If you try to live without balance, you will invariably retreat to older patterns of thinking. The tendency is always to default to previous, often unbalanced, behavior when the going gets rough, when feeling boxed in, or when the pressures of life become more than you feel you can bear. But when you are armed with principles of fortification to help you predict the obstacles, know how to prevent them from disabling you, and realize you do not have to relapse, then you will be miles down the road to becoming strong and staying strong.
High stress is a prime cause of emotional imbalance and may even set you up for accidental injury and illness. Here is a useful set of questions to determine your stress level.
To help you determine your current level of stress, answer the following questions based on the past six months. Keep a tally of the number of points for each yes answer.
- Has your husband or wife died? – 20
- Have you divorced or separated from your husband or wife? – 15
- Has a close relative died (other than your husband or wife)? – 13
- Have you been hospitalized? – 11
- Have you married or had a reconciliation with your partner after separation? – 10
- Have you found out you were soon to become a parent? – 9
- Has there been a change in the health of a close family member? – 9
- Have you lost a job or retired? – 9
- Are you having sexual difficulties? – 8
- Has a new member been born or married into your family? – 8
- Has a close friend died? – 8
- Have your finances become better or worse? – 8
- Have you changed your job? – 8
- Have any children moved out of the home or started/finished school? – 6
- Is trouble with in-laws causing trouble in your family? – 6
- Is there anyone at home or work you dislike strongly? – 6
- Do you frequently have premenstrual tension? – 6
- Have you had important personal success (such as a job promotion)? – 6
- Have you had “jet lag” at least twice? – 6
- Have you had a major domestic upheaval such as a move or remodeling of your home? – 5
- Have you had problems at work that may be putting your job at risk? – 5
- Have you taken on a large debt or mortgage? – 3
- Have you had a minor brush with the law (i.e. traffic violation)? – 2
Evaluation: The higher your score, the more stressful your life. As a general guide, a score of thirty suggests you are not likely to have a stress-related illness or accidental injury now or in the near future. Challenges begin as you move up the point scale. If your score is sixty or more, your life is extremely stressful and you are at a higher risk for one or more stress-related illnesses. You also need to carefully evaluate decisions you make that may add to your stress.
Let me remind you that the above scale is not to be taken as a final arbiter of your emotional health but only to give you a sense of why you may feel some of the strain you are experiencing at this time. These questions are not intended to cause fear but rather to help you understand your stress so you can get a firmer grasp on what may be the cause of your emotional exhaustion.
If someone you know is suffering from stress, anxiety, or depression, remember that there is HOPE. There are professionals ready to help. For more information about treatment call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today. The Center was recently ranked as a Top 10 facility in the country for the treatment of depression, and our team is standing by to help you and your loved ones.