Biggest Causes of Stress: The Top 10

The top 10 biggest causes of stress: Although what individuals find stressful may differ, there are some common stressors.

Top 10 Biggest Causes of Stress

Childhood Trauma

One of the biggest causes of stress stems from childhood trauma. Some individuals experience long-term stress as a result of a traumatic childhood. The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, milestone research in 1998, found that difficult emotional experiences as a child can cause physical stress on the body throughout life. Children who live in abusive homes, or who grow up living with an alcoholic or drug abuser often suffer more psychological stress throughout adulthood.

Death of a Loved One

The Holmes-Raye Social Readjustment Rating Scale shows that the death of a spouse can be one of the most stressful events a person can face. Stress is made worse when a couple owes a lot of debts and the remaining spouse must worry about finances on top of grieving the loss of a spouse. Issues can be compounded even more if someone loses a spouse while there are still minor children living at home.


Divorce is another leading cause of stress among men and women, this according to the Holmes-Raye scale. In addition to dealing with a variety of stressful emotions, divorce usually means that one or both spouses must leave their home. Individuals also may be dealing disagreements involving division of property, finances, child support and custody issues.


Finances, particularly mortgage foreclosures, are another leading cause of stress ranking at the top of the Holmes-Raye stress assessment scale. People who live in poverty, and individuals who face overwhelming debt or bankruptcy usually experience high levels of stress.


Work-related stress is common among men and women who have demanding jobs and work long hours. Workers also tend to be more stressed during poor economic times when they worry about layoffs or a reduction in hours.


Personal health issues can be stressful on both children and adults. Working to get well, worrying about medical costs or dealing with an unexpected health crisis or chronic illness can all bring on stress. The sad part is that stress itself contributes to disease. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that within the next 10 years, stress-related conditions like depression will rank as the second leading cause of disability worldwide.

Personal Relationships

Everyone is stressed at times by personal relationships, even when relationships are basically good. Couples argue, parents and children fight and occasionally conflict among friends or co-workers can create stress.

Chronically Ill Child

Parents who have a child with a serious health problem or injury frequently are under a great deal of stress. They worry about the recovery of their child, and may find it difficult to see their child suffering or in pain. There can be financial worries associated with a child's illness as well.


Pregnancy, too, can be a stressful event. This is particularly true of pregnancies which were not planned, or pregnancies that result in serious complications for the mother, child or both. Another problem is that sometimes couples realize that they are not as ready financially or emotionally for a child as they thought they were. Danger Dangerous situations such as fires, automobile accidents or being the victim of crime can cause stress. Any hazardous event that is out of the ordinary for an individual can cause either short- or long-term physical or emotional stress.~ parts adapted via

Biggest Causes of Stress:

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     Your attempt may fail but never fail to make an attempt!

As my friend was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not. My friend saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.

“Well,” he said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” My friend was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

How many of us are being held back by old, outdated beliefs that no longer serve us? How many of us have avoided trying something new because of a limiting belief? Worse, how many of us are being held back by someone else’s limiting beliefs?

Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve!
CHOOSE not to accept the false boundaries and limitations created by the past.