HOW VULNERABLE ARE YOU TO STRESS?
Stress often results from some factors in your lifestyle, and in turn can influence you into an unhealthy lifestyle. The aim of this inventory is to help you systematically to assess your current lifestyle to see if there are factors in it which may be increasing your vulnerability to stress, and which could be suitable targets of change.
Read each item carefully, and then give it a rating from 1 to 5 depending on how often that item applies to you now:
1 – almost always
2 – often
3 – sometimes
4 – occasionally
5 – almost never
There are no right or wrong answers. The more accurately you answer, the better you will identify ways you can manage your stress.
1. I eat at least one hot, balanced meal a day
2. I get seven to eight hours sleep at least four nights a week
3. I give and receive affection regularly
4. I have at least one relative within 50 km on whom I can rely
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 (non-smokers score 1)
7. I take fewer than five alcoholic drinks a week (non-drinkers score 1)
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, or I feel comfortable with my view of the universe and my place in it
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 issues
14. I am in good health (including eyesight, hearing, teeth)
15. I am able to speak openly about my feelings when angry or concerned
16. I have regular conversations with the people I live with about domestic problems eg 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 three cups of coffee (or tea or coke) a day
20. I take quiet time for myself during the day
To get your score on this test, add up your figures.
Less than 50: Low vulnerability
50 to 70: Vulnerable
70 to 95: Seriously vulnerable
More than 95: Extremely vulnerable
First, you can obtain a general indication of how much your lifestyle is making you vulnerable to distress, according to this scale.
Probably more useful, however, is to look at each of the items to identify possible goals for your stress management programme. A score of 3,4 or 5 on an item suggests you should look carefully at that part of your lifestyle to see if you should be making some changes to reduce your stress vulnerability.