Stress: How Much Is Too Much?
By: Beth McHugh 2006
To get an idea of the level of stress you are currently operating under, read each of the events listed below and calculate the number of events which have occurred in the last year. Also include events that you believe may still be affecting you, even if the event occurred prior to the last 12 months.
Life Event Life Change
|Death of spouse||100|
|Death of close family member||63|
|Personal injury or illness||53|
|Retrenched or fired||47|
|Illness of family member||44|
|Birth of new child||39|
|Change of financial state||38|
|Death of close friend||37|
|Change of job||36|
|Increased arguments with spouse||35|
|Foreclosure of mortgage||30|
|Change in responsibilities at work||29|
|Child leaving home||29|
|Problems with in-laws||29|
|Partner begins or stops work||29|
|Begin or end school||28|
|Problems with boss||23|
|Change in work hours or conditions||20|
|Change in residence||20|
|Change of school||20|
|Change in social activities||17|
|Change in sleeping habits||16|
|Change in eating habits||15|
|Minor violation of the law||11|
If your final score is over 300, you are under a considerable amount of stress. Scores between 200 and 300 indicate a moderate stress level, and under 200 points to a low stress load.
This list is obviously incomplete as it does not include events such as sexual assault, having a family member in active service, having a chronic mental illness or a family member with a mental illness, and other common yet stressful situations. The list is not meant to be exhaustive, but to provide a means of approximately assessing the level of stress in your life. Knowledge is power and being aware of your “Stress Score” gives you the opportunity to take steps to alleviate the effect of stress. Increased exercise, better diet, talking to friends and family about what is concerning you, taking up yoga, consulting a counselor: all are useful tools to help you cope with the stress in your life.