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The first step to managing stress is to understand it.

Most of us feel stress in different ways and for varying reasons. Stress is difficult to define, as it is so subjective to the individual. Some stress can be beneficial, helping to provide the drive and energy to help get through situations that are likely to result in stress, such as family drama or work deadlines. However, stress can have health consequences and adversely affect the immune, cardiovascular, neuroendocrine and central nervous systems. There are two key types of stress; Chronic and Acute.

What are the side effects of these types of stress? And how can we best manage them?

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress can result in a range of health conditions, from anxiety, to muscle pain, high blood pressure or a weakened immune system. Insomnia commonly occurs hand in hand with chronic stress. People who are chronically stressed are more likely to use addictive substances, develop anxiety and depression, and have increased risk of heart disease1.

Acute Stress

Acute stress is the most common form of stress. It occurs due to demands and pressures of the past and anticipated demands and pressures of the near future. Whilst it doesn’t directly cause the long term health issues associated with chronic stress, acute stress is associated with poor mood (anger, irritability, anxiety, depression), tension headaches, irritable bowel syndrome and migraine headaches (to name but a few)2.

Some people experience acute stress episodically. This occurs repetitively, and usually occurs due to a series of stressful events; eg changing jobs, building a house, or it can be as a result of constantly worrying about things, having high demands on time or constantly rushing.

If you suffer from acute or chronic stress, Life First can help, click here to find out more.


There are pro’s and con’s of stress. Click here to learn more

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