Internal & External Causes of Stress

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Stress makes people feel worried, under pressure and at times out of control. Too much stress on your body can cause physical illness as well as nervous system problems. Stress occurs internally (mentally) and in external situations (physical changes, life changes and environments). Dealing and coping with stress is vital to balance your overall mental and physical health while staying worry-free.

Finances and Work Pressures

Worrying about your finances is just one of the many causes of internal stress. Whether you are nervous about bills, late car payments or tuition, it can upset and disrupt your life. Another example of internal stress includes job performance stress. Internal stress can often be triggered by pressure at work, pressure to keep or find a job or conflict in the workplace (which, alternatively, is external stress).

Dramatic Life Changes

Dramatic life changes often trigger stress internally and externally. Some internal dramatic life changes might involve coping with a close friend or a family member's death while an external stress factor in the same situation might stem from planning the funeral or making arrangements yourself. Other dramatic life changes and external stress factors include moving to a new home, relocating to a new school or experiencing unexpected events, such as your teenager becoming a parent.

Negativity and Unrealistic Expectations

Having unrealistic expectations about any topic is a gateway for allowing internal stress to affect your mind. Attempting to believe you will achieve higher than physically possible in any situation will only make you feel let down, causing internal stress of not being "perfect." Also, absorbing negative comments and spreading negativity in opinions and conversation (being pessimistic) will add to internal stress from believing and sharing the negativity.


Fear causes internal stress throughout people's lives each day, in both daily tasks and important decisions. Fear stops people from attempting new hobbies or adventures, but it can also motivate others to overcome it --- getting rid of the internal stress. The fear of speaking in public, poisonous snakes, flying and going to a party are examples of phobias that cause internal stress.

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