Understanding and Acknowledging Stress Caused by Divorce, Work, and Other Life Occurrences was last modified: March 29th, 2016 by Howard Iken

Understanding and Acknowledging Stress

Stress is both an emotional and physical strain caused by environmental factors, such as work, school, relationships and various other life events. While it’s nearly impossible to live without some sort of stress, excessive amounts of stress can lead to health problems. Not all types of stress are bad or harmful, and some types are actually needed to maintain excitement in our lives. Here you will learn the common causes of stress, symptoms and reactions to stress and how you can adapt to stressful situations.


Causes of Stress


There are a number of life occurrences that have a direct connection with stress. Finances, work, school, family, personal concerns, personal health and safety, relationships and death are some of the most common. Both finances and work are closely tied and according to LieCaref Inc., are the leading causes of stress for most individuals. A mix of several of these factors can cause excess stress for many families. Trying to run a household, work, go to school and raise children can be more than some people can handle.



Symptoms and Reactions to Stress


Stress can cause direct reactions in your body, thoughts, feelings and your behavior. Common symptoms of body-related stress include headaches, back or chest pain, heart disease, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, upset stomach, decreased immunity and sleep problems. Stress related symptoms on your thoughts and feelings include anxiety, irritability, anger, depression, restlessness, worrying, burnout, insecure feelings, forgetfulness and a lack of focus. Stress can also have an effect on your behaviors, leading to over or under-eating, drug or alcohol abuse, social withdrawal, outbursts of anger, increased smoking and conflicts in relationships.



The Impact of Stress on Disease


Studies have shown that there are an increasing number of stress-related illnesses and suicides. Challenges in every day life cause stress that is blamed for the rise of depression, heart attacks, sleep deprivation and other serious illnesses and diseases. Ulcers, asthma, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, insomnia, bowel problems, increased breathing, sexual dysfunction and excessive perspiration are all linked to excess stress. The effect of stress can be extraordinary and have enough power to affect the metabolism, skin, digestive system and other bodily organs.



The Holmes-Rahe Scale


In 1967, the Holmes-Rahe scale was introduced by Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe to see whether stressful events cause illnesses. The scale was developed to measure life changes and generates your stress level. On the scale, you will see a list of life events that cause stress, such as the death of a spouse or child, divorce, martial separation, moving, change of work, school or a pregnancy. When you add up the number of stressful life occurrences you’ve experienced in the past year, the impact of the stress of your physical and metal health can be determined.



Stress Tests


The use of stress tests involves testing a person to a certain ‘breaking point’ in order to observe the results. There are several different types of stress tests including Exercise Electrocardiogram or ECG stress tests, Exercise Echocardiogram, Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram, Myoview stress tests and Persantine Myoview stress tests. Prior to a stress tests, a dose of radioactive material is given while the patient is at rest then pictures of the heart are taken. The patient is then given a stress test, such as exercise on a treadmill, then given another dose of the radioactive material and additional pictures are taken to see how the stress affects the body.


  • Exercise Stress Tests: How exercise stress testing works, how the test will feel and how to determine the results.
  • Nuclear Stress Tests: Learn how nuclear (thallium) stress tests work and what to expect.
  • Preparing for a Stress Test: Steps that patients need to take in order to prepare for an upcoming stress test.
  • Types of Stress Test: General overview of exercise stress tests and a list of other types of tests to determine stress levels.




The four keys to maintaining your stress levels is to either avoid stress, alter stress, adapt to stress or accept the stress. Avoiding unnecessary stress can greatly help to reduce the amount of stress, such as avoiding people who stress you out or taking control of environmental factors that cause anxiety. If certain stressors can’t be avoided, try altering a stressful situation by expressing your feelings instead of bottling them up, be willing to compromise and be more assertive. Adapting to a stressful situation, such as looking at the bigger picture or adjusting your standards can help you to gain a sense of control over your stress. Accepting stress that can’t be prevented, such as the death of a loved one, is easier then stressing on a situation that you are unable to change.



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