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Test Your Coping Skills

How do you cope with stress? There are many ways, but some are more effective that others.

This stress scale was created largely on the basis of results compiled by clinicians and researchers who tried to identify how people effectively cope with stress. It is an educational tool, designed to help inform you of the most effective and healthy ways to cope.

Print this page, and follow the instructions for each item below.

  1. ____  Give yourself 10 points if you feel you have supportive family around you. 
  2. ____ Give yourself 10 points if you actively pursue a hobby.
  3. ____ Give yourself 10 points if you belong to a social or activity group in which you participate more than once a month.
  4. ____ Give yourself 15 points if you are within 10 pounds of your "ideal" body weight, considering your height and bone structure.
  5. ____ Give yourself 15 points if you practice some form of "deep relaxation" at least five times a week. Deep relaxation includes meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery and yoga.
  6. ____ Give yourself 5 points for each time you exercise for 30 minutes or longer during an average week.
  7. ____ Give yourself 5 points for each nutritionally balanced and wholesome meal you eat during an average day. A nutritionally balanced meal is low in fat and high in vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products.
  8. ____ Give yourself 5 points if you do something you really enjoy and which is "just for you" during an average week.
  9. ____ Give yourself 10 points if you have a place in your home to which you can go to relax or be by yourself.
  10. ____ Give yourself 10 points if you practice time management techniques daily.
  11. ____ Subtract 10 points for each pack of cigarettes you smoke during an average day.
  12. ____ Subtract 5 points for each evening during an average week that you use any form of medication or chemical substance, including alcohol, to help you sleep.
  13. ____ Subtract 10 points for each day during an average week that you consume any form of medication or chemical substance, including alcohol, to reduce anxiety or just to calm down.
  14. ____ Subtract 5 points for each evening during an average week that you bring work home – work meant to be done at your place of employment.

Now calculate your total score. A "perfect" score is 115. If you scored in the 50-60 range, you probably have adequate coping skills for most common stress. However, keep in mind that the higher your score, the greater your ability to cope with stress in an effective, healthy manner.


This stress assessment was created by Dr. George Everly Jr. of the University of Maryland. It is reprinted from a U.S. Public Health Service pamphlet, "What Do You Know About Stress" (DHHS Publication No. PHS79-50097) and is in the public domain. Please give appropriate credit if you copy it.



Return to Main Stress Page.

Last Updated: Wednesday February 02 2011
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