Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. Stress is something that everyone experiences to varying degrees, which is why this month is extremely important. Stress can have debilitating effects on both lifestyle and physical health, so understanding its causes and symptoms is a great preventive measure and valuable to your overall wellbeing.
There are three major categories of stress. Acute stress, while generally brief, is the most common type. It is caused by reactive thinking and negative thoughts based on current or future events that precipitate distress. Episodic acute stress occurs among those who experience acute stress most frequently to the point of extended episodes of crisis. Finally, chronic stress persists constantly and often without a definable cause. Though all types of stress merit management, chronic stress especially benefits from direct treatment.
Long-term stress can result in several related consequences. Namely, headaches, stomach or digestion conditions, depression or heart disease are possible effects. Aside from that, the short-term symptoms of stress like difficulty concentrating and a sense of helplessness can also greatly impact wellness.
Though awareness and understanding of stress are always important, they’ve become especially essential since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects felt by the pandemic are very real, but they are manageable. One step in addressing stress is accepting the things we don’t have control over. It’s no easy feat, but it’s one that can help us find greater peace in our daily lives. Developing healthy coping mechanisms and growing to understand your own mind can change how you process stressful situations. Remember to take care of yourself, find people you trust to confide in when you feel overwhelmed and never hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Stress and anxiety might feel isolating, but you are never alone.
“Stress,” my.clevelandclinic.org, accessed March 14, 2022.
“April Is Stress Awareness Month,” stress.org, accessed March 14, 2022.