Stress is one of those words that are common to the point in which it becomes almost white noise in the collective consciousness. But stress is a more powerful and insidious force that most people know. Many scholars dedicate years of research to the understanding of how we process stress and its effect. Even now we don’t have a clear understanding of all the mechanism involved in the interaction between psychological stress and actual physical damage.
Stress comes in many different forms like the sight of a bear, the anticipation before having to speak in public, a knife catching the light in a robber´s hand, etc. However, some academics consider that at a certain point the actual cause is less important than the intensity and duration of the body´s response to stress.
Types Of Stress
Taking this into consideration, there are really 2 forms of stress/stress response; acute (short term) and chronic (long term).
Short term stress (STS) triggers the fight or flight response. It is extremely important in how we react to an immediate threat. STS causes some physical changes in your body to prepare it for a sudden explosion of activity but it’s not that dangerous.
Chronic stress is an entirely different story. It can increase the risk for a great number of diseases, including depression. People who suffer from inflammatory problems will be especially vulnerable since chronic stress can facilitate long-lasting inflammation.
Chronic stress comes when we are exposed to some difficult elements for a long period of time. Work stress, death in the family and having to provide care for a family member are only some of the most common causes.
Assessment and Cure
Long-lasting stress can kill and needs to be reduced. To do that is important to identify what is causing it. Many institutions and researchers have stress tests that are useful to determine if you actually are experiencing it and some even may help detect what part of your life it comes from.