Stress is a part of everyday life. Some stress is good and helpful for getting things done. However, cumulative and chronic stress can lead to overwhelm, burnout and even disease. It's possible to manage our reaction to stress, but to do so, we first need to become aware of what is triggering us.
One way to do this is to identify the different types of stressors that cause us anxiety and then work on ways to minimize their impact on our wellbeing. The most common sources of stress include social, environmental, physiological, and psychological factors. These four categories represent the most common causes of stress in our lives.
1.) Social Stressors
The most common stressor we face is social. We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with information about everything from politics to sports to celebrity gossip. This constant stream of stimuli makes us feel like we need to keep up with all these things. It’s hard to find time to relax when there is so much going on around us and we are expected to do so much.
Other examples of social stressors: Marital conflicts, work presentations, financial problems, loss of a loved one, issues with co-workers
2.) Environmental Stressors:
Our environment continually forces us to adapt to different conditions. Conditions such as pollution from many sources, including cars, factories, power plants, and even household products like cleaning supplies and pesticides. Weather conditions can also affect our health directly through extreme heat, cold, rain, snow, wind, and lightning.
The most common types of environmental stress include air pollution, weather, pollen, climate change and even noise pollution.
3.) Physiological Stressors:
Physiological stressors can be brought on by poor nutrition, not getting enough sleep, illness, injuries, or lack of exercise. Unhealthy behaviours can wear down the body over time. Many of us may not even realize this is a cause of stress because we've been living this way for so long.
For example, we stress our bodies when we continually don't get enough sleep, eat too much junk food or skip our daily workouts. Healthy living involves making balanced choices on a day-to-day basis.
Examples of physiological stressors include: poor nutrition, not enough sleep, illness, injuries, lack of exercise, aging.
3.) Psychological Stressors:
Our thoughts can cause anxiety and turn our stress response on. We can become stressed because we think we do not have enough resources to cope with an event, person or situation. We might worry about things that may never happen, or even be constantly scanning our environment for perceived danger, or even expecting a difficult or painful experience.
Examples of psychological stressors include: Scanning for danger, trying to control outcomes, predicting the future, worrying.
The first step in managing stress is learning to recognize where our stress comes from. If we want to live healthy, balanced lives, it's important that we identify those sources so we can work towards managing stress and even learning to make stress work for us, not against us.
Did you know that the herbs in our Restore gummies are used in herbal medicine as an adaptogen to help increase energy and resistance to stress? Learn more.