Be Healthy Information

Stress Triggers and Strategies

Many things can cause stress: the world around you, people and events, your body, and even your thoughts. In short, any change that you must adapt to can be a stress trigger. But once you pinpoint your stress triggers, you can plan ways to deal with them. You can learn to curb stress and manage it in a healthier way. 

Internal stress 

There are 2 main types of stress triggers: internal and external. Internal triggers happen inside your body or mind. They include how you feel, what you think, and how healthy and well your body is. Common internal stress triggers can be:  

  • Hunger 
  • Fatigue 
  • Illness or pain 
  • Anger or frustration 
  • Anxiety  

External triggers 

External triggers happen outside your body or mind. They include conditions in the world around you, dealings with people, and events in your life. Common external triggers may be:  

  • Weather, noise, or traffic  
  • Job issues  
  • Money problems 
  • Issues with family or coworkers 
  • Illness or the death of someone close 

Dealing with triggers 

The first step in managing stress is to pinpoint what’s causing it. Think back to the last time you felt stressed. Can you recall what was going on at that moment?  

Once you’ve identified a trigger, try to think of some healthy strategies for managing it. For example, you might: 

  • Exercise to de-stress. Jogging, swimming, bicycling, basketball, tennis, and kickboxing are just a few healthy ways to defuse when you’re feeling stressed. 
  • Try deep breathing, meditation, guided imagery, or massage 
  • Write your thoughts in a journal 
  • Engage in a hobby you love 

What other strategies could you use to ease your stress? 

Not all stress is bad stress 

Finally, keep in mind that some stress is unavoidable. And, a little bit may be healthy. The right amount and right kind of stress can help you perform at your best.  

To keep your stress level optimal, try to maintain healthy habits. Get regular exercise, eat right, and get enough sleep. And when stress starts to rise too much, be sure to use one or more of your favorite stress management strategies to bring it back down.  

View Credits
Primary Author: Amanda Cavallari, MA
Clinical Reviewer: Elizabeth Thompson, MPH, RD
Final Review and Approval by Elizabeth Thompson, MPH, RD
--> Date of Annual Review:03/29/2023
Healthyroads' Editorial Staff follow a quality assurance process to help promote each article’s accuracy:
  • A health expert provides input on topic.
  • Scientific evidence from widely accepted health texts, peer-reviewed journals, and other reliable sources is consulted.
  • Final article is reviewed and approved by a health professional.
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