Negative forms of stress occur due to situations that trigger a feeling of being overwhelmed and losing control. This can take place in different areas of our lives:
Heavy workload, pressure of deadlines, responsibility, limited opportunities to make decisions, uncertain job status, pressures of exams in education and professional training
Obligations to children and partners, financial worries, illness
Stress from handling multiple responsibilities
Juggling work and personal life, or combining work with having to take care of ill or elderly relatives
Too many activities, not enough relaxation
Not only do these external factors influence how we perceive stress, our personality plays a part as well. Having high expectations of ourselves, being afraid of change and perfectionism are all stressors which are powerful even though we may not be aware of them.
Regardless of what triggers stress, the question of how often it occurs is also crucial. Individual hectic phases in everyday life are certainly normal and no reason for concern, but lasting – i.e. chronic – stress can causes health risks in the long run.