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A Modern Day Juggling Act:
Understanding the Types of Stress

How is your juggling technique these days? Are all types of stress being managed or are you dropping some of the balls?

Do you feel like you've bitten off more than you can chew, like this man juggling swords and chainsaws!

We live in a faced paced life, and we all have a number of 'balls' in the air at the same time. These balls create STRESS; each one creating a different type of stress.

This article is designed to:

  1. Help us understand the main types of stress, and
  2. Break this ugly word down into digestible components.

(Photo compliments of fotopedia.com)

Classification #1: Physical, Emotional and Chemical Stress

The way that best describes stress from my perspective is what I will call PEC stress.

No, this is not the kind of stress that gives you an Arnold Schwarzenegger chest, it is my short form for Physical, Emotional and Chemical Stress.

Let's take a closer look:

  1. Emotional Stress is likely the type that would win the "most popular" award. When we think of stress, this is what we usually consider.
    It is the stress that causes brain fog, emotional exhaustion and the endless guru reports on relaxation tips.

  2. Physical Stress is of course the stresses that can be attributed directly to those pesky body aches and pains; the kind that make people say "I'm getting old". In fact, most people are getting old before their time, as they don't move their bodies sufficiently.
    Desk jobs and lack of proper physical exercise and stretching are of primary concern. Learning Yoga and other flexibility exercises will be on all doctor's prescription pads in the future.

  3. Chemical Stress is mostly about what you are putting into your body in terms of food, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, drugs, and the millions of environmental pollutants that exist in today's modern and highly chemically toxic world.
    This is the variety of stress that prompts so much attention in the area of detoxification and the x, y and z detox cleanse suggestions on the market.

Rather than sounding like a broken record and going into too much detail, (I feel old using the reference of a record, as the techie savvy kids using the internet today may not even know what a record is..), I will allow you to click on the links to the PEC Stress categories and learn more about these particular types of stress yourself.

Classification #2: Historical Classification of Positive/Eustress and Negative/Dis-stress

Here we go back to the origins of modern day stress theories, that of Hans Selye. He importantly distinguished for us the words Eustress and Dis-stress, otherwise known as positive and negative stress.

We don't often think of stress as being positive in nature, yet this is the very definition of Eustress.

First, it is important to understand that health and dis-ease are a balancing act of positive and negative stressors.

If you have more negative stresses in your life that positive ones, you guessed it: Dis-ease.

If however, you balance all your negative stresses (some of which we have little to no control over), you can tip the balance in favour of health.

A common example of a Eu-stress is digesting your food. It takes energy to digest food, but it is positively necessary to keep you alive. If you digest an apple, we'd classify it as a positive stress. Digesting a chocolate bar is a negative stress...sorry chocolate lovers, I know I may get death treats over this one!

There are many more examples to help you understand further, just click here to learn more about eu-stresses and dis-stresses.

Classification #3: End-User Stress

For lack of a better word, I am calling the last types of stress, those belonging to the end user. Classes like Student stress, Teacher Stress, Teenager Stress, Pregnancy Stress and Work Related Stress belong here.

We already know in our preliminary study on the Definition of Stress, that stress responses are highly unique. It therefore makes perfect sense to speak of types of stress as it pertains to differing categories of individuals or circumstances.

  1. Student Stress is classic; too much to do, in too little time. There always seems to be a crunch and as a result they feel it in their head, neck and shoulders from prolonged sitting at a desk or computer and studying. Low back issues are also common due to lack of stretching and physical motion. Oh, and we won't mention the chemical stresses of excess partying!

  2. Work related stress is actually quite similar in profile to student stress, but perhaps (or at least I hope), without the excess chemical stressors. There is always a deadline, always a crunch, and quite often a low business happiness and worker happiness. The Employee Wellness Programs Employee Wellness Programs I have created are a direct result of a desire to alter the job burnout symptoms I see in so many of my clients.

  3. Teacher Stress is interesting, as I have never seen a profession with more stress as a whole as teachers. I think there are many variables here, and I will address some of them directly, so just click on the link above.

  4. Pregnancy Stress goes without saying...the ever enlarging and hormonally changing body with the impending joy (or dread, whichever the case may be) of shooting a 7 plus pound watermelon type structure out of your privates! Yes, a unique set of stresses that needs a focused page to understand.

  5. Teenage Stress is one of my favourite topics to discuss as I enjoy working with many teen groups as they learn to step between two worlds: that of a playful child and that of a mature and wise decision making adult.

So now that I have laid out for your in brief manner the various classifications and categories of stress, I implore you to click on any of the above links that pertain to you, and step up to the challenge of rescuing yourself from the modern day juggling act.

Or skip on over to my Stress Quiz and find out more about what's keeping your hands tied.

You know what they say, if you can't beat them, join them...so if you can't stop all the balls in the air at least learn how to juggle with grace. Let this website and my expertise guide you on your way.

Many blessings on a safe and spectacular journey.

Yours In Wellness,

Dr. Lisa

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