There are two types of stress, acute and chronic. Acute stress is short-term and is typically in response to a specific event. For example, giving a presentation, taking a test, dodging a car accident, asking for a raise, etc. They are temporary and the stress response is decreased to neutral once the event is over. On the other hand, chronic stress is long-term and is caused by repeated stressors. This could be from a negative marriage or home life, overly demanding job, prolonged financial struggles, etc.
This is important to understand because the way our brain responds to chronic stress can be damaging to the body over time if we do not take care of ourselves. Did you know, “43% of adults in the U.S. suffer adverse health effects caused by stress, 75% to 90% of all doctor visits involve stress-related disorders and complains, and the effects of chronic stress increase heart disease by 40%, heart attack by 25% and stroke by 50%” (haaswellnesscenters). Stress is known as the “silent killer” because the effects are so damaging, if unattended to it can literally kill you.
It’s imperative to understand the significance self-care has on your overall health and wellbeing. It is estimated that 20% of the U.S. population does not engaged in any stress-relieving activities. Personally, I’ve found it important to actually schedule time in my planner for self-care. Whether that is scheduling lunch with a friend, going on a walk, reading for pleasure, talking to a counselor or journaling (and much more). Whatever it is for you, it must be a priority in life or your stress could become chronic and overwhelming!
I'm a Christian counselor who loves to help people get to the root of their current problems so they can live from a place of authenticity and freedom!