Examples of Stressors

Getting married is a stressor

Examples of stressors range from seemingly "good" things to "bad" things that happen in life. A stressor is simply a fancy term used to describe any event that triggers your parasympathetic nervous system (the body's way of dealing with stressful situations). In other words, an event that causes stress.

Some Examples of Stressors

Examples of stressors can vary widely from getting married to being mugged. Here's a closer look at these stressors:

Examples of Good Stressors

A good stressor makes you feel "stressed-out" but is actually a positive event; one that is good for you, or might be good for you. Some of these examples include:

  • Getting married: Getting married is not easy because there are usually a hundred and one different details that need to be taken care of, not to mention the fact that you are going through a major life change. You may adore your spouse and know down to your very soul that this is the right decision for you, and still feel stressed by this huge life change.
  • Job interview: Most people usually feel ecstatic when they finally secure a job interview, but that elation can quickly turn to worry as you contemplate actually going to the interview.
  • Starting college: Many teens spend their high school days anticipating that moment when they can enter college, and be seen as an official adult; one that is "free". However, once the reality of separating from their friends and family, and often leaving the hometown they grew up in begins to seep into their consciousness, many teens might feel anxious and nervous about the new expectations that are being placed upon them.

Usually this sense of anxiousness leaves once the teen becomes accustomed to his or her new surroundings and schedule, but it can feel pretty nerve-wracking while he or she is going through it.

  • Having a child: Many people have spent several years waiting and anticipating the birth of their first child, yet may feel stressed and scared as the impending birth looms. Fears associated with not being "ready" for such a life-changing event, or feeling inept in some way, is quite common.
  • Buying a large ticket item: From purchasing a car to buying your first house, purchasing a large ticket items is a prime example of how a "good" stressor can make your blood pressure rise. In short, you are excited and happy, but you may still have some gnawing fears in the back of your mind.

Examples of Bad Stressors

Some of the more common examples of "bad" event stressors include:

  • Losing your job: No one needs a detailed explanation of why losing your job, and the prospect of not being able to support yourself, or family is enough to keep anyone awake at night.
  • The death of a loved one: The death of a loved one, particularly someone close, like a spouse, can be a tremendous blow and a devastating event that takes a long time to come to terms with. It's easy to see why this is considered a major stress as it can have a direct impact on almost every area of your life.
  • Weather: When you think of stressors, the weather doesn't usually come to mind, but the truth is that a major disaster can have a huge, and sometimes stressful impact on your life. Weather events from tornadoes that destroy or wreak havoc to floods that leave your basements crippled in water can be an unexpected monetary concern and also traumatic if you happen to lose sentimental mementos or family heirlooms.
  • Confronting physical danger: Being in physical danger is also quite a stressor. Although not read as dangerous on the body as long term hassles, confronting a robber or being swept away by a fast moving river is certainly considered a stressor.
  • Illness: Illness, whether relatively short in duration, for example having the flu, or something more long-term, like recovering from bypass surgery, can also have quite an impact on your life.

Changing Your Perceptions to Decrease Stress Levels

There are many different stressors in life. The key to deciding if something is a "good" stressor really depends on your perception. For example, getting married is "stressful" but it's worth it when you consider the potential benefits. Likewise, losing your job may seem like the ultimate disaster, but if you shift your perceptions lightly, it may actually be a good thing as it spurs you on to bigger and better things.

The lesson here? Remember that stress, more often than not, is a product of the mind, and if you are willing to shift your perception, even just slightly, you may find yourself confronting fewer stressors in your daily life.

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Examples of Stressors