For example, a work-related change can be perceived by some as an opportunity to learn new things, while others may feel anxious as they have to learn new things and face new challenges. So, our reaction to a particular stressor depends to a great extent on how we perceive it. Stress can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’, though the term ‘stress’ is usually used to mean only bad stress. Apart from good and bad stress, there are several other types of stress you must know about for better and efficient stress management.
Distress or ‘bad stress’ can be further classified into three types – acute distress, acute episodic distress, and chronic distress.
People suffering from acute episodic distress are always in a hurry. This type of stress can cause work-related problems, besides deteriorating interpersonal relationships. The most common symptoms of acute episodic stress are irritability, persistent tension headaches, migraines, hypertension, and chest pain.
Chronic stress often creates a sense of hopelessness and misery, and can wreak havoc on both physical and mental health. Mental and physical exhaustion resulting from chronic stress can sometimes cause health problems like, heart attacks and strokes. It can also lead to depression, violence, and suicide in extreme cases. Perhaps the worst aspect of chronic stress is that people get used to this type of stress, and so it is often ignored or treated as a way of life. Treating chronic stress is not easy; it usually requires medical and behavioral treatment, along with stress management techniques.
So, stress can be of several types, and accordingly its treatment and management can differ considerably. The first step of stress management is to identify the type of stress you are experiencing, as well as the type of stressors (events and thoughts) that are creating the stress. Once you have identified the particular stressors, you can take appropriate measures to control or manage them. Meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques, along with a positive attitude towards life can help a lot in controlling stress. But sometimes, professional help may be required to eliminate or control the factors that trigger stress, especially if it is taking a toll on your physical and mental well-being.