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Stressor Definition | Unwrap

What Is Stressor?

stressor definition

Thank you so much for the overwhelming response to my last article.  It's good to play the video game for a few hours a week. 

As the title of this post depicts, we will talk about stressors and its impact on our day to day life.


  • Stressor Definition.
  • Type Of Stressors.
  • Example Of Stressors.
  • Conclusion.

Stressor Definition:

what are stressors

A stressor can be defined as a chemical or biological agent, external stimulus or environmental condition that cause or initiate stress in a living organism.
The problem with stressor is that it has physical, chemical, and mental response inside the body.
Each type of stressor affects the body in an entirely different way. The effect of stressor in most of the cases is negative and thus stressors aren't good for physical and mental health.

Before we discuss stressor, let me tell you the difference between stress and stressor.

Stress is a feeling or psychological effect that your body and mind experience when you are exposed to some stressful situation. Depending upon the intensity of stress, cortisol will be produced in the body. Sometimes mild stress is definitely good for your success or growth but prolonged exposure to chronic exposure can lead to many complications.

An extreme level of stress can cripple your decision making capability.

A stressor is different from stress. The most common cause of stress is found to be money and work.

When it comes to defining stressor, it's very simple. The stressors are the things that cause stress.

In layman language, stress is your personal reaction to the stressors.

As per the findings, it has been found that 20 minutes of meditation on a regular basis can help you reduce cortisol level aka "stress hormone" by 30 percent.

A stressor is a relative term. It is quite possible that your response to stressor will be different from mine. For example, waking up early in the morning can be a stressor to me but it may not be for you.

Some of the most common stressors can be a heavy workload, long working hours, relationship problems, financial problems, and family problems.

Critical events also act as stressors which can't be avoided. These stressors can have a long-term impact on an individual psychological and physical condition.

Most of us think the common or most talked about stressors as the main culprit for the stressful situation in their life.

On the other hand, positive moments in life can also act as a stressor. Even a lifetime moment like marriage can act as a stressor.

Sometimes love marriage or inter-caste marriage can be a source of chronic stress due to the opposition of family members.

There can be a long list of stressors that can cause stress to you. We have come up with a long list of stressors. Each stressor is allocated certain points. You can calculate your level of stress by adding the points against the stressors from the list that is a source of stress for you.

list of stressors

list of stressor

Steps to calculate your stress level.

  • First and foremost thing is to shortlist the stressors from the list.
  • Now, add points against these stressors.
  • Check the output for your total sum.

A score greater than 300: At the risk of illness.
A score between 150 and 300: Moderate risk of illness ( A reduction of 30 percent from above level)
A score of 150 or less: Slight risk of illness.


Before we move to the next topic, let's have a look at the handpicked articles.

What are the stressors for teenagers?

Teenage is a very important part of anyone's life. There is a lot of change in life. We are listing some of those stressors that is very common among teenagers.

  • Family Stressors
  • Sexual Stressors.
  • Social Stressors.
  • Violence Stressors.
  • Substance Abuse.
  • Medical Illness.
  • Psychiatric Stressors.

Studies suggest that 90 percent of the teenagers who do suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric illness.

The worst part is not even half of these victims have ever been either diagnosed or treated for the mental illness.

Studies also suggest that half of the people who commit suicide are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of their death.

A family history of suicide or mental illness increases the risk of the psychiatric problem in teenagers.

What are the different types of stressors?

  • Eustress vs Distress
  • Acute time-limited.
  • Brief naturalistic.
  • Chronic.
  • Distant.
  • Stressful events sequences.

Eustress can be defined as "positive stress". Generally, eustress is short-termed. It gives you a feeling of positivity, excitement, motivation, and focus energy. These positive qualities thus help you in improving the performance.

Distress can be defined as "negative stress". Generally, it is perceived as outside your coping capabilities and the worst part is it can be a long-term stress and may lead to anxiety, depression or chronic stress. It may decrease your performance.

Many people think that stressors are always related to the external environment or some external factor but this is NOT correct.

It has been found that many a time, internal feelings, thoughts or habitual behaviors can be stressor trigger.

Some of the common reasons for the habitual behavior patterns that can lead to distress are overscheduling, procrastination, and most importantly failing to be assertive.

Some of the common reasons for the internal distress can be repetitive thought patterns, fears, wearing about future events, and most importantly unrealistic expectation from yourself.

Work and Internal Source Of Distress may include but NOT limited to Job insecurity, unproductive and time-consuming meetings, lack of training necessary to do the job, making a presentation in front of colleagues or clients, conflict with teammates and supervisors.

At the same time, positive personal stressors include but NOT limited to starting a job, marriage, buying a home, having a child, taking a vacation, taking an educational class or learning a new hobby.

Acute-time limited: These kind of stressors are generally artificially created ones and mostly used for the lab purpose. An individual is exposed to a certain condition which can stimulus anxiety, stress, depression etc. The stressor sparks an intense stress but for a limited time to record an illicit response.

Brief Naturalistic Stressors: These stressors are the ones that occur naturally in your environment such as giving a job interview or taking a test etc.

These stressors last for only the time till you are under the stressful situation. For example, after the job interview which is considered here as a stressful situation, you will be normal.

Chronic Stressor: Chronic stressors are the ones which can affect your life in the long run. For example, if you become disabled then you will have to change your lifestyle in a way that you can accommodate your disabilities.

Distant Stressors: These are the stressors mostly associated with the critical events. These stressors can negatively impact your present and  future life because of some critical event that happened in the past. The memory of the critical event can lead to emotional and cognitive issues.

Some of them are as follows:

  • Loss of loved ones.
  • War prisoner.
  • Child abuse.
  • War trauma.

Stressful Events Sequences: These kinds of stressors are related to critical events in conjugation. For example, suppose you are a victim of a natural disaster and you in conjugation you have to deal with the loss of your loved ones. This is indeed a very difficult situation and at times coping with stressful events sequences can have a long-term impact on an individual psychological condition.

Conclusion: I hope you would have got a fair idea about stressors and its impact on an individual's day-to-day life. Please let us know in the comment section in case you think we have missed some points.


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