In 1967 two psychologists (Holmes and Rahe) proposed their Life Events Theory and one of the central tents was that Stressful Life Events did not just have singular consequences but in fact have cumulative effects. In other words, the more stressful events you experience the greater the likelihood of having problems as a result. They went on to claim that specific events could be assigned a numeric value ranging from 1 to 100, and they called this value the Life Change Units.
Life Changing Units (LCU)

Life Change Units (LCU) represent the degree of adjustment that was required after an event and so both positive and negative events could be stressful. For example Marriage = 53 LCU and Divorce = 75 LCU. Death of a Spouse is at the top of the scale at 100 LCU whereas Christmas is at the bottom at 12 LCU.

With this method you can catalogue your stressful events and total up you LCU score. Holmes and Rahe did this with 88 doctors and found that those with the higher LCU scores were also those with the highest risk of ill health.

The results from multiple research is that stress does effect your health and more stress will increase the risk of ill health.

The importance of getting treatment

If you suffer one of the major life events such as the death of a loved one, divorce, personal injury or losing your job you will endure stress for a significant period of time. However if you get help the time and the stress will be reduced leading to better outcomes in the long term.

What can I do...

Stress is a reaction to an event and in that reaction we appraise the event and we decide whether or not it represents threat, loss or challenge. If it does, we then assess our coping skills and this will determine our reaction. If the threat, challenge or loss exceeds our coping skills we are facing serious issues that may be difficult to resolve.

CBT as practiced at Cork Cognitive Therapy can help with new coping mechanisms and the belief structure that forms the basis for how we think about the events. In other words CBT can reduce the stress by more effective coping and/or by restructuring the negative thoughts and beliefs that cause the stress.