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  • Writer's pictureEric

The four types of stress

Updated: Apr 18

This is a transcript from the video above.

hi everyone, welcome back to burnout help stress and burnout first aid.

Today I want to speak to you about the four types of stress that we can experience.

The four types are:

  • structural stress

  • mental and emotional stress

  • biological and chemical stress

  • spiritual stress

So let me tell you a little bit more about what these are.

First, structural stress. If you broke your leg for example or if you have a problem with your spine and your posture or if there's something wrong with your bones or your vertebrae, that is structural stress. This type of stress is best handled by a therapist who can take a look at it or by doctors if you broke something. So that is a very specific type of stress. But it is a form of stress nonetheless. It's stress on your body but it also impacts your mental and emotional state.

The second type of stress is biological and chemical. What do I mean here by biological or chemical stress? If you're having a problem at the cellular level, if you have cancer, if you've been exposed to toxins, if you've got viruses or bacteria, these are all biological or chemical types of stress. There's something going on at the cellular level or at the DNA level and it is stressing you. It can create a huge stress on your body from the inside and obviously that also has a consequences for your mental health. This is what we mean by biological and chemical stress. We must make sure that we realize that any kind of stress on the body is stress overall. It's not that stress only comes from things that are affecting us up here (head or brain). If your body is stressed in a very direct way such as an illness or if your body is stressed through a virus infecting you, or through a lack of a vitamin, or a bacteria in your intestine, these are stress on your body. But it is also stress that is going to impact you on a higher level, on a different level.

Which is a bridge to the third type of stress: mental and emotional. Now when we think of stress, we often think of that kind of stress. Mental or emotional stress can come also from a lot of different places. It can come from trauma when you were young or it can come from an inability to feel positive. Perhaps you have some kind of disregulation in your body with your hormones or your neurotransmitters. This is biological and chemical stress but then also connects to mental and emotional stress. You could also have mental or emotional stress because your relationship broke up or because you lost a parent or because you lost your job or because there's a lot of restructuring and new stuff going on at work or because somebody yelled at you and did not treat you right. These are all forms of mental and emotional stress.

The last type of stress is what we call spiritual stress. Here we are referring to the bigger questions in life, such as purpose, search for meaning, search for identity...Very often people will come to a point in their life - and I've been through this myself - where you ask yourself 'who am I?', 'what is the new version of me?'. Especially if you're somebody who's prone to stress, you are probably somebody who's prone to asking yourself these questions, or at least coming to a point where these questions are going to become relevant. 'Do I have a relationship to some kind of higher level, whatever that may mean for you? It doesn't have to be traditional religion. It could be something else such as purpose, meaning, sense of I fulfilled in that area? if not then I'm probably experiencing stress in that area.

These are the four types of stress. I hope this was useful for you, to have that overview and to understand 'what kind of stress am I experiencing right now and how does it affect me in different ways?'

Talk to you later have a great day.


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