“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
It is very common for us to get wrapped up in our fast-paced lives where being stressed becomes part of our norm. However, it’s important to keep in mind that too much stress can take a toll on our body.
According to the American Psychological Association, there are three types of stress: Acute, Episodic acute and Chronic.
Acute stress is when we react to a certain situation – like taking a test, making a presentation or that feeling just before avoiding a car accident. Our heart races, and our blood pressure might rise. It usually lasts for a short period of time, and then it subsides. In this case, stress is not interfering with your life or your relationships.
Episodic acute stress is when you live a life full of tension, most often going at a pace that is not sustainable. This type of stress tends to be common with the fast-paced lifestyle many of us lead as we try to “get it all done.” Symptoms are similar to acute stress, but it happens more often and sometimes accumulates. It can occur when your job or life situation is causing you a great deal of burden and can start to wear away at your relationships and work. Sometimes, the stress can increase if you try to use unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking or over-eating. If not managed, this type of stress can cause illness or depression.
Chronic stress is the most concerning. It is when your life becomes overwhelming and unrelenting and you are unable to feel reprieve. Chronic stress feeds serious and acute illness.
Stress can have a serious impact on your health and prevent your body from functioning optimally. It’s important to recognize when stress is taking a toll on your body. The long-term effects can be debilitating. Incorporating stress reduction techniques like exercise, ample sleep and taking time to recharge is critical to living a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes, it all doesn’t have to get done. I remind myself of that often – and somehow, it always proves true.