Top 10 Stressors

Top 10 Stressors

Life is challenging. There are many situations which can cause us to stress and/or go into overwhelm and we have difficulty remaining in an aligned, centred space to deal with the situation.

There are many things/ situations which cause us stress. Depending on the meaning and importance we place on things as individuals can cause us varying degrees of stress. Also if more than one is occurring at the same time, our stress is compounded.

Here are 10 major causes of stress, they aren’t in any particular order however the death of a loved one and divorce rank quite highly due to the often complicated grieving process that accompany these events. However the death of a pet can be equally as traumatic for some. If we can practice non-judgment for how we deal with challenge, loss and stress, bearing in mind sometimes we have many stressors and losses stacked on top of one another until one day it all spills over. We can react in all kinds of ways that may not be particularly rational or within character. Emotional stress needs to be acknowledged with kindness and acceptance – this opens the way to healing and letting go. By acknowledging the stresses we have in life can show us it might be time to be kind to self considering what we have to deal with.

  1. Death of a loved one – an incredibly stressful and emotional time when one loses a loved one to death. The death of a spouse is very difficult which can be exacerbated if the couple owed debt and the remaining spouse inherits the financial worry + the cost of a funeral. The death of a child must be devastating for any parent, their grieving process perhaps is exacerbated if there are other children to be cared for and they feel they must ‘get on with it’ for them.
  2. Divorce / breakup – the stress and challenges that come with separation / divorce is highly emotional, usually one or both spouses must leave the home. There may also be disagreements involving custody/access/child support in relation to the children, finances and property settlement. The end of a relationship can often bring out the worst in ourselves as we struggle with the pain and vulnerability and often get caught in the angry phase to protect such vulnerability.
  3. Losing job – The feelings that are associated with the loss of a job, particularly if it was of the major breadwinner, can be difficult for the one involved and also the family. The worry of survival for the family, covering the bills, the shame or humiliation that goes along with losing a job. The responsibility of caring for the family can weigh heavily and the feelings that accompany applying for welfare or assistance with bills, can be overwhelming for some.
  4. Finances / debt – mortgages and the threat of foreclosure can cause enormous stress on people. Many of those living on or under the poverty line face overwhelming stress with debt and possible bankruptcy, with services being disconnected and their children are hungry. Without help we can sink into hopelessness and depression of how to survive.
  5. Work – stress related to work is common among both men and women who have demanding jobs, some work away and there is the stress of one spouse taking care of the family for up to 5 weeks at a time particularly for families living in WA, then the adjustment of being together for weeks, only to leave again. Many relationships do not cope with this working arrangement which causes stress to all parties and children. This can add to the financial burden also as we can easily become reliant on the money these jobs pay (which is high due to the nature of the shifts and time away)
  6. Health – issues of health of self, spouse or children can be worrying, the medical costs and stress of chronic illness or unexpected health crisis or accident. Remember that stress itself contributes to disease and health issues.
  7. Personal relationships – relationships can be stressful at the best of times, two different ways compromising and attempting to come together to create harmony. Things can be stressful when things aren’t going well and we are confronted with the possibility of separation and all that entails.
  8. Not having enough time- unpleasant tasks can add to our stress, the longer we put them off the more stress can build up. Prioritizing a list can be beneficial however this can also be challenging when all things seem equally important, which can add to procrastination and poor time management, adding to an already stressful situation. Sometimes it seems there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done – particularly families with children experience this.
  9. Major life changes – one thing is certain – life is full of change. Sometimes we can be prepared and other times it simple ‘changes’ completely unexpectedly – sometimes for the better, sometimes not.
  10. Conflict – fighting against our own selves or someone else can be very debilitating energy wise. In situations of conflict in the workplace, road rage, fighting with an ex over ending a relationship, moving on in a relationship, different parenting styles, merging two families in a de-facto situation, battling with teenagers.

Stress is defined as any interference that disturbs a person’s mental, emotional or physical well-being.

See other articles on the mental and emotional effects of stress.

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