We all know that both our physical and emotional health is affected by stress. Although we can’t escape stress, knowing that there are different forms of stress will help us cope at any given moment and handle the situation better.


The three primary forms of tension

The American Psychological Association (APA) describes the three primary stress forms as acute, episodic, and chronic. Let’s look at what someone looks like and sounds and discuss ways to deal with them.

Acute stress

Acute stress can be described as short-term stress and is often triggered by high-intensity, brief moments like public speaking or being called to your boss’s office. Signs of acute stress may be substantial feelings, strained muscles, elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, and feeling light-headed or weak. 


Episodic stress 

Highly traumatic events characterize Episodic stress. It can develop from unexpected tight deadlines at work or from caring for a loved one who’s sick — people who feel like they’re going from one challenge to another experience episodic stress. Symptoms of episodic stress are similar to acute stress, but they take a more severe toll on the body because of their more significant duration.


How to handle intense episodic stress?


Dealing with episodic stress requires a change in routine. Take a look at challenging aspects of your life to decide if you can make some changes. Are there any obligations you can cancel? Can you reach out to your support network to help get things done?


Chronic stress

The APA describes chronic stress as a persistent tension that is felt for an extended period. It stems from chronic long-term stressors, such as worries about finances, broken marriages, dysfunctional relationships, sexism, trauma, and conflict. Chronic stress leaves the body persistently overwhelmed with stress-related hormones that may contribute to physical and mental health problems, such as sleep disruption and reduced immune function, which can have a detrimental impact on cardiovascular health, anxiety, and depression.


How to deal with chronic stress?

To better deal with persistent tension, the APA suggests strategies such as adding boundaries for tasks and obligations that make you feel overwhelmed. Embracing your support network and accepting its input and guidance.


To sum up, stress is an inherent part of life, and while stress is not all negative, too much is unhealthy. Because there are different forms of stress, it is essential to learn how to deal with it and have a happy and healthy life.


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