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Common Causes of Stress and how to deal with it

shutterstock stress3_174989687

Stress is not what happens to us. It is our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.

Maureen Killoran

Stress can be caused by EXTERNAL and INTERNAL factors when high demands are put on you and forces you to adjust. What causes stress depends partly on your perception of it. Something that’s stressful to you may not affect someone else.

  • External Causes – major life changes, work, relationships difficulties, financial problems, busy lifestyle, children, families, illness, bereavement etc.
  • Internal (Self Generated) Causes – chronic worry, pessimism, negative self talk, unrealistic expectations, rigid thinking, lack of flexibility, all or nothing attitude etc

Dealing with Stress

Unfortunately many people cope with stress in ways that make the problem worse e.g drinking etc.

Everyone is unique and therefore there is no `one size fits all` solution to dealing with stress. No single method works for everyone or in every situation. The important thing is to try different techniques and coping stratergies and focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.

The most important way of dealing with stress is to try and take control as the feeling of lack of control exacerbates stress. Take control of your thoughts, emotions, schedule and environment. You may not be able to change the stressful situation but you can change how you react to it.

Make time to rest, relax and look after yourself and remember the 4 A`s

  • Avoid – where possible avoid stressful/unnecessay stress, learn to say NO
  • Alter – if you can`t avoid, alter a stressful situation. Don`t bottle up your feeling and emotions. Let people know you are stressed and be will to compromise
  • Accept – there are things you can`t change, no-one including you is ever perfect. Look for the upside in a situation – even the most stressful circumstances can be an opportunity for learning and growth.
  • Adapt – look at the bigger picture, focus on the positive things in your life if you can`t change the things that cause you stress. Always think is this worth getting stressed over?


`Its not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it`

Lou Holtz


Woman Meditating at the Beach ca. 2001

Woman Meditating at the Beach ca. 2001

Other than your GP there are many sources for help with stress –

A quick search on the internet will lead you to a variety of sites that can guide you in dealing with stress.

Complementary Therapies are very important as they allow you to take time out of your busy life to `rest`.