Interactive Tool: What Is Your Stress Level?

What does this tool measure?

Interactive Tool: What Is Your Stress Level?

Although everyone responds differently, major life changes are some of the biggest causes of stress, both positive and negative. This interactive tool gauges your stress level based on the number of life changes you have had recently. Your score shows a rough estimate of your current stress level and the likelihood that you will have health problems due to stress in the next 12 to 18 months.

Short-term (acute) stress can keep you awake at night and make you feel irritable and edgy. High stress levels over a long period of time (chronic stress) can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure. And high stress can weaken your immune system and make it difficult for your body to fight disease. Stress is linked to health conditions such as depression, heart disease, and asthma.1

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  Life Change Stress Test

What does your score mean?

After you use this interactive tool, you will be better able to see how much stress life changes are causing you. Your score will appear as one of the following:

  • You have low stress.
  • You have mild stress.
  • You have moderate stress.
  • You have high stress.

If you have a moderate or high stress level, you are more likely to develop a stress-related illness in the near future.

As with all screening tools, the results of this tool are only an estimate. The way you deal with stress depends on several things. These include your ability to cope with change (resiliency), how significant life events are to you, and how much support you get from family and friends. There may also be events that cause you stress that are not included in this tool.

Your results can give you a rough measurement of your stress level due to life changes. If you have moderate or high amounts of stress in your life, consider what you can do to avoid adding more stress to your life and what you can do to cope with current stress.

What's next?

There are a number of things you can do to cope well with life stress. For more information on stress and what you can do about it, see the topics Stress Management and Managing Job Stress.

Adapted with permission from: Miller MA, Rahe RH (1997). Life changes scaling for the 1990s. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 43(3): 279–292.

References

Citations

  1. Sadock BJ, Sadock VA (2007). Psychological factors affecting physical conditions section of Psychosomatic medicine. In Kaplan and Sadock's Synopsis of Psychiatry, 10th ed., pp. 813–828. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised May 18, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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