What Causes Stress

Stress affects us physically, emotionally, behaviourally and mentally. When there is a threat, the body physically reacts by in- creasing the adrenaline flow, tensing muscles, and increasing heart rate and respiration. Emotions, such as anxiety, irritability, sadness and depression, or extreme happiness and exhilaration come out. Behaviourally, one might experience reduced physical control, insomnia, and irrational behaviour. Mentally, stress may severely limit the ability to concentrate, store information in memory and solve problems.

The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule, the loss of a loved one or a rocky relationship. However there are many triggers that increase our stress levels that can include positive events such as buying a house, getting married, moving to a new city, going to university, or receiving a promotion.


Common External Causes of Stress


Major life changes; Financial issues and challenges; Being too busy; Work and career; Children and family; Relationship difficulties.


Common Internal Causes of Stress


Inability to accept uncertainty; Pessimism; Unrealistic expectations; Perfectionism; Lack of assertiveness and inability
to say NO; Negative self-talk.

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