Stress varies from person to person and from day to day
occurs because stress is inextricably connected to our cognitive appraisals of events
stress is the process of appraising events (as harmful, threatening, or challenging), of assessing one's potential to control or cope with the event, and continuing reappraisal as new information becomes available
process of appraising events or situations as harmful, threatening, or challenging. Also, a pattern of hormonal and physiological responses that accompany threatening events
humans respond to stress with fairly consistent physiological patterns
General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)
Progressive responses to prolonged exposure to stressful events during which an organism mobilizes for action and compensates for stress.
When an organism is confronted with a stressor, its body mobilizes for action. This mobilization effort mediated by the sympathetic nervous system and it works primarily through the action of specific stress hormones on the body's muscle and organ systems. The response to the stress is nonspecific...the same physiological reactions occur regardless of the stressor
Selye's 3 phases of general adaptation syndrome
when an organism exposed to a stressful event
first experiences an alarm reaction in which it mobilizes to meet the threat.
corticosteroids , epinephrine, and norepinephrine
epinephrine and norepinephrine
A sudden arousal of the sympathetic nervous system
produces a flood of stress hormones
stress hormones prepare body for "fight or flight"
produces a number of physiological reactions
increasing heart rate, blood pressure.
This forces blood to parts of the body that may need it for strenuous physical activity such as flight away from danger. We experience this as a pounding heartbeat.
Sugar and fats flood the blood
provide fuel for quick energy. These extra reserves allow people to perform super human feats.
Digestion slows or ceases during alarm
making more blood available to muscles and brain
breathing rate accelerates
supply increased oxygen to muscles
tensing of muscles
prep for an adaptive response.
response that cools our body down and allows us to burn more energy
clotting agents are released into blood
blood will clot more rapidly if we are injured
not able to maintain high alarm level of bodily response or sympathetic activity.
parasympathetic comes into play, providing a braking mechanism for the organs activated by the sympathetic
2nd stage of resistance
body continues to draw upon resources at an above normal rate but it is less aroused than in the alarm state
If stress is prolonged or repeated
likely to enter 3rd stage of exhaustion
Direct result of continued drain on resources
body tissues may begin to show signs of wear and tear during exhaustion stage
susceptibility to disease increase
continued exposure to stressor
likely to deplete adaptive energy
symptoms of initial alarm likely to reappaear
alarm reaction likely to continue without any reduction in intensity
If unable to develop coping strategy
Criticism of Selye's theory
failed to acknowledge important role of psychological factors in stress response.
i.e.: the significant role of cognitive appraisal in determining the extent to which we assess a particular environmental event as stressful
Particular stressors may be associated with distinctly different physiological responses
calls into question Selye's assumption of nonspecificity in reaction to stress
i.e. exercise stress produces a different physiological pattern than emotional stress
3 most effective stress coping methods
biofeedback, relaxation training, and exercise
provides individuals with information about their bodily processes that they can use to modify these processes
i.e. learn to recognize symptoms of high blood pressure so they can apply techniques to control response
treat Tension headaches
treat muscle tension
biofeedback and relaxation training
treat high blood pressure
biofeedback and relaxation training
treat chronic pain
first tighten the muscle then relax and then progress systematically to other body areas until the entire body is relaxed
Delay the recurrence of terminal cancer
plays role in facilitating body's immune system to fend off rapid growth of cancer cells
distracts from source of stress
Lowers blood pressure
Provides longest lasting stress reduction
replace negative self-statements with positive coping statements
time management training
learn to say no and delegate. help recognize limits so you don;t over commit
stress management through setting goals and establishing priorities, task oriented
lack of assertiveness
assertiveness training that allows people to confront situations rather than let stress boil up inside
Facing stress alone
manage stress by finding support groups and counseling