Have you ever stopped to consider just how much stress you are dealing with? From daily stress to stress that affects you over a long period of time there are many different stressors out there that can affect your level. So, is this level of stress something that a doctor just pulls out of a hat, or is it something that can be based on hard clinical evidence? The answer can be a round about one. While your stressors can be quantified to a point the end result is something that can only be determined by your individual reaction. Even so there is a way that psychologists and psychiatrists have found to determine who might be at risk of a stress related illness.
The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale
In the late sixties there was great interest in the effect of stress on bodily health. A pair of psychiatrists by the names of Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe decided to perform a study to find out whether or not stressful events could cause a person to suffer bodily issues. To do so they researched medical records for 5,000 or more patients. These people were asked to score 43 different life events using a relative rating. Unbelievable at the time, there was a definite correlation between both their illnesses and events. Know in layman's terms as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the Social Readjustment Rating Scale was soon published. These links have been validated by tests since that time.
How Does the SRRS Work?
By scoring life events that have happened within a year's time an estimate can be reached which will allow a judgment to the chances that a person will suffer from a stress related illness. There are forty three events listed on the questionnaire and each one is a assigned a certain number of so-called “Life Change Units. " The final score of the SRRS is the combination of total LCUs scored on the questionnaire. This score then is used to determine a person's susceptibility to stress related illnesses. The lowest scoring unit on the SRRS is one concerning minor law violations. This LCU is worth only 11 units compared to death of a spouse which checks in at a major 100 points. With such a scoring system in place you would think that it is a cut and dry procedure. If a person scores under 150 then they have just a slight risk of stress related illness. However, anyone scoring 300 or above should make seeing the doctor a top priority since they an eighty percent chance or greater chance to come down with a stress related illness.
Ways to Reduce My Stress
Knowing your stress level and doing something about it can be two different things. You should make the effort to reduce it if you possibly can. A stress related illness can be hard on you as well as those around you. If you want to help drop your stress level then pick up a book. By sitting and enjoying a good book you can certainly begin to get your stress reduced. Another way is to go out for a walk in the park or on a local trail. As you do so make sure that you clear your mind of all the stressful cobwebs that gather on a daily basis. There are literally hundreds of way to help bring your stress level under control. The first step was in admitting you are suffering from it. The next is to go forward and knock that stress right out.
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