Learning Exercise

Understanding Your Stress

In this activity the learner will be using Holmes and Rahe's SRRS to measure the stress load they are currently carrying, evaluate the personal impact stress has on their day to day life, and consider what stress techniques they might integrate into daily life to help balance the stress load.  This activity uses the MindTools website and coincides with a general psychology module that covers Stress and Health Psychology.  The direct link to the Holmes and Rahe SRRS tool needed to complete this activity is:  MindTools Holmes and Rahe SRRS Link


A series of techniques using mnemonics and other memory aids see more


The following instructions should be provided to the student: 

Select the Mind Tools Website Link here:  MindTools Holmes and Rahe SRRS Link

Read the article information and complete the SRRS on the webpage.  Use your calculated score and understanding of stress and the immune system from the course material to complete the following prompts in a mini essay (300-500 words) 

  1. Do you see a correlation between your score and what you know about your health? Explain. 
  2. Apply your understanding of the sympathetic response system to your personal stress responses and describe the physiological changes you feel when you are feeling stressed. 
  3. Choose two of the major stressors you identified in the SRRS and explain how each one has or is currently impacting your mental processes and behavior.
  4. Discuss at least one technique that you might utilize to consciously activate your parasympathetic nervous system and reduce the impact of your stressors on your health. 


Technical Notes

The Mindtools website only allows for 3 articles to be viewed for free before a user is prompted to "join" the club by paying a fee and creating an account.  There are article links within the Holmes and Rahe SRRS article and tool that are beneficial if the assignment is made stand alone.  Instructions should be altered to include which two article links students should use to assure they stay within the 3 free articles to complete the assignment.


This activity as it is written best coincides with lecture and course materials in a "General Psychology" course that covers Stress and Health Psychology.  It can be completed as a standalone activity using the mindtools website with some alterations to prompt questions. 


Stress, Health Psychology, Stress and the Immune System


Learning Objectives

Identify how stress impacts health

Understand personal experiences with stress

Explore stress management techniques


Document format and point values are instructor determined.

Grading Rubric for assignment when coincides with a stress and health psychology course module (? points)

5- Includes thoughtful commentary that specifically includes references and discussion to the reading, and other course resources; personal connections when relevant and/or thoroughly addresses the prompt with relevant ideas

4- Includes thoughtful commentary that includes some references and discussion to the reading, and other course resources; personal connections when relevant and/or addresses the prompt with some relevant ideas

3- Includes partial information, references some type of course material and personal connection when relevant, and partially covers the prompt questions with relevant ideas

2- Includes incorrect or minimal information, no reference is made to relevant resource material, or there are mainly irrelevant ideas

1- Prompt not complete