Stressors: The Causes of Stress
Stressors are events or conditions in your environment that cause stress. In fact, any time you make quick changes or adjustments in your life, this can lead to anxiety and stress. These events may include managing a significant life occurrence, like changing jobs or moving to a new community. Or it may be coping with more serious events, like a family illness.
Even small actions like worrying about the economy or personal finances can contribute to stress. Or a combination of daily tasks can be stressors. When you handle multiple roles and duties at the same time – such as being a spouse, a parent, and the family’s breadwinner – daily life can be a significant source of anxiety.
Our modern lives are particularly prone to the causes and effects of stress. Being overwhelmed by technologies such as mobile phone calls, e-mails, and texts all play a role as stressors.
The Long-Term Effects of Stress
When faced with stress, your body releases hormones. These hormones cause changes in your body. For example, your blood pressure may rise, your heart may pound, and your stomach may become tense. Over time, this stress reaction leads to more serious conditions like hypertension and heart disease.
Make no mistake about it: Stress will affect your well-being. Through the years, you can experience some of these symptoms:
- Physical – Recurrent colds or pneumonia, nausea, sleeping difficulties muscle spasms, skin problems, acid reflux disease
- Mental – Poor concentration, forgetfulness, learning problems, recurrent negative thoughts, speech problems
- Emotional – Panic attacks, distress, rage, mood swings, impudence, sense of hopelessness, issues with relationships
- Behavioral – Eating terribly, driving carelessly, abusing drugs or alcohol, being prone to accidents, and violence
Most of us are so stressed that we don’t know exactly when we fall apart. Oftentimes, when the symptoms of stress interfere with work and relationships, this is called anxiety.