Identifying Common Stress Triggers And How To Manage Them

9 min read
Mar 24, 2024
Identifying Common Stress Triggers And How To Manage Them

Everybody has, or at least believes they have, triumphed over difficult circumstances in life.

However, stress triggers might suddenly appear out of nowhere and take over our life. Deep breathing exercises alone may not be sufficient to cope with the consequences of stress when they become overwhelming.

It's critical for both our physical and emotional health to understand stressors and the effects they have on our life.

We discuss the numerous types of stress, the reasons why stress affects people differently, and stress management techniques in this post. While it may take time to master, developing coping mechanisms for stressful situations and experiences will improve your health for the rest of your life.

What is stress?

When faced with a significant threat or obstacle, stress triggers the release of chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline in our bodies. While everyone reacts to stress differently, most of us experience an increase in heart rate as part of our fight or flight reaction. People worry about what to do, where they are, and about themselves as a result of it.

Stress can affect us in all facets of our lives. There will always be a chance of tension during every phase of our lives. For this reason, it's critical to develop stress management skills.

Everyone has this experience; it's common and typical. So instead of allowing fear to rule our life, why not learn how to confront it head-on?

What are stress triggers?

Although stress can seem to strike without warning, our stress triggers have a function. Their purpose is to protect our bodies from harm of any type.

But their role is not limited to keeping us safe. Any form of trigger reveals the obstacles we encounter, the things that are important to us, and the ways in which our way of life affects our overall wellness.

Instead of only reflecting what we put on the outside, they act as a window into our inner selves. Knowing what causes our stress increases our self-awareness and provides us with guidance on leading healthy lives.

What are stress triggers?
What are stress triggers?

While our closest coworkers find that giving presentations bothers them, we may find that performance reviews keep us up the night before. This can assist us in deciphering the message that our stress is attempting to convey to us.

Because there are many distinct kinds of stress, including acute and chronic stress, stress triggers can be found everywhere and in a variety of forms. But in the midst of all this discussion about stress, it's important to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy stress.

A healthy type of stress called eustress helps us feel eager and anticipatory. It's the feeling you get before you start your ideal job, move into a new apartment, or play a game.

According to 64% of respondents surveyed by the American Psychological Association, financial stress is the primary cause of stress. In addition to financial constraints, we may experience stress in our personal life, at work, or about global events. According to 62% of Americans in the same survey, the political environment is a major source of stress.

Stress triggers don't have to be frightening or overwhelming, even if it can feel like we have to avoid them everywhere we go. Comprehending our stress reactions enables us to create coping mechanisms to counteract them.

3 types of stress triggers

The knowledge that stress can originate from a variety of sources might be frightening. But it's useful to recognize each stress trigger and comprehend its causes. We can look for support groups or figure out what steps we need to do on our own to relieve some tension.

The three stress triggers listed by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) might cause us to feel stressed out, either temporarily or permanently. Think for a moment about the type of stress you go through and whether any of these triggers apply to you:

  1. Routine stress: The events of daily life serve as these triggers. Routine stress is exacerbated by things like hefty workloads, homework, or household chores.
  2. Disruptive change: Changes are inevitable in life, yet occasionally they might make us feel more stressed. These triggers can occur after we've moved, started a new job, or enrolled in school. Anything that tampers with our routine can be the source of this.
  3. Traumatic events: These triggers are extreme traumas such as being in an accident, being the victim of violent abuse, or having to deal with the death of a loved one. It's challenging to develop coping mechanisms for post-traumatic stress stress triggers, which is why it's critical to have social support and participate in other support groups.

Find a support person who can assist you in recognizing your stress triggers and improving your coping mechanisms. A coach can help you identify the aspects of your life that are stressing you out the most and help you become more self-aware.

Why are you stressed out by certain things?

Have you ever wondered why certain people handle tough situations with such calmness? Some people find some things stressful, whereas others aren't as affected by them.

Everyone's reaction to stress is unique. Furthermore, some people are more adept than others at handling stress. Fear not—you can learn to maintain your composure when things get tough.

Stress can be caused by a multitude of things, including:

  • Your comfort level and degree of ease in various settings
  • You're going through other events in life at the same time
  • Previous encounters that have influenced your actions and emotions
  • How much social support do you receive from your family, friends, and neighbors?

There are situations when you may feel more stressed than usual. Driving alone, for instance, may cause you to feel nervous, but when you have other people in the car with you, you may feel very at ease. Or after an especially demanding workday, you could find that your everyday commute is too much to handle.

It simply indicates that some things affect you differently, not that you're not good at managing your stress.

Why are you stressed out by certain things?
Why are you stressed out by certain things?

How to identify stress triggers

Being more aware of oneself when under pressure is a great place to start, and that is by learning what causes worry or tension. It teaches you how to better take care of your well-being and helps you become more self-aware.

You can start managing your stress once you are aware of what causes it. You must assess every area of your life and make every effort to monitor your stress levels in order to pinpoint the causes of your stress. It's important to think about whether the stress you're experiencing is growth-promoting eustress or detrimental anguish.

Although it may seem like a difficult task, we've provided four suggestions on how to accomplish it:

  1. Notice your physical health: Do certain settings cause you to feel sick to your stomach, perspire profusely, or have racing thoughts? Observing our physical selves and the responses they elicit from us might help us identify stress triggers.
  2. Think about your job: Consider your feelings before entering your office or logging on to work. Do your obligations or the amount of time you have to work fill you with dread? When your superiors walk into the room, how do you feel?
  3. Evaluate your personal life: In our personal lives, we sometimes take on a lot at once. Maybe you recently purchased a home, are divorcing, or are a family member's primary caregiver. These seemingly commonplace aspects of our everyday lives can be stressful.
  4. Flip through the news: Things beyond our control can occasionally be the source of our tension. This may be the result of persistent global issues and the current political atmosphere.

What health effects can stress have?

Your entire body is affected by stress, from your head to your toes. Understanding the effects that stress triggers have on your physical and emotional well-being is a necessary step in learning coping strategies.

Maybe you argue that your hectic schedule prevents you from getting enough sleep, but learning how to fall asleep during stressful or tense moments may help. Your stress levels may increase if you don't get enough sleep.

What health effects can stress have?
What health effects can stress have?

According to one study, the effects of acute stress can be reversed, but the effects of chronic stress are difficult to modify. According to the study, stress can lead to high blood pressure, a compromised immune system, and a higher risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular problems.

However, the health issues don't end there. Hair loss and stress have even been connected. You should consult a healthcare provider about any further health issues you may be experiencing if you observe that your hair is thinning or falling out quickly. They can also assist you in determining whether stress is the likely cause.

Overwhelming stress might raise your risk of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, according to research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

It's possible that you'll have trouble making decisions, lack confidence, and get depressed. Stress might also make you feel agitated, perplexed, and unable to make decisions.

6 stress-associated behaviors

We react differently when we're under stress because of the negative effects on our health. Our cortisol levels rise in response to stress. One of the primary stress chemicals that affects how our brains work is cortisol.

Here are six ways that stress may affect how we behave:

  • We start to avoid social situations.
  • Our muscles hurt and we become tired easily.
  • We are more susceptible to diseases including common colds.
  • We cry a lot because we're sensitive.
  • We get agitated and restless easily.
  • We experience burnout at work or in our personal lives.

The significance of time management skills

There are many different places in our lives that can serve as our stress triggers. We are impacted by things from the past, present, and future anxieties.

Time management is something we must consider as we discover the coping mechanisms that are most effective for us. Stress management can be significantly influenced by the way you act and think during the day.

Consider this: How frequently do you schedule time for self-care activities? Are you a regular user of relaxation techniques, or do you only utilize them when you're stressed?

It's critical to make time for maintaining your physical well-being, pursuing your interests, and spending time with your support network. It is essential to find work-life balance if you lead a busy professional life.

Taking time out for oneself is an ongoing means of making future investments in oneself. Never forget that the wisest course of action is always to slow down and say "no" to things if doing so will reduce your stress.

By choosing to prioritize your physical and mental health, you may learn how to manage your stress triggers. PondStories is here to support you in doing just that. We enjoy helping people achieve a good work-life balance and manage their stress and anxiety.

Frequently asked questions

What is stress?

Stress is the body's reaction to a threat or challenge. It triggers the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which increase your heart rate and prepare you to fight or flee. While stress is a normal part of life, too much stress can be harmful to your physical and mental health.

What are stress triggers?

Stress triggers are anything that causes you to feel stressed. They can be internal, like worrying about a job interview, or external, like being stuck in traffic. Common stress triggers include:

  • Daily hassles (workload, chores)
  • Major life changes (moving, new job)
  • Traumatic events (accidents, violence)
  • Financial problems
  • Relationship issues
  • Health problems

Why do different things stress different people?

There are many reasons why people react differently to stress. Some factors include:

  • Your personality and coping mechanisms
  • Your past experiences
  • Your current level of stress
  • Your social support network

How can I identify my stress triggers?

Pay attention to your body and how you feel in different situations. Some signs of stress include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

What are the health effects of stress?

Stress can have a negative impact on your entire body, including:

How can I manage stress?

There are numerous approaches to stress management, such as:

  • Time management: Learn how to prioritize your tasks and schedule time for relaxation.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Consume a healthy diet, go to the gym frequently, and get enough rest.
  • Relaxation techniques: Try progressive muscular relaxation, yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
  • Social support: Spend time with loved ones who make you feel good.
  • Self-care: Make time for activities you enjoy, such as hobbies or spending time in nature.

When should I seek professional help?

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress and it is interfering with your daily life, it is important to seek professional help. A therapist can teach you coping mechanisms and help you develop a stress management plan.