The Stress Scale

The rush of adrenalin through our body in times of stress is commonly called a panic or anxiety attack. Symptoms can include the following:

  • Heart palpitations, hot flushes or chest pain
  • Hyperventilation or trouble breathing
  • Giddiness, tingling, numbness or shakiness
  • Feeling faint
  • Jaw clenching or difficulty swallowing
  • Nausea or diarrhoea
  • Poor concentration or disorientation

Cortisol is another hormone released into the body during stressful times. Some of the effects of cortisol can be far reaching and include:

  • Impaired cognitive performance
  • Decreased muscle tissue and bone density
  • Suppressed thyroid function and increased abdominal fat
  • Higher blood pressure and lowered immunity
  • Hypoglycaemia (a precursor to diabetes)

Here’s how to use the scale:

  • If an event has taken place in your life in the last 12 months, copy the value showing beside the event.
  • If a particular event has happened to you more than once within the last 12 months, multiply the value by the number of occurrences.
  • add them up to obtain the total score

VALUE              EVENT

100                  Death of a Spouse

73                    Divorce

65                    Marital Separation

63                    Jail Term

63                    Death of Close Family Member

53                    Personal Injury or Illness

50                    Marriage

47                    Fired at Work

45                    Marital Reconciliation

45                    Retirement

44                    Change in Health of Family Member

40                    Pregnancy

39                    Sex Difficulties

39                    Gain of a New Family Member

39                    Business Readjustments

38                    Change in Financial State

37                     Death of a Close Friend

36                    Change to Different Line of Work

35                     Change in Number of Arguments with Spouse

31                     Mortgage Over $50,000

30                    Foreclosure of Mortgage

29                    Change of Responsibilities at Work

29                     Son or Daughter Leaving Home

29                     Trouble with In-laws

28                     Outstanding Personal Achievements

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 of Work Hours or Conditions

20                     Change of Residence

20                     Change in School

19                      Change in Recreation

19                      Change in Religious Activities

18                      Change in Social Activities

17                      Loan Less then $50,000

16                      Change in Sleeping Habits

15                      Change in Number of Family Get-togethers

15                      Change in Eating Habits

14                      Single Person Living Alone

13                      Vacation

12                      Holiday Period

11                       Minor Violation of Laws

Everyone’s ability to cope with stress and their reactions to it are different, but the following analysis is based upon your likelihood to develop a stress-related illness in the new future.

  • Low – if your score is below 149
  • Mild – if your scores between 150 – 200
  • Moderate – if your score is between 200 – 299
  • High – if your score is above 300