Most people experience some form of stress every day. Although some stress is good, you must be mindful of the causes of stress and the negative effect stress can have on your life. Since it’s impossible to live an entirely stress-free life, the best thing you can do is learn how to recognize and manage the effects of stress.
This article discusses what stress is, what might cause it, and how it affects you. It also includes information about ways you can get help dealing with stress.
What Are the Causes of Stress?
Several things that occur in your life can create feelings of stress. When you’re always under pressure and constantly worrying about something, it produces anxiety. Sometimes, experiencing significant life changes can create a sense of helplessness. These feelings will especially exist if you feel stress about things that you have no control over.
New responsibilities such as a job promotion, a new home, or the birth of a child can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Most people welcome these events because they create happiness. However, even festive life events can bring significant lifestyle changes or cause unusual demands, creating an incredible amount of stress.
What causes stress for one person may not have any effect on the next person. However, there are some general situations that mental health experts agree are stressful for most people. Common examples of stress include problems with work, finances, and relationships with those close to you.
When you have strained relationships with those close to you, it causes stress. Being around those people may produce feelings of discomfort and anxiety. When the person you’re not getting along with is a spouse, the pressure is more intense because of the relationship’s closeness.
Money is a primary stressor in a person’s life. Not having enough money to pay for life’s necessities can affect your sense of security and self-worth. The amount of money you earn also affects your ability to take care of your family. Facing the challenges of providing for yourself and your family when you don’t make enough money is exceptionally stressful.
Working at a demanding job where there are not enough hours to get your work done is stressful. Having a supervisor who shows no empathy and has unrealistic expectations only adds to that stress. The work environment can become hostile and lead to chronic stress.
What Does Stress Cause?
Neuroscientists who study the nervous system and the brain now understand how chronic stress has a significant impact on a person’s health.
Stress triggers a fight-or-flight response, which gives you the ability to respond to danger quickly. This quick response is possible because under pressure, your body’s glucose levels, heart rate, and the amount of blood that flows to the muscles in your arms and legs increases. When the stressful event passes, your body returns to its normal state.
In addition to physical reactions, stress causes emotional and psychological effects. After a while, the number of stressful incidents and the length of time you remain under pressure can compound the impact. When you experience chronic stress, your body stays heightened continuously. Constant vigilance can lead to anxiety, depression, and many other health conditions.
When parents are stressed, it has an impact on the physical and mental health of their children. Symptoms of stress in young children can manifest as headaches, stomach aches, irritability, and being withdrawn. Because a child’s brain is still developing through adolescence and up until early adulthood, childhood trauma can be damaging. However, the child can recover from the trauma’s effects through the right treatment type because the damage is reversible.
How to Relieve Stress
There are many ways to reduce stress. You can learn to relax, take short breaks throughout the day, prioritize tasks, and manage your time better. To release tension at work and home, you can learn to communicate more effectively with co-workers and family.
Lifestyle changes, such as increasing exercise and making healthy food choices, are other ways to decrease stress levels. You can also seek counseling from a licensed therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. These professionals will help you work through identifying and managing the stress in your life.
When chronic stress leads to anxiety or depression, you may need a medical doctor or psychiatrist to prescribe medication to relieve stress. Whatever the course of treatment, you should not be embarrassed about asking for help with managing stress. Regardless of how healthy you are, stress can impact your life.
For more information about how to deal with stress and remain productive, check out some other articles from the Leonard Productivity Institute.