The 6 Surprising Stress Causers
You’ve beaten up the primary stressors in your life yet you still feel as if you’re a rubber band all stretched out. Well, surprise! There might be little things in your daily life that are causing your stress levels to go up without you knowing it.
Stress is vital for survival. Why do you think we have natural stress hormones? They’re put inside our body to make us act appropriately in specific events when we need to feel stressed out. But according to Gretchen Flores, MA LPC LCPC, “Some stress is unavoidable but if you can keep perspective then it can be a whole lot easier.” The benefits of pressure include:
- Motivation leading to focusing on the work at hand (e.g., studying for an upcoming exam)
- Stimulation of our fight-or-flight response when needed (e.g., make us act accordingly and speedily during calamities)
- Moderate levels of stress are known to give us bursts of energy, fortify our immune systems and condition our hearts
The keyword here is MODERATE. When we go overboard, that’s when the adverse effects kick in. As a 90s song quipped, “Too much of something is bad enough,” and too much stress is definitely bad for us, health-wise. Surprisingly, there are small things that are unexpectedly spiking up our stress levels!
- Long Commute
In a 2015 study, a team from the University of Montreal showed that commuting for more than 20 minutes makes workers more susceptible to burnout, chronic stress, and cynicism. The team went on to say that the bigger the city, the more stressful the commute is for those who are going to and from their works via cars.
A similar 2017 study – this time on a large group of UK adults – came to the same conclusion: long commute does trigger stress and depression.
- Other People’s Stresses
Yes, tension is contagious. It’s known scientifically as the stress contagion effect. Accordingly, we have mirror neurons that pick and suck up the negative vibes from other people – our spouses or partners, our co-workers, even our peers. David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA expresses that “Chronic work stress, insufficient mental health resources, feeling overworked and under supported — these are issues facing too many workers, but it doesn’t have to be this way.”
So, if you’re stressed out lately, look around you. Someone might be stressful, and you’re just picking up the vibe.
- Tea And Chocolate
It’s a commonly acknowledged fact that coffee is a stressor because of its caffeine content. But don’t you know that though chocolate and several types of tea might not have as much caffeine as a cup of Joe does, they contain theobromine and theophylline, two elements (they’re found in coffee beans also) that are stressors, too. These three substances induce general stress responses from the body that could be the reason why you’re peaked out after chowing on a choco bar or drinking your third cup of tea for the day.
- Your Good Health
Shockingly, making good health your goal this year could be stressing you out. Many individuals are fixated on making healthy choices in their lives that it’s spiking up their stress levels. The red flags for stressful fixation on healthy living are:
– The healthy meal plans you’re doing are taking up most of your time
– You always worry that this and that food is unhealthy in some way
– You’re all consumed by your desire to have a healthy lifestyle
An eating disorder on healthy eating obsession exists, and it’s called orthorexia. There’s also gymorexia, a condition defined as too much preoccupation with working out. These maladies could be wreaking havoc on your mental health and wellbeing.
Most of us think that when we multitask, we’re finishing off more work than we can do when we tackle them one by one. However, that isn’t always the case. When we do things simultaneously, one is bound to take the backseat and left unfinished, or you get two tasks done in mediocre-quality. It’s because we’re wired to be mono-taskers, to do jobs one at a time.
And when we multitask, we put our cognitive health and mental well-being in jeopardy.
Both science and pseudo-science agree – the mess is a chief source of stress. A cluttered surrounding makes a place look bad. And because it looks bad, it makes us feel anxious, too. Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC implies that “It can be hard to feel good if you are surrounded by clutter and disorganization, or if you feel unsafe in your environment.”
We, humans, are aesthetic lovers. We’re wired that way. We feel at peace when we see the order. Common sense-wise, this is the very reason why we feel stressed out – without us knowing – when our work table, our workspace or our homes are cluttered.