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Stress Study Guide


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Title: Stress Study Guide

Stress Study Guide
  • Good vs. Bad stress
  • Autonomic Nervous System
  • Mind/Body connection
  • Most common stressors
  • Immune system
  • Fight or Flight
  • A/B Personality Types
  • Psychosomatic symptoms vs. Hypochondriac symptoms
  • What are they and why do people get different
  • Self-efficacy
  • Locus of Control
  • Emotion vs. Problem-Focused Coping (control and
    change yourself or the situation)
  • Coping with stress healthy and non-healthy
  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation
  • GAS (General Adaptation Syndrome Alarm,
    Resistance, Exhaustion)
  • Effects of exercise
  • Dealing with conflict approach/avoidance
  • PTSD

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  • To be totally without stress is to be
  • - Hans Selye

  • Negative bad stress vs. Positive good stress
    how can that be?
  • Review
  • Autonomic Nervous System

  • Stress is any time your body has to adjust to any
    kind of change. Ex.
  • Stress causes a significant overload to the MIND
    and BODY.
  • 1 stressor
  • 2 stressor

  • People who report a high level of stress are
    twice as likely to get a cold.
  • Being stressed out is bad for your body!
  • Hormones are produced when you stress out
    these hormones suppress the IMMUNE SYSTEM, thus
    making the body more susceptible to diseases,
    viruses and infections. Ex. Womans husband dies.

  • Immune System the bodys defense and
    surveillance network of cells and chemicals that
    fight off bacteria, viruses and other foreign or
    toxic substances.

Most vulnerable to disease
  • People recently
  • Fired
  • Divorced
  • Widowed
  • Finnish study
  • 96,000 widowed people study
  • Risk of death doubled in the week following
    partners death
  • Dying of a broken heart

Stress, Health and Coping
  • Primitive physiological responses (sweat, heart
    rate increase etc.) that arouse and prepare the
    body (muscles and brain) for action. Its
    triggered by physical or psychological situations
    that are new, threatening or challenging.
  • This response provides the body with increased
    energy to deal with perceived threatening
    situations whether real or imagined.
  • The number of fight or flight we experience
    depends on our levels of stress.

  • Its a survival mechanism to prepare the body for
    action and survival its automatic. It used to
    be used to prepare the body to escape from
    predators now we use the same response for
    non-threatening situations such as traffic.
  • If we overuse it and
  • keep our body in a
  • near constant state
  • of arousal painful
  • physical symptoms

Biggest problem with stress
  • Your body cant distinguish between physical
    stress and mental stress.
  • So your body is ready to FIGHT or FLEE even when
    thats not what you need to do
  • This activation is hard on your body and youre
    more likely to get sick if it continues

Are there gender differences? Yes!
  • Sources are often different
  • Married men show better mental health than
    married women
  • Caring for children is more stressful than almost
    any job
  • New research men are more likely to have fight
    or flight reaction, while women have tend and
    befriend reaction (seek social support)
  • Women emotional coping
  • Men problem-solving strategies

Does EXERCISE help alleviate stress?
  • YES working out regularly
  • can help alleviate physical
  • and mental stress. Stress causes a lot of
    physical problems that can be overcome with
    exercise (obesity, muscle aches etc.). It also
    releases endorphins (the feel-good chemicals)
    that produce a calming effect.

2 Types of Personality
The Type A PersonalityWe try harder!!!
  • Early Characteristics
  • Impatient, aggressive, workaholic, competitive,
    time-urgent, HOSTILE, bossy, road rage, fast
    drivers, fast talkers, list makers, prefer to
    work alone
  • More likely to suffer from heart attack
    (hostility plus depression in men is best
    predictor) their hearts cant take the stress
  • Reduce cynical mistrust of others
  • Reduce frequency and intensity of anger and rage
  • Learn to treat others with kindness and develop
    skills to handle stress

Cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Roy Rosenhan
  • Mid-1950s, San Francisco
  • Noticed that the chairs in their waiting rooms
    were all worn out along the front edges but
    almost like new otherwise
  • Thought their patients might be the type of
    people who often sit on the edges of their chairs
  • Realized other characteristics of male heart
  • Competitive and ambitious
  • Speak rapidly and interrupt others
  • Frequently hostile and angry

Changing from Type A to Type B and lessening the
effect of stress
  • Positive self-statements
  • Challenge appraisal
  • Exercise
  • Progressive relaxation
  • Biofeedback
  • Learn to meditate

Some other Type A thoughts
  • Not just hostility but also MISTRUST of other
    people a CYNICISM
  • Can it be genetic?
  • Is it a result of failure to resolve Eriksons
    first stage trust vs. mistrust?
  • More research needed to find link between
    personality and biology
  • Take a test to see if youre a Type A

Type B Personality
  • Easygoing, calm, relaxed and patient, slow
  • drivers, slow talkers
  • Less likely to get heart attacks, colds, ulcers

  • Executives more likely to be type A or B?
  • New Type A/B
  • Gender adjectives for both.

Hans Selye 1907-1982
your body goes through when its stressed.
  • ALARM STAGE initial reaction to stress fight
    or flight response which causes physiological
    arousal. Short bursts of stress - bodies go in
    and out of this stage many times a day. Can be
    false alarms. Ex.

  • RESISTANCE STAGE eye of the storm bodys
    reaction to continued stress bodily responses
    return to normal levels to do this, since the
    body is stressed, the body has to use up great
    stores of energy. Body seems to be functioning
    normally but actually it has to work 2x as hard
    to do this.
  • EXHAUSTION STAGE Bodys reaction to long-term,
    continuous stress actual breakdown in internal
    organs or weakening of the infection-fighting
    immune system. Body gets tired of constant state
    of arousal. During this stage, for example,
    stomach pains turn into ulcers. PAY BACK! Ex.

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How your body reacts to stress
Effect of sustained stress
  • Change in immune system reduces bodys resistance
    to disease
  • Can alter a diseases course
  • Response in heart
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in blood clotting
  • Increase in chance of clots
  • Increase in likelihood that loose fat deposits
    will close off coronary arteries
  • Arrhythmias

Life expectancy in Russia1990-93
  • Following collapse of Russian socialism
  • Mushrooming rates of divorce, murder, suicide,
    stress-related diseases
  • Life expectancy for Russian men plummeted
  • From 64 years to 58.9 years
  • Contrast
  • Monks with a relatively peaceful life
  • Lowest rate of heart attacks

  • psycho mind somatic body
  • Real physical symptoms that are caused by
    psychological factors such as stress.
  • 70-90 health problems!
  • Real tissue damage (unlike hypochondriac
    imagined physical ailments)

Common psychosomatic symptoms
  • Outbreaks of herpes (facial or genital)
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular difficulties
  • Pains in neck, shoulders, back
  • Grinding teeth during sleep
  • Recurring colds of flu
  • Eating problems
  • Headaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Intestinal difficulties
  • Fatigue without physical exertion
  • Insomnia
  • Skin problems or rashes
  • Asthma and allergy flareups

  • Prolonged stress can produce physical
    deterioration and psychosomatic symptoms (not the
    same as hypochondriacal symptoms when a person
    misinterprets physical sensations as symptoms of

Why does one person have some psychosomatic
symptoms and someone else have different ones?
(And some people dont have any!)
  • Whatever part of our body is genetically
    vulnerable will be attacked (different for
    different people).
  • The parts of our bodies that are targeted or
    weakened will be especially vulnerable during
  • When and why stressors surface
  • Inherited predisposition
  • Nutrition
  • Lifestyle
  • Stressful situation
  • Appraisal of situation as a threat

Psychosomatic symptoms are a clear demonstration
of the Mind-Body connection
Dealing with Conflict
  • Having to choose between two (or more)
  • Approach-approach
  • Both possibilities are appealing
  • Avoidance-avoidance
  • Both possibilities are disagreeable
  • Approach-avoidance
  • Situation has good and bad possibilities
  • Having to choose can be very stressful

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2 Ways to COPE with STRESS
  • Change the situation (for when you have
  • Ex.
  • Change ourselves (for when we have no control).
  • EF coping changes how we think about the
  • Ex.
  • Coping control!

Which one we use depends on the situation and how
much control we have (or think we have).Control
sometimes you can only change yourself and
sometimes you should change the
situation.Coping less control more
stress(Social support better health)
So the good (or bad ) news may
  • How stressed we are depends on how we appraise

Stress appraisal
  • Appraisal Response
  • THREAT Panic,
  • (Yikes, this is freeze up
  • beyond me!)
  • CHALLENGE Aroused,
  • (Ive got to apply focused
  • all I know!)
  • Stressful event
  • (tough math test)

One of lifes best coping mechanisms is to know
the difference between an inconvenience and a
problem.If you break your neck, if you have
nothing to eat, if your house is on fire then
youve got a problem. Everything else is an
inconvenience.Life is inconvenient. Life is
lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the
throat and a lump in the breast are not the same
kind of lump. One needs to learn the
difference.- Robert Fulghum
Our feelings of perceived controlgame
  • Locus of control our belief about how much
    control we have over our situations in our lives
  • External locus of control - more stress!
  • Belief that we dont have much control
  • because fate determines what happens to us
  • Internal locus of control
  • Belief that we have at least some control over
    what happens to us
  • People with an internal locus of control are more
    likely to have self-efficacy and are healthier
  • Studies show better mental health, report of
    less stress,
  • preventive health measures taken

Why do people appraise stress differently?
  • Our personality makes a difference
  • High Self-efficacy/Internal Locus of Control and
    hardiness Optimism
  • Low Self-efficacy/External Locus of Control -
  • Negative affectivity
  • Pessimistic explanatory style
  • Suffer more illnesses
  • More stress
  • Die earlier
  • More likely to die of a second heart attack
  • Type A personality vs. Type B personality

The importance of Optimism
  • Shown to predict
  • Good health
  • Immune system functioning
  • Faster rehabilitation
  • Living longer

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe psychological symptoms suffered after
    experiencing a traumatic event
  • Recurring and disturbing real memories
  • Recurring nightmares
  • Intense fear and anxiety

MODEL OF STRESS Include stressors, perceptions,
physical and psychological reaction and coping
  • 1. Brainstorm examples of stressors that are
    common among students (arguments with parents
  • 2. After a long list has been developed your
    group must
  • A Decide on the 6 that occur most frequently.
  • B Come up with a list of perceptual statements or
    self-statements commonly used by students when
    dealing with stress (I cant deal with this
    anymore) and pick most common statements.
  • C Decide what kinds of physical and psychological
    stress reactions are most common (headaches etc.)
  • D Frequently used coping methods (shopping,
    drinking) and circle non-healthy methods and come
    up with alternative and healthier methods.
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