Top causes of stress

Sometimes it just helps when you know where it’s coming from…

Our minds work in curious ways. One of the things that can make us feel less stressed out, is knowing that the stress we are experiencing is legitimate, justified.

I can tell you now: whatever stress level you are experiencing and in reaction to whatever cause, your stress is legitimate and justified. Stress expresses itself in different ways for different people and we should not judge our own or others’ stress reactions. Stress can make people suffer greatly and that is an unpleasant enough experience by itself already. No reason to tell ourselves: “Oh come on, pull  yourself back together, it’s nothing” when we actually really do feel very stressed out. Just admitting and allowing it can already help relieve some of its symptoms. 

If the above is difficult to do, here below is a list of Top Causes of Stress:

Top causes of stress:

1) Death of a loved one 

The death of a family member, partner, child is experienced as one of the most stressful life events, even if death was expected.

2) Childhood trauma.

In people who have been abused sexually, psychologically or physically in their childhood or have been abandoned when they were a child, stress comes to expression in adult life.

3) Divorce.

Both the personal and financial aspects can cause a lot of stress.

4) Money/ Finances:

Especially bankruptcies and mortgage foreclosures.

5) Work:

Both unemployment (searching for jobs and the financial insecurities)  and having a job (stress at work, working too many hours, fear of losing job) can cause too much stress.

stress causes


6) Poor health

Illness, medical expenses, disability in self or family members can cause a lot of stress.

7) Personal relationships.

Worrying about problems with family, partner, friends or children.

8) Chronically ill child

 All circumstances surrounding a chronically ill child are stressful circumstances.

9) Pregnancy and infertility

Stress during unwanted pregnancy and pregnancy after rape. Fear of complications when pregnant and stress about infertility.

10) Life threatening Danger

Danger and fear among people who live in war zones, crime neighborhoods or isolated settlements. The direct victims of crime, cyber bullying or theft.

11) Having a baby.

Life is coming through life! As exciting as it is, it’s also going to give you a lot of sleepless nights before and after birth.

12) Moving (to a different country)

This one goes out to all expats in Amsterdam… yes it causes a lot of stress to move away from your own country and getting to know a new country and culture!

13) Wedding

Try organizing a wedding without getting stressed! Even if this is something cheerful, it can still be at the absolute opposite of being a relaxed experience.

14) Work Retirement

Haven’t reached that age yet, but I can imagine that after always having kept busy with work, all the new options of spending your free time can cause some anxiety.

Now that you’ve picked one or two of these causes off the list, can you feel some relief? You see, it is not strange that you are experiencing stress, it is perfectly normal. It simply happens in some life situations.

After identifying the causes with the help of this article, the coping with stress can start. Read the other articles on this website for some pointers in that, or, if you’d like to have some guidance, contact me.


Links to external sites about stress causes:

Beyond Culture Shock – article about moving to another country and the stress it can cause for expats in Amsterdam.
“Dealing with culture shock takes you on an inner journey of self-discovery. There will be obstacles, mishaps and difficult moments but also beautiful moments in which you can experience your inner strength.”

The alarming long-term consequences of workplace stress article about work-related stress
“Health problems associated with job-related anxiety account for more deaths each year than Alzheimer’s disease or diabetes. Decisions about work hours and shift work have profound health consequences, possibly through their effects on work stress, sleep, and the conflict between work and other roles,”