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Factors of Stress Demystified

Factors of Stress

Long time stress is a problem. Long time exposure to stress will always end up hurting you. But there are many other factors which can contribute to stress being harmful. Here are a few examples:

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– Missing control of the situation: If we see two situations with an equal level of stress, but where, in one situation, you have the impression of being in control (or at least, partly) and in the other, you have the impression that you are not able to control any of it… Then you will be more hurt by stress in the second situation than in the first one.

Our skills in the given situation: If you are in a situation, at work or at home, and the task or the obligation at hand seems gigantic and almost impossible to do, the stress that will come out of it will not be good. You will feel like a hamster in a wheel. It is a method used by some companies to get rid of bothering employees: Give them a task to do, an important and difficult task, and do not give him the means to be able to do it. Stress will do the job.

– The sword of Damocles: This happens when you, just like the ancient king, Damocles, feel you have a sword over your head which is ready to fall and cut you in half. If you feel that an unpleasant situation or negative consequences can happen from one moment to the next, the stress level will be constantly high. Needless to say that this is not a positive stress-situation.

– An ambiguous situation: This is when you are in a situation where you have no way of knowing the consequences. You don’t know how it is going to end, if it will work or not, if the outcome will be good or bad, great or catastrophic… This anticipation will keep the stress-level high and with this, you get the risk of burning out. In short: working with the unknown as an important factor can be fun at times, motivating too (because of the stress going with it), but very tiring in the long run.

– Threat to your ego: If you are working at a place, or for a boss who regularly denigrates you, this will stress you in the long run. The same thing will happen if you live with someone who uses his (or her) time to denigrate you. This will cause stress. If you, for example, work for a tough boss and you have a lot of work. But if your boss is motivating and satisfied with your job, you will not stress as much as if you are working for someone who is always unsatisfied with you or with your job, even though there is less work to be done.

As you can see, exposure to stress is physical, of course, but a part of it is psychological as well. It depends on your psychological resilience too.

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