The Most Stressful Life Events

About half of all Americans are stressed.  Financial worry, job changes and loss of a loved one are life events that most of us know all too well and induce stress in our lives.  Dealing with the subsequent stress of deleterious life events is a subject of many books, self-help seminars and doctor visits. In fact stress is linked to depression, binge-eating, memory loss and many other negative health outcomes.  In an effort to identify and assess stressful life events, T Holmes and T.H. Rahe developed The Social Readjustment Rating Scale, see here.  To assess one's stress, the scale shown below is consulted and each stressful life event is added to obtain an overall stress rating.



Triumph of experience

Higher Social Readjustment Rating Scale scores suggest that one may need to place effort in resolving stress and living a more fulfilling, happy and satisfied life.   Findings from a 72-year study may provide us with some hints about how to live a less stressful life.  Reported in this book, researchers followed 238 college students for over 70 years and collected various bit of physical and emotional life data including relationships, alcohol use and community participation.  From the wealth of data, the Harvard Grant Researchers were able to shine a light on behaviors and life practices that offer a more satisfying, less stressful and happy life.  The researchers suggest that love is ultimately important, that meaningful relationships are also beneficial and that meaningful work was also essential for a happy life.  Read more here in an interview with the study author.