Where Does Stress Come From?

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Explore the wonderful world of all the things that cause us stress. From school and work to internal and interpersonal stressors, we'll define what stressors are and the many places they arise from in this lesson.

What Are Stressors?

All of us can stop right now and examine our lives for quite a few things that stress us out. If you're a student, then you'll probably have a lopsided list that's heavy on school-related stuff. If you're a working professional, then the list will be skewed more towards professional worries. But there's more to stress than work and school. Therefore, let's examine where stress comes from in our lives and the details of how all sorts of stress arises in our day-to-day lives thanks to stressors, factors that cause us stress.

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  • 0:01 What Are Stressors?
  • 0:30 Stress from Work
  • 1:26 School and…
  • 2:55 Stress from the Environment
  • 3:36 Internal Stressors
  • 5:04 Lesson Summary
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Stress from Work

When I mentioned that you can get a bit stressed at work, that was kind of a general statement. Everyone will have slightly different problems and events that cause us unease. For instance, if you're a fisherman, then bad weather may cause you quite a bit more anxiety than when going out on a nice day. If you work in an office, weather may not play the biggest of roles in causing negative feelings about your work. Since our country is filled with office workers, let's focus in on them to showcase that job stressors are actually divided into many different unique problems, such as:

  • Conflict with co-workers, be it professional or personal conflicts
  • Heavy workloads
  • Short deadlines
  • Harsh bosses
  • Meetings
  • New projects out of the blue

Basically, what I want you to appreciate is that stress from work is a lot more nuanced than just saying to someone, 'My job is causing me a lot of stress!'

School and Interpersonal Stress

Actually, this same concept applies to other forms of stress from my intro: school-related stress. There's so much more to it than saying stress causes me to burnout or rip my hair out or chew my nails raw. School, or going to school, from kindergarten through graduate school, actually has just as many subtleties to its forms as distress from work. As just a few examples:

  • There's test anxiety, performance anxiety that causes distress during an exam, which has led many very intelligent students to do poorly on tests they were actually well-prepared for!
  • There's also speech anxiety, which is even far worse than test anxiety for many. Having to speak your mind in front of a group of people can cause quite a stir upon our mind and body.
  • And, of course, there's the math anxiety, the feeling that someone is incapable of doing well in math-related activities.

But there's more here than those obvious examples. School may bring about strain to a person in different ways: through interpersonal dimensions, meaning some students get homesick when away at college and others may have the usual relationship problems with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Other students have to work while they study. Being away from loved ones, fighting with a partner, and balancing work with studies all add another layer of stress to an already hectic student life!

Stress from the Environment

This reminds me of something personal. When I went to get my medical education, I had to move hundreds of miles away from family and friends. I moved to this apartment building that was next to a shipping center. Every morning, without fail, at about 4:30 AM the trucks would start making lots of humongous noise and would rouse me from my sleep, leaving me totally groggy for the rest of the day. Of course, the landlord made no mention of this routine when I was inspecting the premises. I mention this because environmental stressors, light, noise, smells, pollution of all sorts, and temperature, can add misery to an already difficult situation.

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