Kinds Of Stress
Awareness: the key to understanding
There are basically three different types of stress, acute stress episodic acute stress, and chronic stress, each with its own characteristics and symptoms.
Being aware of what kind of stress you experience is the first step to dealing with it.
This is the kind of stress that is most prevalent today, coming from current and recent pressures as well as anticipated pressures of the immediate future. Acute stress is not really that threatening.
For instance, if you broke a plate while washing the dishes, you experience the stress of being scolded by a family member, but eventually the hurt dissipates as both of you forget the incident and go on with the chores of daily life.
But if you overreact on such short-term stress, it can lead to psychological distress, tension headaches, upset stomach, and other symptoms that in reality are not called for at all.
The good thing about acute stress apart from it being non-threatening is the fact that it regularly happens in live and thus should be expected.
It’s a veritable list of what has gone wrong in our lives: the car accident that crumpled the hood, the loss of an important contract, a deadline we’re rushing to meet, our child’s occasional problems with others, and so on and so forth.
Because this kind of stress is expected, we should know by now how to react and respond to it. And because it’s short-term, acute stress doesn’t bring the kind of damage associated with long-term stress.
You are experiencing acute stress when you experience:
- Emotional distress – this is a combination of the three primary stress-related emotions, namely, anger or irritability, anxiety and depression
- Physical irritations – particularly in the muscular areas, you have symptoms of headache, back pain, jaw pain, even pulled muscles and tendon and ligament problems. You also experience stomach, gut and bowel problems such as heartburn, hyperacidity, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Psychologically-induced symptoms – this is marked by elevation in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, migraines, cold hands or feet, shortness of breath, and chest pain.
A REAL LAUGHING MATTER People who love to laugh, have a good sense of humor and a cheerful disposition are less likely to develop heart complications compared to people who possess anti-social personalities. Combat stressful situations with your ability to laugh. Humor is definitely good for your heart.
Despite these symptoms, just remember that acute stress is normal and there’s no need to worry too much about it.
Episodic Acute Stress
There are people who suffer acute stress frequently and they always go through different kinds of crisis. Their motto seems to be “if something can go wrong, it does.”
They seemingly take on too much, have too many problems to face, and can’t seem to organize the succession of challenges and pressures they keep on encountering.
These people seem to be never free from acute stress.
A distinctive characteristic of episodic acute stress is ceaseless worrying. People who suffer from this seem to see disaster or misfortune all the time tends to predict the worst in every situation. They are the ones who create stress in their lives.
How do you know if you have episodic acute stress? If you have a regularity of headaches, migraines, hypertension, chest pain, and even heart disease, then you’re a likely candidate.
Constant worrying creates these symptoms; an episodic acute stress type of person becomes the pessimist he or she is because he or she dwells on problems too much.
It also becomes a habit to blame their woes on other people and events beyond their control.
CREATIVITY CAN SPRING FROM STRESS
The great Renaissance painter Michelangelo had a stormy relationship with his client, Pope Julius II. The cranky pontiff kept on criticizing the artist’s work.
Under strain from the pope, Michelangelo decided to show what he could achieve. Thus came about the Sistine Chapel frescoes with its depiction of God creating Adam, one of humanity’s greatest works of art.
Chronic stress is something that has increasingly occurred due to the tensions of modern living. This is the most severe form of stress that basically erodes many people’s confidence, self-esteem, optimism and even their will to live.
Chronic stress can damage bodies, minds and lives.
What are the triggers of chronic stress? It could be a series of traumas, poverty, family problems, unhappy marriage or job and career misfortunes.
Chronic stress comes when a person thinks his or her life is hopeless and there’s no way out. With no hope seemingly in sight, the person gives up his or her quest for solutions. A tragedy, isn’t it?
Some forms of chronic stress are based on traumatic experiences that are hard to erase and remain forever painful and poignant for the people who experienced them. Some of these experiences can directly affect personality.
Chronic stress can lead to acts of violence, heart attack, stroke, and even premature death. People slide down to a final, fatal breakdown.
Chronic stress may be difficult to deal with and may require medical treatment along with stress management, but still, it is curable and much can be learned in life through it.
WHAT ABOUT DEPRESSION?
Stress With A Capital “S”
Have you ever been depressed? Virtually everybody has undergone through some kind of depression.
Health authorities technically define depression as a mental state characterized by a marked sense of inadequacy and a tendency to avoid activity. Depression is actually stress in its most extreme form.
When you go through a stressful situation that affects your mind and heart deeply to the point that its effect lingers for a long time, then you actually experience depression.
It could be heightened feelings of loneliness after the death of a loved one. It could be the trauma of being divorced by a spouse. Or it could be the extended frustration of an unfulfilled major goal.
What Are The Symptoms?
- A depressed mood on a regular or daily basis
- Pronounced irritability
- Perpetual worrying
- Considerable weight and appetite changes
- Diminished interest or participation in activities
- Feeling worthless, guilty or miserable
- Chronic insomnia
- Getting easily tired or fatigued
- Being easily distracted
- Becoming indecisive and confused
- Chronic feelings of tragedy or thoughts of death
No matter how some people try to hide it, depression’s effects on the body are always evident. The reduced weight, the furrowed forehead, the glazed eyes, the awkward poise when standing or sitting—all these make a person look older than he or she really is.
What can we do about depression? The answers all boil down to how we deal with stress.