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We all lead stressful lives, where there are not enough hours in the day to do the things that need to be done. Stress can come from many angles, and can be commonly caused when there is a change in the environment or the society around us, that puts a pressure on us to readjust or accommodate this in some way. Or it may be when there are challenges to your emotional commitments that you experience stress. There are lots and lots of sources, be they at work or at home. And at times, stress can seem like it is a ball that just keeps rolling and rolling, getting bigger and bigger.

And when life throws us a curve ball, especially one that is really big, it can be difficult to know how big it’s impact is.

These curve balls can also be called serious life events, which are basically defined as a significant occurrence that can have serious, long-lasting effects in your life, and usually an abrupt start. These events can have an impact on mental health, and therefore health, and there is much research into this. There are generally 2 main types of tool to used measure this impact in research – a checklist or an interview – and these measures can be used to help understand the impact of stress in your life, too.

Checklists are common and useful measures. There are many different types of checklist that are used in research, such as the Schedule of Recent Events (SRE), which has 43 events and has been used to decades. The Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview (PERI) is also commonly used as a checklist for research. These checklists have helped with information on many things, such as depression, but they have drawbacks. You are more likely to recall recent events, in a way that is called bias. And giving your self one of these checklists to check an impact upon yourself has poor reliability. But they can act as a rough guide to help you see the impact of something on your life, and can be found by a quick online search.

An interview, speaking with someone, is the best way to investigate the impact of a stressful life event. Interviews are used in research as they generally allow a greater degree of precision in the information that is collected. There are standard, semi-structured interviews, such as the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule (LEDS) and the Standardized Event Rating System. To be done well, they do require the person giving the interview to be more highly trained.

Speaking to a highly trained professional, such as a member of the team at Cognacity, can greatly help in determining the impact of stress and stressful life events – in finding out the impact of that curveball.

And we wont just help you figure out the impact of the curve ball, we can help you catch it.