Stress is a normal and usually productive part of life, but too much stress over a long period can have very negative effects on your emotional and physical health.
In a 1967 study, Dr. Thomas Holmes and Dr. Richard Rahe developed the classic do-it-yourself stress test you see below. To find your stress level, check every experience you’ve had in the last 12 months and total the points. You can estimate the effects of anticipated future changes, too; just keep the total time frame within 12 months.
Life Events / Stress Points
What Does Your Total Score Indicate?
According to Holmes and Rahe, the more points you accumulate in a year, the greater your risk of emotional health problems, including anxiety and depression, as well as hypertension, fatigue, chest and back pain, ulcers, infectious disease, etc. Specifically:
UNDER 150 POINTS: No significant problems.
FROM 150 TO 199 POINTS: Mild life crisis; 33% chance of problems.
FROM 200 TO 299 POINTS: Moderate life crisis; 50% chance of problems.
OVER 300 POINTS: Major life crisis highly predictive (80%) of serious problems.
To learn more, see Jean Huber’s article on How to Manage Stress for Success.