Causes of Stress
Everyone has different stress triggers!
As mentioned in part one of “What is Stress”, we all need a certain amount of stress to keep us motivated and to get things done that are important.
But stress can become a problem when it starts to affect how you cope with the day-to-day stuff and you begin to feel overwhelmed. It can be a build-up of several small things or pressures or something bigger that is happening in your life.
Some people are more sensitive to certain stresses, can affect them more and there may be no clear causes of stress. They can feel more frustrated, anxious or depressed than others, which can cause them to feel stressed more often.
Causes of stress in my opinion include:
- Poor Time Management
- Financial/ Money Problems
- Health Worries
- Job Worries/ Self-Employed or Unemployed
- Relationships/ Family Problems
- Life Changes: e.g. Buying or Moving House, New Job etc.
- Bereavement/ Death of a loved one
- Exams and Social Pressure
- Personal Appearance
- Past Events
*So let’s talk about some of the different types in our lives that can cause stress*.
I think this can be a common daily stressor. You may feel you just don’t have enough time in the day to do all the things you need to get done, or feel that you should get done and this can put pressure on yourself. This can result in negative self-talk; I should off, why can’t I, etc. This can cause sleepless nights, thinking too much in bed and not been able to sleep. Lack of sleep can make the body feel stressed and make everything seem harder to cope with.
Financial/ Money Problems:
Not having enough money to pay the rent/mortgage, loans and other bills can cause stress and sleepless nights. Financial worries can affect us all and can be a burden to yourself and those close to you.
If you have an illness or someone close to you does. You can fear what’s going to happen with your own health or the wellbeing of someone close. This is a common cause of worry and stress.
You may be unemployed and feeling quite down about it, stressed and worried about when are you going to find a job? You may be self-employed and worrying about your business been successful in all areas to sustain it. This can cause anxiety and stress.
Stress is so common in the workplace and here are some statistics reported:
In the workplace: Stress is the 2nd most common cause of sickness/absenteeism lasting 21 days or more in the European Union.
Here in Ireland the Health & Safety Authority report that stress related health issues affect 28% of workers while a further 23% of workers are reported to experience overall fatigue.
- Stress can have an effect on a company’s efficiency and productivity; there is a 50% increase in Ireland in the number of disability claims due to stress related illnesses.
- Work related stress costs the EU at least €20 billion a year in lost time and health bills.
- A recent survey carried out in Ireland, claimed that 49% of workers today in this country are over adrenalized. The results being – draining away the blood supply and circulation to vital areas of the body and this affects the digestive and immune systems.
- Over the last 3 – 5 years stress has become a major employer’s liability issue. Here in Ireland, employer’s group IBEC recently carried out a survey on stress related illnesses in the workplace of 525 leading companies. The survey found that workers are increasingly receiving compensation from their employer of amounts ranging from €5000 to €200,000!
- Under current Irish health and safety legislation employers are required to carry out risk assessments within the workplace. However, many employers neglect to do this and do not assess the dangers posed by stress as a result of very heavy workloads, unrealistic targets and deadlines, bullying or lack of training.
- Work related stress affects over 40million employees in the EU.
- Over 50% of absenteeism has its roots in work-related stress.
- According to the Irish Management Institute workplace stress doubles the likelihood of fatal heart attacks.
- By 2020, five of the top ten medical problems worldwide will be stress related.
- On a normal day we each have a minimum of 60,000 thoughts going through our heads and over 80% of people’s thoughts are negative. (ref: William Reville article in the ‘Science Today’ column of The Irish Times dated 29/5/00).
- 50% of all sickness is stress related ( CIPD UK)
Half of Irish Companies Consider Stress and Mental Health in the Workplace to be a High Priority, however:
84% of companies do not have a Wellness Policy or Wellness Programme in place.
Having problems or arguments with a loved one and within your family can cause stress. You may be feeling a lack of support or lonely and don’t know who to turn to. Maybe a family member is sick etc.
This can cover a lot of situations that happen in our lives. Like buying a new house or moving house, moving abroad in search of a better way of life but leaving loved ones behind, starting a new job or starting a family etc.
Bereavement/ Death of a Loved One:
The loss of a loved one can be very difficult to deal with, how to live life without them in your life especially if it is someone very close to you. Grieving and trying to move on and let go can be very stressful.
Exams and Social Pressure:
The pressures of studying for exams and doing well in them, we can feel the social pressure of “I have to do well”. This pressure we can put on ourselves, the feeling we need to fit in to society and the need to succeed in life can cause stress.
We can worry about how we look; our appearance and body image. Our weight, skin, aging, wrinkles, going bald or grey and what other people think of us.
Sometimes an event that happened in the past that may have been traumatic for someone can have a lasting negative effect, especially if the person has not dealt with the trauma and got the help they needed. The issue can arise throughout their lives and cause emotional problems and stress.
There are many experiences that can cause stress in our lives.
We need to be able to find a way to cope with them, so that they don’t affect our health and we can learn different techniques to help us manage any stresses we encounter.
This is very important as we will all have times when we need help to eliminate stress.
Find out on Part 3… How to Manage Stress!
Hope you enjoyed reading this Article.
Thank you, Charlene.