LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Local licensed therapist Susan Harrington says there are three stages of stress: good stress, bad stress, and exhaustion.

Good stress is commonly know as our fight or flight response. You may experience muscle tension or an increased heart rate. Bad stress, also known as resistance, is when our bodies build up a tolerance for living in distress. It can contribute to other physical and mental health poblems.

According to Harrington, “It will show up like isolation, irritability, illness, and frequent colds.”

The last step, exhaustion, can result in hopelessness. Harrington encourages frequent breaks, planning ahead, and, most importantly, finding meaning to avoid reaching exhaustion.

“Identify what is important to you and others. This is important to manage stress,” she says.