Causes of Stress

What Causes Stress

Because people respond to the needs of life the causes of stressors, or stress, are different for everyone. For example, some folks might excel in math and therefore, perceive the mathematics exam as straightforward and effortless (positive stress). But, those who struggle in math may dread writing their mathematics exam and begin to get frustrated and panic (fight/freeze). Alternatively, someone who is performing a play may come alive on the stage and feel empowered (positive stress). Others, that are terrified of public speaking, may freeze up and get so nervous they run off the point (freeze and flight). Therefore, stressors are unique because we are unique!

The amount of stress people can handle also varies. For example, some folks may be able to take on school, extracurricular activities (sports, clubs, events), and family expectations. Whereas, others are and can handle a particular situation that is stressful therefore, unable to concentrate at school like they used to on the sports team, or function–their ideas are focused on the situation that’s causing them stress.

Therefore, the amount of stress we can manage, along with the stressor(s), is exclusive to the individual experiencing it.

Stressors divide into two categories: internal and external. External stressors are. Internal stressors come from our own thoughts and beliefs–they are. Can you come up with some of your own, before looking at our list of stressors?

If you can recognize your own stressors you can help manage your stress! We face a large number of stressors in our lives daily. As a result, it is very important to practice coping strategies to decrease the long term effects of anxiety.


  • Teachers
  • Assignments
  • Tests/Quizzes/Finals
  • Peers
  • Peer pressure
  • Appearance
  • Relationships
  • Siblings
  • Family
  • Parents
  • Divorce
  • Parents fighting
  • Holidays
  • Financial situation
  • Expectations from parents, teachers, friends
  • Job
  • Customers
  • Boss
  • Expectation at work
  • Want to impress boss
  • Fired from job
  • Transit
  • Daily Hassles
  • Too much to do not enough time


  • Focusing on the problem
  • Worrying
  • Exaggerating the issue/over react
  • Avoid/procrastinating
  • Low self esteem
  • Negative outlook
  • Putting ourselves down
  • Disorganization
  • Fear of Failure/ That somehow we will “screw up”
  • Expectations of self