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What Are the Most Common Stressors and Why?

Today, so many of us deal with challenges as we manage our very hectic lives. The pace at which we live, politics, overdue credit card bills, career pressure, fights with a loved one; you are not alone if these things make you stressed.

Stress is a very normal part of life, and can sometimes even be good for you, like when it motivates you to get a promotion at work, or when it helps you run the last mile of a marathon. However, when you do not manage it properly and your stress gets overbearing is when it starts to take a serious toll on your mental and physical health. If you don’t know why you are feeling this way, it’s time to start looking at the reasons why you may be stressed.

Here are the topmost common stressors and how you can start building your stress resilience!

Money and Politics

When the APA conducted its annual stress survey, 63 percent of Americans polled they are worried about the US political situation, citing healthcare, the economy, and trust in the government as top reasons. Along with political unease, 62 percent say they feel tense regarding money. Money is a huge stressor, both broadly and at home, especially as it relates to our economy. Some of those top money stressors are the cost of health insurance, not having enough for retirement, high taxes, and potential unemployment.

Career Pressure

Work is the second most common stressor according to many surveys. Many people experience poor office relations, pressure to perform, and burnout within the workforce, all of these leading to high-stress levels. Causes of stress can include being unhappy in your job, having a heavy workload, or facing harassment at work. In addition to in-office work tension, with technological advancements, we are always connected, making it harder to fully disconnect from work when we are at home.

Major Life Events

Life stresses can also take up a lot of mental real estate when you are trying to figure things out. The death of a loved one, divorce and traumatic experiences all contribute to stress. Even the exciting moments in life can sometimes overbear us. While moving into a new home or getting married should be an exciting time of your life, there is still a lot of stress that comes with major life events.

You Are Overextended

Having a busy life can be great when it is not impacting your stress levels. However, overcommitting and not getting any time to yourself can cause strain. You can be overextended in many aspects of your life, like your job, relationships, and daily commitments. This can negatively impact your mental and physical health.

Finding Coping Strategies That Work for You

Where are you struggling with the most stress? Create a goal to help convert that stress into a problem solved. Building stress resilience does not have to be time-consuming or overcomplicated. Actions like saying no to something or getting help from a friend can help significantly in decreasing your stress levels.

Source: Jennifer Casarella (2022) Common Causes of Stress

Source: Stress & Resilience Institute (2022) The 6 Most Common Stressors

Source: Paula Derrow (2018) The Most Common Causes of Stress, From Health to Politics

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