Here, we will study the main causes of stress which arise due to external circumstances. We have seen elsewhere that stress can be caused by your external circumstances or your perceptions and attitudes.
Stress is the reason for two thirds of the total visits to the Physician. It is also the leading cause of the coronary artery diseases, cancer, accidents and respiratory diseases besides some others.
Stress aggravates following illnesses: Hypertension, insomnia, diabetes, herpes, multiple sclerosis, etc. Besides, stress that continues for long periods of time can lead to: poor concentration, irritability, anger, and poor judgment.
Stress leads to marriage breakups, family fights, road rage, suicides and violence.
What are the biggest causes of present day stress, and how do these lead to such high levels of tension?
The main causes of stress that arise due to the external environment were studied by Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, from the University of Washington. In 1967 they conducted a study on the connection between certain important life events and the illnesses. As a part of that study they also compiled a list of main reasons of stress in the society.
At the time the study was conducted there were 55 triggers of stress. The list was reviewed in 2006 and that list now contains 63 main causes of stress.
From the studies conducted by Holmes and Rahe, and also other studies that have been conducted from time to time, it seems that following are the biggest causes of present day stress levels in modern societies:
1. Financial Problems – This is the number one source of stress these days. You and your family are not be able to do what you want to due to lack of money. Debts are piling up. Credit Card payments, pending mortgage installments, rising costs of education, mounting expenditure on health concerns. Financial matters top the list of stressors.
2. Workplace Stress – Stress at workplace is another of the main causes of stress. You may be worried about your next promotion. You might be facing the negative or bullying behavior of your boss. You might not be reaching your well-deserved career goals; you might be worried due to office politics. You might be stressed about some major change that is taking place in the organization, or, you might be under stress because of the prospect of losing your job.
3. Personal Relationships – Studies of children, attitude of relatives, arguments with spouse or children, change of place due to requirements of your job, illness of a family member, moving in of parents or moving out of elder children are all main causes of stress.
4. Health – Heart diseases, hypertension, problems with eye sight and sugar afflict many people becoming a major cause of life stress for them. Maintaining good health, reducing weight, increasing weight, being able to lead a healthy life-style: all of these and a few more are the main causes of stress due to health concerns.
5. Irritants – Besides the ones that I have mentioned above there are those annoyances and irritations that you encounter in your daily lives which go on to become biggest sources of stress for you. Problems in commuting to workplace, balance of work and family life, PTMs at children’s schools, workload, visit to doctor, not enough sleep, no time to relax, no time to discuss some nagging problems – who is not aware of these stresses and strains of our lives? You fight with them every day.
These main causes of stress are taking their toll on today’s urban man in the shape of stress related diseases that we mentioned at the top.
But, do you let all of these get on your nerve, getting you all stressed up and making you prone to all the stress-related diseases? – Or have you found ways to live a stress-free and full life despite many problems that beset you?
Develop resilience and never let stress get you down. It can be learnt. But, yes, you have to try.
You may like to take Dr. Rahe’s stress test to see how stressed you are.
To break yourself out of the daily stresses, start by practicing stress releasing exercises, and you will be on your way to freedom from the main causes of stress afflicting our present day lifestyle