Stress is something everyone knows about and you probably have a lot of experience with it. But there are different types of stress – acute and chronic.
Acute stress is usually short in duration and results from a specific event or situation. This is generally the more obvious stressful event – like giving a presentation, taking an important exam, or having an argument with a friend or partner.
In contrast, chronic stress is long-term. It’s the type of stress that is ongoing. It can be something that is continuously stressful or something that starts and stops all over again. Chronic stress doesn’t have to be a big event but can be something with a low intensity that is happening for a long time. Some examples of chronic stress can include the stress of money (like student loans, or not being able to work full-time because you’re a full-time student) or academic pressure. Relationships can be chronic stressors, too. Overall, chronic stress is harder on your body and mind than acute stress.
What are some easy ways to combat stress? Meditation (even 5 minutes can help), yoga (check out SPU’s free mindfulness yoga classes!), or just about anything that can help you check-in to the present moment and help you slow down. This could be going for a walk or doing some self-care – like coloring, playing your favorite sport or video game, or chatting with a friend about what’s going on. Sometimes even just the self-awareness that you’re experiencing stress can be helpful!