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27 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
any physical or psychological event or condition that produces stress
Stress response
the physiological changes associated with stress
the collective physiological and emotional responses to any stimulus that disturbs an individual’s homeostasis
Types of Stress
Environmental stress
heat, noise, overcrowding, climate, terrain
Physiological stress
drugs, caffeine, tobacco, injury, infection or disease, physical effort
Emotional stress
-life-changing event, -family illness, problems or change at work, death, increase responsibility
Physiological response to stress
increased HR, BP; sweaty palms; fatigue; dry mouth; frequent illness; headaches; aching lower back; gastrointestinal problems
Cognitive response to stress
decrease in concentration and attention span; trouble remembering things
Emotional response to stress
anxiety; depression; edginess; fatigue; impulsiveness; irritability
Behavioral response to stress
nervous habits; altered eating and sleep patterns; problems communicating; social isolation; increased use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs
The Stress Target Zone
Good and bad stress
Distress is negative stress
Eustress is positive stress
Some amount of positive stress is important and good for us. It challenges us and makes us grow and develop.
Balance between "rust out" and "burn out"
Fight or Flight
immediately mobilizes body’s resources, general reaction to all stressors
--two bodily systems involved:
Autonomic nervous system: branch of the peripheral nervous system that controls basic body processes
--Sympathetic division: division of the autonomic nervous system that reacts to danger or other challenges by accelerating body processes
--Parasympathetic division: division of the autonomic nervous system that moderates the excitatory effect of the sympathetic division
Endocrine system: system of glands, tissues, and cells that secrete hormones into the bloodstream; influences metabolism and body processes
--Norepinephrine: neurotransmitter released by the sympathetic division to increase body functions; increases attention, awareness, alertness
--Epinephrine: hormone secreted by the inner core of the adrenal gland
--Cortisol: steroid hormone secreted by the outer layer of the adrenal gland
--Endorphin: brain secretions that have pain-inhibiting effects
Together, the nervous system and the endocrine system prepare the body to respond to a stressor. The physiological response is the same regardless of the nature of the stressor. Once a stressful situation ends, the parasympathetic division returns the body to homeostasis—a state of stability and consistency in an individual’s physiological functioning.
The fight-or-flight reaction is often inappropriate for dealing with the stressors of modern life, many of which do not require a physical response.
General Adaptation Syndrome:
-Alarm reaction: immediate reaction, immune system lowered
-Resistance: adapt to stress, increased resistance to illness, immune system working overtime
-Exhaustion: not able to maintain  worn out, decrease in resistance
Everyone has different levels of toleration and resistance, but everyone gets to exhaustion at some point.
Type A = ultracompetitive, controlling, impatient, aggressive, hostile
Easily upset; react explosively to stressors
Type B = relaxed, contemplative, tolerant of others
React more calmly to stressors
Type C = difficulty expressing emotions, anger suppression, feelings of hopelessness and despair
Exaggerated stress response
--Gender roles affect perception of and responses to stressors
--Both sexes experience the fight-or-flight physiological response to stress
--Women are more likely to respond behaviorally with a pattern of “tend-and-befriend”
--Gender differences may be partly tied to higher levels of the hormone oxytocin in women
Past Experiences
--Past experiences influence the cognitive evaluation of a potential stressor
--Effective behavioral responses can overcome the effects of negative past experiences
--Committed to activities, sense of inner purpose, inner locus of control. View stressors as challenges and opportunities for growth.
Explain appraisal process
--stressor occurs
--(appraisal) either see stressor as a threat or a challenge
--results in high or low stress
--use a coping mechanism
Why is Stress Dangerous?

CHD and stroke
Gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers
Impaired immune system


Fewer positive behaviors
More negative behaviors
Counterproductive Coping Strategies


Other drugs

Binge eating
Managing Stress
Exercise: Reduces anxiety and increases sense of well-being; mobilizes energy resources to complete the energy cycle; avoid compulsive exercise

Nutrition: Eat a balanced diet; avoid excess caffeine

Sleep: Lack of sleep is both a cause and an effect of excess stress

Social Support: Foster friendships; keep family ties strong; get involved with a group

Communication: Balance anger and assertiveness

Spiritual wellness: Organized religion; spending time in nature; helping others; art or other creative endeavors; personal relationships
--Spiritual wellness can promote: Social support; healthy habits; positive attitude; moments of relaxation; awareness and clarification of personal values

Managing anger:
Reframe self-talk, speak and listen non-defensively, deliberately calm self, find distractions
Counteract rage with calm, validate the other person, probe, assume a problem orientation, refuse to be abused, disengage
Cognitive Techniques to Manage Stress
Modify expectations

Engage in realistic self-talk

Live in the present

“Go with the flow”

Cultivate your sense of humor
Relaxation response
a physiological state characterized by a feeling of warmth and quiet mental alertness
Relaxation techniques
Progressive relaxation: alternating muscle tension and relaxation

Biofeedback: a technique that uses monitoring devices to help a person become conscious of unconscious body processes, such as body temperature or blood pressure, in order to exert some control over them.

Visualization: creating or recreating vivid mental pictures of a place or an experience


Deep, slow breathing

Listening to music

Meditation, yoga

Getting Help
Peer counseling and support groups
Professional help

Is it stress or something more serious?
Severe depression is linked to suicide
a mood disorder characterized by loss of interest in usual activities, sadness, hopelessness, loss appetite, disturbed sleep, and other physical symptoms