Internal Stressors: How To Recognize Them And Shift Your Mindset

Stress is real. 

Whether it be regarding an upcoming job interview or a fight with a close friend, we’ve all felt it. 

However, while a lot of stress stems from external sources or things that happen to you, there are also a lot of times when our stress may be self-induced. 

When feelings seem to just pop into your head, it’s likely that they were caused by some sort of internal stressor. 

Because internal stressors occur within us, our mindset is the key to avoiding or tackling them head-on. 

Thus, we’ve created a list of possible internal stressors for you to begin recognizing your possible triggers. 

Internal Stressors 

Fear 

One of the main causes of internal stress is fear. 

When we are scared of something, it becomes nearly impossible for us to approach it without stress. We overthink situations and get ourselves worked up before the time comes to even address them. 

While fears can come from direct danger, typically, they stem come from moments in the past or childhood experiences that left a sour taste in our mouths. 

This fear-induced stress can cause us to bail on projects or opportunities before we start them. For example, a fear of public speaking may cause you to lose an opportunity at work. 

Or fear of confrontation may cause you to avoid hashing things out with a friend after a fight.

All of these fears come from inside, however, which means they are able to be shifted. 

Set aside some time to determine what your fears are and where they stem from. Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” 

Being aware of these triggers will prepare you to address them with more confidence and strength. 

Uncertainty  

Have you ever heard of having a fear of the unknown? That uncertainty is another internal factor that can lead to stress. 

“Fear of the unknown” causes our minds to worry about the future and pull at strings in an attempt to find certainty. 

This can trigger a lot of stress as our minds fight to get a better grasp on what is to come. 

For example, if you’re stressed about a job interview, it’s very likely due to the fact that you don’t know what questions you will be asked, rather than that you won’t know how to answer them. 

And when we don’t know what’s going to happen, we often start to make up scenarios in our heads to fill the space. 

This can cause a lot of unnecessary stress by getting us worried about things that may not even exist. 

In order to deal with uncertainty, we must learn to let things go and understand that a lot is out of our control. 

Once we gain the understanding things happen the way they are meant to, life and the future will all start to feel a little less scary. 

Attitude / Beliefs 

Believe it or not, your own attitude or beliefs is often the thing causing you the most stress. 

When long-held beliefs of opinions on things are threatened, it’s natural to become worrisome or stressed. 

For example, you may have believed in a leadership figure that turned out to be corrupt. Depending on how strongly you believed in that person and their message, it’s likely your previous belief that will cause your disappointment; rather than their actual behavior. 

Or, if you already hold a negative attitude towards school and exams, you’re much more likely to be stressed when that test comes. 

On the bright side, our beliefs and attitudes can certainly change.  This is possible by opening yourself up to new possibilities and opportunities to learn. 

The more you are able to hear new opinions, the easier it will be to adjust the beliefs of the one currently have. 

Find others who have positive attitudes about things you might find dreadful. The key here is listening with an open mind. 

As you begin to recognize these internal stressors, it’s important to remember that all changes take time. 

While it might feel impossible to rid of your stress today, you’ll likely be surprised at what the right amount of effort and consistency can do. 

Take your time and really think through the way you’ve created the mindset you have. Only then, with recognition, will the changes come naturally. 

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