What causes stress?
Many situations that can contribute to stress or cause stress are usually associated with change. This is due to the perceived ‘lack of control’ over what’s happening. These events can either be positive or negative but because change puts unusual demands upon us physically and psychologically they can become a source of stress.
Common stressful events
• Moving house
• Getting married
• Having a baby
• Serious illness
Common causes of long-term stress
• Money worries relating to the cost of living, managing debt and cash-flow
• Relationship problems within your family, long-term partnerships or friendship groups
• Health worries either caring for a friend or relative suffering from a physical or psychological health issue or your personal health concerns
• Work related issues such as pressure to perform at work, difficulties with colleagues, work/life balance
• Job security or unemployment
• Housing issues such as expensive repairs, noisy or abusive neighbours, overcrowding
As well as the stressors mentioned above we can also experience internal stressors i.e. demands we place upon ourselves which can make situations worse.
Are you too demanding on yourself?
• Chronic worry Does everything seem to be a source of worry?
• Pessimism Is your ‘glass is half empty’?
• Negative self-talk Do you put yourself down? Are you very self-critical?
• Unrealistic expectations/perfectionism Do you set expectations so high that you’ll never be good enough?
• Rigid thinking, lack of flexibility Are you unnecessarily stubborn, or not able to see another way of doing things? Is routine essential in your life?
• All-or-nothing attitude If you can’t do one thing do you think you’ve failed at everything?