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Main causes of stress

Čo je to stres
10. apríla 2020
How to meditate
Fight or Flight?!
14. apríla 2020
Čo je to stres
10. apríla 2020
How to meditate
Fight or Flight?!
14. apríla 2020

No matter who you are, where you come from, whether you are a man or a woman, whether you work or not – stress will find you. Nevertheless, everyone responds to stress in a slightly different way. Now let’s take a look at the stimuli that trigger stress and find out to which you are most vulnerable.



Here we talk about the main causes of stress

These are two completely different statements from people who suffed from stress. The first one is a person who claims he has had stress issues since childhood, while the second one never suffered from stress until recently. Are they talking about the same thing?

1Story of a man
"I have always been anxious. I remember I have been this way since elementary school. In fact, I am quite similar to my father. He skipped work at times and acted terribly when we went out. I did not pay much attention to it when I was a child. Now, when I look back, I can see that he had problems with stress that came and went. I believe that it’s in my blood, and I’m afraid that it will affect my children as well."
2Story of a woman
"I am 42 years old. Until last year, I felt I could manage everything. When I faced a problem, I always looked for ways to resolve it. Now, I am having anger issues. I have no sense of humour. Everything is becoming a problem for me and I often catch myself overthinking everything, even though I have no reason for it. In the past, I was able to handle everything and I criticized everyone who complained about stress."


Stress affects everyone.

Anyway, the truth is that some of us have less resistance to it. Sensitivity to stress is partly inherited. If this is applicable to you, you can be characterized as a person who is more vulnerable to suffering from stress.

You can not change your personality or temperament, and you should not even try. The thing you actually can change is your chance of developing stress. Humans have the ability to flexibly adapt to new and unknown situations, which can be helpful when dealing with stress. There is nothing ‘‘undivertible“ about stress.

Inherited factors only partly contribute tothe development of stress. Stressful events that happened throughout your life play a considerably larger role.



One of the most important gifts a parent can give his child is the feeling of security. A stable and predictable environment may make the child feel secure. For example, your daughter needs to be sure that when she does something, your reaction will remain the same over time. She needs to know that you will always support her, and she also needs to know that you will soothe her when she is sick or upset. At a certain age, she needs to feel that she is able to handle various life situations, knowing you will be there when things get worse. A misaligned family environment may mean that the child grows up without feeling secure.

1So everyone ...

provided with a feeling of security when he was a child should be happy? No one’s life is perfect. Illness, death in the family, divorce or a number of other problems can limit parents‘ capacity to provide their child with security and love, but it is presumed that adults who lacked the feeling of security are at higher risk of developing stress in difficult life situations.



Another factor is imitation. Children learn a lot by imitating the behavior of their parents. They imitate what they do, or how theyact towards other people and, most importantly in this context, how they deal with frustration or stress.

1Children are very perceptive.

Just as children imitate their parent’s behavioral patterns or phrases, they also imitate their coping mechanisms. They also think of their parents as role models, and therefore if a child feels that his father is stressed in social situations or when he is about to make an important decision, this child might unconsiously imitate his behavior.


Memory distortion due to your current mental state.

"As far as I can remember, I have always been tense. I have never been different." Is this a true statement, or a memory distortion? Memories are distorted by stress or anxiety.When you are talking to an old friend that you haven’t seen for a long time, you start to recall information that you thought you had already forgotten. The longer you talk, the more information you recall. Memory works the same way with stress. When you feel stressed, you tend to recall stressful memories. This can lead to the belief that the past was much worse than it actually was.


Life event

A life event is something that makes you change your lifestyle and your daily routine. It is not neccessarily negative. People are slaves to routine because it helps us manage repetitive situations. Even though we like change, a large number of changes in a short period of time may, in fact, be stressful.

1However, stress ...

does not occur immediately during a life event. Usually, a certain time period passes between stress reaction and life event. This is why it suprises us at times. What may appear odd is that stress reaction is not neccessarily caused by something negative. Even happy events like childbirth, promotion or marriage can lead to elevated stress levels, because they alter your routine.

2Two additional factors that may cause stress:

1) Stress is rarely triggered by one apparent cause. It is most commonly caused by several events. Individually, they may appear banal and would not cause stress if they happened gradually. Stress is caused if these events all occur at once.

2) If you have a heavy workload, it is normal that you’ll try to manage it as efficiently as possible. This will gradually result in an accumulation of stress, which causes negative side-effects. Metaphorically speaking, imagine that your mental health and well-being is a volcano. There is no visible sign that pressure rises on the inside, and suddenly the volcano erupts. The next part explains how life events increase the risk of developing stress.


Financial roblems

Each one of us has definitely heard that "time is money". Both money and time are major stress factors. Financial deficit affects almost every aspect of life; from living and healthcare to spare time.

1Job loss ...

and long-term unemployment are closely inter-related with financial problems, which are referred to as the most serious stress factor. Financial stress increases tension, which causes the escalation of already existing intra-familial conflicts. This may lead to a marital or relationship crisis, decrease in frequency of social contact with acquaintances, former co-workers or family members. A lack of financial resources also negatively affects the possibility to maintain hobbies, which can subsequently lead to social isolation.


Keeping pace with the others

It is completely all right if you want to live the life of a supermodel, as long as you seek advice concerning make-up, fashion, workout routines and so on. What is wrong is the need to achieve super-high beauty standards. You should remember that comparing yourself to people who make a living from their looks is a common causal agent of stress.

1Keep in mind ...

that you are comparing yourself with an illusion: miraculous computer graphics can easily eliminate blemishes or cellulite without any exercise or surgery. Pursuing perfection is all right as long as we are aware that it is impossible to attain.


Time pressure

Every one of us has already dealt with anxiety associated with a shortage of time. Feelings of stress are normal when time is tight and pressure is high. Even managers often refer to deadline pressure as one of the most frequent problems in the workplace. After a rough day at work, we rush home, quickly manage to eat something, and then serve as taxi drivers for our kids. Our lifestyle is so hectic, that we hardly ever find free time to slow down, and the same is the case with our children. This is a common cause of long-term negative stress.


Cigarettes, alcohol and medication

Smoking increases sensitivity to stress, because nicotine in cigarettes triggers a stress reaction. The temporary feeling of satisfaction that is often connected to a smoking break is not caused by the sedative effect of nicotine. It is only a short-term satisfaction of nicotine addiction, which causes irritation and anxiety in the first place.

Alcohol may have a sedative effect when consumed in low doses. Larger-scale and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol causes stress, because it negatively infuences detoxification and blood-sugar levels. It also causes a deficiency in substances like vitamins and minerals, which are essential when dealing with stress.

1Excessive stress ...

may also be triggered by hangover symptoms. Alcohol addiction develops gradually over time and can be caused by a person‘s need to relieve high levels of stress in the family or at work. Therefore, drinking alcohol becomes a regular affair and the vicious circle of alcoholism develops. Even a seemingly harmless cold or allergy OTC (non prescription) medication can cause many symptoms of stress (especially those containing epinephrine, norepinephrine or ephedrine). Also, drugs used to treat thyroid diseases, diabetes and asthma can trigger a stress reaction. Actually, foods containing MSG (monosodium glutamate) can directly cause anxiety symptoms.


Perfectionism - "Striving for perfection keeps us from being good"

Both perfectionism and striving for perfection are deeply rooted in our culture. If you want to distinguish between normal and maladaptive forms of perfectionism, you need to ask yourself two basic questions:

1) Are your goals realistic?

2) If yes, can you achieve them in a normal way?

"Normal" perfectionism is a healthy, ambitious drive toward success or a high standard. "Neurotic" perfectionism is characterized by fear of failure and intensive effort to avoid mistakes. Neurotic perfectionists often feel dissatisfied with themselves even when they have done a great job.

1Perfectionists are ...

overly critical of themselves and are not able to realistically evaluate the job they have done. They often think about what could have been done better. Perfectionists set too high standards for themselves and for others, which leads to disappointment and stress.


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