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Main Causes of Stress

What are the main causes of stress, and do you have any influence over them?

Well, most people think that events in life are the primary sources of stress. This is the common belief. However, as you know, 'common' is not always 'correct'.

You might first like to look at the article What is Stress For? if you haven't yet.
Then we'll look at:

- Some of the incidents that most people think cause stress

- Then look at why those events are not truly at fault

- And finally determine what the main causes of stress really are

Once you know that, you will be ready to embrace the remedy.

The good news is that there is a cure for stress available and it is within your power to treat yourself. Have you ever heard the phrase "Patient, treat thyself."? The remedy for stress is a perfect example of this. Once you know how to relieve stress, it is up to you to do it.

And if you suffer from stress symptoms (and most people do), you will recognize how important effectively dealing with stress is.

Commonly Cited Sources of Stress

Everyone can think of some rather major events or circumstances in life that are often classified as the main causes of stress. Most of these are negative situations, but some are also predominantly positive.

Negative experiences:

financial difficulties

  • financial disaster... losing all financial resources
  • feeling a monthly financial pinch when trying to balance the bank account

healthy living compromised

  • injury or illness of yourself or a loved one
  • the death of a loved one

work concerns

  • loss of job
  • fear of loss of job
  • job dissatisfaction

family concerns

  • security of a home for the family
  • considerations of education for self or family
  • kids mixing with negative influences

relationship difficulties

  • troubles with partners
  • a broken romance
  • disobedient children
  • arguments or poor communication with parents

Positive experiences

  • love and marriage
  • moving house
  • childbirth

There are also numerous every day situations and events that are seen to potentially cause stress:

  • being late for appointments, or others being late to meet with you
  • forgetting to pick up some groceries or arriving late to the store after it has closed
  • being late returning borrowed items
  • missing a deadline for a work or study assignment
  • road traffic incidence, accidents, or taking the wrong turn to get to your destination
  • teaching a teenager to drive !?!

It's easy to run your eyes over the lists above and see a number of situations where you may have felt stress at one time or another. Yes, we have all seen these events as the main causes of stress in our lives. The reality though, is that these events are innocent. They are merely neutral events of life, playing out on your stage.

It is the participants and observers in the play that attribute them meaning, and thereby experience them as stressful or not.

Main Causes of Stress

There are 3 levels to understanding the main causes of stress.

  1. The sources of stress listed above are the top level of stress. These are easy to see and readily identifiable as events that seem responsible for the stress symptoms that many people suffer from. They are many and varied, and just as many and varied a population suffer at their arrival.
  2. Let's identify the next deeper level of what causes stress.

    Stress inducing events certainly exhibit vast differences amongst them. Everyone would agree that they are not all happy, nor all sad events. Neither can they be categorized as good or bad events. They do not limit themselves to a certain population. Nor do they all inflict the same symptoms and discomfort. Some create eustress, or positive stress, while others induce distress.

    But, can you see any 'common qualities' that all these situations share? There are two readily identifiable characteristics that these events bring to confront the people that develop stress symptoms from them...

    1. Once the events are happening, they are not easily (and most times 'not possibly') avoided

    2. Since they are not to be avoided, they must be faced. And in facing them, they are .... challenging!

    Yes... the next level to understanding stress is to understand that what causes stress is a situation you find challenging.

  3. And what of the third and deepest level that is the primary and main cause of stress?

    The deepest level reveals why a possible source of stress does not affect everyone the same. Even though it's often agreed that the events are challenging, why do some deal with them with relative ease, while others struggle.

    This indicates there are obviously differences between people when confronting these challenges.

    Here's a riddle to help you think about it....

    • It is something that everyone entertains, they change from day to day, and are different from everyone elses'...
      answer is... your thoughts

    • It is shaped by something that begins forming the day you were born, and will continue evolving till the day you die...
      answer is... your belief system

    • Even though others may have the same items on their list as you have, theirs might be in a totally different order...
      answer is... your personal core values and priorities

    • Everyone has one, and yours is unique to you..
      answer is... your perspective

Finding Inner Peace

Looking at the third and deepest level of understanding about what causes stress, it's clear... you have tremendous influence over the main causes of stress.

If you are serious about ridding your life of spiritual, mental and emotional stress symptoms... then keep exploring the answers offered here.

Don't settle for just relieving the symptoms of stress, which is certainly the easiest tactic to take in the short term.

Rather, don the appropriate warrior stance for the 21st century... and use your head to get yourself out of this mess by learning what you need to know!

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