Causes Of Stress

Awareness

Identify What Is Really Causing The Stress In Your Life

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Step 2 – Recognize The Real Causes Of Stress

One of the keys to good stress management is to pay attention to how you live your life and to be very conscious of, and pay special attention to how people, places, events or things make you feel.  As you are tapping into this awareness be sure to take notice and learn to identify what in your life has the potential to cause you concern, or add stress.

On the page of symptoms and warning signs I explained why so many people misinterpret their symptoms, or completely miss the warning signs altogether, but this is not the only thing that so many of us overlook.  In fact, to add to this confusion most people also fail to recognize what is really causing the stress in their lives in the first place, and this happens in part because by the time we have clued into the fact that we are stressed, the only thing we are then really aware of is the symptoms that are bothering us.  However, if we spend the time to think about why we are feeling so stressed we often make the mistake to chalk it up to be because of what I like to refer to as “surface causes”.  These surface causes are often the outcomes, of some sort of ongoing underlying issue that we may not even be aware of, never mind taken any action to try to resolve them.

An example of this would be when I was working with a client who was completely stressed out because of, as she put it, the issues she had with her husband and family.  She told me that her stress was a result of the guilt she had been experiencing because she was never home to pick her child up from school, she was having to rely on her ageing mother who was sick, and her husband was always upset because they never got to spend time together or eat meals together as a family.  Luckily for her the one thing in her life that was a constant and that she was happy about was her job which she had worked in for many years.

During a coaching session and while asking for more information about her job she told me that she didn’t particularly like the work she was doing, she did have to work long hours and that she had taken a pay cut due to the economy.  As we discussed this issue further it suddenly dawned on her that she didn’t actually like the job at all, and that if she quit (which she was in a position to do from a financial point of view) then she wouldn’t be feeling guilty about all of the things she had been stressed over in the first place.  It was amazing to see that even though this guilt and stress had been plaguing her for years she was completely unaware of what was really causing it.  Instead she had only been aware of the outcome or “surfaces causes” that had resulted from her holding on to the job all along.  And this is a very common scenario.  Awareness and clarity is the key to success in so many areas of our lives and yet so many people are not even conscious of what is going on in their own lives.

The Stress & Burnout Awareness & Prevention Guide, Suzanne J. Price

To help you become more aware of what may be the real causes of stress in your life, I have prepared a list of some of the more common causes of stress. To simplify things we can put the causes into 4 main categories, they are:

Some Sort Of Ongoing Underlying Issue That You May Not Have Even Identified As Being A Stressor

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Most of us have things in our life that we worry about, or that cause us to be concerned on a regular basis.  Sometimes we carry these worries with us for years and may even believe that we do not have any control over them, or we ignore them and hope that they go away.  Money worries, health concerns or poor relationships may fall into these categories.  These issues may not even appear to be particularly bothersome and yet they can still quietly erode away at our self esteem and in some cases have a negative impact on other areas of our life.

A Sudden Or Unexpected Tragic Event Usually Resulting In Loss

Teddy bear in front of a car Another cause of stress for so many people would be an unexpected negative event that could have even been a shock to our system, or it may have had a negative impact on several or all other areas of our life.  Receiving bad new, witnessing a tragic event, having an injury or illness, getting into an accident, learning about a death of a loved one, hearing about or witnessing a catastrophic or tragic global or community event, or experiencing a sudden loss of material wealth or possessions could all fall into this category of causes of stress.  And the list could go on.

Lifestyle

The level of stress a person experiences can often be attributed to lifestyle.  While a healthy diet, good sleep habits, a regular exercise routine and balanced social life can help a person feel as though they are connected to community and that they have some balance in their lives, the opposite can be said for a person who doesn’t pay attention to how they live. Stress can easily be negatively impacted by poor sleep, a lack of balance, inactivity, poor diet or feeling disconnected from family and friends.  Knowing this then we can see that the level of stress can certainly be affected by our lifestyle. 

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Life Skills

Under developed life skills can also be a major source of stress.  For instance time management is a skill that can help us become successful throughout our lives but not being able to manage our minutes can cause us to constantly be running late, always feeling as though we are under the gun, feeling threatened that we can be reprimanded or worse yet fired by a client of from a job for our tardiness or simply feeling overwhelmed.

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In my stress management coaching and workshops I address all relevant issues which cause stress.

Following is a list of some of the most common issues that cause no end of stress in people’s lives.

Money Problems

Relationship Issues – Either Single But Would Rather Not Be, Or You Are In The Wrong Relationship

Career – Feeling As Though You Are In The Wrong Career Or That Your Career Is Going Nowhere

Health and Wellness

Loneliness – Missing A Significant Other, Disconnect From Family Or Community, Poor Social Life, Lack Genuine Friendships

Feeling Stuck In A Particular Area Of Your Life, Or Feeling Suck In Life In General

Don’t Know What You Want To Do With Your Life

Feeling Helpless Or Hopeless

Lack Of Self Confidence

Poor Communication Skills

Feeling As Though You Are Stuck In A Situation That You Have No Choice To Get Out Of. – Usually Relationship Or Job

Feeling Trapped – No Choices, Lack Resources Or Support

Bad Habits

Monumental Events Such As Family Rituals Including Birthdays And Seasonal Holidays Like Christmas School Or University Unsupportive Living Or Working Environment

Boredom

Feeling That You Have No Power Or Control Over Your Life

Feeling Trapped In A Situation That You Cannot Leave

Lack Of Self Awareness

Poor Spiritual Connection

Fear Of The Unknown Especially About The Future

Lacking Spiritual Awareness

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