Causes of Stress

We all have stressors in our lives. Some are needed to help us move forward in our lives, for example moving to a new job, and some are traumatic life events that we have no control over, such as the death of a loved one.  How we are able to deal with such stressors will determine the ultimate effect on us physically and emotionally.

According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, these are the top ten most stressful life events for adults that contribute to illness:

  1. Death of a spouse
  2. Divorce
  3. Marriage separation
  4. Imprisonment
  5. Death of a close member of the family
  6. Injury or illness
  7. Marriage
  8. Job loss
  9. Marriage reconciliation
  10. Retirement

However, not all stressors are external (ie situations or events).  Some are internal or ‘self-generated’ by our own thoughts.  Worry, overthinking, anxiety about what might happen are all negative thought processes that cause stress.  The subconscious mind cannot determine what we are thinking about because of real events or if we are creating the scenarios of these events in our minds.  But the physiological response in our bodies is the same – that is the production and release of the stressor hormones.