Life Crisis Points

Blea Tarn Some events are far more stressful than others. For example, the death of a spouse is far worse than a minor violation of the law (obviously!).

Researchers investigated how this affected people’s health. They found that the more stressful events that occurred within one year, the more likely people were to be susceptible to illness. This is also fairly obvious…

The interesting bit is that the researchers* ended up giving every event a ‘life crisis' value. So the death of a spouse is worth 100, but breaking a minor law (like getting a parking ticket) is worth 11. Even good things have a life crisis value, like going on holiday. This is because change is often stressful, and change can be good as well as bad.

How to take the test

When you take the test, you’ll be asked 41 short questions. If you have experienced the life crisis within the last year, the click 'Yes'. If not, click 'No'.

You may find that some events like, for example, your wedding actually covers a range of events from, obviously, marriage to a holiday (aka a honeymoon) to gaining new family members!. Try to think of all the parts of the event. Of course, you may have had an uneventful year!

By the way, new research shows that you'll find it easier to remember what happened in the last year if you think of a specific event a year ago to start you off. So you might think, 'this time last year it was (say) June and I'd just been on holiday'. Or 'this time last year I was knee deep in snow'. Or 'it was my birthday'... you get the idea!

You might find that remembering difficult events make you feel stressed. If so, stop for a moment to take some relaxing breaths. Just to remind you...

*Holmes and Rahe