Many of us perceive stress as unhealthy, but stress isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. Stress can be healthy when avoiding an accident or meeting a tight deadline. We all feel stressed at times, but each person fights stress in different ways. It’s important to understand what kind of stress you are dealing with, and in some cases, use it to your advantage.
Stress should be temporary. After a short amount of time, your body should return from its fight-or-flight moment without any lasting negative effects. On the other hand, more frequent prolonged tension can be mentally and physically harmful. It is not possible to eliminate anxiety completely, but we can learn how to manage stress when it is unavoidable. There are different types–acute, episodic acute, and chronic. It is important to know what kind you are dealing with in order to know if it is hindering your health.
Acute stress happens to everyone. It is our body’s immediate response to a new or challenging situation. It is the type of pressure you might feel when having too much to do in a short amount of time. Although, this type of stress can also come out of something you enjoy, for example getting on a rollercoaster. Acute stress does not normally do any harm.
This type of strain is similar to acute but more frequent. This kind might happen if you are anxious or worrisome often. You may feel as if your life is chaotic and you go from one crisis to the next. This type of pressure can affect your physical and mental well-being. When undergoing episodic acute stress, practicing breathing techniques or mindfulness will be beneficial and possibly reduce the frequency.
When you have high-stress levels for a very long extended period of time, you are experiencing chronic stress. Long-term pressure has a very negative effect on your health. This type of stress can create anxiety, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, or even a weakened immune system. If you experience this type, it is important to know when it is happening and to find ways to calm yourself down. This type is the most harmful to our bodies!
Know Your Stress. Don’t Make All Stress the Enemy.
It is good to have acute stress because it keeps us aware of our surroundings and serves as a survival mechanism. For more insights, here is a Ted Talk about making stress your friend: