Give yourself a points score on each of the following questions, according to this scale:
Does not apply - 0
Rarely applies - 1
Sometimes applies - 2
Frequently applies - 3
Applies almost all the time - 4
How often do you find yourself…
(i) Having difficulty exerting your authority at home and/or at work?
(ii) Lacking the knowledge or experience to achieve the things you want?
(iii) With more responsibilities than you wish?
(iv) Unable to meet all the demands made on your time?
(v) Faced with conflicting demands?
(vi) Kept in the dark by people you depend on/ your immediate superiors?
(vii) Worrying about taking decisions that will affect others?
(viii) Incapable of influencing decisions or actions that directly affect you?
(ix) Struggling to achieve a balance in your life?
(x) Obliged to do or say things against your better judgement?
(xi) Not sure what those close to you expect from you?
(xii) Prevented by time pressures from doing as good a job as you are able?
(xiii) Lacking the skills or qualifications to meet demands made on you?
(xiv) Neither liked nor respected by those around you?
(xv) Confused and uncertain about your future?
How To Score
Step 1: Add up your total points score.
Step 2: Count up the number of “Does not apply” responses and subtract this from 15 (the total number of questions asked).
For example, if you responded “Does not apply” to 6 of the questions, you would subtract 6 from 15, leaving you with 9 relevant responses.
Step 3: Divide your total score (Step 1) by the number of relevant responses (Step 2) to produce your final score.
For example: if your Step 1 total score is 36; and your number of “Does not apply” questions (Step 2) is three, this means a total of 12 relevant questions – 15 minus 3.
Finally, divide your total score by the number of relevant questions; so, 36 is divided by 12, which gives you a stress level score of 3.
Now, use the table below to show your current stress level.
What Your Stress Score Reveals
Below 2 Low – stress does not seem to be causing you any major problems.
2 – 2.5 Moderate – some aspects of your lifestyle are causing stress to rise above average.
2.6 – 3 High – you are currently experiencing too much stress in your life.
More than 3 Very high – you should take urgent steps to deal with those situations currently causing you the greatest stress; that is, those to which you responded with “Frequently applies” or “Almost all the time”.
How to Use your Stress Score
The situations to which you responded “Frequently applies” or “Almost all the time” are likely to prove among the major causes of your stress. Try to change these situations or, if this is not possible, to change the way in which you currently deal with them.
Dr David Lewis is director of research at Mindlab International, based at the University of Sussex.