends, family and/or others

_____ 25. Emotional acceptance of the inescapable reality of aging, decline and death

Add the plus number and subtract the minus numbers. Write the total in this space: ______


+ 60 to + 75 – You are in a very good place in general, and you are unlikely to have stress problems on a consistent basis. You have many positive factors in your life that, more than any stress management

technique (eg deep breathing, meditation, etc.), will make you largely immune to the adverse effects of negative emotions when dealing with what life is for. There are few challenges that can distract you from a continuous feeling of well-being nearby as long as your satisfaction

level remains as high as indicated in this evaluation.

  • 36 to + 59 – You are doing well, much better than most. You should find the information available on the concept of wellness appealing and consistent with your move toward effective and healthy living. You already have a fine-tuned ability to handle events and circumstances creatively and efficiently. Additional advances should come easily to you. All the best as you move forward as you learn new skills, especially in areas of critical thinking, exuberant life experience, physical fitness, and expanding your personal freedoms and choices.

  • 20 to + 35 – You have a well-founded appreciation of the importance of lifestyle choices in affecting the quality of your life. You know the value of personal responsibility, a supportive environment, and the cumulative positive effects of small changes, over time. In the coming months, invest additional energy in learning ways to strengthen certain areas. You can increase your satisfactions while reducing your stressors.â‹

  • 0 to + 19 – You can clearly benefit from a modest investment in learning ways to reduce stress and increase pleasure. A flurry of negative circumstances can cause emotional setbacks. Take action now to avoid stalling your steady progress toward mastery of good living and self-efficacy.

The following recommendation applies to the top score range (0 to +19) and the following three score ranges: Review the stressors identified in the 25 statements. Google or otherwise locate at least basic information on these crucial stress-related issues. Repeat the test after doing this reading and, where appropriate, practice selected techniques and perspectives.

  • -1 to – 17. Your ability to use the basic skills of REAL wellness is being inhibited by insufficient management of the stressors in your life. These four key skill areas are 1) the use of reason-based decision making, 2) the enjoyment of exuberant living qualities, 3) the practice of the two keys to athletics (exercise and wise eating), and 4) the ability to to break free from self-imposed restrictions on their personal freedoms. This is a mental health issue of considerable consequence.

  • -18 to -37 – Stress of an everyday nature that interferes with the good life is a serious problem — and it deserves your attention. Stress of a consistent negative nature in life will jeopardize your motivation to make wise choices and to maintain the energy level necessary for good health and an enjoyable life. You are a candidate for counseling. You are too pessimistic or have serious problems dealing with stress.

  • -38 to -75 – Oh, God. What do you do for a living: Are you the supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Il, ruling dictator of the Hermit Kingdom? Do you work in the Trump White House? Something, many things, must be done to lighten the load, to remove much of the stress load from your life.

Let’s look on the bright side for a moment: You’re still alive, you managed to complete the test without suffering a cardiac event, and you probably have a sense of humor, sort of. But seriously, if you really are as stressed as this little set of awareness questions would indicate, it’s time to talk to a wellness professional.

Thank you for taking my stress self-assessment test.

All the best wishes. be well

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