April 19, 2024

The Accumulation of Stress

Creative Connections & Client Communications
The Accumulation of Stress

Back in the 1970s, researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine published a stress index, analyzing the relative impact of certain events upon human reaction, in terms of units of stress. –I’ve held on to that index, and have found it very informative, for the empathy needed in so many consultations with people under formidable accumulated stress

In studies dating back to the 1940s, Dr. Thomas H. Homes found that a clustering of life events often precedes the onset of critical diseases, ranging from heart attacks to ulcers and infections as well as to psychiatric disturbances; as the amount of recent life-change units increased, so did the likelihood and seriousness of illness associated with the life crises. His studies indicated that an accumulation of 200 or more life-change units in one year may be more disruption than one person can tolerate.

The list contains events involved with change, almost all of them connected with choice, a very important dynamic in consultation reflections. Of those events with an impact of 50 and above, over half are directly related to disruption of relationship; clearly attesting to how important relationship is to sustaining life and development. Over one-third of the list involves the Angles in the horoscope, our key orientation to the time and world in which we live.

For example: a divorce carries with it an impact of 73. Most usually, the divorce event will carry with it the stress of a change in financial state, an impact of 38; revision of personal habits, 24; change in residence, 20. The minimum total would be 155, and there would be further considerations of trouble with in-laws, 29, a change in social activities, 18, a change in sleeping habits, 16, etc. The stress profile would be considerable, depending upon and affecting personal reaction.The Stress List

Death of a spouse…100
Divorce… 73
Marital separation… 65
Jail term… 63
Death of a close family member… 63
Personal injury or illness… 53
Marriage… 50
Fired at work… 47
Marital reconciliation… 45
Retirement… 45
Change in family member’s health… 44
Pregnancy… 40
Sex difficulties… 39
Gain of new family member… 39
Business readjustment… 39
Change in financial state… 38
Death of close friend… 37
Change to different line of work… 36
Change in number of marital arguments… 35
Heavy mortgage… 31
Foreclosure on mortgage or loan… 30
Change in responsibilities at work…29
Son or daughter leaving home… 29
Trouble with in-laws… 29
Outstanding personal achievement… 28
Wife begins or stops work… 26
Begin or end school… 26
Change in living conditions… 25
Revision of personal habits… 24
Trouble with boss… 23
Change in work hours or conditions… 20
Change in residence… 20
Change in Schools… 20
Change in social activities…18
Change in sleeping habits…16
Change in eating habits… 15
Vacation… 13
Minor violations of the law…11

Being familiar with this list of relative event stress-points within change gives us a working perspective on the accumulated tensions upon our clients. They will have to react to the changes, absorb the stress.

I am not the first to say that frustration during development and change appears most when we live and act on halfmeasures. We need to discover what we are like and who we are and follow a way of life that matches our natures. [Please read those two sentences again.]

The problems that make us miserable arise out of stress situations to which we are reacting with non-creative, non-ego aware compromise. We are ignoring our Self and its true character; we are losing our position with regard to need-fulfillment. We are only halfway to where we should be. And our routinized thinking throughout development works to make this frequent, if not inevitable.

The therapy: Illuminated reasoning leads us to tremendous self-awareness, strength of will, and eventual freedom. What are our needs? How are they being focused within our work? How are they balanced with respect to the needs of our spouse? What is the support mechanism within the family to help everyone be as true to themselves as possible? What is the time projection of our dreams? What are the development steps of our reality? –This reasoning is the gift the astrologer offers to the client.