Do you feel like you have a lot of stress?
Me too. All of us have stress in our lives. Sometimes, some years, the stress is higher than at other periods in our lives. The last year has been really stressful for me. I will admit that when I’m under a big stress load, it is easy for me to overeat and eat the wrong foods. Do you over eat or eat the wrong things in stressful times too?
In a future column, Mike and I will share our tips for managing stress to be sure that any damage to your diet, mental and physical health is minimal. Before managing stress, let’s identify the top causes of stress.
I felt that I was experiencing a lot of stress in the past year, but it wasn’t until I looked at the Life Stress Inventory scale developed by doctors that I fully understood the load. You can find the Life Stress Inventory scale here (link) and calculate your current stress load. Count all stressors that have occurred in the past year.
The stress scale scoring categories are:
- 150 points or less is relatively low life stress
- 150 to 300 points is moderate to moderately high stress
- 300 or more points is high life stress
Though the scale is often related to stress-induced health breakdowns, some experts believe that the scale is just a way to recognize potential stress load because everyone deals with stress differently. Those that do well managing stress will have fewer health related problems than those that allow stress to take control.
Let’s manage stress together
My stress score was 180, putting me in the moderately high category. By taking the time to identify what was causing me stress, somehow this made me feel better. There was good reason I felt stressed out and losing control.
Mike has had a stressful year too. Both of us are taking steps to manage stress. In the next column we will share our strategies with you.
©2016, Gale Bernhardt