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What is short-term (acute) stress?

ANSWER

When you are in a stressful situation, your body launches a physical response. Your nervous system springs into action, releasing hormones that prepare you to either fight or take off. It's called the "fight or flight" response, and it's why, when you're in a stressful situation, you may notice that your heartbeat speeds up, your breathing gets faster, your muscles tense, and you start to sweat. This kind of stress is short-term and temporary (acute stress), and your body usually recovers quickly from it.

SOURCES:

American Psychological Association: "Mind/Body Health: Stress."

Orth-Gomer, K. The Journal of the American Medical Association; 2000.

Orth-Gomer, K. Circulation, 2009.

National Ag Safety Database: "Stress Management for the Health of It."

National Women's Health Information Center: "Stress and Your Health."

American Psychological Association: "Stress in America."

CDC, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: "Stress ... At Work."

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on March 9, 2020

SOURCES:

American Psychological Association: "Mind/Body Health: Stress."

Orth-Gomer, K. The Journal of the American Medical Association; 2000.

Orth-Gomer, K. Circulation, 2009.

National Ag Safety Database: "Stress Management for the Health of It."

National Women's Health Information Center: "Stress and Your Health."

American Psychological Association: "Stress in America."

CDC, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: "Stress ... At Work."

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on March 9, 2020

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What is chronic stress?

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