7 Causes of Stress That You May Be Overlooking

By Dotun Ola

Work, responsibilities, family, and relationships are common and known sources of stress. However, there are several factors that we do not usually relate to stress and that contribute to increasing it.

Causes of Stress that We Overlook

1. Unhealthy Lifestyle

Our lifestyle has an important influence on our resistance to stress. Unhealthy habits make us more vulnerable while a healthy lifestyle makes us more resilient.

What habits are we referring to? Which we have pointed out other times in this blog. Food is one of them. Excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, o junk food can compromise not only our physical health but also our mental well-being.

The amount and quality of sleep is also a factor to consider. Too few (or too many) hours of sleep, a disturbed sleep pattern, etc., can make us more vulnerable to stress.

On the other hand, physical activity helps us eliminate stress when we are already stressed and, in addition, helps us prevent it when we practice it regularly.

Modifying lifestyle habits that are contributing to worsening our mental and physical well-being does not require much effort. It is a matter of modifying our lifestyle gradually until we manage to establish new behaviors. The benefits that we can obtain by acquiring new habits that make us more resistant are very significant. If you want to start changing your lifestyle, we recommend that you read the article below before you get started.

2. The Connected Society

The new communication technologies such as instant messaging services or social networks keep us “connected” practically all the time. We are not aware of the number of times a day that we check email, mobile or social networks, and this causes us to be in a constant state of alert.

Disconnecting from all this is necessary at least from time to time. We cannot rest or relax while there is a constant source of stress near us. And we all need to disconnect and relax, so when you are resting, taking a bath, reading a good novel, walking, or on a getaway with your partner, try to disconnect from the online world. The world is not going to end and your life is not going to change because you are not aware of what your contacts publish on social networks.

3. Food Intolerances or Allergies

Food intolerances or allergies can cause many disorders in the digestive system, from mild swelling to recurrent vomiting. These disorders alter the rhythm of life of those who suffer from them and represent a very important source of stress that is often underestimated.

Managing these types of problems to the best of our ability can help us, if not to eliminate disorders since many of them cannot be eliminated, not to exacerbate or diminish their symptoms in some way, and over time to predict them and increase our sense of control.

On the other hand, the stress-digestive system relationship is circular, meaning that stress is also involved in the appearance of digestive disorders, from heartburn to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

4. FOMO

FOMO is the fear of missing out, in essence, it is the fear of not being part of what we see on the networks, which grows as our dependence on them does.

Check social networks over and over again to be there and comment or share, and what is worse, comparing our lives with those of our contacts (or with the desirable part they share on networks), is a source of insecurity and discomfort that affects us more every day according to a study.

5. Negative Self-criticism

There are multiple areas from which messages of competitiveness, struggle, effort, and impossible-to-reach ideals reach us. In this situation, we try to achieve what they tell us is desirable, as if they put the carrot in front of us hanging from a stick.

And in this endless race, many times we are filled with feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction, and we criticize ourselves harshly for not reaching ideal “standards”.

Pursuing these types of “ideals” is another source of stress, as well as insecurity, guilt, hopelessness, helplessness, etc. We have to remember that “ideals” do not exist, much less can they be applied to everyone. The only person you can compare yourself to is yourself and your achievements should be measured based on where you started from.

6. Unhealthy Relationships

Unhealthy or toxic relationships, as you prefer, also alter our mental stability and are a source of stress if we do not learn to deal with them or control our contact.

7. The Mess

Believe it or not, clutter in the places where we usually spend more time affects our stress level. A messy or chaotic work table, an upside-down office, etc., can be a source of discomfort and hinder our workday, which is already potentially stressful in itself.

If in addition to this, when we get home wanting to relax, disconnect and find a space of peace, we find the same disorder and chaos, our stress can skyrocket. It is necessary to have a place where we feel “at peace” and calm and our home is the best option.