Hi! I'm Dr. Claire Nicogossian, a mom of four, clinical psychologist and author of Mama, You Are Enough: How to Create Calm, Joy, and Confidence Within the Chaos of Motherhood. I was inspired to write this book for many reasons both professionally and personally. In my work, I support moms, just like you, that feel overwhelmed, stressed and preoccupied with guilt and worry that they’re somehow failing their families. Instead of labeling these tough emotions — anger, sadness, anxiety and worry — as negative, I frame these emotions as “shadow emotions.”

And the reason is this: when we label an emotion as negative, we begin to judge ourselves, censor our feelings, push down or ignore what we are experiencing. We lose the essence of understanding ourselves, judging instead of being curious about what we are experiencing, what we may need to pay attention to, and what part of ourselves is in need of nurturance and compassion. Labeling these emotions as shadow emotions creates curiosity and openness to understand what we are experiencing and how to respond.   

By taking this quiz, you will learn what your strengths are with managing stress, labeling your emotions, and the coping skills you use. You will also receive feedback about the areas in your mental and emotional health that need a little nurturing, care, and compassion. 

*This quiz is not a medical or mental health assessment, nor can be a substitute for medical and mental health assessment. If you have concerns about your mental and physical health, please reach out to your health care provider for evaluation and support. 

How many children do you have?
What are their ages?
1. I have difficulty labeling and identifying what I feel:
2. I grew up in a home where feelings were:
3. Responsibilities in my life that feel overwhelming include: (check all that apply)
4. Check all the positive emotions you experience in a given week.
5. Check all the shadow emotions you experience in a given week.
6. I feel happy and have joyful moments:
7. Most days I feel tearful and could cry:
8. There are days when I dread getting out of bed:
9. I get enough sleep and feel rested most days:
10. I worry about so many things:
11. When it comes to my feelings: I act first, then I think about what was going on, and often feel guilty for how I acted:
12. My emotions are in control of my life:
13. I manage and cope with my feelings in healthy ways:
14. Which of the following coping mechanisms, or ways to manage your emotions, do you use? Check all that apply:
15. My ability to handle stress and manage my emotions was easier before I was a parent: The stress in my life is mostly related to parenting:
16. Throughout the week, I feel calm and relaxed:
17. What is the most emotionally challenging part for you in motherhood?
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