The three primary causes of stress include:
Work-related stress. According to the American Institute of Stress, workplace stress is the top cause of stress for adults in the U.S. Work stressors include being unhappy at work, heavy workload, long working hours, low pay, and discrimination or harassment at work.
Traumatic events and significant life changes. Life changes, whether good or bad, is also another cause of stress. An example of a positive life event that can cause stress is a sudden acquisition of wealth, which throws you into a different lifestyle you may not be prepared for. Adverse events that can result in stress are chronic illnesses, loss of a job, death of a loved one, and catastrophic events.
Emotional problems coming from within. The third types of stressors are those that come from within. They include prolonged low self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness and guilt. Stress can also stem from personal fears, a negative attitude, and unmet expectations.