4 ways modern life causes stress

4 ways modern life causes stress

02 November | Daniel Hollyman

4 ways modern life causes stress (Image)

Between work and social interactions, stress is on the rise, and is threatening to become the defining illness of our generation. According to a Mental Health Foundation survey*, 74% of UK adults have been so stressed at some point that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. When it becomes overwhelming, stress can start affecting your mental and physical health. To better manage it, it’s key to understand what causes stress and the impact of modern life on your mental health. Here are 4 ways modern life causes stress.

1) We are constantly connected

The internet is a gift, but it’s also a curse. While it helps us feel closer to our loved ones, being constantly online is bad for our mental health. From unachievable standards of beauty, lifestyle and productivity on social media to never-ending sollicitations from work and friends, there are many ways being online can cause stress. To assess if technology is the source of your stress, ask yourself the following questions:
● Is checking your phone the last thing you do before bed, and the first when you wake up?
● Do you read and answer your emails after work hours?
● Do you prioritise reading and answering your messages over your real-life activities?

If you answered yes to one or several of these questions, technology might be the source of your stress. Why not try a digital detox?

2) We have too much on our plate

It’s no wonder modern life has become a synonym for stress. With modern life, we’re trying to do too much, too fast. As technology improves, standards of productivity are rising and it’s becoming increasingly common for people to add a “6 to 11” to their 9 to 5 to work on a passion project. Add social interactions, family time, travel and exercising and you’re in for an overwhelming program! It’s essential to remind yourself that you’re only human and you can’t do everything at once - even if people on social media seem to manage it. Prioritise what really matters to you so you live a happy and fulfilling life.

3) We are not exercising enough

The lack of exercise can make you feel restless and lead to increased stress levels. Physical activities such as walking and running are a key stress-release mechanism, but with the rise of office jobs, we are often lacking the time and opportunity to exercise. Whether you’re working from home or from an office, taking the time to stand up and go for a quick walk is often a great solution when feeling stressed.

4) We are affected by pollution

We need more fresh air! With many of us living in big cities, pollution affects both our physical and mental health, causing stress and anxiety. A big city is a stressful environment in itself, not just because of air pollution but also noise and visual pollution. According to a 2019 study on air pollution* , air pollutants have themselves been found to be associated with increased perceived stress. Remember to take some time to escape from this stressful environment and reconnect with nature every now and then.

Now you know what causes stress, check out our 10 tips to relax and destress here.

Sources: * Mental Health Foundation, 2018* Thomson EM. Air Pollution, Stress, and Allostatic Load: Linking Systemic and Central Nervous System Impacts. J Alzheimers Dis. 2019;69(3):597-614. doi:10.3233/JAD-190015