Control/Responsibility If you do not have (or assert) an amount of control over a situation which is adequate for the amount of responsibility you have, or perceive you have, then stress will develop. For example, if your employer tells you it's your responsibility to produce a first-class sales brochure, but doesn't give you control over the budget or content of that brochure, you will probably experience stress.
Competition The need to compete is common in our society. We learn it in the classroom, and carry it into our work site. It's natural. But no one can win all the time. That's why a person who strives to win at any cost may develop exstress*.
Task Orientation with Perfection If you have a strong goal or task orientation and you need to complete the task in a perfect or near perfect manner, you may experience stress. No one is perfect all the time.
Change We live in a time when change is part of our daily lives. However, when life changes are occurring faster than we can adjust to them, exstress is generated. Some changes may force us to see ourselves in different ways and we need to be flexible enough to change with the flow of events. For example, in retirement, a person not only loses a job, he or she also loses the identity gained from the job. A person needs to be flexible to adapt to new identities to avoid additional stress.
Symptomatology Many highly-stressed persons experience frequent sleeplessness, irritability, and depression. These symptoms are warning signals to check your level of stress. Others have medical conditions that in and of themselves create greater stress. For example, fears related to having a second heart attack are a constant source of stress for some.
Time When a person has too many actual or perceived tasks for the amount of time available, the person usually experiences heightened stress and a "hurry sickness" may develop.
* - Exstress is the stress overload produced by our extensive responsibilities and life situations and our loss of control over them.