Stress — Why It Happens and Common Causes

3 min readApr 15, 2024
Woman stress at work

Stress is the human body’s reaction to pressure from a particular situation or event in the form of a physical, mental or emotional reaction.

We all have to deal with stress at some point in our lives. Maybe it’s because of work, family illness, or financial problems. These are common triggers. According to Research, Half of Americans say that they are dealing with moderate stress.

Not all stress is terrible. This can make you more aware of the things around you and allow you to be more focused. Sometimes stress can give you strength and help you resolve more problems.

When you experience stress, it can take the form of:
- An individual, for example, when you have many responsibilities that you find difficult to manage.
- Part of a group, for example if your family is experiencing difficult times, such as illness, death or financial problems.
- Part of your community, for example if you belong to a religious group that suffers discrimination.
- A member of the community, for example when a natural disaster occurs or an event such as a viral pandemic.
If you find it stressful to be part of a larger group, you may experience it differently. This can happen even if your stressors are the same.

General Causes of Stress
Stress is different for each person. What stresses you out might not bother your friends and vice versa. However, many causes of stress can have a negative impact, including:
1. Being bullied
2. Overworking
3. Death in the family
4. Marriage or relationship issues
5. Losing your job
6. Recent breakup or divorce
7. Family matters
8. Difficulties in school
9. The office schedule is busy
10. Sudden Situation Change

Even so, your body reacts the same to stressors. That’s because a response is your body’s way of dealing with a difficult or demanding situation. This causes hormonal, respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous system changes. For example, stress can make your heart beat faster, make you breathe fast, sweat, and become tense. It can also give you an energy burst.

This condition is known as the body’s “fight-or-flight response.” It is this chemical reaction that prepares your body for a physical reaction because it thinks it is under attack. This type of stress helped our human ancestors survive in nature.

Is Stress a Mental Health Issue?
Stress is not usually thought of as a mental health problem. But this will be related to your mental health in several ways:

Stress can result in mental health problems. And this can exacerbate existing problems. For example, if you experience a lot of stress, this may cause you to develop mental health problems such as anxiety or depression. Or a traumatic period of stress can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mental health issues can lead to stress. You may feel stressed when dealing with daily mental health issues. You may also feel stressed about managing medications, health care appointments, or other treatments.
You may use drugs or alcohol to deal with stress. It can also impact your mental health and cause further stress.

Physical Effects of Stress on Your Body