What you need to know about stress

It’s perfectly natural to feel stressed occasionally. It’s entirely appropriate to be stressed in certain circumstances. Your “stress response” can actually be a life-saving resource, helping you fight or flee from threatening situations.

However, chronic stress — being stressed constantly — can be physically and mentally harmful.

Stress can be sub-categorized as:

  • Routine stress, related to work, family, and other daily pressures.
  • Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as job loss, divorce, or serious illness
  • Traumatic stress, which you would feel in a life-threatening circumstance like a car accident, war, a bodily crime or natural disaster. Traumatic stress is often identified as a cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Different people may feel stress in different ways. Some may have trouble with digestion, sleep, depression, anger, or headaches, as well as greater frequency and severity of viral infections, like the flu or colds.

How people deal with stress varies. That’s why it’s important to know your limits when you’re stressed out. This may help you from contracting serious health effects.