Personal Development
What Are Stressors And How Can We Fight Them? - Shiken

What Are Stressors And How Can We Fight Them? - Shiken

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Understanding and Managing Stress

Stress is an inevitable fact of life that can lead to both physical and psychological reactions. It can be caused by a wide range of external stressors, from the minor irritations of daily life, to far more serious issues. Being aware of the various types of stress and their sources is essential for individuals to recognize when they're feeling stressed and what steps to take to reduce its impact.

Job insecurity, money issues, strained relationships, and health matters are all common triggers of stress. Organizations can help reduce stress in the workplace by offering stress management resources such as mental health services and relaxation techniques. These strategies can be incredibly beneficial in combating stress, giving employees the opportunity to take a break from their busy day and focus on calming activities such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. Additionally, professionally-led stress management programs can enable staff to identify their personal stressors and create plans to address them in the future.

The Causes of Stress

It's happening again. You can feel it. It was there yesterday, and the day before, and this time it's even more intense. Your body is tightening and your hands are becoming sweaty. Your body is displaying the effects of stress. But what is the cause? What are the stressors, and how can you manage them?

The first thing to understand about stressors is that they are universal. You are not alone in dealing with challenging situations. But, like everyone else, you can do something about it.

The next step in confronting and reducing stress is to recognize the sources of your stress and how it affects you. Our stress response is triggered when our brain detects danger. This could be any kind of stressful event, from a natural disaster to an important business meeting. Our amygdala, which processes our emotions, then sends a signal to our hypothalamus which communicates with our nervous system and releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. All of this happens within moments of our brain recognizing a threat.

The surge of adrenaline activates our fight-or-flight response. While cortisol is great for reducing inflammation, enabling us to act under pressure, balancing our blood sugar levels, and more, excessively high cortisol levels can lead to issues such as Cushing syndrome, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and depression.

What causes our stress is often out of our control, but our daily life events can add to our stress levels. If we want to identify the sources of our stress, we need enough self-awareness to be mindful and to reflect.

If you need a little help getting started, the American Psychological Association (APA) did a survey and found some of the top sources of stress for Americans in 2021:

  • Work: It's no surprise that many of us experience stress at work. Tight deadlines, competition with colleagues, demanding managers, burnout, and everyday life can take their toll. Stress at work can come from trying to be perfect and pushing yourself too hard to reach that goal. You may even start to become a workaholic.
  • Money: Financial stress affects people of all ages. Recent college graduates may be concerned about their student loans, while others may worry about affording a house. Individuals who have been working for many years could be anxious about their retirement savings. Deloitte's Gen Z and Millennial 2022 survey found that 29% of Gen Z and 36% of millennials identified the cost of living to be their most important financial stressor. Additionally, 47% of Gen Z and 43% of millennials cited their long-term financial future as the primary reason they feel stressed most of the time. Money-related stress is also mental, and economic instability amplifies this anxiety. While completely getting rid of this stressor may not always be possible, you can empower yourself by educating yourself about money, setting financial goals, and understanding budgeting techniques.

What Is Stress?

Stress is a natural part of life, but when it becomes overwhelming it can take a toll on our physical and mental health. Stress comes from different sources ranging from economic factors to family obligations and may be exacerbated during times of uncertainty like the current pandemic. To cope with stress it's important to gain an understanding of the various types of stressors and the physical and mental effects of stress.

Economic Stressors

Economic stressors can arise from a variety of sources, such as wages, taxes, government activity, and more. It is essential to boost your understanding of your emotions about money to understand when and why you are experiencing this stress. Taking steps to manage it, like talking to a trusted friend, exercising, or journaling can help alleviate the symptoms of stress.

Family Responsibilities

Family obligations can also be a cause of stress, such as not getting sufficient help with childcare, household chores, and other responsibilities. This type of stress may be even more common during the pandemic when families are spending more time together and have to deal with the stresses of everyday life. Everyone has to find ways to cope with stress that works for them.

The Physical and Mental Effects of Stress

Stress can have a tremendous impact on our physical and mental health, including cardiovascular issues, weakened immune system, headaches, stomach issues, tension in the muscles, and exhaustion. It's important to recognize the physical effects of stress and to learn how to deal with stressors in order to maintain physical and mental wellbeing.

Stress Management Strategies

Learning how to reduce stressors, manage the ones we face, and how to maintain a resilient mindset are all critical stress management strategies. Common stress management techniques include self-care, setting boundaries, asking for help, changing your outlook, practicing mindfulness, developing critical thinking skills, turning off screens, and breaking down workloads into manageable chunks.

Common Workplace Stressors

Stressors in the workplace are also common. Your boss or other coworkers gaslighting you, having a super heavy workload, leaders not prioritizing team members, the new business model not matching your values, boss setting standards that are too high, not feeling enough support, or unclear job demands that are constantly changing can all lead to workplace stress.

Seeking Professional Help

It is important to take time to practice self-care and relaxation techniques to restore peace of mind. However, if your stress continues to take a toll on your mental and physical health, it may be time to seek professional help, such as talking to a mental health professional or meeting with a life coach. Everyone copes with stress differently which is why it's important to find the strategies that work best for you.

COVID-19 and Stress: How To Manage and Reduce It

As found by the American Psychological Association (APA), 56% of Americans could have benefited from additional emotional support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeking professional help to manage stress can provide comforting support, helping people to feel less alone and better able to cope with stress. Stress has an impact beyond our financial wellbeing, so it is important to understand it, its effects, and how to control it.

What is Stress?

Stress is a psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. While some stress can be beneficial in motivating us, too much or too challenging stress can cause an individual to feel overwhelmed and can have negative effects on both mental and physical health. Recognizing stress and developing appropriate coping strategies is essential for controlling stress levels and keeping them from becoming unmanageable.

Different Types of Stress

There are various types of stressors, all of which need to be understood and managed. The most common types of stress are:

  • Daily hassles: These are the day-to-day events that can lead to stress, such as being stuck in traffic, working late, or not having enough time for tasks.
  • Acute stress: This type of stress is short-term and is caused by a particular event, such as taking an exam or going for a job interview.
  • Episodic acute stress: This occurs when an individual is exposed to constant and high demands over a long period, such as overworking, having too much to do, or having too many expectations.
  • Chronic stress: This type of stress occurs when an individual is exposed to an ongoing and prolonged stressful situation, such as an unhealthy relationship or a toxic work environment.

Managing Stress Effectively

In order to manage stress effectively, it is important to identify the stressors and employ the right techniques for managing them. The following methods can be used to reduce stress and anxiety:

  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or tai chi.
  • Being conscious of any negative self-talk and replacing it with more positive thoughts.
  • Using positive affirmations and self-reassurance to boost self-esteem.
  • Exercising regularly to reduce physical tension.
  • Getting enough sleep and ensuring a consistent sleep routine.
  • Maintaining a balanced diet for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Maintaining a good work/life balance to avoid burnout.
  • Engaging in creative activities such as music, painting, or writing.
  • Building a strong support network of family and friends.
  • Practicing positive self-care techniques such as meditation, massage, or taking a hot bath.
  • Seeking help from professionals such as psychotherapists, counselors, or medical professionals.

These are just a few of the strategies that can be used to reduce stress and keep it from becoming unmanageable. Everyone has their own individual needs and preferences when it comes to managing stress, so it is important to find what works best for you and use it when necessary. Stress is an unavoidable part of life and a feeling that everyone experiences, so it is important to find ways to cope with it effectively.

Managing Stress

Stress can be an ever-present factor in our lives, and it is important to understand what our motivators are, what types of stress we are facing, and how we can effectively manage it. Through increased knowledge and strategies, we can give ourselves the capacity to handle the stress we encounter in life.

Understanding Stressors

Stressors, or what motivates us to stress, differ from person to person and can vary depending on a variety of factors, including our emotional state, physical factors, and external pressures. Examining the main stressors in our lives can provide valuable insight into the root of our current level of stress.

Types of Stress

The two primary categories of stress are eustress and distress. Eustress, is described as a positive type of stress, associated with excitement and enthusiasm. Distress, on the other hand, is the more negative type of stress, and is linked to feelings of tension, fear, and worry. Knowing which type of stress we are faced with is helpful in informing how best to manage it.

Managing Stress

A vast array of stress management techniques exist, and it may take some trial and error to find the most successful for your individual needs. Generally speaking, finding strategies to reduce the stressors, as well as engaging in healthy lifestyle activities, can be beneficial. Common approaches include relaxation techniques, positive thinking, staying organized, and regulating sleep.


By equipping ourselves with the understanding of stressors, the different types of stress, and effective strategies to manage it, we can increase our ability to cope with the stressors in our lives.

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