Situational Stress and Its Effects
Situational stress is a little different then the daily stressors that
we face on a regular basis. Things considered “situational” may include,
but are by no means limited to: Temporary job loss, unexpected illness,
an automobile accident, fire, a child going off to college or joining
the military, or the discovery of an unexpected pregnancy. While not all
would be considered “bad” things, they all induce stress.
Quite a few things can determine how you handle each of these types of
events or the length of time it takes to recover from such issues. Each
stressful event, whether a happy one or not, will create the same
physical reactions as any other. The sweaty palms, increased heart rate,
racing thoughts, possible hyperventilation and so on, however, they
normally do not continue indefinitely as many of our daily situations
Your reaction to situational stress can include the immediate “fight or
flight” response, as in a fire or dangerous situation. These initial
reactions are perfectly normal and usually do not pose any long-term
physical ramifications. However, the stress of trying to navigate life
after your home has burned to the ground or your child going off to war,
these are situations that are not short term and can have health issues
if you do not find constructive ways of dealing with them.
When there is a situation that is going to be temporary, but still feels
overwhelming at the time, there are things you can do to help you get
through it easier. In many communities, there are organizations or
church groups, as well as hospitals and clinics that will connect you
with others that are undergoing the same type of unexpected stressors.
Sometimes, just knowing that you are not alone and that others are
facing the same problems can make the issues seem less overwhelming.
Situational stress should not be taken lightly or pushed aside simply
because you know that “this too shall pass”. Whether the stress that you
are facing is temporary or long-term, not dealing with it in an
effective and healthy manner can cause significant health problems.
Regardless of whether the stress you are dealing with is temporary,
long-term, expected or not, you need to find ways to reduce the amount
of stress in your life. If that is not possible, then you should think
about some of the remedies available to help you cope with them in other