THE STRESS SCALE

Your reaction to stress is your own and unique to you. Certain common events and transitions — births and deaths, injury or illness, being a victim of crime, having dramatic changes in your financial or family situation produce stress in all people. Even events you think of as positive, such as getting married, getting a promotion, or retiring cause stress with in you. Medical research has determined that about 50 major life events can be ranked according to the degree of stress they cause. As the number of stressful events you experience in your life stacks up, your risk of developing a physical illness or mental disorder climbs higher.

  1. Death of spouse or mate.
  2. Death of a close family member.
  3. Major injury or illness.
  4. Detention in jail or other institution.
  5. Major injury or illness in a close family member.
  6. Foreclosure on a loan or mortgage.
  7. Divorce.
  8. Being a victim of crime.
  9. Being a victim of police brutality.
  10. Infidelity.
  11. Domestic violence or sexual abuse.
  12. Separation or reconciliation with a spouse or mate.
  13. Being fired, laid-off or unemployed.
  14. Experiencing financial problems or difficulties.
  15. Death of a close friend.
  16. Surviving a disaster.
  17. Becoming a single parent.
  18. Assuming responsibility for a sick or elderly loved one.
  19. Loss or major reduction in health insurance or benefits.
  20. Self or a close family member being arrested for violating the law.
  21. Major disagreement over child support, custody or visitation.
  22. Experiencing or being involved in an auto accident.
  23. Being disciplined or demoted at work.
  24. Dealing with unwanted pregnancy.
  25. Having an adult child move in or moving in with an adult child.
  26. Having a child with a behavior or learning problem.
  27. Experiencing discrimination or sexual harassment at work.
  28. Attempting to modify addictive behavior.
  29. Discovering or attempting to modify addictive behavior in a close family member.
  30. Employer reorganization or downsizing.
  31. Dealing with infertility or miscarriage.
  32. Getting married or remarried.
  33. Changing employers or careers.
  34. Failing to obtain or qualify for a mortgage.
  35. Pregnancy of self or of spouse or mate.
  36. Experiencing discrimination or harassment outside the workplace.
  37. Release from jail.
  38. Spouse or mate begins or ceases work outside the home.
  39. Major disagreement with boss or coworker.
  40. Change in residence.
  41. Finding appropriate child care or day care.
  42. Experiencing a large unexpected monetary gain.
  43. Changing positions (transfer or promotion).
  44. Gaining a new family member.
  45. Changing work responsibilities.
  46. Having a child leave home.
  47. Obtaining a home mortgage.
  48. Obtaining a major loan other than a home mortgage.
  49. Retirement.
  50. Beginning or ceasing formal education.
  51. Receiving a ticket for violating the law.

Individuals with more than one high-ranking stressor are at highest risk for health damage due to stress. They need the most help with stress managementand will benefit the msot from relaxation techniques.

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