Stress …. What is the cause?

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Stress is one thing available in abundance in present day society. No one seems to be free from stress. There are some who excel in generating stress at the drop of a hat. While there is a vast majority who is more than willing to accept the stress and carry it.


What causes stress?

People get stressed for any and every reason. Worry of the future, finances, health, and personal relations are major stress creators. Kids are stressed due to fear of failure in exams. Youth are stressed for fear of failure in competitive exams or not getting a job while there are many who are stressed because of the job. Some have stress because of not getting married while lives of many are stressed because of marriage.

As per a study1 conducted by healthcare major Cigna 82 % of Indians suffer from stress on account of work, health, and finance related concerns. Stress level in India is relatively higher as compared to other developed or developing countries. People in mid age group are affected most by this disease. As per American Psychological Association2 financial concerns are a major cause for stress amongst 72 % of Americans.

The fact is that no one owns the responsibility of generating stress. Everybody puts the blames on someone else. Elders blame the youngers in the family for the stress prevalent in their life while the youngers apportion the blame on elders for making their lives miserable. Spouses blame each other for creating stress in life. In professional life the seniors blame it on the junior’s inefficiency and lack of motivation. The juniors blame the indecisiveness and unprofessionalism of seniors as the major cause of stress.

Lessons from my life….

I had a stress-free childhood. First time came to know of stress was in a Physics class. I had no idea it could have such an adverse effect on life. I got relatively good marks in my school exams and got selected in the first competitive exam I appeared in, maybe because I had no stress in life.

First time I experienced stress was during the training because of ill behaviour of some of my seniors. But then I realised nothing much could be done about it so why waste time thinking about it and getting stressed. Do not get unduly stressed if circumstances are beyond your control.

As I grew in my profession, I realised that illogical time limits we imposed on ourselves for completing a task was the main stressor. I used to get unduly disturbed if time limits were not met. But then I realised that heavens did not fall if any work was delayed for a logical reason. I also understood the art of time management very early in life. This helped me in further controlling stress.

There are some idiotic seniors whose only name to fame is the stress they can create. They excel in humiliation of juniors. For them the only way to do a job is the way they say. I was blessed with number of them in my professional life. The best way I found to deal with them was to do the work as they said and prove that it was not the best way.

Fear of the unknown is another major stress creator in everyone’s life. The anxiety generated by ‘what will happen? How will things go?’ has killed many a carrier. Trust me, this anxiety has never resulted in anything good. At best, it may act as a big show spoiler.

I got married at 32 hence lived a more than happy life till then. I have dealt with how to post marriage in another article in details. Please read that for leading a happy married life.

The way out from the problem….

While stress to an extent is a necessity of life. It gives the push one needs to excel in life. What matters is for how long a person allows the stress to stay and for how much he/ she allows it to adversely affect normal life. Why should we indulge in apportioning blame on others when we all are party to the problem? That only adds to the stress and aggravates the problem.

We all understand the side effects of stress. It is responsible for major diseases directly affecting they most important organs. But still, most of us only add to the problem instead of making efforts to reduce it.

Experts suggest many answers like practicing mindfulness, meditation etc. The way out from the problem lies in accepting ownership of the stress. It is not anyone else but we ourselves who allow the stress to affect our life. The other thing which will help and is well within the capability of a common man is time management. One has to find that ever elusive ‘me time’. The more quality time an individual spends with oneself less stressed he/ she will be in life. Stress is not created by people or situations. It is the result of the understanding of the situation and the response by our brain.

My experience says that one got to exercise control on own brain to lead a stress free or at least a less stressed life.

Stress …There are ways to Deal…..

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  1. A most excellent post, Kamal. I couldn’t agree more with you. In your words …. Do not get unduly stressed if circumstances are beyond your control. AMEN! If these past 18 months have taught me anything, it is to let go of stress and to observe how I react to others who are creating, or attempting to create, stress. When we realize we can minimize stress we empower ourselves. Thank you so much for writing this. SO many people need to stop stressing. And yes stress does lead to disease and even death.

  2. Stress is a killer. I realized that certain cultures derive joy from stressing. I didn’t know of stress (not even the word) until I got to America though I had lived in England for some years. I also learned that different cultures have different types of stresses. Establishing boundaries and refusing to be neither a part of the stressors nor the stressed will help us all.
    Thanks for writing this. It’s informative. I hope that many will take it to heart to learn how to de-stress or avoid stress.

  3. Stress these days has become a menace, a silent killer, the root cause for many lifestyle diseases. Fighting stress out of our daily lives is a real challenge.

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