Understanding the type of stress that you are going through can help you know how to manage it. Stress is how your body responds to various situations. We all respond differently to things, which is why when one thing stresses you, it might not stress another. For instance, being married can be stressful to one person. However another person facing similar situations in marriage might not be stressed about it.
Note that stress can be either good or bad. The good stress is the one that makes you keep pursuing your dreams. The bad stress is one that affects your mental, emotional, spiritual and wellbeing. Harmful stress can arise from events such as diseases, the love of a loved one, loss of employment, loneliness, rejection and failure among others. During such times, you need to seek counseling from professionals or even talk to a close friend.
When you have stress, the body produces chemicals and hormones, which is why at times you might feel overwhelmed and the need to react to the situation. You gain a lot of energy, your heart rate increases and your brains works very fast. Too much stress can be damaging to your health but there are always ways that you can manage it. If you are looking for insights on types of stress, you will definitely find this article very helpful.
What are the types of stress?
There are various types of differential stress which can require different ways of managing them.
1. Acute stress
This is the most common stress type. It can be best described as the immediate reaction that your body gives when you are exposed to a challenging situation. Basically, your fight or flight response is triggered. You could be at the workplace and make a huge mistake. This could cause you acute stress. Usually, this type of stress is not always bad. Your immediate response might be overwhelming but with time, you will get used to the situation and correct it. In fact, you can view acute stress as a way of preparing you on how to react to stressful situations in future. It can be experienced when climbing high places if you are afraid of heights. It is also the kind of stress when someone suddenly scares you unexpectedly or when you are on a rollercoaster. However, too much acute stress can affect your well-being and lead to mental issues such as PTSD.
The main characteristic of acute stress is that it is induced by thoughts. You could be worried about an event that happened in the past or one that will happen in the future.
Below are the signs and symptoms of a person going through acute stress and its effects;
- Emotional distress: the person is always anxious and can be irritated easily.
- Muscular distress: the person suffers from pains in the muscles, joints, back pain, neck pain and ligament problems.
- Stomach and bowel problems such as stomach aches and constipation.
- Increased blood pressure
- Chest pains
- Increased heart beats
- Shortness of breath
Unlike chronic stress, acute stress is easy to manage and treat. This is the type of stress that many people go through on a daily basis. It is not severe but if not treated, it could become intense.
2. Chronic stress
You must purpose to be in a good position to handle acute stress. If it is not corrected well, it can build up leading to chronic stress. Chronic stress is intense and among the different types of negative stress. It is not one that can be dealt with easily like acute stress. This type of stress does not go away. Even if you drink to forget your troubles or get some type of distraction, you will still be exposed to chronic stress.
Chronic stress emanates from life situations such as the lack of employment, poor marriage, rejection by a loved one, dysfunctional family and poverty among others.
If a person experienced a poor upbringing, they can also suffer from this type of stress. Certain events such as being neglected, being orphaned, being raped or ill-treatment can cause resentment in them which can further lead to stress.
Chronic stress can lead to various diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, liver cirrhosis and lung diseases among others. Some people also end up committing suicide because they feel helpless and become hopeless.
Sometimes, it takes some time for a person to notice that they are suffering from chronic stress. It is wise to know when you are going through this type of stress so that you can learn to manage it early. Below are some for the symptoms that indicate you are going through chronic stress.
- Reduced levels of energy: At times, you find it difficult to be active. Waking up sometimes becomes difficult and all you want to do is rest.
- Headache: You can suffer from headaches that are severe. If you take medicine and they are not ending, it could be time you sought help for managing stress.
- Insomnia: If there is a situation that is deeply affecting your mental well-being, then you are likely to lack sleep. Chronic stress keeps you up as you overthink about a lot of issues.
- Unhappiness: If you find that even the things that used to make you happy no longer make you excited, it could be that you have chronic stress. This type of stress makes you sad and sometimes you just find yourself crying.
- Being overwhelmed and restless: Chronic stress makes you feel overwhelmed. This is because you develop anxiety and sometimes you can have panic attacks.
- Anger and irritability: You are likely to get irritated and angry at small issues.
- Loneliness: If you have chronic illness, you might feel lonely. This comes from the fact that you might not know how to express yourself to others or even maintain a social life.
- Reduced immunity: With this kind of stress, chances are that you are not feeding properly or are leading an unhealthy lifestyle. As such, you become prone colds, infections, diarrhea, constipation and nausea among others.
- Decrease of sexual desire: As chronic stress continues to manifest itself, you might find it difficult to enjoy having sex like you previously did.
Among the various types of stress in organizational behaviour, this is the most severe and must be treated and managed as soon as possible. Carrying these symptoms can be quite difficult for a person and eventually they could die due to mental illness or commit suicide.
3. Episodic acute stress
This is acute stress that occurs repeatedly. A person can suffer from episodic acute stress especially if they are short tempered or small issues make them worried really quickly. People going through a crisis can have episodes of acute stress. Also people who have several responsibilities and find it hard to fulfill the time demands can have episodic acute stress.
Even though this type of stress is not as severe as chronic stress, it can harden the life of a person. If you are always attacked by stress, then you might not be in a position to go about your life uninterruptedly.
The main problem about episodic acute stress is that due to the frequent attacks, people tend to accommodate stress as part of their lives. This is wrong as it makes one to angered easily and always anxious.
Notably there two types of personalities that are mainly affected by episodic acute stress. There is the Type A Personality and there is the Worrier.
Type A Personality
This is a type of person that is competitive, aggressive, impatient and always wants to complete all the activities in a hurry. This type of a person is also very insecure. They also exhibit characteristics of hostility. With these types of characteristics a person is bound to suffer from repeated episodes of acute stress.
This is a person who always has negative thoughts about a situation. They are always worried about an event failing in the future. The thought of past events also makes them to become pessimistic in nature. Such a person views the world as very unrewarding. They create the notion that even though they try their best, nothing positive can come out of their hard work. The view that the world is a dangerous and awful place makes them to be overwhelmed, sad and always anxious. Such a person is bound to experience episodic acute attack. Often, they are diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
Episodic acute stress has similar effects as acute stress but due to the repeated occurrence of the stress, ongoing damage takes place. The following are the effects of episodic acute stress;
- Overwhelmed and anxious feeling: The person can become easily angered and irritable.
- Poor concentration. Due to worrying and overthinking, a person can be easily distracted. They become unable to pay attention to things. Accomplishing tasks becomes difficult.
- Deterioration of relationships with others. A person who is always anxious might find it hard to maintain proper social relationships with others.
- Insomnia and shortness of breath. When overwhelmed and worried, a person can barely get sleep.
- Deterioration of immune health: A person who is always worried about the future leads an unhealthy lifestyle. The overthinking affects the overall immunity of the body.
- High blood pressure, mental fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and heart disease.
Treating and managing stress
Without any doubt stress can cause the death of a person either through illness or by them committing suicide. Acute stress is something that a person can handle on their won. However, chronic tress requires a different approach towards treating and managing. Notably, many people that are suffering stress do not realize that they need stress. Some of them are used to negative thoughts and hopelessness such that they fail to recognize the essence of seeking help.
Here are some of the ways that a person can manage and treat stress;
- Take good care of yourself. This involves the manner in which you think about yourself. Think positively about yourself. If you are a Christian, you might find comfort in knowing that you are a child of God and He loves you. You can even reward yourself for accomplishing a task or overcoming a challenge.
- Connect with other people. If you are stressed, you will feel lonely because connecting with other people becomes difficult. However, it would do you great if you went out and talk to strangers and made new friends. Even though they might not understand your situation, at least you get to learn that they are also fighting huge battles as well.
- Talk to people you trust about your struggle. If you do not let out what you are feeling to another person, you are likely to bottle up a lot of anxiousness that can eventually kill you. Find a close friend or a family member and tell them how you feel.
- Leave what is making you feel stressed. If it is an unhealthy relationship, a bad job or a bad marriage that is causing you stress, leave it. This is a very hard decision to make. However, it would do you more harm than good to continue staying in a situation that is draining you mentally.
- Seek professional help. Not every person you talk to might understand your situation. Your friend, parent, brother or sister might not know how to best help you. Therefore, look for a counselor to help you through the situation. A counselor is in a better position to determine the best way that you can pull through the rough situation.
- Eat healthy and exercise. Ensure to eat healthy foods. Exercising also helps to let go of the stress that you are going through.
The different types of stress measurement determine how severe the stress is. Any type of stress can be prevented by avoiding situations that cause us harm. Also having positive thoughts helps in the healing process. Do not over-think things. We only have this life and the best way to live is by planning and worrying less.
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content including text, graphics, images, and information contained on or available through this page is for general information purposes only.
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