Types of Stress

Cause and Types of Stress

Stress is stress, right? Well, not always. There are actually different types of stress. They vary according to frequency, severity, and symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of them.


This may be a new term to some. Eustress refers to “good” stress, or the kind of stress that actually enhances health and performance. This is the kind of stress you feel when you’re super enthusiastic about something. This can be work related, or about something in your private life or leisure time too.

Eustress is generally best felt when you feel “goosebumps” for something you are positive or enthusiastic about. And simply thinking about it makes you feel happy.

Other ways that eustress manifests are in creative and athletic efforts. An artist who is driven by eustress becomes inspired and full of creativity. An athlete gains excited energy, the brain releases adrenaline, and his or her body performs to its highest potential.

Eustress is brief, intense, and does not wear the body out, rather at the contrary it gives the body and mind more energy!


Distress is caused by a traumatic event or events, or some sort of negative environmental factor. It is sometimes used synonymously with anxiety. Distress itself is divided into two types: acute and chronic distress.

  • Acute distress results from a perceived threat. It may be real, such as being physically attacked, or it may be purely psychological. Either way, the result is distress. It’s your response to being threatened. Acute distress can also be a reaction to a change or upheaval in your life. It is always temporary.
  • Chronic distress is more on-going. It can result in illness and depression. It may still be caused by perceived threats or difficulties in the environment, but they are continual or frequent. Chronic distress can result if you are yelled at by your boss every day, for example, or by your spouse if you are in a problematic marriage. Where acute distress is like a hammer blow, chronic distress is like a slow wearing down with sandpaper.

Cause and Types of Stress

Here is a video that explains both above mentioned stress categories well:

However, there two more stress categories to consider. These are hyper-stress and hypo-stress.


The prefix “hyper” denotes too much of something, or an excess of some sort – hyperactivity, hyperthyroidism, etc. Hyper-stress is no exception. It refers to relentless stress that forces you to perform optimally and continually. It’s like being asked to give your all every minute of every day, and sometimes through the night as well. Hyper-stress is not healthy, and can cause burn-out.

Hyper-stressed people often feel tense and edgy, and have time for nothing and nobody but the task at hand or what they are hyper-stressed about. If you are hyper-stressed, you may find that your emotions are always just below the surface and are easily provoked.


The opposite of the “hyper” prefix, “hypo” denotes a lack, as in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If you experience hypo-stress or rather are hypo-stressed, you don’t have enough stimuli. You’re bored and do not have much motivation. This does not mean you’re not doing anything; you just are not doing anything that interests or motivates you. For example, if you have a job that involves repetitive, mechanical action, such as on an assembly line, you may experience hypo-stress. Hypo-stress can make you feel restless, discontent, or apathetic.


Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Pin on Pinterest
Share on Reddit