Everyone feels stress at times, but if it lasts longer than a few days, you could be experiencing long-term or chronic stress. It can be harmful to your health if you don’t identify the source and work to eliminate it.
Stress can be caused by problems that we’ll divide into four categories: personal, work, health and traumatic events. We’ll take a look at each one and the different stressors that fall into those areas.
Major life changes such as moving, buying a house, getting married or having a baby can cause stress. In most cases, once the change has occurred and you begin to settle into your new arrangement or environment, your stress levels go down. If they don’t, you may want to think about the changes you’ve made and how to make them easier to deal with so they won’t continue to cause stress.
Relationships are one of the biggest causes of stress. Small incidents such as a disagreement with a loved one can lead to long-term stress if it’s not resolved. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship, whether it’s romantic or with a friend or family member, the problems you have with the other person will cause stress. You will have to find a way to work on your problems together, or consider ending the relationship if you feel that the relationship doesn’t benefit you in healthy ways.
Your job and the people you work with can be a cause of stress, especially if you feel overworked or don’t get along with your colleagues. While it’s hard to eliminate stress when you can’t change the situation in your workplace, you need to try to manage it so it won’t lead to health issues. If you feel overworked, speak with your manager to see if you can keep better hours. If you have an issue with a colleague that could be resolved with the help of human resources, don’t be afraid to go to them. If your job is stressful because of the work you do, consider changing careers if you feel that it’s having a negative effect on the rest of your life or your health.
If you’re dealing with a chronic health issues, then it will cause stress if it’s something that is affecting the quality of your life. Some health problems can actually be caused or worsened by stress, such as asthma, anxiety, headaches, stomach problems and obesity. Getting older, which is something we can’t control, can cause stress. If a family member is ill and you are the caregiver, it’s likely that you’ll deal with stress because of the added responsibilities you have.
If you’ve suffered a traumatic event such as a robbery, assault or life-threatening situation such as a car accident or natural disaster, feeling stress is a natural reaction. It can become a chronic issue and cause other problems such as panic attacks if you don’t get help. It’s likely your stress is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can be treated.
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