The 3 types of stress

In order to prevent and manage stress, it’s important to be aware of the different types of stress that may be impacting yourself and your team.

  1. Acute stress

    Acute stress is the most common form. You’ll feel it as a sudden onset when faced with a new challenge - also known as a fight-or-flight response.

    Common triggers include avoiding a car accident, a heated argument with a colleague or family member, and realising the consequences of a poor or costly decision.

    Acute stress isn’t always bad. It’s also associated with riding a rollercoaster or skydiving. This usually doesn’t cause any lasting health effects, provided the mind and body are able to return to a natural, calm state.

    Experiencing acute stress every now and then can actually be beneficial, as it helps you develop a healthy response to stress that may come in handy for future situations.

  2. Episodic acute stress

    Episodic acute stress is the frequent occurrence of acute stress. It’s not just about external factors, it’s also about the mindset of the individual. Sufferers are often anxious, short-tempered, tend to worry too much, and always see the glass as half empty.

    People who suffer from episodic acute stress can find it difficult to change, as they feel stress is just a part of life. Unfortunately, this can lead to negative health effects.

  3. Chronic stress

    Chronic stress is when episodes of acute stress continue to get worse or last for extended periods of time. It’s constant and unwavering. Common causes of chronic stress are financial problems, job dissatisfaction, and issues at home.

    If not managed, chronic stress can lead to serious diseases and health risks such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer, liver issues, and self-harm.