There are three basic kinds of stress which we face in our daily lives and they affect us in different ways. Here's how they act.
Stress is your body's response to events, thoughts, or idea which are disconcerting and not amicable. It is the feeling of disturbance which grips a person and it is quite subjective in nature. People, therefore, feel it differently and have different response towards it.
Stress, however, has been much maligned and not all kinds of stress are bad for the body. It is observed that a moderate amount of stress actually adds to the efficiency of a person and can help increase their alertness levels. This is the kind of positive stress which stimulates a person to perform.
But it is the negative stress, the one that engulfs a person in negativity, that causes concern and can lead to deep issues. The consequences could manifest both physically and emotionally, thereby making a person feel trapped and helpless.
These negative stresses, therefore, belong to three broad categories and they act differently from each other. They have different consequences for us and they need to be tackled differently as well. It is, hence, important to know and understand the differences between them. The three broad categories of stress as defined by American Psychological Association are:
Acute stress is felt by almost all of us on a daily basis. It is the most common type of stress and it is usually induced as a result of certain changes in our environments or due to the emergence of certain instances which make us react negatively.
Acute stress cannot be termed completely bad either as it is exhilarating and stimulating in some forms. A roller-coaster ride, for example, also creates a kind of acute stress but in a way which is not really threatening for our health.
Acute stress, however, starts becoming dangerous when it starts progressing in intensity and the frequency with which it appears. Our minds and bodies are usually accustomed to these kinds of stress and know how to react but as they progress, we start reacting negatively.
The acute stress disorder is one of the long-term consequence of the stress and it becomes a health issue when your body and your mind do not deal with them with the same efficiency as they earlier did.
Episodic acute stress is a prolonged period of experiencing acute stress and it can have quite a negative consequence for a person's personality. Episodic acute stress occurs quite frequently and remains for a longer period of time exerting greater pressure on the person.
Over-arousal is one of the most prominent effects of this stress, and people under this stress are often frustrated, irritable, nervous, and on the verge of anxiety. They carry a lot of nervous energy with them and may remain on the brink of panic for long durations.
They are quite often worried about a lot of things and even the most trivial things may trigger their nervousness. They may get aggressive, impatient, and also extremely competitive under this stress and strain themselves and their mental faculties to an improper extent.
Persistent tension headaches, migraines, hypertension, chest pain and heart disease etc. are some of the observed consequences of episodic acute stress and a significant part of this could also be traced to the lifestyle-related practices which aggravate the condition.
Chronic stress can be one of the most agonizing forms of stress and it eats up a person day after day, gradually but steadily until they feel helpless, trapped, and completely lost in their pain. It wears out people to the point that they get desperate.
Imagine the stress of lifelong poverty, imagine the stress of living in a dysfunctional family where each day is hell, and imagine the stress of being trapped in an unhappy marriage and not being able to get out of it. These are the kinds of things which constitute chronic stress.
It is believed that the worst aspect of this stress is not the strain that it puts on us but the fact that we get used to it with time. It gives us a new normal. Our bodies and minds start living at new stress levels rather than confronting and dealing with it.
Needless to say, the effects of this stress could be all-consuming and soul-sucking. Suicide, violence, heart attack, stroke, and even cancer are some of the ways in which the stress manifests itself over time and hence, needs to be dealt with absolute firmness and urgency.
Note: The article is not meant to give any medical advice and if you are undergoing stress then you may need to consult your doctor for further help.