Different Types of Stress and How to Manage Them Effectively

There are several types of stress. Find out how to prevent and manage stressors effectively, without taking any pills.

A businessperson looking up smilingly as she holds a cup of coffee in her right hand and a laptop in her left

Many feel stressed when they struggle with challenges they face in life, work, relationships, and other situations. Stress happens when you perceive a condition, imaged or real, to be a threat to your well-being. There are different types of stress – acuteepisodic, and chronic stress. They present their own unique set of symptoms.

Acute stress is extremely common and does not usually cause any health problems. A sudden change of plans or environment can cause this but will usually ease once a person finds a solution to their problem. 

However, if a person experiences frequent episodes of acute stress, it is instead referred to as acute episodic stress. This type of stress is different from the former. It can affect a person physically and psychologically and exacerbate existing health problems like digestive issues, headaches, high blood pressure or panic attacks. 

On the other hand, chronic stress is a result of multiple stressors affecting a person at once. Some of the most widely-known triggers of chronic stress include conflicts in a relationship, family troubles, job instability, personal health problems, and threats to personal safety. 

Major life events like the death of a loved one, divorce or relocation can also increase a person’s risk of developing chronic stress. This will linger for a prolonged period.

Here are several steps that you can take to manage the tension effectively.

A close-up hand of a person applying pressure on the web between the thumb and forefinger
Applying pressure on acupuncture points like He Gu can help regulate a person’s qi.

5 Steps to More Effective Stress Management

Adults are more likely to undergo different types of stress as compared to teenagers and young children. But that does not necessarily mean that children are not at risk of stress. In fact, school-going children can also undergo stress because of pressure from their parents to do well academically, bullying or parental divorce.

1. Acupuncture and acupressure massages

A licensed Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) physician typically performs acupuncture. It requires the insertion of disposable needles to stimulate specific points on the body. On the other hand, you can self-administer acupressure massages by applying pressure on acupuncture points to restore balance to a person’s qi, or vital energy. 

To do away with stress, you can press some of the points, including point LI-4 of the large intestine meridian (He Gu) and LR-3 of the liver meridian (Tai Chong). He Gu is located between the web of the first and second finger – in a “V” shape – exactly on the indentation of the second finger bone. Tai Chong is located in the depression between the big toe and the second toe. Alternatively, you can relieve stress by doing a simple exercise. This exercise requires you to place both palms on your chest. In a downward motion, slide them from your collarbone to your stomach. Do this 15-20 times. 

You can also consume a herbal remedy prepared with ginseng whiskers to restore energy levels, reduce body heat and relieve stress.

2. Meditation and breathing exercises

The practice of meditational breathing is also effective for reducing stress. This is because breath meditation can promote mindfulness. This helps a person learn how to appreciate what they have in life.

To perform breathing meditation, find a comfortable position in a place with minimal distractions. Next, allow yourself to sit. Stand or walk as you focus on repeating a sound, word, phrase, or movement. At the same time, enable thoughts to come and go as you focus on the repetition. 

In addition, performing meditation at the same time every day is also essential for promoting consistency. Still, you are more than welcome to do meditational breathing any time you feel stressed out.

Chamomile tea poured into a white teacup alongside dried chamomile buds, fresh flowers, a jar of honey and a metal teaspoon on a wooden table
Drinking teas made with herbals such as chamomile can induce a calming effect and promote restful sleep.

3. Consumption of flower teas

It is worth noting that long-term stress elevates a person’s risk of developing mental health disorders. Interestingly, several types of herbals may help alleviate stress. These include chamomile, lavender, lily bulbs, mint leaves and rosebuds. Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant medicinal herb used to treat various health problems. For the treatment of mental health disorders, specifically, chamomile tea consumption can help calm the nerves, reduce anxiety, and treat the symptoms of stress like insomnia

In the same way, you can use dried lavender buds to make a tea that calms the nerves, relaxes the muscles and relieve stress whilst preventing headaches and muscle pain. On the other hand, rosebuds and mint leaves can be infused in freshly boiled water before drinking to alleviate or prevent stress. It is also safe for consumption by children, albeit in lower doses. Lily bulbs, alternatively, can be boiled together with lotus seeds to treat the signs of stress, such as anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and restlessness.

4. Yoga and aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercise can promote calmness within 20-30 minutes after a workout and lasts for several hours. Similarly, Tai Chi and yoga practices are also found to be effective in alleviating stress and improving your overall wellness. This is evident from the findings of a study, which discovers that performing 15 minutes of chair-based yoga postures effectively reduces acute stress. 

People who suffer from chronic stress are more susceptible to cardiovascular disorders. For that reason, they can undergo the necessary pre-workout screening procedures. These procedures can help determine if they have high blood pressure or other risk factors that can increase their risk of heart disease.

5. Have enough sleep

Sleep is necessary for good health as it allows our body and brain to rest. Likewise, restful sleep between 1:00 and 3:00 AM enables the liver meridian to supply qi actively to the liver system — responsible for managing stress and emotions — so that it can get rid of toxins from the blood. Then, between 3:00 and 5:00 AM, the clean blood and qi will be delivered to the various organ systems. 

Sour dates can potentially help people with insomnia get quality sleep daily by nourishing the heart and liver. A herbal tonic that uses sour dates and ingredients like vinegar and walnut membrane can also be consumed to improve sleep quality by calming the mind and body. 

Experiencing the distinct types of stress at various stages of life is completely normal. On the bright side, taking steps to manage stress effectively will provide a ton of health benefits, as well as improvements in your overall quality of life.

References

  1. American College of Sports Medicine. 2013. STRESS RELIEF. [Accessed 25 June 2021] 
  2. Wikipedia. List of acupuncture points. [Accessed 25 June 2021] 
  3. Wikipedia. Acupressure. [Accessed 25 June 2021] 
  4. Explore IM. Acupressure Point LI4: Large Intestine 6 or He Gu. [Accessed 25 June 2021] 
  5. Explore IM. Acupressure Point LV3: Liver 3 or Tai Chong. [Accessed 25 June 2021] 
  6. Harvard Health Publishing. 2014. Breath meditation: A great way to relieve stress. [Accessed 25 June 2021] 
  7. US National Library of Medicine. 2010. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future[Accessed 28 June 2021] 

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