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Natural Highs – Take the Test!

Natural Highs
Feel Good all the Time

Hyla Cass, MD and Patrick Holford

(Adapted from the five questionnaires in Natural Highs)

  • Do you often feel down or blue?
  • Are you stressed out and exhausted much of the time?
  • Are you dependent on coffee, cigarettes or other stimulants to keep you going – and unable to unwind without alcohol, recreational drugs, or other relaxants?

The trouble is, these deplete your energy and have many other downsides, too. This two-minute questionnaire tells you where you stand on the naturally high continuum, and what you can do to feel good all the time. Simply check any statement that is often true for you, and we will give you your personal score. (Don’t worry, no one else will see it!) Remember, it will take you only two minutes to complete!


How Stressed are You?

This questionnaire will help you recognize some of the signs and see where you fit on the stress continuum.
  • Do you have difficulty relaxing?
  • Do you often feel irritable?
  • Do you worry about the little events of the day, and find that you are unable to shut off your mind?
  • Do you smoke or drink excessively (especially by other people’s standards)?
  • Are you competitive and aggressive?
  • Do you find it hard to relate to people?
  • Do you find yourself impatient with others?
  • Do you eat quickly?
  • Do you take on too much?
  • Do you have difficulty delegating?
  • Do you have aching limbs, tense muscles, or recurrent headaches?
  • Do you have a dry mouth and sweaty palms?
  • Do you feel a lack of interest in sex?
  • Do you have problems sleeping?

Scoring

1–5: Like most of us, you could use some practical ideas on how to calm down when challenges arise. Or you may want to reach states of even deeper peace. If so, read on for some inspiring ideas.

6–10: You are quite stressed. Pay attention to these warning signs. This is the only body you have. Treat it well. You’ll see how to do this in the following pages.

11–14: You are very stressed. Clean up your act before there are serious consequences. Turn to Chapter 4 to find out how.


Energy Check

To get an idea of how depleted your energy might be and how dependent you are on stimulants, check yourself out in the following questionnaire.
  • Do you have trouble getting up in the morning?
  • Do you rely on a cup of coffee to get you going in the morning?
  • Do you feel tired all the time?
  • Do you often feel foggy, fuzzy, or dull?
  • Do you have trouble concentrating?
  • Do you use sugar, caffeine (tea, coffee, caffeinated soft drinks), or a cigarette as a pick-me-up throughout the day?
  • Are you often irritable or angry for no apparent reason?
  • Do your moods seem to go up and down for no apparentreason?
  • Are your mood swings often relieved by food, especiallysweets?
  • Do you have trouble falling asleep at night?
  • Do you have headaches or shaky feelings that are relieved by sugar, caffeine, or cigarettes?
  • Do you suspect you’re addicted to coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, or cigarettes?
  • Do you find yourself constantly in crisis?
  • Are you drawn to thrills, danger, and drama in your life?

Scoring

1–5: We all have our moments—bad moods, feeling tired or foggy, and in need of a pick-me-up, but there may be some warning signs for you here.

6–10: You are showing signs of depleted energy and may even be overly dependent on stimulants to keep you going. Chapter 5 will explain what is happening in your body and how to make healthier choices.

11–14: You are quite depleted and at risk for becoming hooked on stimulants. It is affecting your mental and physical health. You can get off them with the right diet, supplement, and lifestyle changes. We will show you how in Chapter 9.


Mood Check

See where you fit on the continuum from happy and content to blue, all the way down to clinically depressed. (No one but you will be looking at the answers, so be honest!)

  • Do you feel downhearted, blue, and sad?
  • Do you feel worse in the morning?
  • Do you have crying spells or often feel like crying?
  • Do you have trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night?
  • Is your appetite poor, or are you losing weight without trying?
  • Are you overeating and/or gaining weight?
  • Do you feel unattractive and unlovable?
  • Do you prefer to be alone?
  • Do you feel fearful?
  • Are you often tired and irritable?
  • Is it an effort to do the things you used to do with ease?
  • Do you feel hopeless about the future?
  • Do you find it difficult to make decisions?
  • Do you feel less enjoyment from activities that once gave you pleasure?

Scoring

1–5: You are normal, usually able to roll with the punches. Chapter 6 will give you clues on how to handle those occasions when things aren’t going so well for you.

6–10: You have a mild to moderate case of the blues. Read on to see how this can happen, and then, to the solutions.

11–14: You are moderately to markedly depressed. Besides reading Chapter 6, consider seeking professional help.

If you were in the depressed range, you should start by consulting your physician or health practitioner to make sure there is no physical cause for your problems. Then, unless you are fortunate to have someone who does both, consult a psychotherapist and a natural medicine practitioner (see the Resources section). A psychotherapist will deal with psychological issues, while a natural medicine practitioner will help to find any underlying chemical imbalance that might be causing the problem.


Memory Check

Some of us have a gradual decline in memory and don’t even realize it. This questionnaire will help you to determine where you stand on the memory scale.
  • Is your memory deteriorating?
  • Do you find it hard to concentrate and often get confused?
  • Do you sometimes forget the name of someone you know quite well?
  • Do you often find you can remember things from the past but forget what you did yesterday?
  • Do you ever forget what day of the week it is?
  • Do you ever go looking for something and forget what you are looking for?
  • Do your friends and family think you’re more forgetful than you used to be?
  • Do you find it hard to add numbers without writing themdown?
  • Do you often experience mental tiredness?
  • Do you find it hard to concentrate for more than one hour?
  • Do you often misplace your keys?
  • Do you frequently repeat yourself?
  • Do you sometimes forget the point you’re trying to make?
  • Does it take you longer to learn things than it used to?

Scoring

1–5: You don’t have a major problem with your memory—but you’ll find that supplementing with natural mind and memory boosters will sharpen your memory even more.

6–10: Your memory definitely needs a boost—you are starting to suffer from brain drain. Follow all the diet and supplement recommendations in Chapter 3 and check your stress levels.

11–14: You are experiencing significant memory decline and need to do something about it. As well as following the diet and supplement recommendations in Chapter 3, see a nutritionist who can identify other causes of memory decline, such as a stress hormone imbalance, especially if you also scored high on the stress questionnaire.


Connection Check

Check out how “connected” you feel. You may be more alone or isolated than you realize.
  • Do you lack a sense of self-worth?
  • Do you lack enthusiasm?
  • Are you bored?
  • Do you feel lonely much of the time or find it difficult to be alone?
  • Do you feel disconnected from your local community or your workplace?
  • Do you lack good friends you can really talk to?
  • Do you feel different, like the “odd one out”?
  • Do you lack a sense of purpose or meaning in your life?
  • Are you unclear about your spiritual values?
  • Do you find it difficult to receive love from others?
  • Do you lack a sense of peace and contentment?
  • Do you seldom have experiences of great joy or love?
  • Do you seldom feel a connection with nature?
  • Do you abuse your body with bad diet, drugs, overwork, or lack of rest?

Scoring

Note:Any “Yes” answer indicates some measure of disconnection. Higher scores will reflect an underlying tendency to depression as well. If your mood score seems to correlate with this one, first cover the basics of the mood enhancers in Chapter 6. Then, the advice in Chapter 8 will help you to feel more connected to yourself and others and to develop a sense of meaning and purpose. Consider taking up group activities that promote all of these, such as yoga, t’ai chi, or meditation classes.

1–5: You have some degree of disconnection.

6–10: Your level of disconnection is a cause for concern, and you may have a tendency toward depression. Be sure to read Chapter 8 and monitor yourself to make sure the situation doesn’t worsen.

11–14: You are experiencing a high degree of disconnection and should reevaluate your life regarding what is important to you. Besides following the advice above, consider seeing a counselor or psychotherapist, or attending a personal development course (see the Resources section).

 

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