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Understanding Stress: Exploring its Types and Impact on Health

Understanding stress is crucial for managing its diverse effects on our well-being. Explore the three types of stress - acute, episodic acute, and chronic - and their distinct symptoms to enhance stress awareness and promote healthier living.

If you need to speak to someone about what you are feeling, book a session with one of our trusted therapists.


Stress is our body's response to perceived threats or challenges, affecting both our psychological and physiological well-being. It impacts various systems within us, from metabolism to memory to immune function. Have you ever experienced forgetfulness during a crucial exam or fallen ill after completing a demanding project? These are manifestations of stress influencing our mental, emotional, and physical states.

Under normal circumstances, our bodies should return to equilibrium once a stressful event subsides. However, chronic or prolonged stress can lead to long-term health issues and exacerbate existing conditions. Thus, developing mental fitness is essential for maintaining wellness amidst stressors.

The hormonal shifts triggered by stress play a significant role in its effects on the body. When faced with a stressful situation, the hypothalamus initiates the stress response, prompting the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. While these hormones aid in mobilizing resources for the fight-or-flight response, their prolonged elevation can have detrimental effects on health.

working woman holding head
Women are disproportionately affected by mental health struggles, in part due to the various roles and responsibilities they have to juggle.

Now, let's delve into the three types of stress:
  1. Acute Stress: Brief and most common, acute stress arises from reactive thinking, often triggered by recent or upcoming events. Symptoms include pupil dilation, increased heart rate, perspiration, rapid breathing, anxiety, mood swings, and disrupted sleep patterns.

  2. Episodic Acute Stress: Individuals experiencing frequent acute stress or living amidst constant stressors exhibit episodic acute stress. Symptoms may include muscle tension, feeling overwhelmed, irritability, migraines, hypertension, and uncontrolled anger.

  3. Chronic Stress: The most harmful type, chronic stress, if left untreated, can significantly impact physical and mental health. Symptoms encompass weight gain, digestive issues, insomnia, panic attacks, chronic headaches, and emotional fatigue.

Recognizing the symptoms of each stress type empowers individuals to take proactive steps towards stress management. By practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in physical activity, setting healthy boundaries, seeking social support, practicing mindfulness, prioritizing self-care, and seeking professional help when necessary, individuals can effectively manage stress and improve their overall well-being.

In conclusion, stress manifests in various forms, each with its distinct symptoms and implications for health. By understanding the three types of stress and implementing appropriate coping strategies, individuals can navigate stressors more effectively and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Let's prioritize stress awareness and proactive stress management for optimal well-being.

If you’re experiencing chronic stress levels that are affecting your life and health, talk to a trusted professional or therapist right away. Stress doesn’t have to control your life. Make an appointment with one of our caring professionals at Hati Health today to discuss your options and answer any questions you may have.


Hati Health is a digital platform for women, providing on-demand access to products and services, including telehealth, symptom checking, holistic wellness plans and education.

We believe that being able to talk openly about women's healthcare and bringing appropriate solutions will inspire women to achieve their fullest potential in their personal and professional lives.

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