Monday, April 23, 2018

Do You Know How Stressed You Really Are?

Life changes.  Sometimes without warning.  It curls in on you, and catches you off guard.  Other times, we purposefully plan for the changes.  We get excited about them.  And, they often don’t turn out the way we expect them to.   Both situations can create stress, and ultimately push you close to or beyond your limits. 

Common life changes my clients are dealing with right now are fairly significant changes, ranging from loss of job, death of one or more close family member(s), marital separation, retirement, change in financial state,  finishing schooling, and searching for meaningful work.  Some of the changes are being actively pursued in a very purposeful fashion, but others have created upheaval in their lives.  The one common statement I have heard from all of them has been gratitude for their support system, and having someone to help them look for the truth of the situation and set goals to take the next right step toward their vision of their best life.

I know most of you have seen this list in a variety of formats and venues, but I thought it might be helpful to bring it to your attention again, just so you might take a brief moment to check out your level of stress today.

 The Life Events List, developed by Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe, University of Washington School of Medicine, is also known as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale.  The scale is used by many psychologists and therapists to determine your level of stress, based on the most stressful life events that you have had, during the past year.

Both Good and Bad Events Increase Stress

This life events scale is based on the theory that good and bad events in a person’s life can increase stress levels.

The current acceptance of the triad of mind, body and spirit recognizes that increased stress levels make a person more susceptible to physical and mental health  problems. 

Here’s how to use the scale.

  • If an event has taken place in your life in the last 12 months, copy the number beside the event.
  • If a particular event has happened to you more than once within the last 12 months, multiply the value (number beside the life event) by the number of occurrences.
  • Add them up to obtain the total score.

For example, in the last 12 months if you have experienced the death of a spouse (100) and a personal injury(53) your total would be 153.

Event Value # times My Score
Death of a spouse 100    
Divorce 73    
Marital Separation 65    
Jail term 63    
Death of a close family member 63    
Personal injury or illness 53    
Marriage 50    
Fired at work 47    
Marital reconciliation 45    
Retirement 45    
Change in health of family member 44    
Pregnancy 40    
Sex difficulties 39    
Gain of a new family member 39    
Business readjustments 39    
Change in financial state 38    
Death of a close friend 37    
Change to a different line of work 36    
Change in number of arguments with spouse 35    
Mortgage over $50,000 31    
Foreclosure of mortgage 30    
Change in responsibilities at work 29    
Son or daughter leaving home 29    
Son or daughter coming back home 29    
Trouble with in-laws 29    
Outstanding personal achievements 28    
Spouse begins 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 work hours or conditions 20    
Change in residence 20    
Change in school 20    
Change in recreation 19    
Change in religious activities 19    
Change in social activities 18    
Loan less than 50,000 17    
Change in sleeping habits 16    
Change in number of family get-togethers 15    
Change in eating habits 15    
Single Person Living Alone 14    
Vacation 13    
Holidays 12    
Minor violation of laws 11    

What’s Your Score?

Add all your numbers together to get the total.  The higher the number, the higher your stress level.

  • Low – if your score is Below 149
  • Mild – if your score is Between 150-200
  • Moderate – if your score is Between 200-299
  • High – if your score is Above 300

Your level of susceptibility to illness, disease and mental health problems increases with stressful events happening in your life.  Every time you have a change in your life, you need to adapt, regain stability and therefore maintain health.  The higher your score, the more effort and diligence you will need to relieve stress and tension.

If your score put you in the moderate to high range, then you need to address your stress level–right away.  You are in danger of having stress affect your overall health–and it may be already interfering with your abilities to function normally and handle everyday issues.

It is very important that you develop a personal stress management plan, and get to work right away to reduce stress and tension in your life!  Coaching can help you create the awareness of where your stress is coming from, create the vision of what you would like your life to be in the near future, and help you set the goals to get there.  One right step at a time. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for five great things you can do to lower your stress level.

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

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