When it comes to causes of stress, there are some obvious ones and some not-so-obvious ones. Obvious stressors include things like the loss of a loved one, a house fire, the loss of a job, illness, or any number of traumatic situations. Some more subtle causes of stress could be a difficult work relationship, finances, or a feeling of being out of control.
In discussing what causes stress, it’s a good idea to take a look at just what stress is. Stress is not necessarily bad – it actually can keep you safe or save your life. For example, the stress you feel as you begin to cross an intersection and someone runs a red light is crucial to your fast, physical reaction – you slam on the brakes. Your body responds to the stressful situation with a “fight or flight” reaction, which makes your natural defenses kick in full-force.
Some types of stress help you do a good job at work or in some sort of performance or event. Chronic stress, however, which is more than just an incident here and there, can have a detrimental effect on health and emotions. In a nutshell, stress is the body’s response to intense or difficult situations. Those situations can be sudden and traumatic, or continual and subtle.
Here are some possible causes of stress.
1. Difficult relationships
Being “trapped” in a difficult marriage or familial relationship can be very stressful, and can become a source of chronic stress. Divorce is said to be one of the most stressful relationship situations that people can experience.
Yes, retirement can be a stressor, according to some sources. While you won’t have work-related stress anymore, some people find the retirement of their spouse, for instance, very stressful – suddenly, their schedule is completely different. The retired individual may feel useless without a daily job to do.
Grave illnesses like cancer are very stressful for the sufferer and his or her family. It has been said that stress is “murder” on relationships, which may add additional stress to the illness situation.
Sustaining an injury can be a big stressor. Depending on the nature of the injury, your entire lifestyle may experience upheaval and chronic pain may be a factor. Intense pain, even if temporary, can cause extreme stress.
Do you feel like everything has to be “just right”? For you, it may be very stressful when things aren’t perfect. And since imperfection is a big part of life, a perfectionist may find him or herself stressed chronically.
At Citizen we have a variety of counsellors and coaches who can help you with stress management.
A lot of people also find our My Stress Coach online programme very helpful. Itsâ€™ got a 30 day guarantee with it so if it doesnâ€™t help you better manage your stress you can get a full refund. The online programme works particularly well when combined with online or face to face counselling or personal development coaching.