What to Do When You’re Permastressed

By Kerry Weiss
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
January 06, 2023

Everyone feels stressed from time to time. The pressure we feel from short-lived stress—like being stuck in traffic—usually lessens when the source of the stress is resolved.

But sometimes, stressful situations can pile up, and the pressure does not go away. When this happens, it may feel like you’re “permastressed.” This trending word is being used to describe a state of chronic stress linked to the unique challenges of our time—navigating everything from the pandemic and climate change to political divisions and inflation, on top of everyday life.

What Is Acute vs. Chronic Stress?

Stress is a normal part of daily life. “When you experience stress, your mind and body react to help protect you and keep you safe,” says Adam Gonzalez, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist, vice chair of behavioral health at Stony Brook Medicine, and founding director of the Stony Brook University Mind-Body Clinical Research Center.