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Stress. What a monster. Dissatisfied with his sphere of influence, he’s constantly increasing the amount of individuals he manages to affect on a daily basis. So much so that EVERYONE goes through some sort of stress one way or another.
“I’m so stressed out”
That’s a common phrase these days. It’s used by students during exam periods or on days when they’ve got loads of homework to do. Employees tend to make use of its services to voice out how they feel on certain days or during particular projects. Business owners often get stressed in the workplace by the many decisions they have to make daily.
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What is Stress?
Stress is the response of your body to the demands placed on it. According to Hans Selye, it is the feeling you get inside as a result of all the challenges and demands (stressors) placed on you from an external source.
There are three key things you must know about stress.:
- Stress can trigger your fight-or-flight body mechanism in order to help you respond well to an emergency. Hence, not all stress is bad.
- It affects everyone differently. And serious health issues can arise from too much stress.
- Proper stress management is required in order for one to live a healthy and happy life.
“The enemy of my friend is mine too”
Everyone must unite in the quest to combat stress – our common enemy. But how can you combat stress if you don’t know what you are dealing with?
You all agree that in warfare, different strategies are used to counter enemy flank attacks. Imagine if a commander continues to use brute force infantry barge (which is when soldiers charge at the enemy firing away) to counter a naval or airstrike. It would be disastrous and an extremely flawed strategy.
“If a unit of incompatible blood is transfused between a donor and recipient, a severe acute hemolytic reaction with hemolysis (RBC destruction), renal failure and shock is likely to occur, and death is a possibility.”
Similar to warfare (where there are various means of attack) and blood transfusion, stress has various variations and types. Hence, concerning stress management, it is important to know which type you are encountering. This way, your stress management strategies will be even more effective.
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Variations Of Stress
Hans Selye, Canadian scientist, proposed that there are four variations of stress. In one corner, there is eustress (a.k.a. good stress) and distress (a.k.a. bad stress). In the other corner lies hyperstress (a.k.a over-stress) and hypostress (a.k.a under-stress).
The goal, he said, is to balance these variations as much as possible. He went on to elaborate that the ultimate goal anyone could have would be to balance hyperstress and hypostress perfectly and have as much eustress as humanly possible. This is because such a strategy is extremely useful for people seeking to have a more productive lifestyle. Because it makes work more enjoyable instead of a chore, as seen with distress.
Note: The reach of stress is quite diverse that even relationships can involve stress.
Types of Stress
Just as stress has many variations, there are also individual types of stress under each variation. Some of this include:
- Mental Stress
- Emotional Stress
- Physical Stress
- Chronic Stress
- Post Traumatic Stress
- Occupational Stress
- Episodic acute stress
- And many others
However, my main focus for this article would be the first three in my list.
This is the type of stress that affects your thinking. It is often mistaken for anxiety because of how somewhat related they are.
This is quite common among business managers and owners. They have got different decisions to make that they tend to overthink a lot. This type of stress is especially evident when the decision to be made affects a loved one.
All forms of stress that affect your physical body fall under this category.
So, a soccer player can be stressed physically. Supposing Lionel Messi is taken through grueling training continuously for a week without rest, his body will begin to show signs of stress. From fatigue to possibly high chances of dehydration, he could be faced with many health issues.
In the case of students, when they are pressured to study for long hours and sleep less during examinations, their bodies also show symptoms of stress. Fatigue and tired eyes which might result in their dozing off during the exam.
This stress type affects your mood.
Emotional stress often occurs with either mental or physical stress. For Lionel Messi, the excessive training and fatigue can change his mood to that of fury or anger.
For a student, the thought that exams are around the corner and they are extremely unprepared for it is enough to do the trick. Suddenly, they are no longer in the mood for games and chats. Only studying. They may get depressed about their seemingly inevitable failure and so on.
When James Porter, author of the book STOP STRESS THIS MINUTE and President of StressStop.com, was asked to differentiate among the three, he gave an interesting scenario below.
(click the picture to enlarge)
Up next: Causes of Stress
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