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Stress Stress: A state of psychological tension or strain. The process by which we perceive and respond to certain events. Stressors: Events that we perceive.

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Presentation on theme: "Stress Stress: A state of psychological tension or strain. The process by which we perceive and respond to certain events. Stressors: Events that we perceive."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stress Stress: A state of psychological tension or strain. The process by which we perceive and respond to certain events. Stressors: Events that we perceive as either a threat or as a challenge. Rubber band Activity

2 Stress Stress is any circumstance (real or perceived) that threatens a person’s well-being. When we feel severe stress, our ability to cope with it is impaired.

3 Sources of stress Stressor: Any environmental demand that creates a state of tension or threat and requires change or adaptation.

4 The Stress Response to Public Speaking

5 Stress can be adaptive. – In a fearful or stress- causing situation, we can run away and save our lives. Stress can be maladaptive. – If it is prolonged (chronic stress), it increases our risk of illness and health problems. Stress and Stressors

6 Stress is a slippery concept. – At times it is the stimulus (missing an appointment) and at other times it is a response (sweating while taking a test).

7 Different types of Stress ► Distress- stress that stems from acute anxiety or pressure ► Eustress- positive stress which results from striving toward a challenge

8 Hassles & Uplifts Hassles- minor, day-to-day stressors Uplifts- an activity or situation that makes a person feel good, this protects from stress

9 Everyday hassles- Lazarus Pressure: A feeling that one must speed up, intensify, or change the direction of one’s behavior or live up to a higher standard of performance. Frustration: The feeling that occurs when a person is prevented from reaching a goal.

10 Everyday hassles Conflict: Simultaneous existence of incompatible demands, opportunities, needs, or goals.


12 Uplifts List We tend to let the little things bother us… so why don’t we let the little things uplift us? best-things-in-the-world best-things-in-the-world moments-that-make-life-awesome moments-that-make-life-awesome

13 Stress and Stressors Stress is not merely a stimulus or a response. It is a process by which we appraise and cope with environmental threats and challenges. When short-lived or taken as a challenge, stressors may have positive effects. However, if stress is threatening or prolonged, it can be harmful. Bob Daemmrich/ The Image Works

14 3 Types of Stressors ► Catastrophes – Unpredictable large scale events – Nearly everyone appraises catastrophes as threatening ► Significant Life Changes – Can be good or bad – Young Adulthood is most stressful time for most ► Daily Hassles – Day to day issues, that we all face

15 Significant Life Changes The death of a loved one, a divorce, a loss of job, or a promotion may leave individuals vulnerable to disease.

16 SSRS- Holmes & Rahe If a person has less the 150 life change units they have a 30% chance of suffering from stress. 150 - 299 life change units equates to a 50% chance of suffering from stress. Over 300 life units means a person has an 80% chance of developing a stress related illness.

17 Cultural Stressors Acculturative stress- Stress that an immigrant might feel when they move to a different place Assimilated – Individual adopts the cultural norms of host culture over their original culture Separation – Individual rejects the dominant culture in favor of holding onto their original culture Integrated – Individual adopt the dominant norms while still maintaining their host culture Marginalized – Individual rejects both the dominant and the original cultural norms

18 Types of Conflicts When you need to make a decision between two options…. LIKE/WANT- Approach DON’T LIKE/WANT- Avoidance

19 Approach-approach conflicts ► You must choose between two attractive options – Do I want to go to the movie or to the mall? – Do I want an unlimited supply of Sour Patch Kids or Swedish Fish?

20 Avoidance-Avoidance conflicts You must choose between two disagreeable options – Do I want to do my physics or math homework? – Do I want to go to a boring family party or study?

21 Approach-avoidance You find yourself in a situation that has both enjoyable and disagreeable consequences – Asking your boss for a raise – Going to a Bulls game when it’s snowing – Going to the dentist to get rid of a cavity

22 Physical Response to Stress What happens to our body when we are stressed out?

23 The Stress Response System Cannon fight-or-flight response marked by the outpouring of epinephrine and norepinephrine from the inner adrenal glands, increasing heart and respiration rates, mobilizing sugar and fat, and dulling pain. Prepares your body for an emergency…activates the sympathetic nervous system ACUTE STRESS

24 General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) Hans Selye ► In response to LONG- TERM (CHRONIC) STRESS

25 Phase 1: Alarm ► Sympathetic nervous system kicks in ► Heart rate zooms ► Blood flows to muscles ► Feel the faintness of shock

26 Phase 2: Resistance ► Resources have been mobilizied in Phase 1, now ready for fight ► Your adrenal glands pump stress hormones (Adrenaline) into your bloodstream ► You are fully engaged at this point ► Your body adjusts and learns to live with the stress

27 Phase 3: Exhaustion Body soon begins to run out of resources You become much more vulnerable to illness – Fearful rats lived 100 days shorter

28 Stress and Illness General Adaptation Syndrome




32 Stress & Susceptibility to Disease A psychophysiological illness is any stress-related physical illness such as hypertension and some headaches. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is a developing field in which the health effects of psychological, neural, and endocrine processes on the immune system are studied.

33 Stress and Colds People with the highest life stress scores were also the most vulnerable when exposed to an experimental cold virus.

34 Stress Effects and Health  Stress and AIDS  Stress and Cancer  Stress and Hearth Disease

35 Stress and AIDS Stress and negative emotions may accelerate the progression from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). UNAIDS/ G. Pirozzi

36 Stress and Cancer ► Is there a link? Results are mixed  + Increased risk for cancer among individuals that experience helplessness, depression or grief  + 5.5 time greater risk for those who reported high workplace stress  - Holocaust survivors and P.O.W do not have an increased risk

37 Stress and Cancer Stress does not create cancer cells, but it may affect their growth by weakening the body’s natural defense against multiplying cells Researchers disagree on whether stress influences the progression of cancer. However, they do agree that avoiding stress and having a hopeful attitude cannot reverse advanced cancer.

38 Stress and the Heart Stress that leads to elevated blood pressure may result in coronary heart disease, a clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle. Leading cause of death in North America Plaque in coronary artery Artery clogged Researchers studied 40 accountants Major spike in cholesterol and risk of heart disease around April 15

39 Psychoneuroimmunology B lymphocytes fight bacterial infections, T lymphocytes attack cancer cells and viruses, and microphages ingest foreign substances. During stress, energy is mobilized away from the immune system making it vulnerable. Lennart Nilsson/ Boehringer Ingelhein International GmbH

40 Health-Related Consequences Stress can have a variety of health-related consequences. Kathleen Finlay/ Masterfile

41 Tend & Befriend refers to the fact that people often manage threats by caring for offspring and seeking social support in time of stress social support reduces risk of illness and death

42 Personality Types Type A is a term used for competitive, hard- driving, impatient, verbally aggressive, and anger- prone people. Type B refers to easygoing, relaxed people (Friedman and Rosenman, 1974). Type A personalities are more likely to develop coronary heart disease.

43 Life-Style Modification Modifying a Type-A lifestyle may reduce the recurrence of heart attacks. Ghislain and Marie David De Lossy/ Getty Images

44 Feelings of Control How much control do you want? Internal Vs. External

45 Internal Locus of Control The view that we are in control of our own destiny – Achieve more in school and work – Act more independently – Less likely to feel depressed

46 External Locus of Control The view that chance or outside forces control fate Learned Helplessness – Hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events – Seligman experiments

47 Fig. 15.6 In the normal course of escape and avoidance learning, a light dims shortly before the floor is electrified (a). Since the light does not yet have meaning for the dog, the dog receives a shock (non- injurious, by the way) and leaps the barrier (b). Dogs soon learn to watch for the dimming of the light (c) and to jump before receiving a shock (d). Dogs made to feel “helpless” rarely even learn to escape shock, much less to avoid it.

48 Optimist Vs. Pessimists – Optimists explain bad events as result of external, unstable, and specific causes – Pessimists explain bad events as due to internal, stable, and global causes

49 Explanatory Style People with an optimistic (instead of pessimistic) explanatory style tend to have: More control over stressors Better moods Stronger immune system Cope better with stressful events

50 Developing an Optimistic Outlook Martin Seligman - having optimistic outlook is a wise coping strategy and in many cases optimists have better physical and mental health than pessimists Optimism - how a person explains causes of bad events

51 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 5-51 Adjustment Strategies for Becoming More Optimistic 1. Identify thoughts and feelings you have after something unpleasant happens 2. Become aware of your pattern of thinking when you experience unpleasant events 3. Distract yourself from your pessimistic thoughts 4. Dispute your pessimistic thoughts

52 Biofeedback, Relaxation, and Meditation Biofeedback systems use electronic devices to inform people about their physiological responses and gives them the chance to bring their response to a healthier range. Relaxation and meditation have similar effects in reducing tension and anxiety.

53 Coping With Stress

54 Coping: the ways we try to change or interpret circumstances to make them less threatening. Maladaptive CopingAdaptive Coping Delay stress and it intensifies Produce self-defeating outcomes – Ex.: I will fail no matter what Withdraw from others Realistically evaluates the situation Deal with the emotional aspects of the situation. Focuses on preserving important relationships

55 Coping with Stress Reducing stress by changing events that cause stress or by changing how we react to stress is called problem-focused coping. Emotion-focused coping is when we cannot change a stressful situation, and we respond by attending to our own emotional needs.

56 Types of Coping Problem-focused coping Tries to directly change or manage a threatening or harmful stressor. Most effective when you have the personal control Emotion-focused coping Tries to relieve or regulate the emotional impact

57 McGraw-Hill ©2006 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 5-57 Coping Classifications ► Over the long term, problem-focused coping is usually more effective than emotion- focused coping ► Emotion-focused coping involves drawing on beliefs, values, and goals to modify the meaning of a stressful situation

58 Problem Focused Coping Strategies The GOAL is to change or eliminate the stressor – Confrontive coping: using aggressive or risky efforts to change the situation – Planful problem solving: efforts to rationally analyze the situation, identify potential solutions, and then implement them.

59 Emotion Focused Coping Strategies Escape–avoidance strategy – Shift attention away from stressor and toward other activities Seeking social support – Turn to friends, relatives, or other people for support Distancing – Putting space between you and your stressor to minimize or eliminate its impact Denial – Refusal to acknowledge that the problem even exists. (Complicates Issue) Positive reappraisal – Minimize the negative impacts by focusing on the positive meaning

60 Aerobic Exercise Can aerobic exercise boost spirits? Many studies suggest that aerobic exercise can elevate mood and well- being because aerobic exercise raises energy, increases self- confidence, and lowers tension, depression, and anxiety.

61 Biofeedback, Relaxation, and Meditation Biofeedback systems use electronic devices to inform people about their physiological responses and gives them the chance to bring their response to a healthier range. Relaxation and meditation have similar effects in reducing tension and anxiety.

62 Spirituality & Faith Communities Regular religious attendance has been a reliable predictor of a longer life span with a reduced risk of dying.

63 Intervening Factors Investigators suggest there are three factors that connect religious involvement and better health.


65 Human Flourishing  Coping With Stress  Managing Stress Effects

66 Human Flourishing Psychologists and physicians have developed an interdisciplinary field of behavioral medicine that integrates behavioral knowledge with medical knowledge. Mind and body interact; everything psychological is simultaneously physiological.

67 Promoting Health Promoting health is generally defined as the absence of disease. We only think of health when we are diseased. However, health psychologists say that promoting health begins by preventing illness and enhancing well-being, which is a constant endeavor.

68 Social Support Supportive family members, marriage partners, and close friends help people cope with stress. Their immune functioning calms the cardiovascular system and lowers blood pressure. Bob Daemmrich/ Stock, Boston

69 Managing Stress Effects Having a sense of control, an optimistic explanatory style, and social support can reduce stress and improve health.

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