One must remember that stress can bring out the best or the worst in you during a certain situation. It means that not all types of stress are bad, but too much and too frequent stress can bring about a myriad of disadvantages. Stress must be coped with and managed because it is but a part of life. So, in order to manage it, you need to understand the concept of stress.
What is Stress?
Stress is the body’s reaction to a certain event. It can hype up a person. Hormones inside the body are acting to cause a surge in energy, increased brain productivity, and elevated heart rate. The need to find a solution or the drive to fix the problem is fueled by the stress.
Is Stress Bad?
Day to day events which involve work and life situations can pressure us a bit and that’s not a bad thing. It becomes bad when stress overcomes the person and keeps him from functioning properly because of it. Stress must not overwhelm any person – the person must overcome stress.
Stress is subjective and what may be stressful for you is not stressful to another person. It’s not always the same for everyone, but the coping mechanisms for stress are pretty similar between the three types of stress.
Rhonda Williams, Ed.D., LPC, NCC said ” Personal counseling, nurturing your own emotional self, evaluating personal relationships, engaging in stress management and positive recreational activities offers value in burnout prevention as well.”
Three Types of Stress
There are three types of stress – Acute Stress, Episodic Acute Stress, and Chronic Stress.
Acute Stress is very common and is perhaps the “normal” type of stress. In work, when there is a new task or challenge, you might experience acute stress until you’ll get used to it and it won’t be stressful for you anymore. In school, when there is an upcoming test or when a project needs to be finished, you will probably experience acute stress until it is done and completed. After that, you will be floating on air with relief.
Fighting with a loved one, getting physically hurt, or making a mistake – all these situations can trigger acute stress. Again, this is not negative because all of those events that have triggered your stress are part of life – the ups and downs that go with it. It is not something long-term since acute stress is a temporary thing. When it is resolved, the stress is lifted from you.
There are also times when acute stress can be good for you because, in stressful events, the body and the mind work together to develop the best response for the situation. If in the future, the same stressful event happens, the person won’t feel that anxious anymore. He will know what to do and how to respond to it without experiencing acute stress.
But if acute stress becomes severe, this can pose mental health issues that can affect one’s physical health, as well.
Episodic Acute Stress is acute stress that habitually ensues. Individuals who are under episodic acute stress are most of the time hot-headed, easily irritated, have short temper, and are often apprehensive. They only see what is negative, they worry a lot, and they are natural pessimists. This is a bad type of stress because people with EAS have accepted that stress IS their life. It can create many kinds of physical health illnesses if it is not managed properly.
Chronic Stress is a type of stress that cannot be settled immediately. It can persist for a very long time and it doesn’t just go away. This makes matters worst for you. Family problems can very well trigger chronic stress. Poverty and an estranged marriage are also samples that bring about this type of stress. This is really bad for it can cause depression, suicide thoughts, and attempts, cardiovascular diseases like stroke or heart attack, cancer, and many more.
But it is never too late. There is still hope and a chance to improve your stress-induced life. Chronic stress may seem irreversible but there are some very effective ways to cope with it.
Speaking With a Therapist Can Reduce Stress
One of the many ways to cope and battle stress is by speaking with a counselor or a therapist. You have to realize that talking helps and that these experts have programs or step-by-step guides on how a person can manage his/her stress disorder. Above all, pray for guidance from the Almighty. Take a break from the stress that you are in and try to find yourself amidst the chaos in your mind. It will be very hard, but you need to do it for yourself and for your loved ones.
Learn how to become mindful at all times. According to Jeremy Savage, LPC, “The easiest and most common focal point is using the breath, because it’s something that is always with us.”
Tip: Increased resiliency can improve someone’s life by enabling them to move through transitional phases or stressful situations with greater ease. —Laurie Leinwand, MA, LPC