by Dr. Marla E. Jirak, Owner, CoachSmart Consulting, LLC
Whether you are changing careers, caring for a family member, beginning or ending a relationship, these events can be stressful. Men, like women, experience stress in various ways.
Sometimes it is not easily recognized what kind of stress we are under.
When we experience the demands and pressures of the recent past or anticipated demands and pressures of the near future, we can become stressed.
This is the most common variety of stress. It’s manageable and at times motivating in small doses — a fast run down a challenging ski slope — but it this can be draining. It can also be such things as a tight deadline, traffic jam or an argument with your partner.
Acute stress equals change; something that disturbs our equilibrium. This can be a physical change (a virus), a chemical change (side effects of a medication) or an emotional change (a relationship ending.)
EPISODIC ACUTE STRESS
A lot of life changes over a period of time can result in this stress. People suffering from episodic stress always seem to be in the midst of a crisis. They tend to worry too much, are sometimes intense, often irritable, angry or anxious.
This kind of stress throws a person out of their equilibrium and can be habit forming, especially when worrying about small events or things in the day. For some, this leads to insomnia or trouble sleeping because a person can not slow down their frantic worrying process.
Chronic stress is long-term, constant, unrelenting stress on the body, mind or spirit. Deep-seated and persistent, it’s the stress of an unhappy relationship, debt or an unfulfilling career.
According to the American Psychological Association “it’s the stress of unrelenting demands and pressures for seemingly interminable periods of time.”
For some, chronic stress is more obvious — living in horrible conditions, being homeless, experiencing on-going abuse, being in prison or living in a war-torn country.
For men, there is no need to tough it out.
Managing stress is important to avoid going into a downward spiral of illness, depression, anxiety or a breakdown in physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
Too much stress is dangerous and saps the joy out of life. Ultimately it can kill, whether through a heart attack, a violent act, suicide, a stroke or even cancer.