Different Types of Stress

Stress is a very common problem; nowadays, it is practically unavoidable. We all experience it at some point. Although we have moved past having issues with stress, the problem now is identifying the type of stress you are going through. Knowing the type of stress, you are suffering from helps you take action before it negatively affects your health.

A good question to ask is, “Is stress always bad?”

Stress is not necessarily bad. Stress in itself is a term that describes what happens when our body is faced with something that activates or challenges it. It can be positive occasionally by activating our body to do what matters to us. For example, when we need to give a presentation, meet deadlines, or respond to difficult situations. However, it shouldn’t last for too long.

How long stress stays and what causes it are two key ways we can classify stress. Each type of stress has its characteristics, symptoms, duration, and treatment approaches:

Classifying stress according to cause, we have:

  • Positive stress

Positive stress is caused by situations that imply a positive change in our lives, such as getting married, getting a promotion, having a child, starting a new job, buying a house, or taking a vacation.

Positive stress fills us with life and energy. It provides the drive to face problems by encouraging us to be creative, take the initiative and respond efficiently.

Benefits of positive stress

Positive stress has numerous benefits for our health.

  • Greater resolution capacity

Positive stress encourages us to solve problems more quickly from a conscious and non-impulsive perspective.

  • Calmer and robust

By not perceiving the tension of negative stress, we will feel calmer, more relaxed, and, at the same time, more energetic.

  • More productivity

Positive stress encourages us to adapt to setbacks and be more efficient, productive, and quick when executing tasks and making decisions.

  • Greater creativity

It stimulates our ability to have innovative and creative ideas, which improves our mood and health.

  • Better emotional management

It will be easier to control and manage our emotions, and emotional stability will result in general well-being.

  • Negative stress

Negative stress, also called distress, produces anxiety in the face of a situation we consider unable to control. It affects our bodies and can cause psychological and physical reactions.

Negative stressors include life occurrences such as unemployment, financial instability, job loss, or even marital failures. This is the type of stress that harms our health and is that which we must combat. 

According to the duration it takes, we can classify stress as:

  • Acute stress

It is a very most common type of stress. It originates from our daily demands and inability to focus on what we have set before us. Acute stress can be positive in small doses, as it encourages us to act. But if we don’t know how to stop it in time, it can produce serious mental and physical consequences such as:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Tension headaches
  • Muscle problems

When acute stress is repeated continuously, it becomes episodic acute stress.

This situation occurs when there are;

  • Lack of organization.
  • High self-demand.
  • High competitiveness.
  • Constant worry.

  • Chronic stress

Acute stress, prolonged over time, with little or no periods of relaxation, becomes chronic stress. It is a type of stress that arises in complex and long-lasting situations such as financial problems and poor efficiency in daily activities.

This type of stress involves physical and mental wear and tear that affects all facets of life and aggravates acute stress symptoms.

Chronic stress is the most serious type of stress and can cause severe consequences for those who suffer from it. These consequences include:

  • Violent attacks.
  • Heart attack.
  • Body breakdown.
  • Suicide.


Stress occurs for a large number of different reasons and corresponds to different types. Each of them requires its way of acting, which is why we must identify the stress we are going through and be well-equipped to fight against them.