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Defining, Measuring, and Managing Stress. The nervous system.

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Presentation on theme: "Defining, Measuring, and Managing Stress. The nervous system."— Presentation transcript:

1 Defining, Measuring, and Managing Stress

2 The nervous system

3 Neurons

4 Neurotransmitters

5 Synaptic cleft (gap)

6 Two major divisions of nervous system Central nervous system Peripheral nervous system

7 Central nervous system Brain and spinal cord

8 Peripheral nervous system Somatic nervous system –Skeletal muscles Autonomic nervous system –Sympathetic “Fight or flight” Mobilizes resources –Heart speeds up –Blood vessels in skin contract –Breathing increases –Parasympathetic Relaxation and normal functioning –Increasing one, decreases the other

9 Theories of stress General Adaptation Syndrome Lazarus’s view

10 General adaptation syndrome (GAS) 1. Alarm –Sympathetic nervous system starts Prepares for “Fight or flight” 2. Resistance –Adapts to stressor –Diseases of adaptation Ulcers Hypertension Cardiovascular disease Bronchial asthma 3. Exhaustion

11 Lazarus’s View Interpretation (cognitive mediation) of event is more important than the event itself Person’s perception of the situation is critical –Potential harm –Threats –Person’s ability to cope with them

12 Lazarus’s View Events do not produce stress - The person’s view of the situation produces the stress The “Definition of the situation”

13 Measurement of stress Physiological –Blood pressure –Heart rate –Galvanic skin response –Respiration rate Self-report –Used by most health psychologists

14 Sources of stress Cataclysmic events –PTSD - Posttraumatic stress disorder In 1/4 to 1/3 of individuals experiencing cataclysmic events Irrational events create more stress than natural disasters

15 Daily hassles High demands & low control = stress Executive rat

16 Coping with stress Social support –Durkheim’s suicide study Personal control –Internal locus of control Adopt best to stress –External locus of control –More personal control = better health

17 Personal coping strategies Problem-focused coping –Reduce stressor (change the situation) –Best for good health Emotion-focused coping –Manage emotions

18 Personal coping strategies Social coping –Support from others Meaning-focused coping –Create personal and spiritual meaning Proactive coping –Anticipating a problem and taking steps to avoid it

19 Managing stress Relaxation training –Progressive muscle relaxation Explanation = tense muscles Breathe deeply & exhale slowly Deep muscle relaxation exercises –E.g. Tense and relax –Can be used with biofeedback and hypnotic therapies

20 Managing stress Cognitive behavior therapy –Changing attitudes and behavior Beliefs Attitudes Thoughts –Skills to change behavior

21 Cognitive behavior therapy 1. Conceptualization stage –Identify problems Educational 2. Skills acquisition and rehearsal stage Educational and behavior Increase coping skills –E.g. assertiveness Practice Monitor “self-talk” 3.Application and follow-through –Put skills into practice

22 Emotional Disclosure James Pennebaker Writing or talking about traumatic events helps Emotional self-disclosure improves psychological and physical health –E.g. writing letter Emotional disclosure vs. emotional expression –Emotional disclosure Self- reflection –Emotional expression Crying


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