7 Leading Causes of Stress

In 1967, Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, from the University of Washington, did a study on the connection between significant life events and illness. As part of that study, they compiled a chart of the major causes of stress. That chart, which contained 43 causes of stress in 1967, was updated to 55 causes in 2006. Apparently, society is finding more causes to feel stressed.

If you knew the leading causes of stress in your life, would you take action to eradicate them? Can you eradicate stress – or is it an inoperable condition that will be with you all of your life, possibly causing your eventual death?

Which Is Your Leading Cause of Stress?

1. Finances

Most studies agree that finances are a leading cause of stress. In an online poll conducted in 2005 by LifeCare, Inc., 23 percent of respondents named finances as the leading cause of stress in their lives. Financial stress has led the list in many modern polls.

Some who name finances as the leading cause of stress cite major purchases they have to make, such as a home or car. Others are stressed by a loss of income, or mounting credit card debt. For some, financial stress will eventuate in bankruptcy. While college students stress over paying for an education, Baby Boomers and older senior citizens find that retirement income can be a major cause of stress.

2. Work

Closely tied to finances as a cause of stress is work. Our jobs or careers seem to cause constant stress. In the LifeCare poll, 21 percent of those responding listed this as the leading cause of stress in life.

How is the workplace a cause of stress? We worry about getting and keeping adequate employment. We worry about new types of work or new responsibilities. We struggle to climb a career ladder, overwhelmed by the demands. Work conditions may change, or we may have interpersonal trouble at work. Students, especially teenagers and college age students, cite school work as a cause of stress. Sometimes, work stress is brought on by others. Sometimes, we bring it on ourselves.

3. Family

Family, wonderful though each member may be, is also a leading cause of stress. Arguments erupt with a spouse or other family member. Parents divorce. Children marry. The ebb and flow of family life is filled with stress. A child moves out – an aging parent moves in.

Family health is also a leading cause of stress. A sick family member, a serious injury, pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion all cause stress. Family changes of other kinds bring stress, too. Adoption, relocation, and job changes for just one family member can cause stress for all.

4. Personal Concerns

Personal concerns that are only indirectly created by others are another top cause of stress. Lack of control tops the list of personal concerns. Every human has a deep-seated desire for control over his or her own life. When control is weak or missing in a given …