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|
|Death of a close family member||63|
|Personal injury or illness||53|
|Fired at work||47|
|Change in health of family member||44|
|Gain of a new family member||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|
|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.