Internal and External Causes of Stress, What is Stress

Stress’ is a condition which can disturb the normal physical and mental health of an individual. It is defined in Oxford Dictionary as “a state of affair involving demand on physical or mental energy”.

Stress is a regarded as twentieth century syndrome. Modern life Daily hassles and demands, exhausting work schedule and major life events such as a divorce, death, midlife crisis, financial worries, persistent strain of caring for a chronically sick child, nagging health problems or managing a physically or mentally challenged family member can act as potential stressors. A sudden unemployment or lay-off from a job can leave you under tremendous stress.

Stressful depends on various factors, including your personality, problem-solving abilities, and social support system. Stress conditions can be real or just perceived by you. Our brain reacts to both causes of stress by releasing stress hormones equal to the degree of stress felt. The brain cannot differentiate between real and imagined stress. In challenging situations the brain prepares the body for some defensive actions—the fight or flight response by releasing hormones, namely, cortisone and adrenaline. These hormones raise the blood pressure and prepare the body to react according to the situation. It could happen while watching a movie or when one is apprehensive of some imminent danger.

Listing the potential causes of stress is tricky and highly individual. Stress factors react differently from person to person as Extreme stress situations for an individual may prove to be mild for another. Stress symptoms depend partly on the nature of the stressor itself and partly on your own personal and external resources.

Some External causes of stress.

An unsafe neighborhood, pollution, noise, and uncomfortable living conditions can produce a stress situation (flight response) the hormones and chemicals remain unreleased in the blood stream for a long period of time. It results in stress related physical symptoms such as tense muscles, unfocused anxiety, dizziness and increased rate of pulse. For people living in war-torn regions, the stress may be unrelenting.

Relationship demands mental health. Problems with friends and family members are valid causes of stress. Marital disagreements, dysfunctional relationships, rebellious teens, or caring for a chronically-ill family member or a child with special needs compels the mind and body to be in an almost constant alarm-state in preparation to fight or flee. This also can increase the risk of both acute and chronic psychosomatic illnesses and weaken the immune system of the human body.

Pressure at workplaces – In our career-driven society work can be a source of stress. Work stress is caused by things such as job dissatisfaction, insufficient pay, office politics, meeting deadline, and conflicts with co-workers. These factors can trigger stress conditions.

Social situations can cause stress. Poverty, financial pressures, racial and sexual discrimination or harassment, isolation, and a lack of social support all induced adverse feelings and anxieties.

Internal Causes of Stress

Stress can also be self-generated. Internal causes of stress include…Pessimistic attitude, low self-esteem, excessive or unexpressed anger, lack of assertiveness, unrealistic expectations from others and Self-criticism.