We have already commented on the damn thing that stress is as a factor with influence on our health: it can come from different causes that we do not always know how to recognize, and each one can produce a different effect, which makes it difficult to identify it as a problem and to treat it effectively.

We tend to think that work is the main and only source of stress that we suffer from: spending many hours, being subjected to a lot of pressure, reaching the objectives that are imposed on us, not knowing exactly what is expected of us or working in a dangerous environment. The main sources of stress we know.

But there are other reasons why we may suffer stress.

External causes that can cause us stress

Some of them are in our personal or family relationships. The death of a relative, economic problems, a divorce, caring for a loved one who has suffered a serious accident or a serious or degenerative disease are unpleasant and sad situations, also important sources of stress.

The major changes in our lives can have a similar effect, even if they are changes for the better: getting married, moving to another city or just another house or having children.

Having suffered traumatic events, whether we are ourselves or someone we love, can lead to a stressful situation: a natural disaster, a robbery, an assault, a rape or any other type of violence.

Sources of stress within us

Sometimes stress does not come from our environment but has to do with strictly personal circumstances.

For example, some mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression. Also other problems that do not reach the category of illness, such as anger, pain or low self-esteem.

Sometimes, we can suffer stress as a result of worrying a lot about something. These are some factors that can lead to stress.

1. Fear and uncertainty about the present and the future. When we constantly hear about threats such as terrorism, climate change, pollution or the economic crisis, that can stress us, especially because we have no control over these factors.

Although the events related to them are statistically scarce (attacks or natural disasters), the extensive coverage in the media magnifies them and makes them seem more common.

2. Our attitudes and perceptions. How we react to a given situation can be the difference between being stressed or not. In the face of a robbery in our house, for example, we can react thinking “Nothing happens, the insurance will take care of everything” or that “I will never recover the stolen! Also, what if the thieves re-enter and hurt me? me or my family? ”

Likewise, if you perceive yourself as a competent worker, you will face pressure or new projects more relaxed and with less stress.

3. Unrealistic expectations. Nobody does everything right all the time. If you expect that from yourself, stress is more likely to dominate you when something does not go well for you.

What does stress do to your body

When you are in a situation that causes you stress, your body unleashes a physical reaction: your nervous system goes into action , releasing hormones that prepare you to stand up or run away from whatever it is that generates that sensation. This is what in English is called the fight or flight response.

This is the reason why at that moment you feel your heart speed up, that your vision is focused on a specific point and you stop seeing well around you (tunnel effect), that your muscles tense, you accelerate Breathing and you begin to sweat. It is the response to acute stress, and the body recovers in a few minutes once the situation is solved.

But if the stress is sustained for a long period of time or is modified, serious problems can appear . The continued effect of hormones affects the body causing it to age prematurely and be more predisposed to diseases.

Therefore, if you have suffered stress for a long time you can begin to present symptoms such as headache , lack of sleep, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability and discomfort in the stomach .

If the stress continues and is not treated properly, more serious health problems may appear, such as depression, hypertension, heart disease, stomach problems, such as ulcers, and intestinal problems dermatological (eczema, acne, psoriasis …), loss or weight gain, respiratory problems such as asthma …

Therefore, treating stress and learning how to handle it on a day-to-day basis is important for health. It is advisable to go to a specialist to help us determine what exactly causes us stress and what strategies we can follow so that it does not become a health problem.