Even short episodes can cause severe stress, and familiar situations cause chronic emotional fatigue. Stressful situations can be divided into three categories:
1. Sharp. These events do not last long, but promise lasting consequences if the situation was psychologically traumatic.
2. Occasional. There are also short-term stresses that we face regularly, for example, when we rush to work.
3. Chronic. These are current stresses that have become permanent, for example, a disease or a falling apart relationship.
What stress factors cause us the most worries?
Which of us has never experienced a wrinkle, weight, or figure? Psychologist Allen Kanner and his colleagues developed a “ups and downs” scale in which stresses vary in their effect on human life. More than half of the respondents put concern about their weight in the first place.
According to the conference “Stress in the workplace: a collective challenge”, about 40% of Russians experience stress at work, in Western Europe this figure is slightly lower – 36%.
Professional breakdowns affect not only the employees themselves, they are also expensive for employers: a huge amount of sick leave is associated with stress.
3. Social factors
This includes the desire to succeed in life, to achieve the ideal replicated in all kinds of media. For example, self-restraint for the sake of a perfect body can result in eating disorders.
At risk are also social minorities, often subject to bias: exclusion from society, bullying, discrimination. Ian Meyer of the University of California has found that such stress can lead to mental health problems.
Fear for the health of loved ones, the experience of one’s own illness and loss of control over what is happening can become a source of constant concern. Moreover, the stress associated with such fears often leads to real health problems.
5. Changes in life
The need to adapt to new circumstances is another stress factor. And it doesn’t matter what kind of change, for better or for worse.
American psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Reich have developed an assessment scale for the difficulty of adapting to social change. According to her, the most stressful factors are the death of a partner or divorce, in the scale they occupy the first and second places, respectively. And, for example, the move was in 28th place.
Debts, bills, loan repayments, the need to financially support other people, the inability to live in abundance and quietly retire – all these factors lead to a feeling of financial insecurity that provokes stress.
There is no universal solution, although it’s better to learn how to manage your income and expenses to alleviate financial stress.
Even the happiest relationship can be a source of stress for both partners. When people begin to live together, they need to adapt to each other’s habits, to reduce personal space.
Domestic problems can eventually lead to a break. But good relationships with partners and friends are the two most significant factors on the Kanner scale, which improve our condition and help fight stress.
Awareness of the partner’s feelings, understanding how your actions affect others – all this reduces the risk of stress in a relationship. But the constant search for compromise has the opposite effect.
8. The death of loved ones
Shock from loss or fear of losing a loved one is an obvious stress factor. Caring for the dying, organizing a funeral, and other situations associated with this sad event will certainly increase stress. In addition, it takes time to adapt to the absence of a person in your life.
9. The past
Injury caused by events in the past can affect for many years. About a third of people who are in a traumatic situation subsequently develop post-traumatic stress disorder.