Nearly half of all Americans suffer some kind of stress, according to the American Institute of Stress.
Stress has been linked to all the leading causes of death – heart disease, cancer and suicide.
The following test was developed by psychologists Lyle H. Miller and Alma Dell Smith at Boston University Medical Center.
Score each item from 1 (almost always) to 5 (never), according to how much of the time each statement applies to you.
- I eat at least one hot, balanced meal a day.
- I get seven to eight hours sleep at least four nights a week.
- I give and receive affection regularly.
- I have at least one relative within 50 miles on whom I can rely.
- I exercise to the point of perspiration at least twice a week.
- I smoke less than a half a pack or cigarettes a day.
- I take fewer than five alcoholic drinks per week.
- I am the appropriate weight for my height.
- I have an income adequate to meet basic expenses.
- I get strength from my religious beliefs.
- I have one or more friends to confide in about personal matters.
- I have a network of friends and acquaintances.
- I regularly attend club or social activities.
- I am in good health (including eyesight, hearing, teeth).
- I am able to speak openly about my feelings when I’m angry or worried.
- I have regular conversations with the people I live with about domestic problems, including chores, money and daily living issues.
- I do something for fun at least once a week.
- I am able to organize my time effectively.
- I drink fewer than three cups of coffee (or tea or soda) a day.
- I take quiet time for myself during the day.
TOTAL: To find out your score, add up the figures and subtract 20. Any number over 30 indicates a vulnerability to stress. You are seriously vulnerable if your score is between 50 and 75, and extremely vulneralbe if it is over 75.
Source: The Stress Audit, developed by Lyle H. Miller and Alma Dell Smith, 1993 Biobehavioral Associates, Brookline, Mass.