Three Common Causes of Stress in Your Life and How to Deal With Them

causes of stress

What Causes Stress?

One way to tackle stress is to improve your health, your energy levels and your mood. By doing these things, you can help yourself to become more resilient and hardy to stress and you can avoid letting the smaller things bog you down. But that’s a fairly abstract way to combat anxiety that doesn’t always have an immediate effect.

The other route to take then is to look at the specific causes of stress in your life – the stressors – and to remove them. Some of these will be big and some of them will be small, but all of them contribute to raising blood pressure and making us feel a little less calm and relaxed. The problem is, many of us can’t put our fingers on exactly what it is that is causing us stress and even when we do, it’s not always obvious how we can deal with the problems.

causes of stress

Read on then and we will look at some of the most common causes of stress and at what you can do to deal with them once and for all…

The Commute Cause of Stress

Did you know that the only ‘universal fear’ is things heading towards you? Thus, walking to work and having hundreds of people moving the other way down the street is pretty much a recipe for stress – especially if you’re running late or if you have a long way to travel.

One solution then is to avoid the rush hour. You can do this by speaking with your employer and asking them to give you more flexible working hours: perhaps you could work 8am-4pm for instance instead of 9am-5pm? Alternatively, look at other ways of getting in, like cycling. Or just arrive a little early!

‘Open Loops’

Many of us have lots of niggling jobs and stresses in the back of our minds that contribute to our stress. For instance, you might need to call your relative. Or maybe you have a bill to pay. These are what are known as ‘open loops’ and they can drain us of energy, focus and positivity. The solution is to deal with each of them as soon as possible rather than letting them drag on.

The Money Cause of Stress

Money is a huge stress for many of us and can cause many a sleepless night.

The solution? Creating a budget. Budgets show us how much we’re losing and where and allow us to formulate a plan to get back on top. What you will often find is that simply cancelling some of your recurring bills and changing your lifestyle a little can make a big difference and help you to get back in the black.


Stress Mangement Tools

Why LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Therapists are Important

Ask a Therapist

Why is an affirmative therapist important?

For many people, the process of finding a therapist can feel confusing, but the process of finding a therapist you trust can feel downright daunting. This can be especially true for the LGBTQIA+ community.  (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other sexual, romantic, and gender expansive communities).  The LGBTQIA+ community as a whole faces various health disparities, largely due to higher rates of discrimination in the health care field, which includes mental health. Many individuals have experienced discrimination either first hand or vicariously. Even just the potential for discrimination is enough to deter LGBTQIA+ individuals from seeking mental health care when needed.

Struggles with Mental Health Access and the LGBTQ+ Community

LGBTQIA+ individuals being deterred from seeking mental health care is particularly troubling due to the fact that this community is exceptionally vulnerable to mental health struggles. The community is more than twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other mental health disorders in their lifetime, compared to heterosexual, cisgender people. It is crucial to point out here that being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community is NOT a mental illness or disorder by any means. The way society treats LGBTQIA+ people contributes to the increased vulnerability for mental health struggles. The problem does not lie in their identity, the problem lies in how society often fails to affirm, support, celebrate and love their identity.

What is am Affirmative Therapist?

An affirmative therapist understands the experiences of LGBTQIA+ people, and understands the barriers and challenges they face. An affirmative therapist helps to navigate challenges and views mental health struggles from this perspective. They do not make any attempt to change someone’s identity. Affirmative therapists celebrate and support all aspects of identity, and seek to nurture self acceptance. Affirmative therapists view LGBTQIA+ identities as perfectly valid, and reject the idea that being heterosexual and cisgender is the “normal”. 

Why is an affirmative therapist important?

An affirmative therapist can provide a safe, supportive space for individuals struggling with identity. Thus they encourage you to explore gender, sexuality and other aspects of their identity without judgment. Not all  LGBTQIA+ people seek therapy for reasons related to their identity. However, having an affirmative therapist means they don’t have to teach their therapist what it means to be LGBTQIA+. Also, they don’t have to fear judgment when speaking about sex, gender, attraction, relationships, or any part of their story.  This frees an individual to explore themselves fully,. It also allows you to heal pain, to improve mental wellbeing, and to be seen fully and authentically. Having an affirmative therapist means experiencing true, deep empathy and celebration of their authentic, beautiful self. For many LGBTQIA+ people, this can be life changing, and even life saving.


Soothing Tools

Do You Struggle with Anger?

Anger Management

Anger is a normal part of the human emotional experience. However, sometimes how we manage our anger can be destructive. Most people learn how to deal with anger as a normal part of growing up based. Our parents model and teach us these tools. Unfortunately not all people, were modeled or taught healthy anger management tools. Without good emotional regulation tools, anger can become overwhelming.

Own Your Anger

The first important step in managing your emotions, is recognizing that you need some in the first place. This is often the hardest step in anger management recovery. Shame and guilt are negative feelings that are often associated with poor emotion management. It is important not to get caught up in these feelings. Shame can a huge barrier to anger recovery. Accepting personal responsibility and taking steps towards recovery is the best solution to preventing further pain.

Think carefully about your life.

  • Do you often shout at and hurt the ones you love the most?
  • Do your loved ones try to avoid you, maybe leaving the room whenever you enter or going to their bedrooms when you get in from work?
  • Have you had problems at work because you were unable to control your emotions?
  • Have you ever had the police involved in your anger management?

If any of these situations sound familiar, then the chances are that you do have an emotional regulation problem.

Quick And Dirty Tools

There are a number of techniques available which can help you to take control control your frustration. Emotion management can be as simple as acknowledging the problem and mastering some simple emotional regulation techniques. Some of these tools include counting until calm, squeezing ice in your fists and exercise. However, in more severe cases it will be necessary to attend therapy, hire an emotion coach, or attend psycho-educational workshops.

The Next Step Is Yours

Think carefully about your life. Do you often shout at and hurt the ones you love the most? Do your partner and/or children often try to avoid you, maybe leaving the room whenever you enter or going to their bedrooms when you get in from work?  Have you had problems at work, or worse still, with the police, because you allowed your anger to get the better of you?  If any of these situations sound familiar, then the chances are that you do have an anger problem and you need to address it for the sake of you and all those around you.

Anger is a normal part of the human emotional experience. However, sometimes how we manage our anger can be destructive. Most people learn how to deal with anger as a normal part of growing up based. Our parents model and teach us these tools. Unfortunately not all people, were modeled or taught healthy anger management tools. Without good emotional regulation tools, anger can become overwhelming. Angriness may be an issue in your everyday life if you let it be. Not only does it interrupt your work and play, but it may hurt you when you least anticipate it. Anger has an underhanded way of making itself known in the rarest of situations, and most you do not have any control over.

How to Speak With Confidence When You’re Really Nervous

aware

When dealing with anxiety and stress, one question you could ask yourself is ‘why does it matter’?

Why does it really matter if people can tell that you’re anxious? Does it really matter if you’re understandably nervous during a big presentation or event?

The answer is probably not but the reason it impacts us is that it undermines our social standing. When you sound anxious or nervous, it suggests that you don’t have confidence in what you’re saying. In turn, this makes other people less likely to trust you and it makes them less likely to think of you as a good leader, as a good employee, or as someone they’d like to date. If someone is nervous around you, it suggests that they perceive you as their superior. So you don’t necessarily need to be able to completely remove nerves – you just need to sound as though you don’t have any! Here are some ways to do that…

Slow Down for Confidence

When you speak more slowly, you instantly sound more eloquent, more confident and more intelligent. We tend to speed up the rate of our speech when we’re nervous, whereas taking our time shows that we’re confident that we’re able to hold other people’s attention. What’s more, is that slowing down will instantly reduce the amount of stuttering and utterances such as ‘um’ and ‘err’. Slowing down also makes your voice sound deeper and in general, this is a far more effective way to create a commanding presence.

confidence

Gesticulate

One of the key ways to improve your perceived charisma is to gesticulate more. When you speak with your body, it makes you more animated and it causes you to take up more space. This on its own is enough to make you more interesting to listen to and to observe and it’s enough to make you a more effective orator. What’s more though, is that gesticulations also show that your body language is congruent with the content of what you’re saying. In short, you appear to really believe what you’re saying strongly and this makes you more engaging and it makes you appear more confident.

Hold Eye Contact to Show Confidence

Using eye contact is a great way to hold attention and demonstrate confidence. Of course you mustn’t over do this but if you start your discussion while holding eye contact for a short time, you’ll be able to get your audience’s attention and keep it there.


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