Learning how to identify the sources of your stress and how they affect you is the first step in addressing and reducing them.
What are stressors?
A stressor is a situation or event that causes us to feel stressed. Our memories can be internal or external factors, such as our environment or the people around us. They are also very personal; What may be a significant source of stress for one person may not cause any stress at all for another.To make this clearer, let's talk about different stressors and how stress occurs in our body. When our brain detects a threat, our stress response occurs. This could be any stressful event, such as a natural disaster or an important budget meeting. Our amygdala, which processes our emotions, sends a signal to the hypothalamus to communicate with our nervous system and release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. All of this happens within seconds of our brain detecting a threat. The adrenaline rush triggers our fight-or-flight response. While cortisol is great for reducing inflammation, helping us move under pressure, controlling our blood sugar levels, and more, high cortisol levels can contribute to Cushing's syndrome and other problems such as cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression. Acute or chronic stress affects our body, especially if we experience acute stress disorder or longer-term psychological stress resulting from traumatic events. To best combat our stressors, we need to learn about all types of stress and how to combat them.
5 common causes of stress
The things that cause us stress are often out of our control, but our daily life events can contribute to our stress. If we want to identify the causes of stress in our lives, we need to have enough self-awareness to be mindful and reflect.
If you need some help getting started, the American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a survey and found some of the top causes of stress for Americans in 2021:
It's no wonder we feel stressed at work. Project deadlines, conflicts with other co-workers, micromanaging bosses, burnout, and our daily lives can become overwhelming.
Stress from work can be about wanting perfection and pushing ourselves too hard to achieve it. You may even want to feel like you're a workaholic.
Financial stress affects people of all ages. Newly graduated college students may worry about student loans, while others may stress about buying a home. Perhaps people who have been working for many years are experiencing stress about their retirement savings.Deloitte's Gen Z and Millennials 2022 survey found that 29% of Gen Zers and 36% of Millennials find the cost of living to be their top financial concern . 47% of Gen Zers and 43% of Millennials cite their long-term financial future as the main reason they feel stressed most of the time. Money is also emotional, and economic volatility exacerbates this stress.While it's not always possible to completely eliminate this stressor, you can empower yourself by learning more about your finances, setting financial goals, and learning budgeting techniques. Additionally, understanding when you feel this stressor the most and how you can cope with it can improve your feelings about money. helps you understand.
Everything from wages, tax rates, and government activities can also contribute to economic stressors.
4. Family responsibilities
Everyone has a different relationship and responsibilities within their families. Single parents may feel more stress than people who have a partner to support them. Or people may become stressed about supporting family members and loved ones and caring for their health and well-being.
5. Personal health concerns
Other health problems we face can make us feel stressed. Maybe we have surgery coming up or we're concerned about our heart health. While chronic pain can cause stress, stress can exacerbate chronic pain and create a vicious cycle. Our physical illnesses, if left untreated, can weigh heavily on our minds and cause long-term stress.
What are the physical effects of stress?
In addition to the potential mental health problems of stress, our physical health is also at risk. Maybe our stress is causing us an existential crisis and affecting our heart health.We may attribute some of these symptoms to other health problems, but it's still good to be aware of them to identify excessive stress.
Here are some of the physical effects of stress:
-Cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure
Weakened immune system and increased risk of other diseases
-Headache and long-term migraine
-Stomach and gastrointestinal problems
-Tension in the muscles and jaw
-Fatigue or not getting enough sleep
How to deal with stressors?
We would like to learn how to avoid stressors completely, but this is impossible. Stress is inevitable. What we can do is learn how to reduce stressors, manage the problems we face, and maintain a resilient mindset.We must understand that stress can and will arise in our lives, there is no doubt about it. But how we deal with it can make a big difference in how it affects us physically and mentally.
Here are eight coping strategies for dealing with stress:
Whether it's a face mask or a long walk, you should do anything that benefits your mental health and helps you relax.
Learn to set limits.
Being able to say “no” to people and set boundaries is a way to prioritize your well-being. If something is bothering you, be sure to speak up. This will also help you avoid potential stressors.
Ask for help.
Even if your job is independent, it's never bad to ask for help. Admitting that we are overwhelmed and overworked tells us that we need to rely on others for social support. Having someone double-check your work or take over half of a task is an easy way to lighten your workload.
Change your perspective. Will this stressor benefit you in some way after you overcome it? Some stresses are positive and provide opportunities for growth. Focus on what you can learn from the challenge or life changes that are causing stress.
Yoga, deep breathing, meditation, and spiritually-based practices can help release tension in our bodies. Take a moment to pay attention to how your body feels to recognize your needs.
Improve critical thinking skills.
It's easy to jump to conclusions and assume the worst about threats. But critical thinking can help you decipher these apparent threats to decide whether they are threatening or not.
Turn off your screens.
Have you ever heard of doomscrolling? Spending too much time on social media or watching movies doesn't always help when we're stressed. Instead, set time limits on certain apps or make a habit of turning off screens a few hours before bed. Break up your work. If you have goals, try not to set them all at once. Your to-do list should be difficult but manageable to avoid stressing yourself out waiting for the impossible.
If you still have difficulty managing your stress after applying all these, you may need to get professional support, so check out Use Tappy's experts and start therapy wherever and whenever you want!