Teen girl pulling her hair out

Stress is a part of our modern lives, but if we pay attention to how it affects us, we can minimize its negative effects. We’ve all heard the phrase “stressed out”. When we notice everyday stress is affecting us, we need to take action or it can easily overwhelm us, possibly leading to physical and/or mental health issues.

How Stressed Are You?

To get an idea of how much stress you might be under, go down the list below and identify all of the life events that have happened to you in the past year. Add up the points next to all of the events that happened to you and you’ll get a final stress score. Look at the ranges below the grid to see if you are at risk of developing health problems due to stress. This list leaves out some important (stressful) events that are probably happening in your life, but it will give you an idea of how stressed you might be.

Life EventLife Change Units
Getting married101
Unwed pregnancy92
Death of parent87
Acquiring a visible deformity81
Divorce of parents77
Fathering an unwed pregnancy77
Becoming involved with drugs or alcohol76
Jail sentence of parent for over one year75
Marital separation of parents69
Death of a brother or sister68
Change in acceptance by peers67
Pregnancy of unwed sister64
Discovery of being an adopted child63
Marriage of parent to stepparent63
Death of a close friend63
Having a visible congenital deformity62
Serious illness requiring hospitalization58
Failure of a grade in school56
Not making an extracurricular activity55
Hospitalization of a parent55
Jail sentence of parent for over 30 days53
Breaking up with boyfriend or girlfriend53
Beginning to date51
Suspension from school50
Birth of a brother or sister50
Increase in arguments between parents47
Loss of job by parent46
Outstanding personal achievement46
Change in parent’s financial status45
Accepted at college of choice43
Being a senior in high school42
Hospitalization of a sibling41
Increased absence of parent from home38
Brother or sister leaving home37
Addition of third adult to family34
Becoming a full-fledged member of a church31
Decrease in arguments between parents27
Decrease in arguments with parents26
Mother or father beginning work26

Score of 300 or more: At risk of illness.
Score of 150 to 299: Risk of illness is moderate.
Score of 150 or less: Slight risk of illness.

Take Control of Your Stress

Regardless of how much stress we have in our lives, getting into the habit of reducing our stress levels is a good idea. We can reduce our stress levels by eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising, meditation, aromatherapy, and problem-solving to reduce the number of stressful events in our lives.

Here’s a list of techniques that can help manage your stress levels:

Source: Wikipedia.org, Modified Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale and list of stress management techniques.