While some stress can be good for the body, some stress disorders can cause major health problems and some types of stress can even be life threatening. Stress is a natural function of the body but understanding the different types of stress can help you better understand how to deal with the stress you encounter in life.
Major Types of Stress
While stress may have many subcategories, the major types of stress can be broken down and categorized into four types of stress: Eustress, Hyperstress, Hypostress and Distress. Let us discuss each type of stress further.
Type of Stress #1: Eustress
Eustress is one of the helpful types of stress. But what is eustress exactly? Eustress is the type of stress you experience right before you have the need to exert physical force. Eustress prepares the muscles, heart, and mind for the strength needed for whatever it is that’s about to occur.
Eustress can also be applied to creative endeavours. When a person needs to have some extra energy or creativity, eustress kicks in to bring them the inspiration they need. An athlete will experience the strength that comes from eustress right before they play a big game or enter a big competition. Because of this type of stress, they immediately receive the strength that they need to perform.
When the body enters the fight or flight response, it will experience eustress. Eustress prepares the body to fight with or flee from an imposing danger. This type of stress will cause the blood to pump to the major muscle groups, and will increase the heart rate and blood pressure to increase. If the event or danger passes, the body will eventually return to its normal state.
Type of Stress #2: Distress
Distress is one of the negative types of stress. This is one of the types of stress that the mind and body undergoes when the normal routine is constantly adjusted and altered. This type of stress can actually be subcategorized into two types: acute stress and chronic stress.
Distress Type #1: Acute Stress
The first type of distress is acute stress. This type of stress comes immediately with a change of routine. It is an intense type of stress, but it passes quickly. Acute stress is the body’s way of getting a person to stand up and take inventory of what is going on, to make sure that everything is okay.
Distress Type #2: Chronic Stress
The second type of distress is chronic stress. Chronic stress will occur if there is a constant change of routine for week after week. Chronic stress affects the body for a long period of time. This is the type of stress experienced by someone who constantly faces moves or job changes.
Type of Stress #3: Hyperstress
Hyperstress is another negative type of stress which comes when a person is forced to undertake or undergo more than he or she can take. When you’re faced with a stressful job that overworks you, this causes hyperstress. A person who is experiencing hyperstress will often respond to even little stressors with huge emotional outbreaks. It is important for a person who thinks they might be experiencing hyperstress to take measures to reduce stress in their lives, because hyperstress can lead to serious emotional and physical repercussions.
Type of Stress #4: Hypostress
The final of the four types of stress is hypostress. Hypostress stands in direct opposite to the third type of stress: hyperstress. Hypostress is basically insufficient amount of stress. That is because hypostress is the type of stress experienced by a person who is constantly bored. Someone in an unchallenged job, such as a factory worker performing the same task over and over, will often experience hypostress. Hypostress effects are feelings of restlessness and a lack of inspiration.