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What Are The Different Types Of Stress?

by | Jun 21, 2022 | Stress

Stress is a very common reaction to both internal and external challenges. Rare is the adult who does not experience some form of stress at least once a week. Therefore, the important questions are: What type of stress are you experiencing, how does it affect you, and how long does it stick around?

In this post, Select Psychology delves into the different types of stress and whether or not you are experiencing one or more of them. We’ll also look at how stress is treated, as there are ways to limit and minimise this feeling. Keep reading to find out more.

How Many Different Types Of Stress Are There?

While there are many types of stress, psychological research has shown that these can be divided into three primary types. These are:

  • Acute stress
  • Episodic stress
  • Chronic stress

What Is Acute Stress?

Acute stress is a severe or intense reaction to a challenging situation. This is a short-term type of stress that is triggered by an outside event. The trigger can be something relatively small like an approaching deadline at work or school, or a traumatic event, such as a car accident.

Since this type of stress is short-term, the body and emotions generally return to normality relatively soon. In extreme cases, this may take several days or even a few weeks. But typically symptoms of acute stress develop quickly as the body reacts to the situation, and then they die down again once the situation has passed.

What Is Episodic Stress?

Episodic stress, or episodic acute stress, occurs when an individual regularly experiences acute stress. Often experienced by professionals who work in high-stress environments, this stress can develop when one is constantly under periodic pressure. 

With this type of stress, individuals don’t often get a chance to return to their calm and relaxed state. This high-frequency acute stress makes it feel like you’re going from one emergency to another, making it increasingly difficult to relax.


What Is Chronic Stress?

Chronic stress, as the name suggests, is a form of stress that feels and is constant and inescapable. People who experience this stress feel constantly overwhelmed and pressured, and it can affect their daily lives in a number of ways.

Possible causes for this consistent stress include situations of severe discomfort in your home life such as feeling unsafe at home or living beneath the bread-line. Because chronic stress drains your psychological resources, it should be treated before it damages your body and mind.


What Type Of Stress Do I Have?

Stress is prevalent in our modern society. In the last couple of years we’ve rolled from global pandemics, to conflict between countries and into a cost of living crisis; with just one of these issues being enough to induce a depth of stress.

To enable you to understand the type of stress that you have, we encourage you to ask yourself;
– how often do I experience feelings of stress and pressure?
– do the feelings of stress and pressure revolve around things I can’t control?
– do the feelings of stress and pressure subside?
– what causes the feelings of stress and pressure to subside?

If you believe that the answers to these questions would put you within the categories of episodic and / or chronic stress then therapy should most certainly be a consideration; and we can certainly help you to manage these stresses and pressures to enable you to deal with them better. 


How Is Stress Treated?

Thankfully, there are several ways to treat stress, from therapy to eating well. Your body and mind have plenty of ways to heal, so you can find options to suit you and your lifestyle. Here are the main ways to treat stress:

  • Try therapy or coaching
  • Exercise regularly, even if just for a walk
  • Exercise mindfulness and gratefulness
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Enjoy nature and spend time with animals
  • Eat healthily
  • Get enough sleep

 

Most importantly, if you are experiencing episodic or chronic stress, do not wait until you feel like there is no escape. Get help sooner rather than later, so that you can continue to live a healthy, satisfying life. If you need help or are unsure about what you are experiencing, contact us today or book a free consultation. We will be very happy to help you reach your full potential.