How is your stress level? What changes have you gone through in the last year that may be affecting your health and well-being? The Life Events Stress Test can help you understand.

At Soul Shepherding we care for pastors and other ministry leaders and find that they are especially vulnerable to stress overload and burnout. Parents and other caregivers have a similar risk. The first step to help is to assess how you are doing. The highly researched Life Events Stress Test has helped countless people assess their stress levels and get the help they need.[i]

Life Events Stress Test

In the past 12 months, which of the following 43 major life events have taken place in your life? Place a check by each life event that you’ve experienced and then add up the points and total at the bottom. Then you can check how vulnerable you are to stress-related illness.

_____ 100 Death of Spouse 

_____ 73 Divorce 

_____ 65 Marital Separation or from relationship partner

_____ 63 Jail Term 

_____ 63 Death of close family member 

_____ 53 Personal injury or illness 

_____ 50 Marriage 

_____ 47 Fired from work 

_____ 45 Marital reconciliation 

_____ 45 Retirement 

_____ 44 Change in family member’s health 

_____ 40 Pregnancy 

_____ 39 Sex difficulties

_____ 39 Addition to family 

_____ 39 Business readjustment

_____ 38 Change in financial status 

_____ 37 Death of close friend

_____ 36 Change to a different line of work 

_____ 35 Change in number of marital arguments 

_____ 31 Major Mortgage or loan

_____ 30 Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 

_____ 29 Change in work responsibilities 

_____ 29 Trouble with in-laws 

_____ 28 Outstanding personal achievement

_____ 26 Spouse begins or stops work 

_____ 26 Starting or finishing school 

_____ 25 Change in living conditions 

_____ 24 Revision of personal habits 

_____ 23 Trouble with boss 

_____ 20 Change in work hours, conditions 

_____ 20 Change in residence 

_____ 20 Change in schools 

_____ 19 Change in recreational habits

_____ 19 Change in church activities

_____ 18 Change in social activities 

_____ 17 Minor Mortgage or loan

_____ 16 Change in sleeping habits

_____ 15 Change in number of family gatherings 

_____ 15 Change in eating habits 

_____ 13 Vacation 

_____ 12 Christmas season 

_____ 11 Minor violations of the law

______ Your Total Life Stress Score

Stress Related Vulnerability to Illness

0-149: Low susceptibility to stress-related illness

150-299: Medium susceptibility to stress-related illness

300 and over: High susceptibility to stress-related illness

Any change, even a positive one, is a stress that adds pressure on you. People who experience high levels of stress are vulnerable to stress related illness, especially if they internalize stress as anxiety or have difficulty coping with their stress. Stress related health problems range from mild problems like frequent tension headaches, acid indigestion, loss of sleep to very serious illnesses like ulcers, hypertension, migraines, and cancer.

Being overstressed can cause other problems too like anxiety disorders, depression, burn out, and conflicts in relationship.

[i] Psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed the “Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale” in 1967 after examining the medical records of over 5,000 medical patients as a way to determine whether stressful events might cause illnesses. They found a positive correlation as have subsequent research.


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