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Causes of Stress

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In order to eliminate or at least control stress, it is vital to know and understand the causes of stress.  Of course, there are many causes of stress and they are as varied as the people who suffer from stress, but there are a few places to look first.  And by learning about these causes of stress, you can figure out where stress is entering your life.

One of the most common, and most complained about, causes of stress is work.  However, it is not only the day-to-day tasks and routine pressures of work that can lead to stress.  In fact, the mere concern about keeping a job can be a source of stress.  Unfortunately, the combined stress of both work itself and the possibility of losing it creates a sort of double-stress in which people feel they have to work even harder in order to keep their jobs, making the stress that much worse.

As well, for those who have not entered the working world yet, school can be a great source of stress.  The constant pressure of schoolwork, friends, teachers, tests, quizzes, papers, and everything else can be enough to make anyone feel like they are in trapped in a vice.  In addition, the deadlines are all immoveable, so students are constantly under time pressure.  And, to make matters worse, there are often several deadlines overlapping each other, intensifying the demands on time.  Then, once final exams arrive, there is a lot to re-learn and students need to spend so much time studying that they can barely sleep. Needless to say, losing sleep does not help people who are under stress.  Thus, students need to manage stress just as much as people who work.

Another cause of stress is simple family life. Unfortunately, though we hope that our home lives can be sources of relief from daily stress, they can often be sources of stress all their own.  For childen as well as parents and spouses, the home can often be its own source of pressure.

For parents, stress can often come from simply worrying about their children.  After all, seeing a child grow up, make mistakes, go through school, go to college, play sports, and often learn things to hard way is enough to make a parent tear their hair out.  Thus, despite the joy that children can bring, they can also be causes of stress and worry.

Unfortunately, parents can be causes of stress also. Though they often have their childrens' best interests in mind, they can also put a lot of pressure onto their children, causing them to worry not only about school or life, but also how their parents will react when they hear about some new event, success, or error.  It is as though there is no place to turn when things go wrong, creating extra stress.  No, it is not easy being a parent, but it isn't always easy being a child or a teenager either, since parents can often be causes of stress as much as sources of comfort from it.

On top of that, spouses can also be causes on stress. Let's face it, husbands and wives often have expectations of their significant others and it is not always easy to live up to those expectations.  As well, spouses often spend a lot of time avoiding certain arguments simply because they are trying to avoid stress.  However, leaving tension in the air while not resolving it can be a cause of stress.

Money is also a major cause of stress, simply for the fact that there never seems to be enough of it.  Thus, as the money keeps going out but it never seems to come in enough, stress just keeps mounting.  Unfortunately, spouses, children and sometimes parents can often remind us of our shortfalls and they will often increase the stress.  Of course, that is to say nothing of the continual reminders from the mortgage or rent, car payments, credit cards and other bills.  And, furthermore, it is rather difficult to be philosophical about money stress since attempting to put things into perspective only recalls thoughts about the money that always seems to be missing.  Thus, money stress just keeps piling up higher and higher and there never seems to be a way out.

Though this is only a partial list of all the possible causes of stress, these are some of the most common sources.  However, no matter where the problem is arising, stress will not make them better.  Rather, stress will only make it harder for people to think about their problems and try to solve them.  Thus, in order to solve the problems that lead to stress, the best place to start is by managing the stress, then working to solve the problems with a clear and uncluttered mind.


By Trevor Dumbleton
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