Are you overly anxious? Way too stressed out? Or just in need of a little more mindfulness? Before we dive into New Year’s Resolutions, we thought a bracing dose of self-awareness could be just the trick. To that end, we’ve culled together five classic diagnostics that help you assess your stress levels, your coping mechanisms, your tolerance for uncertainty, and your overall optimism.
B ear in mind that these are classic psychological tests. That means they’re written by humorless scientists and we cannot be held accountable for their clinical lingo. They also come (in most instances) with scores. Sometimes it’s unclear how to interpret these scores, but don’t let that stress you out. However you rate on these quizzes, the value is in the process of asking the questions—and perhaps also seeing how uncomfortable some of them make you!
Quiz #1 – How much stress are you experiencing in your life?
At ten questions, this diagnostic will give you a very quick summary of what your relative stress level is, as compared to people of your gender and/or age group. If you’re way over the average, you might want to plan a few more vacations for next year. If you’re way under the average, congratulations, sounds like you’ve got a chill sitch.
Perceived Stress Scale: Take the quiz!
Quiz #2 – How many stressful events have you endured this year?
If you want to go on an even deeper stress quest, this inventory-style quiz will help you analyze how many stressful events you’ve experienced in the past year. It’s not going to give you any “action items” to pursue, but it’s interesting to take stock of whether you’ve had a particularly trying year emotionally, or one to be grateful for. (Sidenote: We do not agree with the authors of this scale that being a “single person living alone” is an emotional stressor. Yeesh.)
Social Readjustment Rating Scale: Take the quiz!
Quiz #3 – What strategies are you using to cope with your stress?
Okay, so now you know how stressed out your are (or aren’t). But how are you dealing with it? Are you laughing it off? Are you criticizing yourself? Are you talking it out with friends? This brief diagnostic gives you a good window into the habits you rely on to deal with stress, be they good or bad. For this one, scroll to the bottom and answer the questions 1 through 28.
COPE Inventory: Take the quiz!
Quiz #4 – How much do you worry about the uncertainty of the future?
Risk and uncertainty are (for better or worse) a part of life. And with technology reinventing our world every few years, getting comfortable with the unknown is becoming more of an asset each day. So what’s your attitude toward uncertainty? Wildly enthusiastic? Mildly paralyzed? This 27-question quiz will give you deeper insight into how much anxiety you have about not knowing what’s next.
Intolerance of Uncertainty Scale: Take the quiz!
Quiz #5 – How optimistic are you?
This super-short questionnaire will give you an idea of how optimistic your general outlook on life is. There is no scoring key so your interpretation of your score is, in itself, a sort of test of your optimism. We’re not entirely sure how useful this quiz actually is, but it made us feel pretty good about our attitude so we included it!
Life Orientation Test: Take the quiz!
Quiz #6 – How mindful are you?
Many of us are spending an increasing amount of our time focused not on where we are, but where we could be. We could be chatting up that stranger at the end of the bar, but no we’re checking out our friends’ Instagram feeds. We could be enjoying a peaceful morning in bed, but no we’re checking our email as soon as we awake. Are we ever really living in the moment? This short mindfulness questionnaire will enlighten you.
Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory: Take the quiz!
That Was Depressing. Now What?
So you found out that you’re not totally stress-free and confident about the future? Us, too. Lest we leave you feeling blue, we put together a quick list of resources on 99U below that can help you sort out some ways to de-stress, get comfortable with risk-taking, or just improve your overall well-being.