Understanding the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale
Do you hear yourself saying how your job is killing you? Or, mumbling to yourself “I am so stressed out”?
You aren’t the only one who believe they had a stressful day. And yet, while you might connote stress negatively, did you know that t can be good at times to be a little stressed out?
Where you are in your stress scale decides how happy you are, but to know that, we first have to understand how stress can be a good thing. With the right mindfulness excercises, you may feel happier than ever before.
STRESS – UNDERSTANDING HOW YOU CAN DEAL WITH IT BETTER
Stress, in our body, can happen from both physical and emotional disturbances. It is the reaction of your body to any thought that might make you angry, nervous or even frustrated. Stress can be of two distinct types – positive pressure and negative stress.
Fumbling with your deadlines but yet manage to get them done on time every time? Positive stress is the stress you feel when you are chasing a deadline to complete your work on time at the office, which is positive and makes you feel more alert and helps you achieve your work on time.
Negative stress, on the other hand, lasts for a very long time. It can ultimately end up harming your body and can lead to a variety of illness and weakness.
Again, we end up dividing stress into two types, chronic stress, and acute stress. Here is how they differ.
1. Acute Stress:
Acute stress isn’t going to trouble you for long. Yes,it is not a permanent fixture by your side and can happen due to some reasons. So, when can you tell it’s an acute stress? Let’s take a look at a few examples.
You forgot to take the key out of your car and remember it about an hour later, you fought with your parents and many more. It gives you an adrenaline rush to do something right at the nick of time. This can also happen when you are super excited about something.
Most people have acute stress, and it is quite reasonable for your body to go through something like this.
2. Chronic Stress:
Chronic stress isn’t going to away anytime soon. It’s going to stick around, like that flu that you didn’t seem to get rid off. Only that it’s going to be much longer here, and you may not even realize it.
And just like the many other things in life, the longer it is, the more harmful to your health it is going to be. If you aren’t careful, it could stick around for a really long time.
So,why does it happens? Are you dissatisfied with your job for a long time? Are you having a constant fight with your parents or spouse? It’s just a few reasons, but no matter what it is, we would see that the ‘stressor’ continues to exist here.
Chronic stress can last for weeks, months or even years. In today’s high-flying life, chronic stress is as common as a common cough and cold.
However, that does not mean it is as harmless as the two of them.
Chronic stress can develop into grave illnesses including depression, heart attacks, rising heartbeats and many more. One needs to nip chronic stress at the bud so that it does not blow into something more severe and full-fledged.
It is your body’s mechanism to react to stress with the help of the release of various stress hormones. It is because of these hormones that you are unduly alert and tense during periods of extreme or maybe not-so-extreme stress.
In case of acute stress, these hormones and the reaction of your body to these hormones are welcome for it helps you deal with the problem at hand. However, it gets problematic in the case of chronic stress. During this kind of pressure, your body is always active and buzzing even if there is no immediate cause for concern.
This continuous stress puts your body into the risk of many diseases. They include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart ailments, anxiety and even problems with your menstruation.
THE TOP SIGNS YOU CANNOT DEAL WITH STRESS
Is there anything called too much stress? The medical world agress.
Too much weight starts showing up in the form of symptoms that might be rather innocuous but might have massive implications.
These signs include constipation, forgetfulness, aches in a lot of places in your body, headaches, lack of focus and more. It also takes a toll on your sex lives. In fact, stress also makes your weight fluctuate to an extreme degree and causes many other health problems.
There are many ways to measure stress. Researchers and doctors have studied stress and have developed many scales and methods to measure the amount of stress you might be under. One of the most popular scales to measure stress is the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.
HOLMES AND RAHE STRESS SCALE
Also known as the Social Readjustment Rating Scale or SRRS, it helps you calculate the amount of stress you are in and then figure out way on how to manage and control the stress,
The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale was invented in the year 1967 by two psychiatrists named Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe. Both researchers wanted to research to see if stress and illness and diseases are connected in any way.
So, they surveyed over 5000 patients suffering from some illness or the other and asked them 43 questions about different events in their lives that might have caused them stress in the last two years of their lives.
They called each a Life-Changing Unit, abbreviated as LCU and each of these units were assigned values of their own. Every time a life-changing event has happened in the lives of the patient, the patient is supposed to add them all up together.
The higher this number comes up to be, the more is the likelihood of you suffering from a severe disease because of extreme stress.
We will figure out the questions and the weights attached to the scale, in this next segment.
THE HOLMES AND RAHE STRESS SCALE
There are a total of 43 statements to answer here. The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale has been designed in such a way that the first question is the one, that according to the researchers causes an individual the maximum amount of stress. The last problem is, by that logic, given the least amount of weight in the stress scale.
- Death. The first one is if you have had faced the death of your partner or spouse in the last two years. The weight attached to this question is 100.
- Divorce. The second pointer talks about if you have had a divorce in the last two years. Here the weight attached to the question is 73.
- Separation. Separation in a marriage comes across as the third question in the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale and is given a weight of 65. If you have been convicted and sent to jail also according to the stress scale adds to your worries and is given the pressure of 63.
THE DIFFERENT STRESS POINTS
So, how much stress are you dealing with? Some make you happy while others elevate your stress levels. Wondering how it is going to be? Here is something that is going to help.
Jail term and death
Interestingly enough, the weight that is given to a jail term, that is 63, is the same weight of points that are provided in the case you have seen the death of a very close family member in the last two years of your life.
Personal injury or any type of illness also adds to your stress in life, so the two psychiatrists decided to put it as a weight too on their stress scale while conducting their survey and research. It has gotten points of 53.
Quite ironic, but it seems that according to the two esteemed psychiatrists, marriage causes stress in the life of a person. So, if you have gotten married in the past two years, beware. It adds 50 points to the amount of stress in your life.
If you have been fired from work recently in the last two years from your workplace, it also adds stress to your life, and that is given a stress score of 47.
It seems that you cannot be on either good or bad terms when it comes to your marriage according to Holmes and Rahe. Even if you decided to reconcile with your partner or spouse in your marriage, you still have a stress score of 45.
While retirement is supposed to be one of the most peaceful times of your life, it still gives you stress in the sense that you have no idea how to put your finances at place post your work life. Plus, with age, there is the issue of health. Therefore, retirement to is rated at a stress point of 45.
Bond of Love
We are sure you love your family. If there is a change in the health of any member of your family, it is bound to cause you stress. The stress rank in such a situation is 44.
Pregnancy, while is deemed to be one of the happiest times in the life of a woman, might also cause stress because you are always worried about the health of your unborn kid and whether you are doing everything right to avoid creating the fetus any harm. Moreover, pregnancy causes swelling and pain in the hands and legs of the woman.
This overall causes a lot of stress to the individuals. Even the males are not spared, as they have to be constantly aware of his wife or anyone else, he knows who is pregnant is in a safe space both physically and mentally. Thus, pregnancy has been given a stress score of 40 in the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.
Well, your time in the bed can be great. Or, it may not. The latter, isn’t a good feeling.
If you cannot satisfy your partner as best as you want to, or as best as he or she wants you to, it is going to take a toll on you psychologically. Holmes and Rahe have rated the stress level for sex difficulties at 39.
A gain of a new family member, while is really a matter to celebrate, there is a possibility that you can also get stressed out with everything happening around you. Starting from space to house him or her in, to their food habits, everything is new and causes stress to you as an individual. This circumstance gets you a score of 39 in the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.
If there is a change in your business that you have to readjust, that can also cause you a lot of stress. This circumstance is ranked at 39 points. Most importantly, that comes up next is when there is a change in your financial position. Obviously, going from very rich to very poor or vice versa is going to cause some harm to your psyche as it causes stress to your brain as to how to manage the money. This situation has been given a stress point of 38.
Death of a Close Friend
Now comes the death of a close friend. If a friend who is very close to you dies, it will cause you stress because it is most likely that this friend has been with you through thick and thin. This causes stress in your mind and body and has been ranked and given a point of 37 on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.
A New Job
Changing your line of work also contributes to stress in your like as you might be insecure about whether or not you will be able to be successful in a completely different kind of business or service work. This has been given a rating point of 36 in the stress scale.
Arguments with Spouse
Now, if you and your spouse start arguing way too often, that is to say, more than what is normal for most married couples to bicker and it starts negatively affecting your life, it adds to your stress levels. This has gotten a stress point of 35 on the scale.
Paying off that Darn Mortgage!
If in the last two years you have been worried about large mortgage or loan, then it has again been added to the stress scale and given a point of 31. And foreclosure of a large mortgage or loan gets a mention on the stress scale too at a rating of 30 points.
If at your workplace, there is a change in the kind of responsibilities you handle, that is to say, that the duties increase or decrease over time, that is also a cause for stress and is rated at 29 points.
Are your children going away?
Your children are leaving home to study or work outside your home also contributes to the same amount of stress according to the scale as changes in responsibilities. It ranks at 29 points again.
The Other Family Problems
Having issues adjusting with your in-laws, whether you are male or female also adds to stress and is again ranked at 29.
You would expect getting an outstanding personal achievement in the last two years will help decrease your stress levels. It does not and adds to 28 points in the Holmes and Rahe stress levels.
Did you spouse get a new job?
Whether your wife or husband begins or ends a job also similarly adds to your stress. When he or she starts a job, there is a worry about their success, and when he or she stops working, the stress is about when they are going to get a new job, apart from the financial burden as well. This is given a rating point of 26 on the Holmes and Rahe stress scale.
Is it a new college life?
When we begin or end school or college, that is another different kind of a ballgame altogether. If we finish either school or college the challenge is ‘what next?’ Similarly, when we begin school/college, the stress is whether or not we will fit in and be able to complete our course. It adds 26 points to the stress scale.
Changes in your lifestyle?
Changes in living condition along with changes in personal habits and behavior also contribute to stress. Your living conditions might not allow you to follow the same norms that you developed earlier. The two states provide you with an additional 25 and 24 points respectively on the stress scale.
The trouble with the boss is another big dilemma when it comes to working. This adds 23 points on the stress scale. Again, changes in work conditions or hours add to a lot of stress. If you have been working a certain number of hours and that increase or decrease according to your work, it adds 20 points to the scale.
Change of Places
Army kids or kids whose parents traveled a lot for their work know this best, but a constant change or residence and a change in school and college add a lot of stress in your life. While meeting new people is always nice, there are often times in your life when you feel you don’t have roots of your own to fall back upon and that is quite stressful. It adds 20 points each on the stress scale.
How you live your life
Is there any change in recreation or the amount of church activity you are used? It can also add to the stress. This is also linked in some way to the change in residence and the like. But they both add 19 points each to the stress scale.
Change in social activities as a result of the above four points also adds 18 points to the stress scale. Apart from that a moderate amount of loan or mortgage also adds stress to your life. No matter, the size of the investment, there is always the added pressure of paying it back on time or having to pay extra as a late fee. It gives a rating of 17 points in the stress scale.
Changes in Sleeping Patterns
Any change in your sleeping pattern would contribute to stress. Seven to eight hours of sleep is mandatory for an adult, and any fluctuations with that will lead to stress and pressure in your life. The point is 16 on the scale. Any change in the number of family outings or get-togethers also adds 15 points to the stress scale.
Changes in Eating Habits
Something as small as a change in your regular eating habits also contributes to stress. If you have eaten non-vegetarian food all your life and have to suddenly due to some change in your external conditions have to turn vegetarian, that will positively adversely affect your life in some small way at the very least. It adds another 15 points to the stress scale.
Taking Your Favorite Vacation
Vacations, as well as a happy time like Christmas, also adds stress to your life apparently, at least according to the researchers. They both add 13 and 12 points to the stress scale respectively.
A Visit to the Police
Minor run-ins with the law also cause stress and add 11 points to the stress scale. It is the last on the list and adds the least amount of weight in the life of an individual,
Found something that we didn’t cover in this list? Have a look at this video.
ANALYSIS OF THE STRESS SCALE
Now, that we know the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale in detail, we can conclude on how to find out whether you are stressed or not and whether it will negatively affect your health in any way.
In case you have a score that is anywhere between 11 to 150, you have only a very little chance, sometimes an average change of getting ill due to stress shortly.
If your stress score is anywhere between 150 to 299, there is a moderate to high chance that you might fall sick soon as a result of stress in your life.
Lastly, the one that is most dangerous, if your stress score is between 300 to 600, you suffer from a very high risk of falling sick due to stress.
Well, stress is unavoidable in your lives. It is as natural as eating and sleeping. But it is essential to note that you do not let stress get the best of you and adversely affect your health in any way, shape or form. Like it is so widely said everywhere, health is wealth, and one must not be lax when it comes to their health ever.
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