Life is full of unexpected events and surprises. While there are plenty of great things to enjoy as we age, there are also some stressful and terrible events – and most of them are unavoidable. Despite the logical reasoning that most (if not all) of these traumatic experiences can’t be avoided, stress and misery nevertheless follow them.
Anxiety and stress manifest in many different ways and under a variety of circumstances. Even seemingly positive or great occurrences can cause great inner turmoil for people. In fact, you’ve probably already experienced at least some of these positive stress inducers at some point.
Today, we’ll look at the nine most stressful life events and consider why each one tends to cause stress and anxiety.
Moving into a New Home
There are some obvious triggers of stress in life that virtually everybody faces, but many do not consider the effect that moving into a new home can have on both physical and mental health.
Especially true for those purchasing a home, there is plenty of stress in the process of selecting and ultimately buying the home. From a plethora of paperwork to deadlines and delays, the logistical hurdles of buying a home can be downright exhausting.
That’s before you even get to the act of physically moving all of your possessions from one location to another. While the stresses of procuring a home are hard to avoid, the act of moving itself can be made simpler with apps like Porch Home Assistant.
By far one of the most obvious forms of stress in life, the death of a spouse, family member or close friend can be debilitating. Death is natural, but the actual occurrence of it is hard to rationalise when it impacts you.
Whether it be the death of a spouse, child or friend, the stages of grief cause substantial physical and emotional damage and can be hard to handle. Support groups and personal relationships alike can help navigate these stressful times, but ultimately, time is the biggest factor in recovering from the loss of somebody close to you.
In many ways, the act of divorce generates similar types of stress as the death of a spouse. When relationships come to an end – regardless of whether it is an amicable break or not – the loss of the said spouse feels very much like a permanent loss.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the stress of divorce can be compounded by a bad relationship, disputes over property and assets and contested child custody situations. Considering that the average divorce takes in excess of one year to finalize, this long-term, stressful life event ranks highly on the list.
Any life event that suddenly disrupts a normal routine can be very stressful; there may be no other event that can throw regular day-to-day life off-balance more than the loss of a job. When unemployment strikes, every aspect of life is impacted.
Not only must a job search begin to find new employment as soon as possible, but finances and even family life are impacted. Whether it is worry about losing your home, failing to pay car bills on time or even struggling to purchase food, the loss of a job is a very stressful event that affects almost every facet of life.
The joy of parenthood is something most parents look on with fondness. They’ll tell you that becoming a parent changed their lives: arguably, there isn’t a truer statement. But with change comes stress, and the process of preparing for parenthood can be a months-long affair that applies stress emotionally, physically and financially.
Whether you are becoming a mother or a father, multiple factors converge during pregnancy and immediately after birth to create stress. Buying diapers, securing the home from dangers, planning financially for the future and having the confidence to know you’ll be a good parent are just a few of the many initiators of stress during this time of life.
While involuntary unemployment is known to be a very stressful situation, voluntary unemployment is no cakewalk, either. As people become accustomed to routines and having purpose in their lives, retirement can suddenly feel like a monumentally negative shift.
When waking up in the morning with nothing to do, anxiety, stress and even depression can develop. Many who have retired report feeling without purpose and spend much time contemplating what to do next in their lives.
While many glorify the act of retirement as a reward for making it through work all those years, it can feel quite different to many who have suddenly transitioned from busy days to more relaxed lifestyles.
The process of courtship, engagement – and ultimately, marriage – generally is a happy and positive time for most couples. However, the act of planning any wedding and the subsequent struggles that follow (both emotionally and financially) can result in stress that most people don’t want to talk about openly.
From fears about how life is changing to the financial struggles of affording a ceremony, both brides and grooms suffer from anxiety in the run-up to any wedding. Not only this, but stress can follow a marriage beyond the altar and manifest in many different ways weeks, months or even years later.
Fundamentally, the act of incorporating another person into your life and reshaping its existence can be a recurring form of stress. However, most believe the stress is worth the effort.
Physical and mental illness are by definition exhausting, but the effects can be far greater than simple exhaustion.
Ample amounts of stress can manifest whenever you or someone you love is suffering from an illness. Whether it be frequent trips to the hospital or careful monitoring at home, illness impacts countless lives and is an inevitable reality in everyone’s lives.
From financial worries stemming from long-term care to the mental exhaustion of around-the-clock caregiving, even a short-term illness can be stressful. However, those suffering from chronic and/or long-term illness will face stress – and those close to them will face it as well.
Losing somebody in your life is difficult – no matter the reason. While death is the ultimate act of losing a loved one or friend, imprisonment can be comparably stressful in a number of ways – and in some cases, worse.
Knowing that somebody you care for is stuck somewhere creates loads of stress that can’t easily be avoided. Unlike death, moving beyond the pain is difficult due to the fact that the person is still here – and you’ll be reminded of the stress constantly whenever you visit or communicate.
If you personally are incarcerated, then the effects of prison stress can be even greater. While some bad habits are avoided when imprisoned, many other effects are amplified on both mind and body, creating long-term health problems and difficulties re-integrating into society.
With so many potential points of stress in life, it’s important to avoid as many of them as possible. However, these 9 life events are generally unavoidable for most, which means learning to cope and deal with the struggles in a healthy fashion is paramount. Now that you know which life events tend to cause the most anxiety and stress, planning ahead to deal with these events as they come will make the process easier.