By: Deric Wong
What is stress?
Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand or threat (Segal, 2019). A stressor is a stimulus that causes stress. There are different kinds of stress and not all of them are bad. Everyone experiences stress differently. While a certain level of stress can be motivational for one person, the same level may cause anxiety or concern for another person. A person’s body responds to stress by releasing chemicals and hormones causing increased heart rate, muscle tightening, increased blood pressure, increased senses, and burst of energy (Segal, 2019). Experiencing stress is normal, but too much stress can be harmful. Stress may worsen health conditions for people living with chronic diseases. It is impossible to completely get rid of stress, so it is important to learn how to manage stress.
Types of Stress
Eustress is a positive stress and a healthy kind of stress because it can motivate and inspire us. Eustress is short-term, motivates, and feels exciting.
Examples of Eustress:
Distress is a negative stress and it causes negative implication such as anxiety, fatigue, depression, unhappiness, and other illnesses. Eustress can be short- or long-term, causes anxiety or concern, feels unpleasant, and can lead to mental and physical problems.
Examples of Distress:
Acute stress is short-term stress that usually goes away fairly quickly.
Examples of Acute Stress:
Chronic stress is stress that lasts long-term and results from constantly being exposed to situations that lead to the release of stress hormones. This type of stress can cause many risks and problems to your health.
Examples of Chronic Stress:
Signs and symptoms of too much stress
Experiencing too much stress over time can cause risks and health problems. Stress can cause different types of mental and physical symptoms. Here are some signs and symptoms of too much stress:
Managing your stress
- Understand how you stress. Everyone experiences stress differently. It is important to know when you are stressed and how you act when you are stressed.
- Identify your sources of stress. Realize what events or situations that set off stressful feelings.
- Recognize how you deal with stress. Realize how you cope with your stress and whether it is a healthy or unhealthy behavior.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress. If you are using unhealthy behaviors to cope like drinking, smoking, or over/under eating then you should consider a healthier alternative like meditation, yoga, or talking it out with someone.
- Take care of yourself. It is important to get enough sleep, eat right, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly. Make time to relax and take a break from your busy schedule. Do not overwork yourself.
- Reach out for support. Seeking help from supportive friends and family or a health professional can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy behaviors.
Examples of ways to manage your stress:
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