If this newsletter does not display correctly, read it online.
Equipped to...Learn About Life Change
This newsletter introduces The Life Change Model, a comprehensive article found on my website.
Most of us will have heard the expression “You’ll worry yourself sick.” And if you have read my article Stressed To Kill, you will know that while a moderate amount of stress can help keep us on our toes and performing at our best, too much or prolonged periods of worry and stress CAN actually make us ill.
But what many people don’t realise is that negative pressures are not the only things that can make us ill. Any change – even a positive one – can be stressful. Even small or seemingly insignificant life changes can affect us, and an accumulation of small stressors can be as damaging as one major event.
To measure the impact of life changes, two researchers (Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe) devised the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), also known as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. In this scale, the number of "Life Change Units" (LCUs) that apply to events in the past year of an individual's life are added.
The life change units are in essence stress potential values. That is, they give an indication of how stressed the individual is likely to be, and directly related to that, how many health problems they are likely to experience. The more stressed they are the more likely they are to be ill.
Can Change Really Make Me Sick?
Researchers found that 93% of health problems (infections, allergies, bone and muscle injuries, and psychosomatic illness) affected patients who, during the previous year, had been exposed to events with LCU values totalling 150 or more.
Although a minor life change one its own was not enough to constitute a serious stressor, the cumulative impact of many events could be considered a crisis. The greater the numbers of LCUs, the greater the risk of illness.
Of those exposed to:
Am I at Risk?
Of course, we are all unique individuals and so vary in the way we handle change, as well as in our personal interpretation of the change event. Personal characteristics can also modify the impact of the life changes on our health. Many people have illnesses that do not seem to be preceded by identifiable stressors, and others undergo stress but do not seem to get sick!
Assess Your Stress
Below is a sample of life change events and their respective number of Life Change Units (LCUs), as applicable to adults. Add up your total number of LCU’s and assess your risk of illness. A full and comprehensive table can be found in the full article on my website.
Non-adults may also become susceptible to stress-related illness through experiencing positive or negative life changes. A sample of events and their corresponding LCUs is given below. The full list can be found on my website.
Click to Take the full Test!
Did you find this information helpful? Click here to comment.
Image by: Anfuehrer
Have something to say?
If you've experienced the negative effects on your health that change can bring, I'd love to hear your story! Please get in touch.
Watch out for my next newsletter where you will be
Tip! Save these newsletters and accumulate the series on Mastering Life's Changes.
More About Me
The email was sent to: