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7 Common Causes Of Stress

Stress is your body's natural response to something within the environment that is perceived as a threat or danger. The stress response can invoke the release of cortisol or adrenaline, which causes physiological changes within the tissues of the body. These chemicals invoke the sympathetic nervous system, which increases heart rate, respiration, and alertness. These combine to form what is known as the “fight or flight” response.

While many things that cause us stress are not physically dangerous, they are dangerous in context. Financial hardship in itself is not a danger to you physically, but the thought of the hardship and not being able to afford basic needs is a perceived threat to your well-being.

While being alert and energized in an emergency situation is advantageous, having chronic stress can lead to detrimental health effects. Constant sympathetic nervous system arousal can lead to an impaired immune response in addition to having other drastic effects on mental health, as well as having an increase in oxidative stress.

The stress hormones released increase heart rate, respiration, and alertness; but decrease the efficiency of many non-essential functions. Being in a constant stressed state does not allow the body to function optimally and has many systemic consequences.

With this all in mind, below are seven common causes of stress for people today, and ways you can reduce the amount of stress. Being aware of common stressors can help you identify and be better equipped to deal with them.

#1: Relationships

Whether you are a teenager experiencing your first heartbreak, or an adult that just got into an argument with someone you care about, you have most likely dealt with stress from the relationships in your life.

Relationship stress is amongst the most common causes of stress. Humans are social beings and we place a lot of value in the people around us. When something goes wrong within our relationships it can result in stress and ultimately lead to strong emotional turmoil.

If you are experiencing relationship-based stress, the best thing you can do is to have open and honest conversations with those around you. Communication is the key to problem resolution in a relationship. Having open discussion can allow for all parties to get their concerns, perspectives, and feelings conveyed, which is the first step to finding a way to resolve the problem.

#2: Work

Work is another very common cause of stress. Deadlines, large workloads, threat of losing the job, and poor work culture can contribute to a great deal of stress for employees. It is understandable that work contributes to stress as work is the means through which people are able to survive in the modern world.

Reducing work-based stress can be difficult as some things are simply outside your control. For workload based stress you can try to organize your tasks and pencil them into your schedule more efficiently and reasonably. For stress associated with losing your job you can create an action plan in the event you are without a job just to give yourself peace of mind. Meditation is another great option that can allow you to reframe your situation and give you a new perspective, and is something you can practice anytime throughout your workday by just taking even five minutes to re-center.

#3: School

School is an incredibly important aspect of many younger people's lives and it can be easy to let it stress you out. Looming deadlines, a bad grade, presentations, or a large upcoming test can have quite the impact on your stress level. This, in addition to the costs of attendance, can compound to create a high stress environment.

While it is important to prioritize your work in school, it is more important to prioritize your health and well being. If you find yourself stressed and overworked, you may want to consider dropping a class to lighten your schedule, or finding an easier class to fill the spot. In the case of receiving a bad grade, you should remind yourself it is not the end of the world and just strive to work harder for the next one. Taking charge of your situation and having an internal locus of control is the best thing you can do to minimize these kinds of stressors.

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#4: Diet

Eating a poor diet is another common cause of stress. When you eat a non-nutritional diet full of processed foods and sugar, you are depriving your body of the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function in an efficient manner. In fact, the average American diet is commonly deficient in one or more vitamins such as magnesium, potassium, and fiber.

Ensuring you get all the nutrition you need through whole foods can be incredibly time consuming and not feasible for those with busy schedules. To supplement your diet you can consider taking supplements to increase uptake of vital nutrients and minerals. Supplements like MitoQ Heart offer a highly bioavailable form of CoQ10 while also supplying vitamins and minerals like magnesium and vitamin D3 to support your health by helping your body to function optimally.

#5: Lifestyle

The choices of what we decide to do on a daily basis make up our lifestyle. Increasingly in the modern age, an active lifestyle is being replaced by one that is sedentary. Working in front of a computer all day and then going home (or rather, to the next room) to watch TV has become a lifestyle that many have adopted. While a sedentary lifestyle in itself has not been found to cause stress, the missed opportunity to alleviate stress through physical exercise and general outdoor time is very real.

Changing your lifestyle to one that incorporates physical activity is one of the best ways to alleviate stress. It may seem counterintuitive but there is increasing evidence that exercising to relax is an effective means of reducing stress. Through exercise you are able to reduce the amount of stress hormones in circulation.

Additionally, exercising causes your body to release endorphins. which are the body's natural feel-good chemicals. A common term that you may be familiar with the release of endorphins during exercise is a “runners high.”

By reducing cortisol levels and releasing endorphins, living a more active lifestyle can reduce the stress you feel in a given day. Making a lifestyle change from sedentary to active is difficult, but well worth it in the long run for your improved wellbeing. Taking MitoQ can also help aid in your transition to a healthier lifestyle by supporting sustained energy levels throughout the day and overall cellular support for added resilience.

#6: Finances

Finances are another large contributor of stress for many people. In society today, having a job that provides monetary compensation is as important as it was to hunt during the stone age. Without steady income, it becomes much more difficult for people to secure basic necessities like food and shelter. These stresses can be amplified further if you are a provider for a whole household as you need to support yourself and the others within the house. Financial hardship can occur to anyone as natural disasters, layoffs, and other events can seem to occur at any moment.

The best way to reduce the stress associated with finances is to create a financial safety net for yourself. Setting aside money into an emergency fund will give you financial flexibility and time to work out unexpected costs or job loss. Having a financial emergency fund can decrease your financial stress because you know that you have funds in the case something ever happens.

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#7: Environment

The environment plays a large role in our stress response. Many of these stressors we hardly notice and are known as ambient stressors. You most likely have felt the impacts of the ambient stressors if you have ever been in busy traffic around a construction zone or in a loud compact space with a lot of people. You may have felt sweaty, overwhelmed, or even anxious. This is a normal response and is usually short lived, but if you experience ambient stressors continuously it can be difficult to unwind.

A great tip for those that encounter loud stressful environments routinely is to get noise canceling headphones or earplugs and try a guided meditation. Having just a moment to slow down and think can greatly reduce your perception of stress and allow your body a break from the constant stress of your environment.

Conclusion

Stress can come from many parts of our lives. Relationships, work, school, lifestyle, finances, and our environment all can cause us stress. Chronic stress can lead to detrimental impacts on the human body.

The important thing to remember is that there are things you can do to minimize your stress response in the face of hardship. Being equipped with ways to cope with life's stresses can lead you to live a life that is not overcome with stress, but one that is able to overcome adversity and thrive.

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