Surviving a tiger chase. Living through the death of a family member. Encountering a stock market crash. These events are simply part of human life. The question is not how to prevent them from happening again. The questions should be what did we learn from the experience, how do we use the new knowledge to make ourselves stronger, and life more meaningful from now on.
In other words, the occasional acute stress is actually healthy for us, in my opinion. It stimulates us to a new level of awareness, and teases us toward transcendence up to a new level of consciousness. It exposes our weaknesses, and urges us to transform them into strengths. It is the reason we came down to Earth School. It is what makes life interesting as a human being.
Chronic stress, on the other hand, is a completely different story. A chronic stress is any stress that has been allowed to persist, such that another area of life is secondarily affected. It is a sign of having fallen into the spell of powerlessness.
Being diagnosed with a major illness is acute stress, but living as if it is now your permanent commander-in-chief is chronic stress. Finding out you have been betrayed is acute stress, but feeling like you can never trust anyone again is chronic stress.
Physical duress does not need to equate to chronic stress. If you cannot remove yourself physically from the trying situation, you can still change your perspective. Ask yourself what you are learning from the circumstances. Try to see the humor in it, if at all possible. Look at the universality of the event: you are never the only person to experience such situations, the Universe is not out to get you personally. Emotional duress is chronic stress, and fortunately, you can choose to not go there.
They say ignorance is bliss. I say bliss is being able to smile through ignorant blunders, and come out maintaining innocence unjaded.
Life is only an adventure. Remember to give gratitude during the uneventful stretches of your life, because those are your vacations!