It’s called ‘the silent killer’. It affects every part of your body, be it your heart, brain, muscles or even the waistlines. We’re talking about stress.
It makes you feel miserable everyday as you go about with your daily lives. You probably put the blame on the obvious factors — job, money and life in general but stress and anxiety need not have to come from the obvious or even negative sources. Experts say “there are plenty of chronic strains and low-grade challenges that don’t necessarily overwhelm you in the moment, but almost take more of a toll in the long run.” Therefore we decided to bring together a list of some of the least expected reasons why you might be feeling stressed out. The key to combating these sorts of stressors is recognizing them and not letting them bother you.
1)Your genes make you more prone to stress.
According to a Swedish study the relationship between job stress and health problems is influenced in part by differences in personality and temperament, such as how optimistic, confident or self-critical a person is. And these traits are in turn closely related to genes. As much as we know genes are probably the one thing we can’t control but what we can do is cultivate healthy and stress-busting habits to deal with the situations.
2)You are consuming too much sugar
Have you ever noticed how people who eat healthy and exercise often are annoyingly happy and stress-free? Yes, THEM. Guess what, science says that our brain uses about 20 percent of the food we put into our body. So now the question is what food are you injecting into your body? It’s a well-known affair that consuming sugary foods activates feel-good hormones and therefore we tend to feast on sweet foods very often. But you should remember your body needs a wide variety of food with vitamins and minerals to keep your system functioning right not just physically, but mentally too. And if you are depriving your body and brain of the nutrients it needs then be prepared to suffer the consequences. Reacting to stressful situations becomes more difficult, anxiety may become an everyday occurrence, depression could even be an issue, and the only way you think you can put those feelings aside is by feeding your sugar addiction for a temporary fix.
3) And caffeine too!
Caffeine is another food you should be careful with if you are stressed out. We tend to think that caffeine will keep us awake and alert but in the process it actually puts stress on our body. “Caffeine is always going to make stress worse,” explains science. Caffeine is a stimulant that activates the body’s stress hormones. A little is fine, but too much caffeine, in any form, can cause problems with your sleep pattern, digestion process, making you feel irritated in the end.
4) Your reaction to stress
It is a common tendency among many of us to deal with a stressful situation by beingeing on junk foods and skipping on workouts and at times even working long hours. But let’s get serious these reactions will only make matter worse. Skipping on physical activity and healthy foods will weeaken your body leaving no choice but to let stress take over you.
5) Digital devices
Whether you’re using it for work or play, technology plays a large role in your mental as well as physical health. Using computers or e-readers just before bedtime can affect your sleeping pattern, which then could lead to sleeping disorders. Not just that, your smartphone ruins your real-life interactions, making it seem extra stressful. Then there’s the dreaded “work creep,” says Schieman, when smartphones allow employees to be tethered to their jobs, even during off-hours. “People say they’re only going to check email for an hour while they’re on vacation, but the problem with email is that they’re filled with responsibilities, new tasks, and dilemmas that are going to be hard to compartmentalize and put out of your head once that hour is up.”
6) Your health obsession
This is a common stress trigger among the health obsessed. It may not be as severe as others but too much focus on maintaining your health through diet and exercise have the potential to adversely impact your stress levels. For example, low-carb diets have been shown to increase sadness and stress, while other restrictive meal plans can lead to tiredness. Haven’t you heard of orthorexia- someone who is obsessed with healthy eating or gymorexia – those who are obsessed with working out.
7) Everyday little annoyances
Do you get irritated with the little things that have the biggest impact on our mood: the never-ending phone calls with your insurance company, the rude cashier at the grocery store, the 20 minutes you lose looking for a parking space. “We let these things bother us because they trigger unconscious fears,” says Yeager—fears of being seen as irresponsible, of being bullied or embarrassed, or of being late all the time, for example. “Sometimes you need to take a step back and realize that you’re doing the best you can given the circumstances.”
8) Other people’s stress
Stress is contagious, believe it or not science supports it. In a series of experiments by a German study, it was found that the participants who simply observed others completing a stressful task experienced an increase in the production of the stress hormone cortisol in themselves. In the same way you experience stress when you see someone you know is affected by a traumatic event, like a chronic illness. You start to worry, and end up stressing yourself – which is not a good news!
Distraction can be a good thing. Remember when Isaac Newton wasn’t in his laboratory when he discovered the law of universal gravitation, instead he was taking a break! Yes, that kind of distraction can take your mind off of a stressful situation or difficult decision. But the trick here is it can work the other way, as well. For instance you are out with your friends and instead of enjoying the time you let your mind wander off to a zone that calls for stress. According to experts, you should practice mindfulness. Paying full attention to your surrounding – whether you are walking on a street or sitting in a park, is a great way of refreashing your brain. What chance will stress and anxiety have when your mind is focused on the present.