If you are experiencing increased stress over the course of the past few months, you are certainly not alone. Americans have reported record amounts of stress in 2020, as finances, social life, and family relationships are placed under increasing strain. Understanding and managing the causes and symptoms of stress requires a recognition of the different types of stress.
When asking “what is stress”, it helps to consider the many different ways that stress manifests itself. Different kinds of stress require different forms of treatment. With that in mind, read on for a quick explainer on the different kinds of stress and how you can approach effective treatment.
1. Psychosocial Stress
When it comes to different types of stress disorders, psychosocial stress is probably the most common. This is a term that is used to describe the stress that occurs as a result of the relationships that we have. It can be triggered by the death of a loved one, marriage difficulties, a poor relationship with a work colleague, or concerns over a family member, to name just a few.
The causes of this stress are systemic and often necessitate dedicated psychological therapy to work through. There is no quick fix for psychosocial stress, but the symptoms can be partly managed with everyday stress management techniques such as breathing exercises, gratitude journals, and meditation. In the end, though, dedicated therapy is the best course of action.
2. Acute Stress
Acute stress is a disorienting form of stress that is often triggered by a specific event. An upcoming exam or job interview, an argument with someone, or an unexpected event such as a traffic accident are all common triggers of acute stress. This is the stress that can come over you like a wave and throw you off-balance.
Knowing how to relieve chronic stress at the moment that it occurs is an important life skill. Immediate responses such as cognitive reframing and muscle relaxation can help you find your center again and refocus.
3. Chronic Stress
Chronic stress is much more long-term than the short, quick flash of acute stress. It is a kind of everyday stress that can be caused by depression, anxiety, a high-pressure job, or unstable home life. Chronic stress is especially insidious as it can lead to the sufferer developing serious conditions later in life, such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and long-term cognitive disorders. That is why anyone suffering from chronic stress should seek out dedicated treatment and therapy immediately.
Managing chronic stress also typically requires significant lifestyle changes in order to reset your body’s rhythm. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and meditating can all help reduce the symptoms of chronic stress. In addition, ensuring that you have a strong support circle and a lack of toxic influences in your personal life are important steps to make.
Effective Treatment for All Types of Stress
No matter what types of stress you are suffering from, effective treatment is available.
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