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What is the main cause of stress?
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This page is about how self-compassion and mindfulness and skills such as forgiveness, kindness and compassion can help us with depression and anxiety.
The main cause of stress
When I use the term stress I am referring to a situation that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, fearful or sad. If you have anxiety or depression it is likely that stress plays a role.
Stress can cause an episode of anxiety or depression, exacerbate symptoms and delay recovery. It important to find out where our stress is coming from!
What is the main cause of stress? We are. Yes, that’s right! We cause our own stress, each and everyone of us. There are , however, some typical triggers that prompt us to cause ourselves stress.
The triggers mentioned on the page definition of stress are workplace stress, relationship stress, health stress, and money stress.
- Relationship stress usually results from a fear of being unloved misunderstood or somehow inadequate. Because you create your own stress in your relationships you can heal your own stress. Reflecting on the things you value in your relationship and committing to those values can often be incredibly beneficial when managing relationship stress. Improving communication skills and patterns is also often a quick way to reduce stress in relationships.
- Work stress is frequently caused by a fear of getting fired or not getting a raise, especially in this economy. It can also result from a fear that you are on the wrong career path and uncertainty about how to go about pursuing a different option. Finally, feelings of fear related to inadequacy or of anger because you feel unappreciated ignored or disrespected are also causes of stress in the workplace.
- When discussing money stress its important to understand that its our beliefs about money and what it can do for us, and our behavior in regards to money that frequently leads us into the biggest stress trap.
- Problems with health and weight, also a major cause ( and result) of stress usually are created because of the way we respond behaviorally to stress, with avoidance or addiction. Whatever the particular circumstances of stress, ultimately the main cause of stress is our own thinking, our own beliefs and our own response to the stressful events in our lives. What may be incredibly stressful for one person is not stressful for another. Why? Stress results from the way we perceive and process it. The good news is you can learn to deal with your stress in a different way!
The definition we used of stress is a situation that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious, fearful or sad. Really, this is a definition of emotional stress. Our thoughts and behaviors are what cause stress, nothing else. There may be triggers for our stress, but we create it.
We have the ability to recognize our emotions and thoughts as less harmful and to change our behavior in response to those emotions. It is always possible to change your behavior!
There are three main ways we cause our stress.
Thinking we are supposed to be happy and stress free.
“THERE ARE VERY FEW CERTAINTIES THAT TOUCH US ALL IN THIS MORTAL EXPERIENCE, BUT ONE OF THE ABSOLUTES IS THAT WE WILL EXPERIENCE HARDSHIP AND STRESS AT SOME POINT.” DR. JAMES C. DOBSON
One main cause of stress is that we feel and think we the only ones under stress and that we shouldn’t have to experience it. We are all struggling. I don’t know anyone who is perfectly happy. Most of my clients feel a great sense of relief when they realize that they are not alone in their struggles. We all worry about money, struggle to communicate well, want to feel respected and loved, feel fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, and depression. Everyone is afraid of dying, of being alone, being a failure, of being unloved. This is a part of life. I have no idea why so many people pretend this isn’t so. If these are things you think about and struggle with great! You are alive. I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you have a boss that is the main cause of stress for you( or so you think) . Your boss does not respect you, does not treat you well and consistently piles more work on you. You think to yourself this is terrible, this is unfair, it shouldn’t be this way. Then you get caught up in these secondary issues and are unable to solve your problem. Is it your boss that causes you stress? Or is it you? If you get stuck in feeling things shouldn’t be as they are, that can trap you and prevent you from finding the solution. Accept that it is what it is. Facing the issue helps you to solve the problem. What can you do? Generate solutions. What are you options? What is the cost to you if you don’t solve the problem?
Thinking we need to get rid of stress
Another main cause of stress is that we feel and think it shouldn’t be there. Acceptance of the stress is the first step to dealing with the problem. I bring this up because part of the main cause of stress is our struggle against it, or our belief that we shouldn’t have it. If you believe that it shouldn’t exist and you have to get rid of it you set yourself up for more stress. You can’t be free from stress by avoiding it. You would have to stay in your house and never leave!! It’s often the struggle against it that stresses you out and prevents you from finding a true solution. This may seem counter intuitive. Who wants stress? Of course you want to get rid of it. True, but acceptance of the situation as it is often the first step to feeling less stressed.
Failing to face our stress because we think we can’t handle it.
"Don't let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries." ~Astrid Alauda Our thinking results in our behavior and our behavior is also a main cause of stress. Let’s take the same scenario above. You have these difficulties with your boss. They cause you to feel anger, worry, inadequacy and a whole host of emotions you don’t like. You focus on these feelings and are unable to move past them because you don’t want to feel them. So you ignore it. Who wants to feel that!!!! Your body begins to get sick, you sleep more you have no energy. Your wife or husband complains that you are never present. You come home and have a few beers or glasses of wine. That leads to a buildup of stress and problems because you are not willing to feel the feelings you are having! Physically this leads to problems with sleep, deficiency in your nutrition, spikes in cortisal. It’s a vicious cycle!!!!!!!!!!!!
The main cause of stress is how we respond to our thoughts and feelings. It does not lie outside of you in your life circumstances. It is not something that happens to you but that you create. I hope these pages will help you to learn how to have a better relationship to stressful situations in your life.
Quotes from www.quotegarden.com
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