Essay on Understanding The Body 's Physiological Responses Of Stress

795 Words Nov 5th, 2015 4 Pages
“I’m so stressed” is a widely used phrase, said by many students and professionals alike who have a lot to manage in their busy lives. However, many people do not realize the mental and physical implications of stress. In Chapter 13 of Invitation to Psychology, 5th Ed., by Carol Wade and Carol Tavris, the physiology and psychology of stress is examined, along with various ways to cope with stress in our everyday lives. By understanding the body’s physiological responses of stress, we gain a better understanding of the different management techniques and alternatives used to help cope with stress.
Two examples of physiological variables, tense muscles and high blood pressure, occur when a stressor persists after the body mobilizes its resources to deal with the threat. This response is called the general adaptation syndrome, which occurs in three stages- alarm, resistance and exhaustion. The alarm phase is the “fight-or-flight” response stage, which mobilizes the sympathetic nervous system to deal with the stressor. It boosts energy levels, tenses muscles, and shuts down digestion. The resistance phase adapts to the unavoidable threat. In this stage, the responses from the alarm stage continues, but causes the body to be more vulnerable to other stressors, such as the flu virus. The last stage, the exhaustion phase depletes the body of energy, leaving the body vulnerable to physical problems and illnesses. For example, if Jane, a student taking PSY 202, knows there is going…

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