Stressed to the Max–The Practical Side

“Stressed” is a word you may have used from time-to-time to describe your mental health. The urban dictionary on Google defines “stressed out” as when you feel like you cannot cope with life or are overwhelmed with responsibility.” With everything that is happening in the world many of us feel stressed. However, nuances exist in varying kinds and degrees of stress. And it is important to understand these nuances or types of stress so that you can best address and care for your mental health.

Here are a few kinds of stress.

  1. Acute stress. Acute stress is “a psychological response to a terrifying, traumatic or surprising experience. It may bring about delayed stress reactions (or PTSD) if not correctly addressed” (wikipedia.com).

Symptoms of acute stress may include: racing heartbeat, stomach ache/pain, nausea/vomiting, headaches, shortness of breath. Examples of acute stress include: being in a vehicle accident or natural disaster or witnessing a traumatic event.

  1. Chronic Stress. Chronic stress is, “a consistent sense of feeling pressured and overwhelmed over a long period of time” (yalemedicine.org).

Symptoms of Chronic Stress may include: feeling irritable or angry, fatigue, poor concentration, trouble eating, trouble sleeping. Examples of chronic stress include:  poor relationships, toxic job and/or home environments, ongoing chronic pain/chronic illness.

  1. Episodic Acute Stress. Episodic Acute Stress is “used when someone experiences acute stress with some regularity or frequency” (The Manhattan Center for CBT).

Symptoms of acute stress may involve symptoms of acute and/or chronic stress. Examples of episodic acute stress include an ongoing stressful work or home environment.

  1. Eustress. Eustress is “the positive stress response, involving optimal levels of stimulation or a type of stress that results from challenging but attainable and enjoyable or worthwhile tasks (The American Psychological Association).

Symptoms of eustress may involve symptoms of all of the other types of stress. Examples of eustress may include learning a new skill, getting married, taking a class or being promoted at work.

I will speak more to the types of stress in the personal blog on this piece. For now, I encourage you to do a little self-assessment and ask yourself what types of stress you are currently experiencing in life. Are you coping well? Or could you benefit from support? Our trained and licensed mental health clinicians can provide the support and skills you need to learn not only how to manage stress, but to thrive in any situation. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment.


Yolanda Brailey