It has been demonstrated consistently that stress takes its toll physically and emotionally in some rather serious ways over the years. So the big question is how stressed are you and what can you do about it? The starting place is to determine your stress level and Holmes and Rahe have developed a measuring tool that has gained significant credibility.
To measure stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the number of “Life Change Units” that apply to events in the past year of an individual’s life are added and the final score will give a rough estimate of how stress affects health.
How stressed are you?
|Life event 2||Life change units2|
|Death of a spouse||100|
|Death of a close family member||63|
|Personal injury or illness||53|
|Dismissal from work||47|
|Change in health of family member||44|
|Gain a new family member||39|
|Change in financial state||38|
|Death of a close friend||37|
|Change to different line of work||36|
|Change in frequency of arguments||35|
|Foreclosure of mortgage or loan||30|
|Change in responsibilities at work||29|
|Child leaving home||29|
|Trouble with in-laws||29|
|Outstanding personal achievement||28|
|Spouse starts or stops work||26|
|Begin or end school||26|
|Change in living conditions||25|
|Revision of personal habits||24|
|Trouble with boss||23|
|Change in working hours or conditions||20|
|Change in residence||20|
|Change in schools||20|
|Change in recreation||19|
|Change in church activities||19|
|Change in social activities||18|
|Minor mortgage or loan||17|
|Change in sleeping habits||16|
|Change in number of family reunions||15|
|Change in eating habits||15|
|Minor violation of law||11|
Score of 300+: At risk of illness.
Score of 150-299+: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).
Score 150-: Only have a slight risk of illness.
What can you do about it?
If you scored above 300 (or even above 200), I highly recommend:
- Seeking professional help to learn how to cope with and relieve stress
- Become a student of meditation.
- Assess your lifestyle and make significant changes in the stress-producing areas.
- Find ways to have fun
If you scored high on this test, PLEASE take it seriously and find ways that work for you to reduce the stress level. There is a time, perhaps later on, but there IS a time when the stress takes its toll and will show up in symptoms you really don’t want to have.
Some of us have been there, done that.