How to Measure Stress
If you’re a client looking to better understand and manage your stress, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) can be a helpful tool. The PSS is a quick and easy way to assess your level of stress and identify areas where you may benefit from stress management interventions.
To use the PSS, you’ll need to answer 10 questions about your stress level over the past month. The questions ask about how often you experienced certain symptoms or situations that are associated with stress, such as feeling overwhelmed, worrying too much, or having difficulty controlling important things in your life. You’ll be asked to rate how often you experienced each symptom or situation on a scale from 0 (never) to 4 (very often).
Your scores on the PSS will range from 0 to 40, with higher scores indicating a higher level of stress. A score of 14 or above is generally considered to be indicative of a high level of stress.
Once you’ve completed the PSS, you can use your score to understand your current level of stress and identify areas where you may want to focus your stress management efforts. For example, if you scored high in the “feeling overwhelmed” category, you might want to focus on time management and organization strategies to better manage your workload.
It’s important to note that the PSS is a self-report measure, so it relies on your perception of your own stress level. As with any self-report measure, there is the possibility of bias or inaccuracies in reporting. However, the PSS can still be a useful tool for identifying areas where you may want to focus your stress management efforts.
If you’re concerned about your stress level or have questions about how to use the PSS, it’s a good idea to discuss your concerns with a mental health professional or other qualified healthcare provider. They can help you interpret your scores and develop a plan to better manage your stress.