Biggest Causes of Stress... The Dirty Dozen

The biggest causes of stress tend to eclipse everything else in life. Take action! To become an expert problem solver and kick stress to the curb forever, you must understand the big picture of stress and learn about the full-size of the problem. Having a big-picture view will help you realize you are not alone and that solving one little area will not really make a very big dent in the challenge of stress management. Instead, you must develop a strong set of broad problem-solving and critical thinking skills so that stress doesn't keep you hostage in multiple areas of life at the same time.

What are the Biggest Causes of Stress in Your Life?

If you thought about it, it wouldn't take long to write a list of the really big stressors in your life.  Our own incomplete list is below and I am sure there would be some similarities with your list. Stress management can be a real art form and you have to be strict at keeping all the stressors in your life under control.  The first step is to know and understand the problem areas.

Breakdown of 12 Extra Large Stressors

  1. Workplace Stress: Some of the biggest causes of stress in the workplace include perceived low wages, harassment, performance appraisals, threat of layoff, obnoxious bosses, annoying co-workers, deadlines, long hours, trying to get a raise, training and danger.
  2. Family Stress: Family stress issues include interference, long-distance relationships, sibling rivalry, labels and role playing, family history, expectations, communication, comparisons, roles, secrets, dysfunctional traditions, demands, lack of support and old-fashioned rituals.
  3. Relationship Stress: Relationship Stressors are communication, loyalty, honesty, emotional abuse, assault and other violence, betrayal, compatibility, affairs, unplanned pregnancy, sexual preferences,  and breaking up. 
  4. Dating Stress: Dating stressors include blind dates, first dates, online dating, sexually-transmitted diseases, date-rape drugs, contraceptives, drinking, drugs, drinking and driving, statutory rape, and one night stands.
  5. Gambling Stress: Some of the biggest causes of stress for gamblers are loan sharks, racking up debt, addiction, knowing limits, gangs, mafia, Gamblers Anonymous, recovery, relapse, violence, dependency, criminal behavior and substituting.
  6. Credit and Debt Stress: A few credit and debt stressors issues are debt load, total debt ratio (TDR), credit card applications and approvals, mortgages, house payments, late payments, credit rating, interest rates, bankruptcy, collections, debt settlement, loans and payments.
  7. Holiday Stress: A few holiday stressors include: missing work, vacation planning, getting lost, dealing with borders and passports, air travel, communication, cultural issues, cost, language barriers and foreign illnesses. 
  8. School Stress: A few school-related stressors: deadlines, tests, studying, overwhelming workload, rules, conflicts with instructors, conflicts with other students, course conflicts, scheduling, homework and grades.
  9. Mental Stress: A few mental stressors include fear, self-expectations, embarrassment, strong feelings, negative attitude, needs, wants, goals, lack of goals, illness, drugs, head games, friendships, relationships and irrational thoughts. 
  10. Parenting Stress: A few of the biggest causes of stress for parents include discipline, education, behavior, neglect, proper care, money, time, communication, chores, routines, health care, love, kids' friends, safety, co-parenting and in-laws.
  11. Marriage Stress: A few of the biggest stressors for married couples are wedding planning, in-laws, religion, money, children, the holidays, housing, cohabitation, personal space, shared responsibilities, family planning, communication and control.
  12. Financial Stress: Financial stressors include financial planning, savings, banking, earning enough income, having multiple sources of income, money scams, getting ripped off, security, theft, paying bills, retirement, pensions, taxes and budgeting.

All in all, there are many stressors in our lives.  The above list covers the biggest causes of stress and because there are so many more out there, it is critical for us to learn the right blend of problem solving skills, so that we can lead happy, productive lives.

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