Stress, What Stress?

I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. Jerome Klapka Jerome
Irene Schiff

Stress is usually thought of as a psycho-physical condition caused by a life that is too busy, too full of problems. Sometimes it may be “just” a particular moment that is too challenging even if it has been desired for a long time, such as the birth of a child, an advancement in one’s career, moving into the longed-for house. Problems and fatigue. Some people are so busy solving problems that they do not even have time to think about how they could live differently or they would like to but cannot or think they cannot do otherwise. They say, “Of course I could stop work and go on holiday but to go on holiday you need money, so to have money I have to work.” 


Of course, work can be stressful, but not having a job can also be stressful. Others say that we live in stressful times and regret the life of yesteryear that they consider idyllic. However, if we think about it, it could also have been less glamorous and more stressful to live by hunting wild animals, without proper medical science, and without the help of machines that facilitated the work. In more common, non-clinical language, there is also the opposite stress resulting from a monotonous and unfulfilling life. Sometimes some people feel like the wandering shepherd of Asia in Giacomo Leopardi’s poem, who asks the moon, “Why are you there, Moon, in the sky? Tell me why you are there, silent Moon. You rise at night to contemplate deserts: then you set. Are you not sated yet with riding eternal roads?” They think they are living a life that is like a copy paste of the previous days: every day the same things just like the moon that always travels the same path and always has the same view. What can sometimes be considered a source of stress is not only the objective situation, but also not being in control of one’s surroundings, feeling powerless or crushed by work, by a life that is deemed unfulfilling. 

So, what are we talking about? Fatigue or boredom? Satisfaction or emotional stress? Faced with the same situations, people may react in different ways. What is yours?





1) A new year …

a) a new life

b) the same problems

c) let’s expect the worse


2) Someone has criticized your work

a) next time they can do it themselves

b) it’s got to be done all over again

c) next time I’ll do it better


3) You have had a wish for a long time

a) I will make it come true sooner or later

b) it’s too late now

c) this year I will make it come true


4) You hear someone say, “he’s a great actor”; they are talking about

a) a play

b) a liar

c) someone friendly


5) You’ve had insomnia for a week, you

a) take sleeping pills

b) take herbal tea

c) think: I’ll sleep eventually


6) You get emails, you

a) reply immediately to all of them

b) reply right away to the most important ones

c) reply when you have time


7) My next holidays

a) a tour around the world

b) lots of rest

c) some exercise and peace of mind


8) You’re alone in the office today

a) I’ll do what I can

b) I’m resting today

c) how will I do it all?


9) You essentially think about

a) the harm done to you

b) the pleasures you’ve had

c) the friendships you have now


10) A friend is teasing you, you

a) get angry

b) tease him as well

c) pretend that nothing happened


11) When you hear the word “door,” you think about

a) the exit of your home

b) the soccer goal

c) a command to do something


12) You are offered a position with responsibilities

a) you turn it down; too tiring

b) about time!

c) you hope to be live up to every expectation


13) Tomorrow, you have to hand in a job, but you’re late

a) they’ll have to wait

b) you stay up all night to finish it

c) you hand it in even though it’s not perfect


14) They are promoting a touristic destination

a) how beautiful, it’s all organized!

b) how ugly, it’s all organized

c) since it’s all organized, I’ll be able to do other things


15) What you like most in a novel

a) the protagonists’ feelings

b) the descriptions of places

c) the protagonists’ adventures



Question A B C


1) 1 2 3

2) 3 1 2

3) 2 3 1

4) 1 3 2

5) 3 2 1

6) 1 2 3

7) 3 1 2

8) 2 1 3

9) 3 1 2

10) 3 2 1

11) 1 2 3

12) 1 3 2

13) 3 1 2

14) 1 3 2

15) 2 1 3




A proverb says: If you see all grey, move the elephant! Maybe indeed your life is monotonous, but you can do something to make it more meaningful. Your friends are not calling you? You call them! If, for example, you cannot change your job or present situation, you can try having a hobby and if you don’t like it, you can always find another one. There is also the possibility of volunteering: being useful is good for you and for others. Try adding a little salt to your life!



Life has probably already put you in difficult situations. You realized that it is up to you to find the appropriate solutions. You don’t feel sorry for yourself, you roll up your sleeves. You can also ask for help from friends or co-workers and together you tackle problems. A little bit of angst, a little bit of smiling, but you know you can do it.



It may be an objectively difficult moment, or it is your own ways of thinking about this moment that make you not react appropriately. You can try to find alternatives or ask for help. Realizing that you cannot cope alone is not humiliation but proof of maturity. The important thing is to find the right strategy and return to a state of calm.


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