Life Events – Are you stressed?

Woman Looking Anxious
Grab a pencil. If you’ve experienced any of the following over the last two years jot down the number alongside the event. Add up all the events you’ve experienced and create a total. For example if you lost your jobs and got married in the last year your score would be 50 + 47 = 97. Scroll to the bottom to see what it all means.

Life Event Stress Score
Death of Spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Prison sentence 63
Death of family member 63
Injury or illness (more than common cold) 53
Marriage 50
Losing your job 47
Marital problems 45
Retirement 45
Change in health of family member 45
Pregnancy 40
Sexual difficulties 39
Gaining new family member 39
Change in finances 38
Death of close friend 37
New job/ line of work 36
More arguments with spouse 35
Mortgage 31
Terminated mortgage 30
New responsibilities at work 29
Child leaving home 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 29
Spouse begins or stops work 26
Beginning or finishing 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 church activities 19
Change in social activities 19
Medium sized loan, eg for car 16
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family get togethers 15
Holidays 13
Christmas 12
Minor violation of the law 11
*Modified from Human Givens seminar on Managing Anxiety

So What does it all mean?

A few observations first. You may be surprised to see holidays, marriage & outstanding achievements listed as stressful events. Well thats because we are essentially creatures of habit. Anything that throws us off our pre-programmed path has the potential to create stress. Note the use of the word potential. Some people thrive of change and have a high reliance to stress, many more unfortunately do not.

So to the quiz results:

A figure between 150 and 300 means you may well be suffering from chronic stress. A figure above 300 means you are likely to be negatively affecting your health due to cumulative stressful events. A figure below 150 means you are less likely to be suffering stress.

If your figure is over 300 take a good look at your health and be sure to make sure you’re taking good care of yourself. If you don’t know if you’re taking good care of yourself consult a healthcare professional.

We all experience stressful life events at some point in our lives. I’ll be looking at ways to shield yourself from the negative impacts of these events in next weeks blog