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The Different Types of Stress

Updated on February 9, 2009

There are four major types of stress that people experience in life. Stress is a part of our everyday life, coming from events that happen. Stress to most people is challenges or problems in life, such as working long hours, a very full daily schedule or thinking about our finances. Effects of stress on the body, is a normal physical response to events that make us feel threatened or upset. The stress response is the body's way of protecting us, when working properly; it helps us stay focused, active and alert. The four major types of stress are Eustress, Distress, Hyperstress and Hypostress.


 Eustress is a type of short-term stress that is a positive type of stress. When a person needs to have some extra energy or inspiration, eustress gives us the motivation we need, to winning or achieving first place in a competition, achieving a promotion or giving a speech. This stress provides the focus and energy needed in order to perform at the highest level of the individuals ability.


Distress is a negative stress brought about by changes or alterations in an individuals life. Distress is also referred to as anxiety, severe trauma or mental suffering resulting from exhaustion or an accident. Distress is a reaction to an upsetting event, such as being in a bad accident, barely evading death, serious injury or losing a loved one. When distress and anxiety go untreated for long enough, people can get depressed. There are essentially two types of distress: acute stress and chronic stress.

  • Acute stress is experienced in response to directly perceived threat,either physical or psychological. The threat can be real or imagined; it's the perception of the threat that activates the response. This type of stress is short-term and caused by exposure to trauma, such as rape, robbery, combat or natural disaster.
  • Chronic stress is long-term stress that occurs frequently and if not dealt with accordingly many serious health problems may develop, such as depression,diabetes,heart disease or weight-gain or weight-loss. People suffering from this type of stress get used to it and may even not realize that they are under this type of stress. Chronic stress is the most serious type of stress that can lead up to harmful health problems or even death.



 Hyperstress is the type of stress that comes when a person is forced to perform above their normal capacity. In the fast pace world we live in today, many of us can feel 'stressed out' due to heavy workloads and tight deadlines resulting into hyperstress. A person experiencing this type of stress can find that their emotions run higher and the smallest event can trigger a highly emotional outbreak. 


 Hypostress is actually the opposite of hyperstress. Hypostress happens when a person is constantly bored. Someone in an unchallenged job, such as a factory worker on an assembly line doing the same job over and over everyday, may experiences hypostress. When a person experiences this type of stress they are frequently restless and uninspired. 

 If you are dealing with one of these types stress disorders, understanding them can help you balance and control the stress in your life. In return you can live a much healthier and happier life. 


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    • daphniemoreno profile image


      4 years ago

      It's very useful

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Very energetic blog, I enjoyed that a lot. Perhaps there is a part 2? dedfbbdeafkd

    • profile image

      tyrell jose fraser 

      4 years ago

      yea give me more

    • Michael Wright profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Wright 

      9 years ago

      Thanks for the comment Larry and more pictures makes sense.

    • Larry Lathrop profile image

      Larry Lathrop 

      9 years ago from Maryland

      In checking my list mate on Ubranding found your article thought provoking and informative. Could use a few pictures or videos tho. I use them often because folks gravitate towards the visual.


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