What's Your Stress Score?

Stress: You need enough tension in your violin string to make music, but not so much that the string snaps.

Although we may perceive stress as a negative, it can be a protective "fight or flight" response to keep us from harm. Stress can be positive too and spur us into action. Either way, positive or negative, too much stress can leave you open to emotional and physical illness, especially over long periods of time.

The "Social Readjustment Rating Scale" (Holmes and Rahe, 1967) can help you assess where your stress level is right now. Circle all the experiences you've had in the last 12 months, then total the score.

100death of a spouse or child
65marital separation
63detention in jail or other institution
63death of a close family member
53major personal injury or illness
47fired from work
45marital reconciliation
44change in health or behavior of family member
40sex difficulties
39gain of new family member through birth, adoption, or marriage
39major business readjustment
38change in financial state
37death of close friend
36change to a different line of work
35change in number of arguments with partner
31taking on a new mortgage
30foreclosure on a mortgage or loan
29change in responsibilities
29son/daughter leaves home
29trouble with in-laws
28outstanding personal achievement
26partner begins/stops work
26starting or finishing school
25change in living conditions
24revision of personal habits
23trouble with boss
20change in working hours or conditions
20change in residence
20change in schools
19change in recreational habits
19change in church activities
18change in social activities
17major purchase such as a new car
16change in sleeping habits
15change in number of family gatherings
15change in eating habits
12Christmas or holiday observance
11minor violation of the law

150 or less = minor stress
150-199 = mild stress
200-299 = moderate stress
Over 300 = major stress

It is estimated that 30% of those with a score below 150 will experience emotional or physical illness in the near future, while those with a score between 150 and 300 have a 50% chance, and those with a score over 300 have an 80% chance of a significant emotional or physical illness.

So, what's your score?

1 comment:

  1. Oh gosh, my score is 253! Moderate stress level. Looks like I'd better get cracking on the next few posts to complete my stress series. There's good stuff coming that will help both of us to keep our stress making music instead of snapping!

    Thanks for reading!