Stress is frighteningly familiar in modern life. Most of us report to feeling at least a little stressed out some of the time. And it’s easy to see why. We’re trying to take on the world. We’re encouraged to believe that we can do everything, and so we want to do everything. We want to have careers and push ourselves professionally, but we also want to raise our families and be there for the people that we love. Many of us also have side hustles or home businesses to help us make more money or give us an outlet for our creativity.
We’re trying to take care of ourselves, often reading contradictory advice and never quite knowing what to do. Many of us face a long and stressful commute, and while working for yourself can seem like the ideal solution to stress, many people that do report never taking full days off, and not having had vacations for over a year.
While a little stress is quite normal, and something that most of us can manage, it can be much worse. Too much stress can lead to insomnia and other sleep disorders, mental health issues, depression, and even physical symptoms. Stress can affect your relationships, your confidence, and your performance at work. It can leave you feeling lost, without any clear idea of how to move forward and it can mean that your mind begins to age prematurely.
That’s why it’s so crucial that you don’t just put up with stress, but that you take the time to understand what is causing you to feel that way so that you can reduce stressful situations, find ways to manage it or avoid it altogether, and learn how to let it go. Here are some of the most common causes of stress and some ideas of what you can do to beat it:
Work is one of the most common causes of stress. We worry about our projects, getting promotions, pleasing our boss or our colleagues, doing the right thing for our clients, and doing well. We worry about situations that haven’t gone well or things that we don’t understand. We spend late nights awake worrying about the next day, not wanting to go to work, or replaying something that has happened the previous day.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the option to change our jobs whenever we’re feeling stressed out. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with it, either. Ask yourself what it is about the job that is causing you to feel stressed out? Could you make changes? Could your manager help? Or, is it worth looking for other careers or positions that could help you to avoid situations that you find stressful.
We all face anxiety. For some of us, it’s just the normal anxiety that comes with situations that make us feel nervous. It might not stop you from doing things or cause you great upset. You might just feel butterflies before doing something that you are nervous about. But, for other people, anxiety is much more than this.
Their anxiety stops them from doing things. It might mean that they can’t enjoy their lives or that they can’t even leave their house. Anxiety can cause panic attacks, high blood pressure, and other conditions. It can be a severe illness. It should be no surprise that if you suffer from this kind of anxiety, your stress levels could also be high. The two work together. Anxiety causes stress, which makes anxiety worse, and it’s easy to get trapped in a terrible cycle.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy escape from anxiety. You may find coping mechanisms and relaxation techniques helpful, but if your anxiety is severe, you should speak to a professional for help.
Your family should be a positive force in your life. But, we don’t automatically like, or agree with the people that we are related to. Family politics often causes us to feel stress. You might find yourself desperately avoiding taking sides or trying to avoid family altogether, which can cause upset and tension.
Sometimes, the best way to reduce the stress caused by family issues is to avoid them entirely. If the argument isn’t your own, remove yourself from the situation and let them sort it out. Spend time with your friends and family members that make you feel positive, instead. Remember, you don’t have to spend time with them or even like them. Don’t be afraid to cut contact with family members if they are having a negative influence on your life.
Most of us have money worries. We live paycheck to paycheck. We’re always looking for ways to make extra money, unexpected expenses can be crippling, and we’re terrified of having to take time off causing a loss of income. These money worries are made worse by Christmas and other expensive events.
Often, the best way to reduce this kind of stress is talking about your concerns. Speak to friends and family members, share your worries, and ask for advice. Or, speak to a financial advisor. Usually, the situation isn’t as bad as we fear, we’ve got more options than we thought, and our financial worries are eased by merely having a plan to improve our finances.
Worrying about your health is exceptionally stressful. Yet many of us would rather worry about our symptoms and concerns than getting them checked out. If you are worried because your lifestyle isn’t particularly healthy, make some positive changes to take care of yourself. If you have a symptom that is worrying you, make an appointment to get it checked out as soon as you can. It’s worth it, even if it just puts your mind at ease.
If you are feeling stressed out and there are no apparent reasons, it might be due to a hormonal change or imbalance. Contraception methods, our diets, how much sleep we’re getting, our environment, and stress itself can all affect our hormones, and it’s typical for things to change over time. A serious imbalance can mean that you don’t feel yourself; you are tired and suffering from mood swings. Your appetite might change, along with physical symptoms, and your stress levels can rise, both due to hormone changes and the symptoms that they cause.
Try to eat a balanced diet, look at any artificial hormones you might be putting into your body, and identify any changes which might be causing an imbalance.
Significant Changes or Major Life Events:
We don’t like change. It worries us. We think about everything that could go wrong and all the ways that even a small change will affect our day to day life. You can’t, and shouldn’t, avoid all changes. But, you can prepare for them, take things slowly, and allow yourself a period of adjustment.
Major life events are also stressful. Weddings, birthdays, moving house, big family holidays, Christmas, and any other occasion where you need to plan a lot and spend a lot of money is stressful. The best way to deal with this is to ask for help and learn how to delegate tasks to other people as well as making a plan to spend money responsibly.
Stress can have a major impact on our life but it doesn’t have to. Figure out what is causing you stress in your life and make healthy changes to improve the problem.
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