Stress can be the physical and emotional changes that occur in the body in response to a stressor or external pressure. There are however a number of different types of stress that people encounter.
Firstly, eustress is a type of stress often associated with an exhilarating experience such as running in a race or skiing down a steep ski slope. The stress experience within the body is sometimes referred to as an ‘adrenalin rush’; this stress aids awareness and muscular strength in order to complete the race.
Secondly, Acute Stress is the name of the overarching category that could include esutress or more distressing physical and mental effects such as those generated by a missed deadline or heavy traffic. Acute stress is the type of stress most people are confronted with day-in-day-out. This type of stress is normally sort term and generally not remembered or retained.
Episodic Acute Stress, is the name given to the type of stress that appears to dictate life events and cause a general stressful day to day life. It is this type of stress that the term such as drama queen originate.
Finally, Chronic Stress, the name given to the type of stress that is consistent and unavoidable, it is the stress experienced by a person in a highly stressful job or a particularly difficult relationship. It is chronic stress that is the most often cause of burnout.
Effect of Stress on the body
There are extensive amounts of scientific evidence that suggest that the cumulative build-up of stress hormones, if not metabolized over time, can cause health problems and disorders of the autonomic nervous system. The first symptoms of chronic stress could include headache, irritable bowel syndrome and high blood pressure. Additionally disorders of the immune and hormonal systems can arise as a result of prolonged exposure to chronic stress; the body becomes more susceptible to infection, chronic, depression, memory loss, heart disease and obesity. Autoimmune diseases including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, hair loss and allergies can also become a problem for someone who is chronically stressed.
It has been reported that as much as 90 percent of visits to GP’s are for symptoms that are in some way stress induced or related.
Burnout is the term given to the mental, physical and emotional exhaustion experienced as a result of prolonged chronic stress. Symptoms include disillusion, helplessness and excessive fatigue. A person who is at the point of burnout often has a bleak outlook and finds it extremely taxing to find the energy required to change their situation. The unhappiness and detachment that occurs as a result of a burnout can have detrimental affects to a person’s physical and emotional wellbeing, and can threaten relationships and jobs.
Click here to view how kundalini yoga can help treat burnout.