When your body detects a potential threat or danger, it releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline or cortisol, in order to prepare your body to respond. This is known as the “fight or flight” response. Stress can cause symptoms such as higher blood pressure, tighter muscles, faster heartbeat, and sharper senses.
However, your body reacts this way when put under pressure as well, and it can impact your mental health in a negative way. If you want to learn how to channel and relieve stress, it’s important to identify each type of stress, which you’ll learn how to do in this article.
Physical stress refers to the stress that comes from the toll your body has taken from a physical event, such as over-exercising or traveling. International travel, for example, sends your body into different times zones, which disrupts the sleeping and waking up schedule your body is used to. Oversleeping or being on your feet for several hours at work can also make you physically stressed.
Traumatic stress is also a very common type of stress, even though most people don’t consider it to be one. Your body experiences traumatic stress when you’ve experienced a traumatic event that leads to serious injury or pain. For example, the recovery of an operation can cause a series of unpleasant symptoms, including pain, which is considered to be traumatic stress.
Emotional stress is the most common type of stress, and it’s what you feel when you go through a rough, emotional experience, such as a messy divorce, a fight with your partner, or the loss of a loved one.
Emotional stress can make you experience both mental and physical symptoms. For instance, you may notice changes in your weight, poor sleep quality, negative emotions and isolation, and drastic mood swings.
Acute stress is a minor type of stress that makes throws you off mentally for a brief moment. You often feel acute stress unexpectedly, and it helps you to get your mind back on track. This type of stress can be considered healthy.
On certain occasions, feeling acute stress can push you to get things done the right way. An example of acute stress is the stress you feel when you’re going to take an exam or when you’re in the middle of an argument with someone.
Chronic stress happens regularly, draining your energy, making you feel burned out if left unmanaged. This type of stress is considered chronic because when your body is triggered into this state and is left untreated, your body will remain triggered indefinitely.
Burnout happens when you’ve accumulated chronic stress over an extended amount of time and have left it untreated, making you feel completely down and in no control of your life. People who work a lot and are surrounded by a stressful environment run a higher risk of experiencing burnout.
Ways to Cope With Stress
Coping with stress requires consistency and effort and should be treated as something serious. In fact, the root of many diseases is stress, a common one being Hashimoto’s disease. Read more about Hashimotos here.
Yet, there are simple things you can try that can help you channel whatever type of stress you have.
Yoga is becoming one of the most popular relaxation methods due to the way it helps decrease anxiety and stress. Doing yoga allows your body to produce an effect that is completely opposite to the fight or flight response. You can do a simple, short routine of 15 minutes to help you lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels.
When overwhelmed with stress, it’s hard to have a clear mind. Writing out your frustrations helps channel your stress and lets you pinpoint negative thoughts. You don’t have to write essay-long journal entries, but you can start with writing little notes and slowly work your way up.
It’s perfectly natural to let your home get messy when you’re under lots of stress. And, an unorganized space produces more stress.
So, clear out the clutter and clean up whatever needs to be cleaned. Cleaning your home helps boost mindfulness and helps you gain a positive perspective on things.
Talk it Out
Suppressing your thoughts and emotions leads to more stress. Some people feel hesitant about speaking to a friend in fear of being an annoyance. But, talking it out is an excellent way to let out your stress and connect with people.
However, you want to be careful and ensure you’re venting instead of emotionally dumping on a friend. To avoid that, try asking your friend for permission to vent first.
Go For a Walk
Exercising helps you escape your current stressful state. Plus, it helps your brain produce “happy” hormones known as endorphins that will help decrease your stress even more. However, if exercising isn’t a habit you’ve cultivated, then go for a walk instead.
Going for a walk can resemble active meditation. Whether it’s only for 15 minutes, it’ll help you clear your mind and find momentary relief from your stress.
Every Type of Stress is Treatable
As you’ve seen, stress is a real issue, and you shouldn’t take it lightly. If you don’t learn how to manage your stress properly, it can lead to serious health issues that a professional can only treat. But, now that you can identify each type of stress, you’ll be able to find accurate coping mechanisms that’ll help you find relief.
Want more guidance on how to relieve stress or read on other mental-health-related topics? On our blog, you’ll find tons of posts like these!