top of page

Stress vs Trauma: What's The Difference?

Stress vs Trauma: What's The Difference? And Why It Matters.

Understanding Stress vs. Trauma

In this edition of our newsletter, we delve into two critical aspects of mental health and physical health: stress and trauma. Often used interchangeably, these terms have distinct meanings and impacts on our well-being. 

Stress: A Common Experience

Stress is a natural reaction to challenges or demands. It's your body's way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger - whether it's real or imagined - the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the "fight-or-flight" reaction. This can be beneficial in short bursts, helping you stay focused, energetic, and alert.

  • Stress is often short-term.

  • It can be positive ('eustress') or negative ('distress').

  • Stress is typically related to specific situations or events.

Trauma: A Deeper Impact

Trauma, on the other hand, is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, abuse, assault, or a natural disaster. However, trauma can also stem from prolonged, chronic stressors such as ongoing emotional abuse or living in a high-conflict environment. It can also come from witnessing, seeing via news and media anything traumatic like violence, war, devastation. Unlike stress, trauma can leave long-lasting psychological scars.

  • Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one's ability to cope.

  • It can have long-term emotional and psychological effects.

  • Trauma often requires more complex healing processes.

In the words of Peter Levine, PhD, trauma expert and the creator of Somatic Experiencing:

"Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods. Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness."

He also states

"Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence"

These words are a foundation of hope. 

Our capacity to handle stress is impacted by stress and trauma. 

Resilience is measured by the ability of our mind and body to return to a neutral state after stress. 

More to come in the next edition.

Your coach and friend,



By the way,

If you would like to book a consultation to see exactly what to do next about your health and wellness.  BOOK Resilient Life Wellness CONSULTATION HERE. (*Involves a fee)

For more information on our programs go to my wellness business Dobbie

22 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page