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Types Of Stress: Acute & Chronic

By Rescue® Team & The Stress Management Society
The Stress Management Society & Team RESCUE®

Stress is a daily reality for many people. It is a natural reaction to high pressure situations and in small doses can even be beneficial. However, constant stress can lead to both physical and emotional health problems over time. Therefore, it’s important to manage your stress levels (The Stress Management Society website) and stay relaxed.

There are two main types of stress; acute stress and chronic stress. These describe the difference between the little stresses that we experience on a daily basis, and the more severe stress that can build up when you are exposed to a stressful situation over a longer period. 

Acute Stress

Acute stress is something which affects almost everyone from time to time. It relates to events and pressures of the present and the near future — running late for work or forgetting an important appointment. A little of this type of stress can be helpful, motivating you to keep going and get things done. Over time, these little stresses can all add up, but it is possible to become more resilient to acute stress by managing your time better, taking care of your health and practicing relaxation techniques.

Different people experience acute stress in different ways. If you find that you are getting stressed more often, there are plenty of things you can do to help. Here are some of our best tips to keep relaxed during the day.

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is stress that builds up when you are exposed to a high-pressure situation over a longer period of time. Once you get into this chronic stress mindset, it can result in constant feelings of anxiety, depression, or other symptoms of stress.

If you think that you may be suffering from chronic stress, one of best things you can do it talk to somebody. This could be a trusted friend or relative, or a healthcare professional. This will help you to get things off your chest and get you started on the road to a stress-free lifestyle.

If you feel that you need some extra help to deal with acute or chronic stress, you can find well qualified healthcare professionals via organizations like NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at

You can also reduce your stress levels by maintaining a good work-life balance.

See below for related articles on stress or go to our Stress topic page.