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Turns Out There Are Different Types of Stress, and Some of Them Are Good for You

Life without any stress seems like a dream, but researchers say that it is actually good when you can get out of your comfort zone. The positive side is that it can make you grow. But not every type of stress can motivate us.

We at Bright Side studied 3 types of stress and their impact on us and would love to share our knowledge with you.

Good and bad stress

Our whole life is made up of challenges that provoke stress, but there are certain grades or levels of stress that can cause either a positive and negative effect:

  1. Positive response is a normal part of our development and characterized by brief increases in heart rate and mild elevations in hormone levels.
  2. Tolerable response activates alert systems to a greater degree due to difficulties. It can be a breakup or an injury, but all of us can tolerate it.
  3. Toxic response is not normal and harms our health.

But to understand why our body responds in a different way we need to distinguish between the different types of stress.

1. Acute stress

Acute stress is the most common type. It is a reaction to a new challenge or event. You can make a mistake at work, fight with your best friend, or have a complicated task at school.

You can teach your child to ride a bike and it will be an acute stress for you both. But at the same time, it will be fun.

The right amount of acute stress can stimulate the brain and help your health. In studies, they found that brief stressful events caused stem cells to improve mental performance.

However, too little stress can lead to boredom and even depression. We guess that many of us have had a period in our lives where nothing is happening and we felt apathetic because of that.

2. Episodic acute stress

When acute stress happens frequently, it is called episodic acute stress. When you are worried all the time about the little things, negative feelings can overtake you. This may lead to tiredness, headaches, and a weak immune system.

That is why it is important to correct your lifestyle and train yourself to take some things easier.

Some of us tend to have it more often. For example, ill-tempered and anxious people are more stressed.

3. Chronic or toxic stress

When acute stress isn’t solved and is long-lasting for an extended period of time, it slowly becomes chronic. The roots of it can be in an unhappy marriage, a bad job, or poverty.

This stress is very dangerous and toxic. It can ruin your physical and mental health and even lead to cancer, heart disease, and obesity. The research has shown that chronic stress can even elevate the levels of certain hormones that disrupt memory.

Sometimes the causes of chronic stress can be from a difficult childhood. In this case, some people try psychiatric sessions or meditation. If you’ve noticed that day by day, your life is getting more complicated, there’s no need to find any positive side of this stress. It is time to change something if you are not okay with playing the role of the victim.

Do you agree that no stress is also harmful? Do you have your own tips how to deal with episodic and chronic stress? Please, share your stories with us!

Illustrated by Sergey Raskovalov, Alena Sofronova for Bright Side