SQL Server very slow all of a sudden

Our SQL Server 2014 is exceptionally sluggish today. I've ALTER INDEXed to Rebuild and Reorg the table keys and I've updated stats. If anything, retrieval response seems slower after having done that. There has been no recent updates to the tables, views or procedures, so no new indexes or joins. I'm thinking perhaps there is a space or index allocation or table size issue of some time. Actual space on the physical drives is fine. I'm no DBA. Can someone give me some hints as to where to look for possible issues?
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jmarkfoleyAsked:
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jmarkfoleyConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
After more experimentation and tracing execution of the program containing the query, I found that it was not the SQL Server query at all! The program was doing a java directory tree traversal and THAT is what was taking all the time. When I commented out the traversal, the form updated quickly. I suppose I should have suspected something other than the query, but the program is large and complex and, well, I just assumed "query" at first.
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Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
How about the server memory and how much is reserved for the SQL Server instance?
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
The server has 16G of memory. I don't know how much is reserved for SQL Server, but I'm running SQL Server 2014 Express which, I believe, allocates 1G per instance. There is one instance running. There is only one user connected.

I believe it may be that there is a particular query that is the problem, rather than overall memory/space issues, but not sure. Other queries seem to respond fast enough, but this one take quite a while, over a minute, whereas just yesterday it would complete in under 10 seconds.
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Vitor MontalvãoConnect With a Mentor MSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
Ok, now you said everything. SQL Server Express has limitations and 1GB of RAM might no be enough for you anymore (the database has grown). You'll need to spend some money and go for a SQL Server Standard Edition.
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jmarkfoleyAuthor Commented:
I found the REAL problem
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