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Step 1: Understanding Stress

Types of Stressors

There are many kinds of stressors. What makes a stressor a stressor is our experience of how much demand for adaptation that an event or situation puts upon us. Some stressors are different for different people. Print the download and write down your own examples of different types of stressors.

•  Ripple Effect Stressors: These are stressors that, like a stone thrown into the water, ripple off in response to a change or life event. One occurrence can continue to cause other daily stressors. Example: Divorce. What’s your example?

•  Chronic Stressors: These are long-term stressful situations that have no resolution in sight. Example: Constant deadlines, overcrowded working conditions. What’s your Example?

•  Acute Stressors: These are short-term stressful situations that will soon be resolved. Example: Car runs out of gas; short term illness. What’s your example?

•  Not Knowing Stressors: These stressors are due to not knowing the who, what, when, where, or how of a situation. Example: Traveling in an unfamiliar city; being new on the job or project. What’s your example?

•  Personal or Non-Personal Stressors: These stressors are caused by things that cannot be controlled. Example: Being stuck in snowstorm. What’s your example?

•  Trigger Stressors: These are reminders of past stress that produce a renewed stress response. Example: Watching workmen on a tall building reminds you of your fear of heights. What’s your Example?

•  Daily Hassles: Those minor annoyances that happen daily can add up to become a big part of your stress load. Example: Concern about health, weight, or fitness; money; wasting time; being lonely; anxiety about performance. What’s your example?

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