Elena Makarova, MFT Psychotherapy in Palo Alto, South Bay and Mid-Peninsula
Measure Stress Level

If you'd like to measure your stress level and its relation to your physical health, use Holmes and Rahe's Social Readjustment Rating Scale below ( [1][2] ). You can use it in two ways:

1. You can simply review the list of stressful life events listed in the chart and make a note of those events that have been present in your life for the last 12 months. This overview will bring more awareness of your current stress level.

2. You can also use the chart below as the assessment of your stress level in its correlation to your physical health. It was initially designed to predict the likelihood of physical illness following exposure to stressful life events. Point events that occurred in your life within the past year, sum up the corresponding scores, and get a rough estimate of how life changes may affect your health:

Event

Life-Change Units

Death of a close family member

100

Death of a close friend

73

Divorce

73

Imprisonment

63

Major personal injury or illness

63

Marriage

58

Being fired from job

50

Failing an important course

47

Change in health of family member

45

Pregnancy

45

Retirement

45

Sex problems

44

Serious argument with close friend

40

Change in financial status

39

Business readjustment

39

Trouble with parents

39

New girl- or boyfriend

38

Increased workload

37

Outstanding personal achievement

36

Begin or end school

35

Change in frequency of arguments

35

Major mortgage

32

Change in living conditions

31

Lower grades than expected

29

Change in sleeping habits

29

Change in social activities

29

Change in responsibilities at work

29

Change in eating habits

28

Chronic car trouble

26

Change in number of family get-togethers

26

Change in schools

24

Dropping of more than one class

23

Trouble with boss

23

Minor traffic violations

20

Change in residence

20

Total:


  • People with scores of 300 and higher may be having a high risk of health change.
  • People with scores between 150-300 points may be having a moderate risk of health change.
  • People with scores below 150 only have a slight risk of health change.


[1] Adapted from Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, (1967). Vol.11, pp.213-218

[2] Zimbardo, P. G., and Ruch, F. L. (1975). Psychology and Life (9th ed.). Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman.


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