What Causes High Stress Levels? And Can We Do Anything?

We all experience stress in our lives. This can be because of our personal life, our relationship or our work. Whatever the reasons may be, stress affects us in the form of various symptoms, including emotional and physical symptoms.

Physical symptoms for stress may include headaches, low energy, muscle pains and the inability to sleep. Emotional symptoms may include the feeling of loneliness and being overwhelmed in general. Once we notice the symptoms of stress, we start questioning the reason why we are stressed. Keep on reading this article to find out what causes high stress levels and how it can be avoided.

Causes of high stress levels

Causes of stress may be due to internal or external factors.

  • getting stressedInternal factors: Internal factors are self-generated factors that cause stress. Personality traits play a role in this. For instance, pessimists get more stressed out than optimists. In addition to this, perfectionism, lack of flexibility and not being able to deal with uncertainty are also internal causes for stress.
  • External factors: External factors consist of events or situations that happen around us. Although they are often perceived negatively, not all external factors that cause high stress levels are negative. Positive events, such as getting married, buying a car or getting promoted at work can also increase stress levels. Other examples for external stress causes include life changes, work, school and relationship problems.

Common causes of stress

According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, there are ten most common causes of stress in adults. These include the death of a partner, divorce, separation, imprisonment, death of a close relative, injury, marriage, losing a job, marriage reconciliation and retirement.

How to deal with stress

While experiencing some stress in life is normal, sometimes feeling stressed can lead to serious illnesses. However, the term “high stress level” depends from person to person. Not everyone can handle the same amount of stress. For this reason, it is important to know our limits and how much stress we are capable of handling. Dealing with stress certainly becomes more useful when:

  • You have supporters: Having close friends or family members can help us reduce stress. This helps us get the pressure off our shoulders. What is more, loneliness might be one of the causes of high stress levels, and having company definitely helps to lower the stress levels.
  • You adapt your diet: It is best to avoid or reduce the amount of caffeine and nicotine intake for the sake of our stress levels, as these may act as stimulants to increase stress. In addition to this, reducing the intake of refined sugars can also help.
  • You get more active: Physical activities will boost your mood, improve your sleep and eventually reduce stressyou change your attitude: You can keep the stress away by having a more optimistic outlook in life and keep your hopes up. This makes it easier to accept challenges as they are, therefore it becomes easier to deal with them.
  • You prepare: Sometimes, no matter what we do, stress cannot be fully avoided. In situations like this, preparations can be made. For instance, if there is a big meeting coming up at work, it is not realistic to think that it is possible to run away from stress. Instead, making preparations, such as planning for the meeting in advance, can help reduce stress.