Stress is a feeling of physical or emotional tension. It can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In small episodes, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it can harm your health.
Stress is a normal feeling. There are two main types of stress:
• Acute stress. This is short-term stress that goes away quickly. You can feel it when you hit the brakes, fight with your partner, or ski down a slope. This helps you control dangerous situations. It also happens when you do something new or exciting. All people experience acute stress at one time or another.
• Chronic stress. This is stress that lasts for an extended period of time. You may have chronic stress if you have money problems, an unhappy marriage, or problems at work. Any type of stress that continues for weeks or months is chronic stress. You can get so used to chronic stress that you don’t realize it’s a problem. If you don’t find ways to control stress, it could cause health problems.
Your body reacts to stress by releasing hormones. These hormones make your brain more alert, cause your muscles to tense, and increase your pulse. In the short term, these reactions are good because they can help you deal with the situation that is causing the stress. This is your body’s way of protecting itself.
Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even if you don’t realize it. You may think that an illness is to blame for that irritating headache, your frequent insomnia, or your decreased productivity at work. But stress can be the cause, which is why it is important to identify if you are going through this type of situation and act early.