Measuring your stress level

Stress is an inevitable part of the work in international affairs due to fast-paced and high-pressure environments. Although a healthy amount of stress can drive us to stay focused, energetic, and help meet new challenges, too much of it can have significant short and long-term negative effects on your life. This makes managing stress a pivotal skill for professional effectiveness and personal health for people working in diplomacy. Stress management for diplomats is a twofold challenge. Not only do you have to manage your own stress, but also train yourself on how to work most effectively with stressed out people.

Dealing with stress is a little like cooking. Everyone grows up to develop some recipes, but most of us never really learn how to cook. How and when we perceive stress is something very individual, but there are several grounded elements that help in measuring and communicating stress and developing coping mechanisms.  

Taking the Be Mindful Online Test

For the purposes of your diplomatic development training, we recommend measuring your stress level via: https://www.bemindfulonline.com/test-your-stress/

When answering the questions, you are asked to assess the frequency in which you experience stress or related emotions during the last month. When filling out these questions, take your time and go through both personal and professional situations that you can recall during this last period.

After completing the test, you will receive a ‘stress-score’ in the shape of a velocity meter that assesses whether you are well and ‘cruising’ (blue) or if you are already in overdrive and burn out mode (red).

The tool is useful as there is no registration or lengthy follow up. With only ten questions, the test is easily accessible and does not require a lot of resources. However, the test is limiting as it only assesses your stress level from the previous month, which may skew your results. It is therefore recommended that you check on your stress level periodically.

 

Alternative Stress Tests

There are ways to reduce day-to-day stress like delegating work, taking breaks, setting boundaries, as well as building resilience through the improvement of personal relationships and quiet meditation, etc. But here are some alternative stress tests you can take online.

1. 38 Questions by Psychology Today

https://psychologytoday.tests.psychtests.com/bin/transfer?req=MTF8MzIwMHwyNTM1MDI3OXwxfDE=&refempt=

Psychology Today has a more elaborate tests of questions related to stress management that takes into account a wider time framework for analysis. With 38 questions, you will be provided with more in-depth insights on how you generally deal with stress. It has a premium-function that allows you in-depth analysis of your answers. The free version provides you with a more generic assessment.

2. Online Stress Test by Healthy Place

https://www.healthyplace.com/psychological-tests/online-stress-test

The Holmes and Rahe scale uses a number of events which have proven to cause varying degrees of stress. This test is great if you are unsure as to what causes stress for you and to what degree.

3. Workplace Stress Survey by The American Institute of Stress

https://www.stress.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Workplace-Stress-Survey.pdf

The American Institute of Stress has developed this short survey that is geared towards identifying how you deal with work-related stress. The results of it are only indicative (good, regular or poorly) but can help you see where you need to step up your stress management skills.