Your Four Major Sources Of Stress

your four major sources of stressIs stress making you sick and taking all of the joy out of your life? Has it driven you to the point of burnout in your job and in your relationships? Chances are that your stress stems from one of the four major sources of stress in life.

It is a common saying that “stress is a killer.” Not only is it a killer but it can contaminate and influence nearly every aspect of your life. Stress can wreck your physical health and lead you to complete emotional exhaustion. It can ruin sleep, bring on depression, and be a major drain on any personal relationships.

Not all stress is bad, there is good stress and bad stress but remaining in a state of distress for too long is never healthy.

Stress activates a response system within your body causing your body to release hormones that increase your rate of breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. In addition, other hormones such as cortisol end up flooding your bloodstream.

This series of reactions prepares you to deal with the stressor, the stimulus causing the stress. After the stressor has passed, your body may return to normal but when a stressor remains, it can leave you anxious or tense, like an engine that stays revved up. This is the reason that learning how to manage stress is vital to both your physical and your mental well-being.

Your Four Major Sources Of Stress

There are many causes of stress but those can be easily narrowed down to only four major sources of stress:

  1. Insecurity and uncertainty. – Insecurity comes from many causes; it could be financial insecurity or other things. Nobody is ever 100% secure ever, and we are all susceptible to unexpected events or circumstances.

    Refrain from constantly focusing on worst-case scenarios. Such thinking does little more than drain precious emotional energy, and what you fear may not even ever happen! Focus on the things you can personally change and or control, and leave the rest to the universe to deal with.

  2. A demanding routine. – A relentless routine of commuting, working, studying, or caring for others can keep your stress levels high and unfortunately just dropping some these demands may just be out of the question.

    This is why it is so important to give yourself a break now and again, get adequate rest, and to have downtime programmed into your schedule. If needed, simplify your life and downsize if you have too.

  3. Conflicts with others. – Interpersonal relationships are often accompanied by conflict. And conflicts with others, especially in the workplace, can be very stressful.

    When you find yourself in an interpersonal conflict, instead of choosing too react and subsequently escalate the situation, strive to listen, empathize, and gain insight into the other person’s feelings and viewpoint. By doing this you can “slow down” your anger and in the end create less stress in what could be an infinitely stressful situation.

  4. Tragic life events. – It is the nature of life that sometimes “stuff happens” and when it does, it can be tragic if not outright traumatic. Loss of a family member, spouse, job, home, and even our own health can be extremely stressful and challenging life events.

    There is not a thing you can do to avoid hard times in life but you can choose not to give up and to keep fighting when they do happen. It may be the most stressful thing that you have ever dealt with but I can assure you that you are not alone; others have faced the same thing. By reaching out for both support AND to be supportive to others, not only will you help to manage your recovery from your loss but also you will also greatly reduce the stress and anxiety that resulted from it.

The best way to start relieving stress is usually to begin by making certain lifestyle changes such as following a healthy diet as well as getting enough sleep and exercise. Also, be willing to take breaks from work, spending time with family or friends, and learning new things.

If you are finding yourself overly stressed take some time to figure out which of the four major sources of stress is causing it. Once you understand the source then you will be more able to come with a solution and reduce the stress if not rid yourself of it completely.

Life is too short to be stressed all the time…

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 05 July 2008

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