What Causes Stress

What causes stress is not just an unpleasant event, such as losing a job, or having personal or work difficulties, good changes can also be stressful.

Some common causes of stress include:

  • changes in family circumstances
  • a lack of job satisfaction
  • overwhelming family responsibilities
  • a change in health or well-being
  • concerns about money and the economy
  • loneliness

  • personal problems.

The Life Events scale is a popular stress questionnaire that measures the disruption and subsequent re-adjustment following life events.

Some of the life events and the stress they cause are provided. Note that higher Life Changing Units (LCU) mean greater disruption.

Life change event


   Death of spouse119
   Major personal achievement36
Source: M.A Miller and R. H. Rahe. Life Changes in the 1990's, Journal of Psychosomatic Research 43:279, 1997

But it is not just life events that cause stress.

Psychologists have identified that daily hassles that accumulate are a cause of stress and poorer health.

Locking your keys in your car, traffic jams on your daily commute to work, missing the bus....these accumulated daily hassles are likely to affect health just as much as a major life event such as the loss of a job.

But what causes stress for one person may not cause stress for another.

Identify your Stress Causes

The causes of stress are different for each person

Download your stress worksheet and take the first step in your stress management plan.

For example you may view speaking in public as a chance to share your knowledge and passion while, for others, public speaking anxiety may be debilitating.

Some people seem to be invulnerable and immune to stress while others are sent into a tailspin of increasing stress.

Personality does affect how you interpret stress!

A main cause of stress is the expectations that you place on yourself.

Whether it is the standards of perfection or the overwhelming schedules...internal demands that people place on themselves are a cause of stress for many people.

But one of the main causes of stress in the modern world is overwork and fatigue.

With information overload and unclear boundaries between personal and professional lives this cause of stress in on the rise.

Some other common causes of stress include:

  • financial stress and money problems. Many individuals and families struggle to stay within budget or meet their monthly bills. Financial stress is a common source of stress.
  • college stress. The freedom that comes with college life in addition to the realization of the responsibilities that go with it is a big transition that can result in stress. These college stress tips may lessen the impact of this transition for you.
  • teenager stress. Adolescent and teenager stress usually revolves around parents, work, relationships or self-image. While being a teenager can be an exciting time, too much teenage stress is associated with teen depression and stress-related illnesses. Here are some tips to reduce teen stress.
  • family stress. Families can be a source of great joy and great conflict. Any conflict is likely to result in stress for you and your family. Also, many worry about their loved ones and want the best for them.

    These family stress management tips are a resource to draw upon in your times of need.

Search here for other stress management information

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