Life Changes and Stress

Internal or external change is unavoidable. If too much happens too fast, you’ll end up feeling stressed. If things change too slowly, you’re bored.  Both positive and negative changes are stressful and your mind and body need time to recover. Increased stress is medically linked to illness, so take it easy. It’s no simple task to do so, since life changes come in clusters. Think about it. When you’re moving, you’re not just changing your house; you’re changing your physical climate, job, friends, church, schools, grocery store, and social activities. Some changes are easier to handle than others, but trying to prevent change altogether is asking for trouble. We all need change in our lives.

If things are too static, try saying yes to something you haven’t done before.  If things are changing too fast, say no, and don’t let yourself feel guilty! We all need time off, and you can’t please everyone.

Sometimes, life will spin out of control. At crisis moments, you need a survival plan.  Remember coping skills that have worked in the past, and apply them to your current disaster. Hold on to what works.  Let go of what doesn’t.

Life Changes Checklist

Mark all of the life changes that you have experienced over the past year.


  • Personal injury, illness or handicap
  • Pregnancy (yours or a partners’)
  • Change in religious views or beliefs
  • Change in financial status
  • Change in self-concept
  • Ending a relationship
  • Change in emotional outlook
  • Change in roles
  • Buying or selling a car
  • Aging
  • Change in habits


– Drugs

– Tobacco

– Exercise

– Nutrition


  • Marriage
  • Family members leaving home
  • New family member(s)
  • Separation/divorce
  • Trouble with in-laws
  • Partner stopping/ starting a job
  • Illness/healing of a family member
  • Death of a close friend or family member
  • Parent/child tensions
  • Change in recreational patterns


  • Changes work load
  • Change in play
  • Starting a new job
  • Promotion/ demotion
  • Retirement
  • Change in hours
  • Change in relationships at work
  • Change in job security
  • Strike
  • Change in financial status


  • Natural disaster
  • Holidays
  • Vacation
  • Remodeling
  • War
  • Major house cleaning
  • Crime against property
  • Moving to a new
  • House or Apartment
  • Neighborhood
  • Climate
  • Culture
  • City
  • State
  • Country

  • How did these changes affect you?
  • What was one change that had a surprising effect on you?

· What was one change that had a surprising effect on you?