Measuring Your Stress Level

If you've been wondering what degree of stress you live under, here is a quick way to get a fair estimate. Dr. Thomas and Dr. Richard Rahe composed a table of events and the amount of stress they cause. The most interesting feature of this table is that the people they interviewed actually told them, how they could rate specific events for the stress they cause, so this is human rather than a medical appraisal of the degree of stress those events caused As you get used to certain changes in your life, they become less stressful, so these ratings will not be entirely accurate for you. If, for example, you take a vacation only every five years, you might rate it a 25 instead of a 13. The common starting point used was a standard rate of 50 for marriage for all the people interviewed.

The combined total of both positive and negative stresses in the past few months will give you an idea of your current stress level. Keep in mind that people have varying stress-handling capacities and this table does not take into account such regular stresses as recreational drug use, alcoholism, chronic illness, allergy, battering and random stresses such as car accidents, contest winning to the dreaded tax audit. This is presented as information only and should not be used for diagnostic or treatment purposes.


- Death of spouse                           100
- Divorce                                   73
- Marital separation                        65
- Jail term                                 63
- Death of a close family member            63
- Personal Injury or illness                53
- Marriage                                  50
- Fired at work                             47
- Marital reconciliation                    45
- Retirement                                45
- Change In health of family member         44
- Pregnancy                                 40
- Sexual difficulties                       39
- Addition of new family member             39
- Business of adjustment                    39
- Change in financial status                38
- Death of a close friend                   37
- Change to different line of work          36
- Change in number of arguments with spouse 35
- Mortgage over $10,000                     31
- Foreclosure of mortgage or loan           30
- Change in job responsibilities            29
- Son or daughter leaving home              29
- Trouble with in-laws                      29
- Outstanding personal achievement          28
- Wife or husband begins or stops work      26
- Beginning or end of school                26
- Change in living conditions               25
- Revision of personal habits               24
- Trouble with boss                         23
- Change in work hours or conditions        20
- Change in residence                       20
- Change in school                          20
- Change in recreational activities         19
- Change in  church activities              19
- Mortgage or loan under $10,000            17
- Change in sleeping habits                 16
- Change in number of family get-togethers  15
- Change in eating habits                   15
- Vacation                                  13
- Christmas                                 12
- Minor violations of the law               11

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