Causes of Stress

We are all affected by stress, however, we all have different perceptions of what is stressful.  What gets under the skin of one, may go by unnoticed by another.  At different times in our lives we may be able to cope perfectly with a particular situation, while at others times, a similar situation may feel completely overwhelming.  Our ability to cope with stress depends on many things, including congenital and circumstantial factors. The effects of stress are often cumulative and as we battle to deal with the pressures of our every day lives, we don’t always realise just how stressed we are – or the effects that stress is having on our overall health.  In order to deal with the effects of stress, we must first be aware of the things in our lives that are causing us stress.

Once we can identify our stressors, we can to make changes to reduce or eliminate them.  This realisation in itself begins to dissolve one of the most fundamental stressors for most people – the feeling of being powerless.

Here is a list of some our most common sources of stress:

  • Feeling powerless in any situation
  • Feeling trapped and isolated
  • A lack of purpose and direction
  • The death or loss of a loved one
  • An injury, illness or infection
  • Not getting enough rest/sleep.  Continually forcing yourself to push through.
  • Over exertion – work, school, social, exercise, etc.
  • Environmental toxins
  • Allergies
  • Financial pressures and uncertainties
  • Relationships – personal, professional or otherwise
  • Psychological disorders
  • A negative frame of mind/negative expectations
  • Unsatisfactory employment conditions
  • An anxious mind (fear)
  • Stimulants such as coffee, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, drugs
  • Prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • A lack of exercise
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Self-pressure for perfection and high achievements
  • Congenital (or hereditary) weak adrenals
  • A lack of leisure/enjoyable activities
  • Feeling as though you are not free to express yourself
  • Staying in any of the above situations when you KNOW that they are causing you pain and stress!

Of course, there are many other sources and variations to this list.  It may help to write a list of your own and then begin to think about what you could to change or eliminate sources of stress in your life.

Remember that your perception of a situation has a very powerful influence over whether it causes you stress or not – perhaps all you have to do is change your perception of a situation in order to feel better about it.

“When a person lacks steadiness and is unable to control his mind his senses are like wild horses, but the mind, like horses, can be trained”.

(Katha Upanishad)

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