Your Stress Scale

In the following table you can look up representative changes in your life and see how much stress value each of these changes is adding to your life. NOTE ANY ITEM THAT YOU MAY HAVE EXPERIENCED IN THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS. Then, total up your score.

(Adapted from the “Social Readjustment Rating Scale” by Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe.)STRESSEVENT

VALUES1. DEATH OF SPOUSE1002. DIVORCE603. MENOPAUSE604. SEPARATION FROM LIVING PARTNER605. JAIL TERM OR PROBATION606. DEATH OF CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER OTHER THAN SPOUSE607. SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY OR ILLNESS458. MARRIAGE OR ESTABLISHING LIFE PARTNERSHIP459. FIRED AT WORK4510. MARITAL OR RELATIONSHIP RECONCILIATION4011. RETIREMENT4012. CHANGE IN HEALTH OF IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER4013. WORK MORE THAN 40 HOURS PER WEEK3514. PREGNANCY OR CAUSING PREGNANCY3515. SEX DIFFICULTIES3516. GAIN OF NEW FAMILY MEMBER3517. BUSINESS OR WORK ROLE CHANGE3518. CHANGE IN FINANCIAL STATE3519. DEATH OF A CLOSE FRIEND (not a family member)3020. CHANGE IN NUMBER OF ARGUMENTS WITH SPOUSE OR LIFE PARTNER3021. MORTGAGE OR LOAN FOR A MAJOR PURPOSE2522. FORECLOSURE OF MORTGAGE OR LOAN2523. SLEEP LESS THAN 8 HOURS PER NIGHT2524. CHANGE IN RESPONSIBILITIES AT WORK2525. TROUBLE WITH IN-LAWS,OR WITH CHILDREN2526. OUTSTANDING PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT2527. SPOUSE BEGINS OR STOPS WORK2028. BEGIN OR END SCHOOL2029. CHANGE IN LIVING CONDITIONS

(visitors in the home, change in roommates, remodeling house)2030. CHANGE IN PERSONAL HABITS (diet, exercise, smoking, etc.)2031. CHRONIC ALLERGIES2032. TROUBLE WITH BOSS2033. CHANGE IN WORK HOURS OR CONDITIONS1534. MOVING TO NEW RESIDENCE1535. PRESENTLY IN PRE-MENSTRUAL PERIOD1536. CHANGE IN SCHOOLS1537. CHANGE IN RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES1538. CHANGE IN SOCIAL ACTIVITIES (more or less than before)1539. MINOR FINANCIAL LOAN1040. CHANGE IN FREQUENCY OF FAMILY GET-TOGETHERS1041. VACATION1042. PRESENTLY IN WINTER HOLIDAY SEASON1043. MINOR VIOLATION OF THE LAW5TOTAL SCORE: _________________

We have asked you to look at the last twelve months of changes in your life. This may surprise you. It is crucial to understand, however, that a major change in your life has effects that carry over for long periods of time. It’s like dropping a rock into a pond. After the initial splash, you will experience ripples of stress. And these ripples may continue in your life for at least a year.

So, if you have experienced total stress within the last twelve months of 250 or greater, even with normal stress tolerance, you may be OVERSTRESSED. Persons with Low Stress Tolerance may be OVERSTRESSED at levels as low as 150. OVERSTRESS will make you sick. Carrying too heavy a stress load is like running your car engine past the red line; or leaving your toaster stuck in the “on” position; or running a nuclear reactor past maximum permissible power. Sooner or later, something will break, burnup, or melt down.

What breaks depends on where the weak links are in your physical body. And this is largely an inherited characteristic. Here are the common “weak links”, and the symptoms of their malfunction and the way to treat overstress