What Causes Stress and How Does It Affect Your Life?

June 17, 2022
What Causes Stress and How Does It Affect Your Life
What Causes Stress and How Does It Affect Your Life?

Stress is the body’s natural response to pressure or threat in life. It is a normal reaction that motivates you to take action to prevent danger or meet deadlines. However, extreme stress negatively affects your physical and mental health, leading to maladaptive coping mechanisms such as smoking, drinking, or avoiding important tasks.

Stress management is possible and depends on a person’s willingness to bring a healthy change in their life. But managing stress without understanding the root cause is pointless. This post will aid you in knowing what causes stress and how chronic stress can affect your life.

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Types of Stress

There are different kinds of stress and related disorders. Still, all of them can be divided into three major groups based on symptoms’ intensity and duration. They are discussed below.

Acute Stress

It is short-term stress that comes on instantly and often unexpectedly, does not last long, but trembles you, and requires a response. For example, it can be a test for which you don’t feel mentally ready. Acute stress activates your body’s stress response, but you can counter it with quick relaxation techniques and return to your day feeling less stressed.

Episodic Acute Stress

This type of stress occurs more frequently, especially when you have tight deadlines or experience frequent stressful events at work or in life. We don’t have time to relax and calm down under such stress, and if it is experienced frequently, it can lead to serious consequences. Generally, it gives people the impression that they are shifting from one crisis to another.

Chronic Stress

This type of stress is long-term and persistent. Examples of stressors are unstable relationships with your partner or career problems. This type of stress seems to last for a very long time. We frequently find it difficult to see any means of improving the situation causing our chronic stress.

Symptoms of Stress

When someone is under long-term or chronic stress, the response can cause wear and tear on the body. Signs of physical, behavioral, and emotional damage emerge. Following are the symptoms of stress.

Physical symptoms Emotional/psychological symptoms
  • Aches and pains 
  • Racing heart
  • Tiredness or difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches, lightheadedness, or shaking
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Muscle tension 
  • Problems with the stomach or digestion
  • Problems in the immune system 
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional sensitivity
  • Panic attacks
  • Persistent sadness

Common Stress Triggers

Stress is typically caused by excessive pressure applied to us by others or sometimes by ourselves. Here are some of the most common things that cause stress you need to know to deal with them.

1. Work Schedules

Excessive workload and tight deadlines for work are some factors of a stressful life. According to the American psychological association(“Stress in the Workplace” survey, 2011), 36% of Americans suffer from workplace tension. For many, it is hard to multitask, and they may end up having stress while striving to achieve a work-life balance.

Breaking away from work-related activities for relaxation and time with family, such as preventing the urge to check emails in the evening, can help avoid workplace stress from affecting other aspects of your life.

Symptoms of Stress

2. Past Life Events

Traumatic events from a past life can leave stressful strains on your life. Past life experiences either make or break you. Going through hard times makes some people strong enough to handle future upsets. Still, for some people, such events can make them more vulnerable to easily becoming overwhelmed or stressed even from the minor inconveniences.

However, persistent stress that continues long after a traumatic event is frequently diagnosed as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that needs to be addressed by a professional.

3. Appearance

For some people, how they look matters a lot. Weight gain, baldness, or skin problems are everyday stressors related to personal appearance. Worries about physical attributes can excessively impact people’s confidence, so it can be helpful to engage in activities such as fitness, hobbies, and socializing to boost self-esteem.

4. Death or separation of a loved one

Losing someone close to you is a painful experience. The shock or lingering worry of losing a close one can cause stress, mainly if the person was a loved one or a close friend. Furthermore, activities such as funeral arrangements after the death of a loved one add to the stress, and it can take a lot of time to adjust to not being able to meet or speak with other people, and acceptance of the situation is difficult.

Our Smart Symptom Checker will help you know if you are suffering from stress or not. Click the button below to check your symptoms.

5. Social pressure

The pressure to conform to social standards or meet unrealistic success criteria can take a toll on your life. Our environment’s stress can also have long-term health consequences. Having a social life is beneficial to our health. By nature, we are social beings who seek companionship and friendship. However, you should probably take a break if you’re feeling overwhelmed due to social pressure.

6. Health problems

A health crisis or a diagnosis of a chronic illness is a significant stressor, particularly if it is accompanied by debilitating symptoms and complications. These issues can also put additional strain on the top stressors. The journey of illness, as well as the inability to control events, can result in persistent anxiety about both current and potential future situations.

7. Poor relationships

Even the happiest of relationships can be stressful sometimes. Cohabitation can cause a slew of issues, ranging from losing personal space to adjusting to a partner’s different habits. These can impact relationships and lead to stressful arguments over time. Conflicts in other spheres of life such as arguments with companions can also negatively impact one’s well-being.

8. Life changes

More broadly, any situation requiring change, whether favorable or unfavorable, demands us to adapt to new situations and can be stressful. Examples could be moving away from home, starting a new job, and starting a family. However, adapting to the new changes in life may take a long time, but persistent efforts can help you face this kind of stress and move on with your life.

9. Parenting stress

Raising children is not an easy task, especially if you are a working parent. The busy schedule of the job, home responsibilities, and kids’ needs can stress you altogether. In some cases, parenting stress can also affect the parent-child relationship. For example, if you don’t have open communication, your child may not seek your advice, or you and your child may argue frequently. Examples of stressors related to parenting include single parenting, long working hours, relationship problems with your partner, and low socioeconomic status.

Common Stress Triggers

10. Personality

Personality traits can also contribute to stress. For example, extroverted people may experience less stress in their daily lives than introverts and have more social resources, which act as a stress buffer. While perfectionists may unnecessarily stress themselves due to their high standards, they suffer more adverse physical and mental health consequences than those who simply focus on high achievement.

Tips To Manage Stress

Unless your stress is chronic, it is not impossible to manage it. Adopting a healthier lifestyle and practicing small things to eliminate day-to-day stressors can help you immensely. Here are a few tips for you to try:

  • Maintain a positive attitude. Nothing is impossible if you are willing to achieve it.
  • Instead of being aggressive, be assertive. Express your feelings, beliefs, or opinions.
  • Set appropriate limits and say no to requests that would cause undue stress in your life.
  • Don’t use compulsive behaviors like alcohol and drugs to cope with stress — they will only add to the stress on your body.
  • Get social support — spend time with the people you care about.

Final Words

Stress, if not addressed on time, can lead to severe consequences. Identifying what causes stress is the first step toward enjoying your life. However, talk to a doctor if things are getting out of your hands and stress is ruining your mental health. At Mango Clinic, we offer effective online stress management via our certified professionals. Contact us to get help!


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