5 stress triggers you didn’t know

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | General Health | Monday, September 07, 2015 - 07:15 AM

Unusual causes of stress There are many obvious triggers recognized as stress intensifiers; a sudden deadline, meeting new people or even an accident can have our hearts pounding and our palms sweating. But then there are triggers which we may not even consciously be aware of that are causing us to be stressed. By recognizing these triggers we can better understand our stress and work to minimize it.

5 triggers of stress you didn’t know about

Tea and chocolate: Even though tea may be calming and chocolate is a sweet treat, they both could be contributing to your stress levels. The stress-ingredient found in both of these is caffeine, so even if you’ve cut down on coffee, your tea or chocolate treat could still be keeping your stress level up.

Too much caffeine can lead to sleep disturbances, digestion troubles and even irritability. So if you’ve been short-fused for a while, look at your tea and chocolate habits – you may need to cut down or switch to decaf.

Housework: Whether you live with a large family or even on your own, housework can be a source of stress – especially if your ability to do it isn’t as good as it used to be. This can be worsened if you feel like you have no support, and the responsibility of cooking and cleaning is solely up to you.

In order to combat this type of stress ask for help from your spouse or children. If you’re living on your own you may have to hire some help.

Daily annoyances: Traffic, friends, running late to lunch, the waitress getting your order wrong – although there are many aspects of life we can’t control, they still end up annoying us. These small daily annoyances can really contribute to our stress.

When you find yourself huffing and puffing, take a moment to stop, breathe and accept that these are small hiccups that won’t ruin the bigger picture. As they say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

Stress from others: Not only do you have your own level of stress, but other people’s stress seems to add to yours as well. In a German study, individuals observed others during a stressful task and found that even watching the task released cortisol – the stress hormone. This is known as empathetic stress, and although it’s easier said than done to not want to take on the stress of others, sometimes it’s okay to detach yourself and not get so involved – in fact, it’s bad for your own stress levels.

Distractions: Often distractions are used to take our minds off a stressful event, but sometimes the distraction itself can lead to stress. For example, when we’re in a room with friends, supposed to be enjoying ourselves, we’re actually too distracted and thus miss out on the experience.

Practicing mindfulness can combat this type of stress. You need to learn to be present in the moment and not become dazed while thinking about stressful tasks, experiences or problems you need to attend to in the future.

Sources of stress are countless, but being mindful of your body and how you feel can help you nip stress in the bud. These are just five ways you get stressed – whether you knew about them or not, you can now work to overcome stress and be more relaxed.

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