In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe asked 5,000 medical patients about recent difficult events in their lives. They found a positive correlation with illness. The sum of the “life change units” you’ve amassed in the past year, they said, gives a rough estimate of the effect on your health:

Death of a spouse: 100
Divorce: 73
Marital separation: 65
Imprisonment: 63
Death of a close family member: 63
Personal injury or illness: 53
Marriage: 50
Dismissal from work: 47
Marital reconciliation: 45
Retirement: 45
Change in health of family member: 44
Pregnancy: 40
Sexual difficulties: 39
Gain a new family member: 39
Business readjustment: 39
Change in financial state: 38
Death of a close friend: 37
Change to different line of work: 36
Change in frequency of arguments: 35
Major mortgage: 32
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan: 30
Change in responsibilities at work: 29
Child leaving home: 29
Trouble with in-laws: 29
Outstanding personal achievement: 28
Spouse starts or stops work: 26
Beginning or end of school: 26
Change in living conditions: 25
Revision of personal habits: 24
Trouble with boss: 23
Change in working hours or conditions: 20
Change in residence: 20
Change in schools: 20
Change in recreation: 19
Change in church activities: 19
Change in social activities: 18
Minor mortgage or loan: 17
Change in sleeping habits: 16
Change in number of family reunions: 15
Change in eating habits: 15
Vacation: 13
Major holiday: 12
Minor violation of law: 11

A score of 300+ means you’re at risk of illness.

A score of 150-299 means your risk of illness is moderate (but 30 percent lower than the foregoing group).

A score of less than 150 means your risk of stress-related illness is slight.