Sources of Stress

PsychologyHealth Psychology

In our everyday life, we have so many things irrespective of our choices, such as whether we want warm food or do not; want our boss' tantrums or do not. Therefore, these can be categorized in the list of our surviving streak, STRESS is one of them that we need to cope up to live a normal life.

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What is Stress?

Stress is relative of our mind that is needed in every function to keep the crowd bright, but too much can lead to destruction simultaneously. To put this ugly beast in the most convenient words, Hans Selye explains, "Stress is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand." if we understand the words of Selye, we can get an idea that it is not a targeted response. Therefore, the amount of its presence, i.e., the nonspecific response, is all it takes to conclude whether it harms the person or makes the person stand from its couch and get the work done. Now, to decide whether the stress is halting or encouraging a person, we have to know the sources of stress as it is not a temporary thing, but a part of life that can be proactive if we know how to manage it. Managing one's stress ultimately makes physical and mental health intact and dutiful in Human beings

Sources of Stress

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook (Davis, Eshelman & McKay, 2008) describes four primary sources of stress. According to this, it consists of both external and internal pathways, which specifically depend upon the situations and circumstances that people face in their daily life.

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  • Environmental: In this fast-paced world, where everything is on the doorstep and technology has become our second language, it will not be a surprise to say that the environment we live in, is full of dirt and communicable diseases and pollution. The state of our environment is degrading day by day, which in turn leads to a life full of hassle, and all these steps lead to the door where we meet stress and other health related problems, which is a threat for the survival of a person. Climate Crisis is one such important example that is directly causing stress in the lives of human beings. Even time has turned its wheels, and continents like Europe are suffering from heat waves which eventually affect health and give rise to many life-threatening diseases in humans. The living population is growing and dying in stress simultaneously as time passes by because environmental problems create insane accommodation. It decreases our mortality rate and gives birth to specific diseases, eventually leading to Pandemic or Epidemic. The example of 2020 COVID-19 is one such situation that affects humans physically and mentally

  • Social: As human beings, there are several commitments that we have to complete without any obligations. As social beings, interacting, consuming, learning, and meeting certain expectations are normal for us, and having a little stress in it is also beneficial to maintain the push of life. But as we all are part of the rat race, losing the balance between personal and social life is quite evident, which creates major stress in living on many levels such as family duties, self-care routine, and proper rest. As we learn to navigate all the things with time, it might be possible we learn how to manage stress and if not, it can lead to major nasty consequences in one’s life. If we focus on the stress cycle based on social perspective, it always starts with a trigger, then mobilization or immobilization of the system, which ends in connection of protectiveness that makes us feel Safe & Social in our environment

  • Physiological: Our body is like a house where lots of cellular organisms live and work; therefore, taking care of it is our sole responsibility. Often, we do not sleep properly, do not eat healthy food, or never turn to the gym to maintain our well-being. The fast-paced world dwells upon instant gratification, which is good for short-term happiness, but as time passes, the body undergoes many changes. When changes in our body happen due to environmental and social changes, stress originates because the system that lies in our body is not strong enough to adapt to those changes. The consequences of this can be seen in the form of anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and other mental and physical problems. Therefore, maintaining your house- like body is crucial to living a low-stress life. If we look at a wider picture of physiological stressors, which occupy most of our unhealthy lifestyle, we can see its effect on the increased heart rate, breathing rate, and tense muscles. In order to reduce it, we can also prioritize our needs and start practicing gratitude and journaling. While it looks simple, a wave of realization hits when a person starts doing it, and that will be the turning point of living. So, for minimal stress, equilibrium is very important within ourselves through these practices

  • Thoughts: The most underrated source of stress, yet life-threatening, is one's thought process. Our internal cognitive system decides most of our day as healthy thoughts will always lead to a good life. Two humans with the same life problems and situations can have different thought processes to deal with them. One with an optimistic perspective always wins to manage the stress that comes with those situations and problems. Therefore, practicing meditation and relaxation helps us to have lively thought processes which keep the person sane even in the most stressful situations.


Now, the ride of a roller-coaster of stress ended with a verdict that a human being cannot escape stress, but managing stress is always a good option for a better lifestyle. In life, one has to do many tasks; some lead to success, and others lead to failure, but how we handle and manage - it is up to us. Therefore, practicing a healthy lifestyle, becoming environmentally conscious, and keeping a work-life balance is the key to a long life with little stress, so the performance should always enhance. As low to moderate stress develops resilience in human beings, instead of avoiding life stressors completely, one should become aware of them and try to befriend them. Lastly, simple living is never rewarding because it never lets a human being grow. Therefore, have some stress with rest and work at your best

Updated on 13-Oct-2022 11:19:47