1. Bereavement – the loss of someone you love and care for is a devastating event that, for many people, changes the entire way you experience your life. Normally associated with a variety of emotions such as regret, anger, and guilt, grieving is a process and we all process it differently. Consider the worst of stressors most people are forced into positions of feeling like there is not anything they can do (helplessness) and suddenly having a whole new set of responsibilities thrown at them.
2. Divorce or loss of a long term relationship. The loss of a relationship can be as devastating, if not more so, than the loss of a loved one. A relationship ending can not only send your relationships in a spin, but it can result in devastated finances, moving home with parents, or having to explain the change to children.
3. Major Illness or Injury. Whether it is a short term trauma or fighting a long term disease over time can be extremely debilitating on our energy and resources and result in serious stress – just when you need it the least. Many people who are ill feel emotionally low. For many worrying about the diagnosis and the results it will have on others around them is a primary stress inducer. Just the frustration of dealing with a prolonged recuperation can induce serious levels of stress.
4. Getting Married. You would think it was the most wonderful day for the bride and groom and actually it is a serious stress inducer. With all the planning and the emphasis to have the “perfect” wedding, couples subject themselves (and oftentimes are subjected to levels of stress that can build up and make communication difficult.
5. Losing Your Job. This one belongs on the list for most people. The associated issues with losing your job (fiscal instability, perceived lack of respect, having to hit the job market again) can be real stressors. Job loss can also be responsible for relationship problems when a relationship suffers from this level of stress inducing event. Sometimes when we should be reaching out to each other the most we are putting up walls.
6. Financial Problems. With so many people living paycheck to paycheck can be a terrible experience. Having to go to the food bank can be humiliating. Not being able to provide for your family in a viable way is a feeling no one wants to have. Many times it is relationships that suffer the most from financial difficulties.
7. Being a Caregiver for a Loved One. It may be fun and wonderful to take care of a niece, nephew, or grandchild for a while to help out, but the day in day out long term grueling grind of caring for the ill or infirm can wreck havoc. Stress is caused by a variety of factors including fear of something happening to the loved one, fiscal issues, and ignoring your own needs to care a loved one can cause both physical and emotional long term stress.
8. Pressures at Work. Oh yes! Anyone who has felt like their boss was breathing down their neck will relate with the stress that pressures at work can cause. Competition is tough for jobs and people are fearful of having to find another job. Whether it is poor time management, a frustrating boss, a changing case or project, or you are just having a bad week, issues at work can cause high levels of stress.
9. Moving. Anyone who has moved more than from one dorm room to another knows how stressful moving can be. From packing, broken promises (it is said you find out who your friends REALLY are if they are the ones to come help you move), logistical nightmares, and the whole process is just a nightmare for most. No matter how much you plan there always seems to be something that creates some kind of havoc to your plans.
10. Getting Together For Family Gatherings. Do you think that your family puts the “fun” in dysfunctional? Many avoid family gatherings not because they do not love their family, but being in close quarters with them for very long results in frustrations. The pressure is high to appear to be successful and be making your mark in the world gets stronger with each passing year. Little things are often blown up to huge issues when they happen within the confines of the family.
Check back soon for more in my series of Blog posts about stress…if you understand what it is, and where it comes from it is my hope you can lessen its impact in your life.
Holding doctoral degrees in Divinity and Theology from the Esoteric Interfaith Theological Seminary, Dr. Nikki Judge is the executive director of Black Rose Spiritual Center. A gifted spiritual reader she has helped nearly 175,000 people in her career. Along with a good book and a purring cat Dr. Nikki enjoys getting out in the sun and fresh air of western Montana. You can visit her at www.YourSpiritualGrowthCenter.org