How to Identify and Deal with the Main Stressors in Your Life

How to Identify and Deal with the Main Stressors in Your Life

In this day and age, we all lead incredibly busy lives. Trying to balance your job, family, friends, pets, home, health, hobbies, and other responsibilities can become overwhelming.

As if life wasn’t already stressful enough, the COVID-19 pandemic brought on even more mental health challenges due to social isolation and changes in routine. According to the 2021 Global Emotions Report, the world was more stressed-out than it was any time in the past 15 years.

The 2020 Stress in America™ Report from the American Psychological Association (APA) found nearly 78% adults said the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant source of stress in their lives, and 67% of adults said they experienced increased stress levels during the pandemic.

The report also found a variety of societal issues caused a large percentage of Americans a significant amount of stress:

The future of the U.S. – 77%
Health care – 66%
Mass shootings – 62%
Climate change/global warming – 55%
Suicide rates – 51%
Immigration – 47%
Widespread sexual harassment/assault reports in the news – 47%
Opioid/heroin epidemic – 45%

Personal issues that an individual deals with every day can also add a great deal of stress to life. About 90% of Americans are stressed about their finances, and about 80% stress over their jobs.

Stress can have a great impact on not only your mental health, but your physical health as well. When you’re feeling especially stressed, you may notice you feel fatigued, or even snap at those around you without meaning to. An accumulation of stress can take a major toll on your mind and body.

Mental and physical signs of stress include:

Panic attacks
Mood swings
Trouble sleeping
High blood pressure
Chest pain or high heart rate
Tense muscles
Digestive problems

These symptoms are not ideal and can impede your daily responsibilities and overall happiness. In some situations, stress can also lead to substance use, eating disorders, smoking, gambling, and other issues.

Some days it may seem impossible to eliminate what is making you stressed and to find a way to relax. Thankfully, there are strategies you can adopt to reframe what is making you feel stressed.

The first step in alleviating stressors in your life is to identify them. Becoming more mindful to what triggers your stress can help you find the root of the problem. Do you get anxious when thinking about your finances? Is your job so demanding that you’re losing sleep and feel irritable? If so, they may be the main stressors in your life.

According to the University of Minnesota, one of the best ways to deal with stressors is to adjust your attitude. When dealing with stress, we can become very negative, which can be detrimental to effectively dealing with stressful situations. By reframing your mindset and viewing stressors as challenges and not threats, you can cope with stress in a more effective way.

“You can’t get rid of [unhealthy] stress altogether, that would be great if you could, but you can learn to manage it effectively,”
Angela Ficken, psychotherapist

Follow these steps to adjust your attitude when dealing with stressful situations:

When you feel stressed, remind yourself you have the resources to tackle this situation’s challenge.
Conversely, accept that there are some things you can’t change – don’t stress about things you can’t control.
Avoid being angry or combative and voice your assertive beliefs, opinions, and/or feelings.
When tackling a large task, divide responsibilities into smaller tasks to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
Create your schedule wisely and allow time for interruptions or change.
Research ways to eliminate stress such as therapy, yoga, walking, or writing in a journal.

Resetting how you view stressful situations can help you deal with them in a more effective way, helping you feel more at-ease when problem solving. Over time, identifying your stressors and mindfully reframing or eliminating them can have a better impact on your mental and physical well-being.

If you are searching for mental health or substance use disorder treatment, we can help. Visit Treatment Connection to find a treatment provider in your area.

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material (collectively, “Information”) contained on this blog post are for informational purposes only. None of the Information is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog post.