What is stress?
When your body reacts under pressure due to an unwanted situation or event, it is called stress. The reaction may be emotional, mental, or physical. Hence, you have to be aware of its effects on your mental and physical health. We are all not strangers to stress as we deal with it almost every day. According to a study, about half of Americans agree that they deal with moderate stress daily.
Even though stress is a shared experience, it may differ from individual to individual. Say, the traffic noise may enrage an individual, while another may play music and not mind it. A bitter quarrel between two close friends may scar one emotionally for months, while another might forget about it. Hence, it also depends on how we perceive the situations.
What causes stress?
1. Financial problems:
In an analysis done by the American Psychological Association (APA), they found that money was the top root of stress in the United States. There are many ways in which money plays in our lives to cause stress. Some of the signs are:
Thinking about the money you’ve used up:
Here, you dwell in the past and regret spending your money more than you needed to. It usually happens when you spend money on the things you don’t need. Worrying will only cause you more stress and affect your daily activities. It is not going to bring back your money.
To avoid this, you can focus on your present activities and the things under your control. It will help you to make better and logical decisions regarding your future spending.
Disputes with loved ones over money:
Many fights occur between loved ones just for money. For example, it happens because someone is not earning enough for the family; or spending hard-earned money lavishly. It can lead to separation and breakdown of relationships too.
Instigating fear and unrest in mind:
These situations may usually occur if you have debts to repay or lose a large sum of money. It will cause you to stress over how to repay the debts or recover the lost money. You may soon find yourself cutting connections with even your loved ones.
When money-related stress carries on for too long, it can result in distress. Distress may lead to physical harm, such as high blood pressure, headaches, stomach upsets, insomnia, etc. Other health problems related to financial stress are depression, diabetes, anxiety, and arthritis.
2. Work-related problems:
With the increase in population over the years, there is also an increase in competition for survival. With this, work is becoming more difficult day by day. Hence, the time length of working hours is gradually increasing. Some people also do multiple jobs.
Some of the things that add to job stress are:
Excess of work with limited time:
Having excess work can cause you to panic and overwork with no regard for your health. It can lead to work stress and reduction of health significantly.
When you have only one job and no other income source, this can lead to job insecurity. Being insecure about your future, you can develop severe stress and decrease your work performance drastically.
Dissatisfaction with your job:
Job dissatisfaction can occur due to being underpaid, poor communication between co-workers, challenging tasks, etc. Your emotions can get the best of you and lead to stress.
Conflicts with co-workers or a boss:
In every workspace, conflicts are bound to occur either due to work-related or even silly reasons. It can also be because somebody at work is mistreating you. That can lead to poor communication, deteriorating work ethics, and consequently cause you much stress.
3. Personal relationships:
Being social animals, we are surrounded by people whether we like it or not. There may be some in your circle with whom you cannot get along with. There is always an emotional tension when you meet those people. Due to their toxicity, you may develop stress, and as a result, it could affect your daily activities. Hence, it may affect your sense of judgment and cause you to sever ties with close ones too.
Stress due to personal relationships can be a result of romantic relationships. It can also be a result of misunderstandings or disputes between married couples. The consequences of stress caused by such reasons can be dire and extreme, sometimes leading to chronic stress. Some common causes of relationship stress are:
- Not spending enough time with each other due to work or other responsibilities.
- Diminishing romance or intimacy because of health issues, prior engagements, etc.
- Practice of dominance or abuse within a relationship.
- Indulging in drugs and alcohol.
- Lack of communication and spiciness in the relationship.
With lots of responsibilities in hand, people tend to lose control of their emotions. That is because they are unable to perform the tasks correctly or as they want it to be. Most parents face similar issues every day as they try to balance work life with family life. The more the children and the younger they are, the more risk of bringing stress to them. As a result of parenting stress, they may experience an emotional breakdown, failing health, and become more prone to sickness.
Stress can also reduce the quality of parent-child relations. Many studies also show that parents of differently-abled children are more prone to developing parenting stress.
5. Daily life activities:
6. Personality and resources:
As described earlier, stress endurance can vary from person to person. Extroverts seem to face lesser stress in their daily life, and possess more social resources, shielding them against pressure. On the other hand, perfectionists tend to invite stress onto themselves because of their mindsets. As a result, their mental and physical health declines slowly.
People with more resources get the advantage of taking care of their workloads or worries with ease. Hence, they are less susceptible to stress. However, less fortunate people have to toil daily to meet their needs. Thus, their worries do not end, and they are exposed to more stress each day.
No one is new to the habit of procrastinating. There are many reasons and excuses as to why people procrastinate. However, two primary reasons are that the work intimidates them, or they feel lazy to do the job. In the later stage, this can create anxiety and disappointment. The more you start to procrastinate, the more stress it causes in due time. Hence, you must keep short term goals and complete them little by little. It will then create a sense of accomplishment and help in reducing stress.
8. The expectation of the worst outcomes:
9. Unhealthy lifestyle:
When you lead an unhealthy lifestyle, you become prone to physical sickness. When your room is unclean, eats unhealthy food, smokes cigarettes, etc., you are welcoming higher stress levels. Such a lifestyle begins to make you physically weak and affect your mental well being too. Hence, you need to exercise, maintain proper sleep routines, consume healthy foods, etc., to avoid stress.