Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Some people may cope with stress more effectively or recover from stressful events quicker than others. It’s important to know your limits when it comes to stress so you can avoid more serious health problems. Stress can be defined as the brains response to demand, with many things triggering these responses the most common one would be change.Change can be positive or negative as well as real or perceived. Triggers may be recurring, short-term, long-term and may include things like commuting every day, travelling on your yearly holiday or moving to another home. Changes can be mild and relatively harmless such as winning a race, watching a scary movie or riding a roller-coaster. Some changes are major such as marriage or divorce, serious illness or a car accident. Other changes are extreme such as exposure to violence and can lead to traumatic stress reactions. Not all stress is bad. All animals have a stress response which can be life-saving in some situations. The nerve chemicals and hormones released during stressful times prepares the animal for what we know as the fight or flight response! When you face a dangerous situation your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense and your brain uses more oxygen increasing its activity.
However with chronic stress those same nerve chemicals that are life-saving in short bursts can suppress functions that aren’t needed for immediate survival, your immunity is lowered and your digestive, excretory and reproductive systems stop working normally. Once the threat has passed other body systems act to restore normal functioning. Problems occur if the stress response goes on for too long such as when the source of stress is constant or if the response continues after the danger has subsided. There are 3 different types of stress, acute stress, episodic stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is the most widely experienced out of the 3 types of stress and is typically caused by the daily demands and pressures encounters each of us go through.
Episodic stress is acute stress that is suffered too frequently, this type of stress is usually seen in people who make self-inflected, unrealistic or unreasonable demands which get all clamoured up and bring too much stress in their attempts to reach these goals. Chronic stress is the total opposite of acute stress, it’s not exciting or thrilling its dangerous and healthy. This type of stress is usually caused by long-term exposure to stresses such as unhappy marriage, traumatic experience, unwanted career, chronic illness, relationship conflicts and dysfunctional family. Some of the best ways to reduce stress levels is to do activities such as meditating, deep breathing, listening to music and even exercise.