Stress is a measurement of the pressure placed on a system. As a result of this open-ended definition, “stress test” can refer to a wide variety of different evaluations.
In most cases, however, the term “stress test” means either a cardiac stress test or a psychological stress test. In this guide, we’ll mainly focus on the latter, but we’ll also discuss the general concept of a stress test.
What is a stress test?
A stress test is an evaluation conducted to determine how much stress a system can take. In computing, stress tests are used to determine the upper limits of graphics processing. In architecture, stress tests are used to determine the load-bearing capacity of designs.
In human health, on the other hand, stress tests are used to determine how well your body and mind hold up under pressure. You could look at every day as a stress test in a way — we’re all under stress all the time, so the very act of living is a test of our ability to overcome.
Clinicians have devised specific ways to determine how well people handle stress. These evaluations are usually used to determine how a person’s heart handles stress caused by cardiac conditions, but different types of stress tests can also be used to determine how well a person handles psychological stress.
What types of stress tests are there?
Let’s break things down a little further:
— Cardiac stress tests —
These stress tests are used to determine how much pressure your heart can take before it fails. Of course, the heart isn’t pushed to the point of actual failure, but readings taken during exertion are used to project a patient’s ability to bear cardiac stress. Cardiac stress tests are especially useful when evaluating patients with chronic cardiac conditions.
— Psychological stress tests —
Psychological stress tests are used to determine your ability to resist forms of social stress and stress that emerges from negative self-talk. These tests usually involve being forced to perform complicated calculations without enough time and facing incisive personal criticism. Then, your ability to react to these burdensome demands is evaluated to determine your overall adaptability to stress.
— Other stress tests —
There are an infinite number of methods of testing a human being’s ability to handle stress. Researchers and clinicians have determined quite a few ways to find out how well you can handle pressure, and some stress tests incorporate both cardiac and psychological components.
What can I expect from a stress test?
That depends on the type of stress test you’re taking. For a cardiac stress test, you will be connected to an ECG and asked to run on a treadmill. For a psychological stress test, you will be subjected to both emotionally and mentally stressful stimuli and evaluated dispassionately based on your responses.
What is the average time for a stress test?
Cardiac stress tests take around an hour. Psychological stress tests can run somewhat longer — expect to set aside at least two hours. You shouldn’t need to take a whole day off work to get a stress test done, but it won’t exactly be the quickest of appointments either.
How do you prepare for a stress test?
There isn’t much prep work that needs to be done before a psychological stress test. If you’d like, review any available materials regarding the testing methodologies that will be applied, and organize your mind to be prepared for the purposeful challenges you will soon be facing.
Cardiac stress tests often involve specific preparatory procedures. Consult with your physician regarding the best ways to prepare for a cardiac stress test.
What should you not do before a stress test?
For a cardiac stress test, your physician may ask you to avoid certain behaviors or activities before a stress test. There is no universally prescribed preparatory routine for a psychological stress test, however — getting too worked up before your stress test could actually work against you.
How to soothe psychological stress naturally — 5 tips
Whether you took it at home or at a doctor’s office, the results of your stress test might not have been to your liking. Use the following five tips to reduce your stress levels naturally:
1. Breathe deeply — and slowly
Everyone tells you to breathe deeply when you’re stressed out. What they don’t tell you, however, is that each inhalation and exhalation needs to last around 6 seconds.
Yep, count to six (or technically 5.5) every time you breathe in or breathe out. Oh, and it’s also important to only breathe in through your nose — doing so will properly oxygenate your blood while fully excreting any leftover carbon dioxide.
2. Exercise while inhaling through your nose
Exercise is one of the best stress-busters of all time. There are right and wrong ways to exercise, though.
Huffing, puffing, and panting might be associated with extreme exertion. Highly trained athletes and monks, however, can exert themselves to incredible degrees without panting a single breath. How?
Again, through the power of proper breathing. If you only inhale through your nose while exercising, you’ll absorb more oxygen even if you feel starved for breath at first.
3. Make stress your friend
Part of your problem with stress is that you’re looking at it the wrong way. The feeling of being “stressed-out” is negative, but stress itself isn’t a problem — it’s a tool.
As a reaction to pressure, stress allows you to do more than you could do without it. Since the pressure relief valve for stress appears to be interpersonal interaction, stress is a guiding light leading you to love and companionship.
Don’t make friends with the feeling you get when stress becomes overwhelming and breaks you down. Instead, ride stress like a hawk riding a thermal — reach new vantage points from which to pinpoint your prey, whatever it may be.
4. Connect with others
Interpersonal interaction is kryptonite for stress. Well, some people can stress you out even more, but you know what we mean.
Interactions filled with loving-kindness gently erase the symptoms of stress while also fulfilling one of this natural reaction’s primary purposes — driving you toward compassion.
5. Try organic hemp derivatives
Whether you’re preparing for an upcoming psychological stress test or you’re interested in learning how to handle stress better for any other reason, experimenting with wellness products might be the right approach.=
Certain natural healing substances help your body react better to stress. They’re called adaptogens, and they gradually coax your body into better reactions that persist even once the adaptogens you ingest fully leave your system.
Blue lotus flower, an ancient Eastern medicine, is a powerful adaptogen that has been researched for its potential to permanently improve stress management. Combined with the cannabinoids present in hemp flower, blue lotus takes on entirely new dimensions of effectiveness.The new Secret Nature REM capsule line captures the full benefits of blue lotus flower in our Delta 8-CBC Flow Capsules. Combining delta 8 THC, the rare and non-intoxicating cannabinoid cannabichromene (CBC), and blue lotus flower, these stress-targeted capsules hit differently than anything you’ve ever tried.