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Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nurtition, Exercise, and Weight

  This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff in collaboration with Sanford Health Systems.

Everybody has a different response to stress. Some people turn to unhealthy habits like eating junk food or vegging in front of the TV. Stress can make it hard for some people to sleep. There are a few common "stress personalities." See which one you might have, and learn how to handle stress in a healthy way that sets a good example for your kids.

1. You get cut off in traffic -- for the fifth time today. Are you more likely to:

a. Hurl a few profanities and hit your steering wheel.

b. Swallow your rage and think about anything but traffic.

c. Pop a pill for your pounding headache.

d. Take some deep breaths.

2. The laundry is piling up, the toilet's overflowing, the kids are screaming, and your partner asks when dinner will be ready. Do you:

a. Yell, "When you figure out how to turn on the stove!"

b. Hide in your bedroom and watch TV.

c. Eat a big bowl of ice cream.

d. Calmly ask your partner to tackle the toilet while you take the kids for a walk around the block to reset.

3. You've missed an important work deadline and your boss is upset. Do you:

a. Get mad at the co-worker who let you down on the project.

b. Lay low in your cubicle until the storm passes.

c. Lie awake all night worrying that you'll get fired.

d. Write down your worries on a piece of paper. Crumple it up and throw it away to unburden yourself. Then, make a plan and talk about next steps with your boss.

Answer Key

If you mostly answered D, congratulations! You’re a stress-fighting champion who really knows how to handle stress in healthy ways. Keep up the good work and carry on!

If you mostly answered A, you tend to be an "over-reacter" to stress. You may yell, throw things or slam doors, and lash out when you get stressed.

Mostly Bs, and you're a "withdrawer." You probably pull away from conflict and stress and isolate yourself.

Mostly Cs, and you're what psychologists call a "somatizer." You’re likely someone who feels stress as physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, and sleep problems. Or you may turn to unhealthy behaviors like eating junk food.

No matter your stress personality, the key now is to find healthier ways to deal with your stressful feelings -- and then explain to your kids how they, too, can feel better by using those same good coping tools.

The Healthy Way to Deal With Stress

It's important for you and your kids to learn to deal with stress in a healthy way. Stress can cause you to make unhealthy choices, like loading up on sugary foods, watching TV instead of exercising, or staying up fretting instead of getting the sleep you need. All of these can lead to unhealthy weight gain.


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