Welcome to the first day of the Flourish Challenge!

I’m assuming the reason you’re here is because you know this is an area of your life that could be improved. The first step to overcoming a problem is identifying it in the first place, and you’ve done that part already! It’s helpful to gain a little more insight into your starting point.

The exercises I provide each day are designed to be able to be completed in less than 15 minutes, so that they are achievable, even on top of a busy day. I find that progress can be hindered by getting too much information and trying to implement too many things in one go. Treat each day as an opportunity to ponder, explore, and try out something new. Or perhaps they will be things you have heard or tried before, and you may be prompted to rekindle a past habit, or retry something you had forgotten about. Keep an open mind, and as you go through the challenge, keep an eye out for at least one new thing you would like to try to develop as a long-term practice.

We are often not particularly good at knowing exactly how stressed we are, or how much it’s affecting us. We see everyone else being stressed around us, and start to see it as ‘normal’. Stress often grows slowly, so we don’t realise how much the problem has built gradually over the preceding months, years, or even decades. A ‘perceived stress scale’ is a helpful way of assessing how stressed you are now. Even more helpful, is that you can then repeat it after 6-8 weeks of concerted effort to reduce stress, and gain a more objective insight into how things have changed. Stress reduces slowly, in a similar fashion to its growth, so we often struggle to notice the magnitude of the changes. Your stress scale result may help you appreciate the improvements you make, and encourage you to persist.

Once you have completed the stress scale, you will be emailed your results so that you can refer back to them later. When you see your result, have a think about whether this surprises you, or is as expected. If it does surprise you, bear in mind that any rating scale has its flaws, and it may not be an accurate representation of your current stress levels. But consider whether perhaps you have been over- or under-estimating your stress levels. Take note over the next 24 hours of when and how stress affects you, and times when you feel overwhelmed. If you have extra time to invest in their process, you may like to journal your reflections on this activity and the stressful times you notice today and tomorrow. Writing down your thoughts and emotions can help you consider and process them differently than what you achieve just by thinking about them.

Please ensure you use your correct name and email address so that I can collate your answers to assist in your follow-up call at the end. I respect your privacy, and will not share any of your information outside of this challenge.

Flourish challenge: Perceived Stress Scale Questionnaire

The questions in this scale ask you about your feelings and thoughts during the last month. In each case, you will be asked to indicate by circling how often you felt or thought a certain way. Reference: Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24, 385-396
  • 0 = Never 1 = Almost Never 2 = Sometimes 3 = Fairly Often 4 = Very Often

  • I value your privacy and will not share your contact details with others. You can unsubscribe from my email list at any time.