January 21, 2022

July 9, 2021

5 Major Causes of Stress & How to Manage Them

To help raise stress awareness, MINDCURE has compiled information and resources to help manage stress and stress symptoms for better productivity and mental health.

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If you’re like most people, you were likely aware — too aware — of stress already. Yet, it's often something we're expected to deal with without really understanding how. Is there a right way to manage stress?

We understand many of the common tools we can implement, but combined with nootropics, functional mushrooms, and health supplements, you give your mind and body the upper-hand.

The Importance of Stress Management

Stress is often a scapegoat for medical issues, and for good reason! It can have lasting effects on our minds, bodies, relationships, habits, and overall quality of life. In fact, mental health issues like stress cost the world $1 trillion in lost productivity alone.

Of course, some stress is good. It drives day-to-day demands, even making some people their most productive. For others, however, it causes a lack of focus, chaos, and frustration. While positive stress can cause creative problem solving, negative stress is a complete blocker.

Stress affects everyone differently. Physical and mental reactions, or stress symptoms, are your body’s natural response to threats and danger. It’s called the “fight or flight” response. You may experience symptoms like:

  • Hives and eczema flare-ups
  • Headaches
  • Anger and irritability
  • Fatigue, restlessness, and sleep issues
  • Forgetfulness
  • Cravings
  • Impotence and low libido

Types of Stress

Stress exists in three types, and each requires special attention and a specific treatment plan.

Acute Stress

Acute stress is caused by momentary challenges that provoke an immediate response, such as a sudden conflict or impending deadline. Severe acute stress, usually following a life-threatening situation, can lead to prolonged issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Episodic Acute Stress

Episodic acute stress describes frequent episodes of acute stress. It’s prevalent in professions that encounter repeated risk or conflict.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress involves a build-up of sustained or regularly occurring pressures that can’t be immediately resolved and that don’t afford an appropriate amount of time for recovery.

5 Most Common Causes of Stress

1. Work & Education

Our jobs, education, and goals provoke a lot of pressure, between deadlines, responsibilities, doubt, poor communication, and task overload. While this kind of stress contributes to our growth, it can also lead to burnout.

Students, especially, are discovering new stressors daily as they learn to balance growing responsibilities and relationships. Teens need extra support to combat sleeplessness, agitation, and restlessness so they can lay the foundation for stress management.

2. Financial Stress

From covering bills and taxes to preparing for the future, money ripples throughout our entire lives. And what about the expenses we can’t see coming?

Financial stress contributes to health, relationship, and work stress. Those who suffer from financial stress are more likely to experience sleep issues, headaches, relationship strains, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety.

3. Relationship Stress

Stress is a major contributing factor to relationship issues, whether romantic or not. Misdirected stress can affect communication and spark fights. Unmanaged stress is known to influence sex life in terms of erectile dysfunction and low sex drive, which, for obvious reasons, can lead to more stress.

4. Time Management

If you struggle with managing your time, it likely seems to get worse the more you work at it. But time management is the solution, not the issue. Poor time management practices contribute to the inability to focus and other major symptoms of stress.

5. Health Stress

Health anxiety affects between 4-5% of people in this digital age of unlimited health forums, WebMD, and other resources (accurate or not). While some are educational and even preventative, many amplify anxiety (not to mention screen addition and fatigue).

Ways to Manage Stress

Try these methods to transform stress into productive and healthy practices.

Talk it out: Whether with friends, family, or a therapist, talking about your stress can alleviate the pressure from within you and give you a fresh perspective on issues.

Start a calendar: Prioritizing is key. Break tasks into chunks, with deadlines and personal goals to help you paint the big picture.

Give yourself breaks — you deserve it: Take time for yourself to reset your mind. Don’t neglect the hobbies and passions that make you who you are.

Exercise and practice mindfulness: Under stress, your body releases chemicals that increase your energy. If you don’t get this energy out, it builds up in negative ways. Stress relief doesn’t have to take up much time. Incorporate breath work, stretching, mindful practices, and exercise into your day that will refocus your energy on what needs to get done, rather than overwhelm your brain.

Cut out caffeine: While it’s something many of us rely on, your brain can benefit from friendlier stimulants with fewer side effects, like functional mushrooms and adaptogens.

Written by

Kaleb Stropkovics