Managing Stress

February 29, 2012

Getting enough sleep, relaxing, reaching out to family and friends, taking up a hobby and seeking professional help are all different stress management techniques according to However, besides just managing stress, understanding it and its effects is also very important.

There are two types of stress, acute stress and chronic stress.

“Acute stress is more immediate and unplanned. How your body reacts is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response meaning that your body can choose to fight or flee the stress,” said Dixie Jackson, Clinical Therapist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Prairie du Chien. Who added that, “Unlike acute stress, chronic stress is more constant and recurring.”

Examples of acute stress include:

  • Swerving to avoid a car accident
  • Pressure to finish a project by a tight deadline
  • An unscheduled meeting with your boss

Examples of chronic stress include:

  • Prolonged financial, relationship or health problems.

“Stress can be caused by a variety of different factors with some of the most common stresses coming from our jobs, family and friends,” said Jackson.

According to, stress can affect your body, mood and behavior in a variety of ways.

Common effects of stress on your body may include:

  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems
  • Upset stomach

Common effects on mood include:

  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Common effects on behavior include:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Social withdrawal
  •  Overeating or underrating
  • Angry outbursts

“Identifying and managing your stress when it first begins is very important so it does not pose long term effects that can have larger consequences,” said Jackson.

For more information about stress and stress management, please contact your local health care provider.


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Rick Thiesse
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