Types of Stress

Stress is a mental response to danger or surge in hormones as we choose to flee, fight or freeze. There are mainly four types of stress. It can be treated with therapy and a positive attitude.


Stress is a built-in response to unexpected situations where the body faces a surge in the hormonal level. Stress can be a part of being human; types of stress shows that we are affected by certain emotions or actions of others. It can be a good thing that can motivate us to get things done. High stress from death in the family, losing a job, illness, loneliness or a painful life event is a natural part of life. We can feel down and anxious, but not for a more extended period. If the stress persists, it can be dangerous both mentally and physically. 

Types of Stress

Stress can be of different types. The simplest definition of stress is tension. In psychology or physics, stress is known to exert tension and pressure. There are three types of stress in physics: normal, tangential, and hydraulic. Here the concept of stress is tension exerted on a material object. In psychology, stress is the pressure exerted on an individual’s mind, affecting their body. There are four basic types of stress: acute stress, chronic stress, emotional stress and burnout stress.

Acute stress is momentarily stressing that comes unexpectedly, throws us off balance and leaves quickly too. Examples of acute stress are unexpected exams or arguments with someone close to us. Some significant effects of acute stress are high blood pressure, migraine or chest pain. Other than the effect mentioned above, some minor outcomes are anxiety, sadness, gut problems and irritability. Acute stress can be momentarily in most cases, but it can be episodic, called episodic acute stress. When the acute stress replays in mind from time to time or an individual experiences mini-crisis regularly, it is episodic acute stress. It is named so because acute stress occurs in an episode and subsides. If this pattern continues, acute stress has turned to episodic acute stress.

The second type of stress is chronic stress. Chronic stress tends to occur perpetually. This type of stress leaves us feeling drained and may lead to burnout if not appropriately managed. When the stress is triggered chronically, the body is reverted from a relaxed state to an anxious state, with the upsurge in hormonal level leading to an anxiety attack. It takes longer for our body to return to its normal state after an emotional or anxiety attack. Chronic stress attacks can lead to permanent health issues, including heart diseases, depression, anxiety, etc. it can also cause paralysis if the balance of neurotransmitters is disturbed.

The third type of stress is emotional stress. An emotional phase of life can hit harder than any other type of stress. For example, stress developed from an unstable relationship or parent separation has affected the child’s mental health. The fourth type of stress is burnout stress. Conclusion this is a severe stress issue that can be developed when chronic stress becomes a part of an individual’s life.

Usually, people who cannot control chronic stress develop burnout stress. Burnout stress is complex and can cause a total loss of control in one’s life. Those facing burnout stress cannot convey clear expectations and clear thoughts. They are lost in their thoughts and are not ready to talk about their feelings. They suffer from negativity and low self-confidence.  In the book Stress and the Manager, Dr. Karl Albrecht has also mentioned four types of stresses: Time stress, situational stress, anticipatory stress, and encounter stress. These stresses fall under either acute or chronic stress. 

Types of Stress Management

The first step in stress management is to understand when a particular stress will subside. It is essential to understand the level of stress to manage it. If the stress is acute, it can be managed using different types of stress management, but chronic therapy is needed before it changes to burnout stress.

To manage stress, one should have a positive attitude and accept that they cannot control every situation. We, as humans, cannot express our feelings, especially when we want to deny them; this can cause extra stress. Including and indulging in hobbies can help avoid stress to a greater extent because our minds are relaxed. 

Relying on compulsive behaviours like drugs and alcohol can increase more physical stress. Seeking the help of mental health professionals or psychologists can help stress management. Other techniques for managing acute stress are listening to music, meditation, practising progressive muscle relaxation or PMR, and breathing exercises. These practices can be done at home without the involvement of professionals.

But if the stress is chronic, a supportive relationship is the first thing that can help an individual cope with the situation.  Other things that can help manage stress are giving ourselves some free time to understand our requirements and maintain a sense of humour. Life comes with stress; our duty is to manage it and balance it before it breaks down our life.

Impact of Stress

Stress affects us both mentally and physically. It can sometimes motivate us to achieve a specific goal, but it has many drawbacks. In the long run of achieving our dreams under stress, we change our lifestyle, focussing solely on the work to be done. It hampers our day to day routine. We may start to overeat, oversleep or vice versa. Both situations are not good. We may feel irritated and have mood swings affecting our hormonal imbalance. The heart is the first organ that reacts to stress, and the stomach is the second. Thus, culturing stress within is very harmful to us. 


Stress is a built-in response to unexpected situations where the body faces a surge in the hormonal level. It affects us mentally as well as physically. Once the stress starts to affect our organs, it is no longer related solely to psychology. Now the person has to deal with a cardiologist and gastrologist. There are four basic types of stress: acute stress, chronic stress, emotional stress and burnout stress, and four are equally dangerous if not addressed in time. Culturing stress is fatal; it feeds on our mental wellness leading to anxiety and depression. Managing stress is very vital for a healthy lifestyle.