Good stress, bad stress: It all adds up. How to cope with economic downfall, holidays.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

If you are not stressed in these economic times, you should be, or so it seems if you listen to the media long enough these days.  The holidays are coming up also, and here’s the thing: There is good stress and bad stress but your body treats it the same.  It adds up quickly.  Ever heard of the Holmes-Rahe Live Inventory Scale (PDF download)?

It attempts to rank some of life’s common social stresses.  Add them up for over the past year and the higher your score, the more prone you are to a “serious health breakdown” in the near future.  It doesn’t define this, and does not take into consideration your coping skills, but the scale shows good changes can cause as much stress as bad ones.  For instance, marriage has a score of 50, fired from work is 47, pregnancy 40, change in financial state (for better or worse) 38.

Of course everyone has stress.  It is part of living.  But, if you are having more than your share this year, look at the chart and consider ways to cut back on the ones you can.  For example, say no to parties you don’t really want to attend, don’t go into new debt, put off that vacation, try to relax.  The holidays will never be perfect.  Stick with your friends, family and support groups; laugh; have fun. “In all things, moderation.” You get the picture.

KidsHealth.org has good tips on coping with stress for children and adults.  It shares how to recognize, avoid and cope.

What have you been doing, or do you plan to do, to cope?

See our tips on avoiding stress here.

 

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2 Responses to “Good stress, bad stress: It all adds up. How to cope with economic downfall, holidays.”

  1. Mark Salinas Says:

    Yes I have to admit that stress is lurking around in my life at this time. Thank you for the tips!

  2. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    It’s like that for most of us, Mark.
    Thanks

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