How’s Your Stress?


Modern life is full of deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. If you are constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.

Determine Your Stress Level Check all events that apply to you, that have occurred over the past twelve months.

100___Death of a Spouse


65____Marital Separation

63____Jail Term

63____Death of close family member


53____Personal Injury or illness

47____Fired at work

45____Marital reconciliation


44____Change in health of family member


39____Sex difficulties

39____Gain of new family member

39____Business Readjustment

38____Change in financial state

37____Death of a close friend

36____Change to different kind of work

35____Change in number of arguments with spouse

31____Mortgage over $10,000

30____Foreclosure of mortgage or loan

29____Change in responsibilities at work

29____Son or daughter leaving home

29____Trouble with in-laws

28____Outstanding personal achievement

26____Spouse begins or stops work

26____Begin or end school

25____Change in living conditions

24____Revision of personal habits

23____Trouble with boss

20____Change in work hours or conditions

20____Change in residence

20____Change in schools

19____Change in recreation

18____Change in church activities

18____Change in social activities

17____Mortgage or loan less than $10,000

16____Change in sleeping habits

15____Change in number of family gatherings

15____Change in eating habits



11____Minor violations of law

Scoring Your Test _____________Your Total Score

If you are stressed out taking this test, add 10 points to your score.

Note: If there are events which took place in your life during the past year which are not listed, select a value from an event listed which approximates your experience closely.

Notice that ‘positive’ events (outstanding personal achievement, vacation, Christmas) can be as stressful as ‘negative’ ones.

Add up your Stress Scale points for the past twelve months. If it is above 250, you should be keenly alert for the early signs of OVERSTRESS. Even a level of 150 will OVERSTRESS ten percent of persons. For this reason, it is best to aim for a continuing stress load of below 150 on the Stress Scale.

Adapted from the “Social Readjustment Rating Scale” by Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. This scale was first published in the “Journal of Psychosomatic Research”, vol.II p. 214.