Many different things around us can cause stress but identifying what may be causing you stress is often the first step in learning how to better deal with it. Let us try to broadly define the most common sources of stress.
- Environmental Stress– This is a response to things around you that cause stress, such as noise, crowding, and pressure from work or family. Even routine hassles such as getting the family out of the door in the morning, or dealing with a difficult co-worker contribute to this stress. Long-term stressors such as dealing with a chronic disease, or caring for a child or sick family member also come under this category. Identifying these stresses and learning to avoid them or deal with them will help lower your stress level.
- Social Stress– Each of us plays multiple social roles as parent, spouse, caregiver or employee. Each of these roles also comes with its own set of demands. Most often, social stressors include deadlines, financial problems, job interviews, disagreements, demands for your time and attention or co-parenting. With aspirations and desires continually rising, the skill of dealing with social stressors needs to be honed.
- Physical Stress or Fatigue: This kind of stress builds up over a long time and can take a hard toll on your body. It can be caused by working too much at your job or home. It can also be caused by not knowing how to manage your time well or how to take time out for rest and relaxation.
- Internal Stress: Sometimes, you might have caught yourself worrying about things you can do nothing about or worrying for no reason at all? This is internal stress and it is one of the most important kinds of stress to understand and manage. Internal stress is when people make themselves stressed. This often happens when we worry about things we can’t control or put ourselves in situations we know will cause us stress. Some people become addicted to the kind of hurried, tense, lifestyle that results from being under stress. They even look for stressful situations and feel stress about things that aren’t stressful.
Though different people may experience the same type of events, each of them will experience that event in a unique way. Some people are more vulnerable to becoming stressed out than others are in any given situation. An event like getting stuck in traffic might cause one person to become very stressed out while it might not affect another person much. Even with good stressors such as getting married, some individuals become highly anxious while others remain calm and composed.
How vulnerable you are personally to becoming stressed out depends on a variety of factors, including your biological makeup, your perception of your ability to cope with challenges and the intensity, timing, and duration of a stressful event. While some of these factors are not under your control, your reaction to most stressful situations is workable. Apart from understanding what really causes you stress, it is essential to recognize and accept that you are stressed and work out ways to manage stress.