When you think your day’s going just fine, it’s there, creeping up behind you.

When you’re snuggled in front of that television and your brain’s gearing up to remind you about that major assignment due the next day, it’s there, getting ready to pounce.

It comes to us all, like death and taxes. In fact, it also comes with death and taxes.

I’m talking, of course, about our good old friend stress!

The statistics surrounding stress actually indicate an alarming epidemic in America. According to Stress.org, 44% of Americans are more stressed out than they were 5 years ago. The organization also says work- related stress is to blame for 10% of all strokes as well as 60% of all illnesses and diseases.

While you might think obesity is America’s biggest problem, consider that 3 out of 4 doctor visits are for stress-related illnesses.¬†That pesky little feeling is responsible for $300 billion in medical bills and lost productivity, $100 billion more than what obesity costs the nation.

Do you know how to tell how stressed you are? There are the normal signs you’re probably familiar with, like headaches, muscle tension, chest pain and upset stomach. But did you know there’s a “fun” way to check your stress level?

Japanese psychiatrist Akioshi Kitaoka created a set of images designed to help viewers of the images determine their state of mind.

Essentially, if you look at these images¬†and they appear to be still, you are relaxed. If they are moving slowly, you’re a tad stressed. If they’re really moving around, you’re super stressed and should probably take it easy.

Right now, the images appear to be moving very slowly for me, which matches the way I feel.

Of course, I wouldn’t go rushing to the hospital or jump to any hard medical conclusions based on these results but it can be a good way to tell if it’s time for you to sit down and take a few deep breaths.


Here are some more illusions to test your stress level with!




So? How stressed are you?