Causes of Stress

Stress arises when a situation is perceived as stressful. Stress is often associated with situations that you find difficult to handle. How you view things also affects your stress level. If you have
very high expectations, chances are that you will experience more than your fair share of stress.

Take some time to think about the things that stresses you.

Stress may be linked to external factors such as:

  • the state of the world, the country, or any community to which you belong
  • unpredictable events
  • the environment in which you live or work
  • work itself
  • family

Stress can also come from your own:

  • irresponsible behaviour
  • poor health habits
  • negative attitudes and feelings
  • unrealistic expectations
  • perfectionism

The issues that create stress are termed as stressors. There are two kinds of stressors, viz. –

  • External Stressors
       physical environment
       social interaction with people
       life events which you have no control over (death in the family)

  • Internal Stressors
       personal lifestyle choice
       personality traits
       Individual thought process (negativity, over-analyzing, etc.)

External Physical Stressors include unpleasant environmental conditions such as pain, hot or cold temperatures, infections or inflammation.

External psychological Stressors are such things as poor working conditions or abusive relationships.

Internal psychological stressors include intense worry about money, a relationship problem or your self-image. Internal psychological stress can often be the most harmful because there is frequently no resolution to the stressful situation. These stressors are anxieties about events that may or may not happen, and thestress response continues to be active as long as you are worrying about it. Continuous stress is not good for your health.

Stressors can also be defined as short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic).

Acute Stress

Acute stress is the reaction to an immediate threat, commonly known as the fight or flight response. The threat can be any situation that is experienced, even subconsciously or falsely, as a danger.

  Common acute stressors include

  • Noise
  • Crowding
  • Isolation
  • Hunger
  • Danger
  • Infection
  • Imagining a threat or remembering a dangerous event

Under most circumstances, once the acute threat has passed, the response becomes inactivated and levels of stress hormones return to normal, a condition called the relaxation response.

Chronic Stress

In day-to-day life a person faces different stressful situations, which are not short lived. The stress becomes chronic when an individual tries to suppress it.

   Common chronic stressors include

  • Ongoing highly pressured work
  • Long-term relationship problems
  • Loneliness
  • Persistent financial worries

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