How vulnerable are you to stress

The following test was developed by psychologists Lyle H. Miller and Alma Dell Smith at Boston University Medical Centre.  Score each item from 1 (almost always) to 5 (never), according to how much of the time each statement applies to you.

  1. I eat at least one hot, balanced meal a day.
  2. I get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at least 4 nights a week.
  3. I give and receive affection regularly.
  4. I have at least one relative within 10 miles on whom I can reply.
  5. I exercise to the point of perspiration at least twice a week.
  6. I smoke less than half a pack of cigarettes a day.
  7. I take fewer than 5 alcoholic drinks a week.
  8. I am the appropriate weight for my height.
  9. I have an income adequate to meet my basic expenses.
  10. I get strength from my religious beliefs.
  11. I regularly attend club or social activities.
  12. I have a network of friends and acquaintances.
  13. I have one or more friends to confide in about personal matters.
  14. I am in good health (including eye-sight, hearing, teeth)
  15. I am able to speak openly about my feelings when angry or worried.
  16. I have regular conversations with the people I live with about domestic problems, e.g. chores, money and daily living issues.
  17. I do something for fun at least once a week.
  18. I am able to organise my time effectively.
  19. I drink fewer than 3 cups of coffee (or tea or cola) a day.
  20. I take quiet time for myself during the day.

To get your score, add up the figures and subtract 20.

  • Score > 30 indicates a vulnerability to stress
  • 50 < Score < 75: seriously vulnerable
  • Score >75: extremely vulnerable
Positive Coping Methods
  • Spiritual – Commitment, Prayer, Faith, Surrender, Valuing, Worship
  • Mental – Time management, Problem solving, Life planning, Relabeling, Organizing, Imagination
  • Physical – Relaxation, Nourishment, Self-care, Exercise, Stretching, Biofeedback
  • Family – Balancing, Togetherness, Flexibility, Networking, Esteem building, Conflict resolution
  • Diversion – Learning, Music, Work, Getaways, Hobbies, Play
  • Interpersonal – Affirmation, Contact, Expression, Linking, Assertiveness, Limits
Negative Coping Methods
Indulging, Revenge, Tantrums, Fault finding, Worrying, Denial, Illness, Tobacco, Withdrawal, Alcohol, Eating, Passivity, Stubbornness, Drugs
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