According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “there are at least three different types of stress, all of which carry physical and mental health risks:
Routine stress related to the pressures of work, family, and other daily responsibilities.
Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce, or illness.
Traumatic stress, experienced in an event like a major accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster where one may be seriously hurt or in danger of being killed.”
People react to stressors differently. What may cause major distress for one individual could be a minor bump in the road for another. Ultimately, long term or chronic stress can have a negative impact on your health. These can include stomach upset and digestive issues, depression, mood swings, and trouble sleeping. Additionally, long term stress can hamper the immune system making one more susceptible to illnesses. Some long term effects of stress have even been linked to hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes to name a few.
It is important to recognize continued stressors in one’s life and to acknowledge the source to help allow for development of coping skills or avoidance of the stressor. The NIH has many practical tips for dealing with stress, from asking for help from loved ones, to exercise.
Learn the signs of stress, take a proactive role in your own life to protect your health.