When you hear the word ‘stress,’ do you immediately associate it with negative feelings?
It might surprise you to know that not all stress is bad. When you’re in a life-threatening situation, stress signals your body to fight or flee. Some people can also use stressful situations as motivation, for example, when taking a test or interviewing for a job.
If you find it challenging to deal with stressors in your life, it helps to know more about the different types of stress and how to manage them.
That being said, let’s talk about the three kinds of stress, plus advice on handling them and where to get help.
- Acute Stress
When someone says, “Everyone feels stressed from time to time,” they’re referring to acute stress.
Let’s say you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming event or you’ve recently had an argument with someone. These episodes may not happen often, but they could leave your heart racing and even raise your blood pressure. Other acute stress symptoms include anxiety, headaches, and stomach pain.
The good news is, with some relaxation techniques, you can recover from acute stress quickly. Try breathing exercises or mini-meditation sessions the next time someone or something makes you anxious.
- Episodic Acute Stress
When you experience acute stress more often and feel you’re in a constant state of tension, it can turn into a pattern that could impact your work and relationships. An example of this is when you always have to deal with crises at work. Maybe there’s one deadline after another, or you’re dealing with demanding clients all the time.
No matter what causes stress to build up in your routine, you can expect emotional, cognitive, and muscular distress to follow if you don’t take steps to address it. The increased stress can also lead to a weaker immune system, meaning you might be prone to frequent colds, allergies, etc.
Plus, if you turn to unhealthy coping strategies such as drinking or overeating, you’re putting yourself at risk for heart diseases, clinical depression, and so on. The best way to manage episodic acute stress is to seek treatment from a professional.
- Chronic Stress
Of the different types of stress, chronic stress is the most harmful. Here, the demands are unrelenting and can irreversibly damage one’s physical and mental health.
Chronic stress causes include repeated abuse in any form, traumatic experiences from poverty, war, racism, etc. Individuals living with this type of stress need the help of a licensed clinical psychiatrist.
Without professional intervention, they may experience a physical and mental breakdown, resulting in suicide, harmful behaviors, psychosis, strokes, and so on.
Need More Info About the Different Types of Stress?
Now that you know more about the types of stress, do you need to see a professional?
If you need more advice about dealing with stress, there are tons of resources online. You can also check our other posts for tips and additional health-related info.
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