When two things fight for your mental attention
Stress happens when two different things compete for your mental attention. If, for example, you are too focused on a problem and then some background noise appears, you might feel stressed because two things are competing for your attention.
Unsolved problems always reside in the back of the minds of people. Because those unsolved problems already occupy some resources, a person can get stressed very easily when another event demands his attention.
Uncomfortable external conditions
Bad lighting, poor ventilation, Uncomfortable chairs and background noise cause stress. Because the mind gets a bit busy focusing on those unfavourable conditions, any new event that occurs might cause stress.
Because some people obsesses over deadlines, they always keep measuring their progress against the clock. This type of behaviour results in stress and unpleasant feelings.
Contrary to common beliefs, the human mind wasn’t designed for multi-tasking and can only handle one task at a time. Texting while driving is a famous example of a multi-tasking attempt that always causes stress.
Unable to cope with an important problem
When people find themselves unable to cope with an important life problem, they usually get stressed. The fact that the person believes he is facing a force that is greater than he is usually results in stress.
When an emotional conflict arises, stress might happen. A person can feel stressed while eating unhealthy food because a part of his mind believes that it’s harmful.
A busy or a demanding schedule
A busy schedule usually promotes stress because a person can hardly focus on one uncompleted task without thinking of another one.
Worrying leads to stress
Worrying about the future, bills or upcoming events can cause stress. When the mind gets occupied with a problem it can hardly find a solution for, stress is very likely to happen.
Stress depends on perception
Two people can go through the same event but only one of them experiences stress. Stress depends greatly on a person’s perception of events. If someone believes that an event is really bad for him, he might become stressed because of it.
Traumatic events such as the loss of a loved one or being laid off can result in stress. The person’s ability to get over this stressful situation depends on the ways he will follow to cope with these new events.
Reaction to threats
Stress can be a reaction to the psychological threats a person faces. If a person’s boss threatened to fire him, this person might start worrying and the worrying can shortly turn to stress.
Uncertainty can lead to stress. Because most humans love to be in control, an uncertain environment can promote stress. If a person works at a company that announces that it might lay off some people, he might get stressed. (See Why do people hate uncertainty?)
Continuous conflicts at home or at work can result in tremendous amounts of stress. A person who gets bullied at work or who has continuous fights with his/her spouse might experience stress.
Fear of the after life
If a person is not solid in a faith regarding what will happen when he or she dies, they might have a lot of stress about dying. (See What are the body language signs of fear?)
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