Stress

Everything you need to know about stress for AS psychology

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Stress
Stress is experienced when a person's perceived demands exceed their perceived
ability to cope. Stress is an alarm reaction that involves a series of changes in the body.
A stressor is something that triggers the stress reaction in the body and it can include
workplace and life events. Stressors can vary from person to person depending on their
sense of control.
The Body's Response
The Sympathomedullary Pathway (SAM) ­ Is the body's response to short term
(acute) stressors.
When there's a stressor in the environment signals are sent to the hypothalamus, which
triggers activity in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This then triggers the adrenal
medulla and as it becomes more active and uses more energy it stimulates the release
of adrenaline and noradrenalin.
Adrenaline and noradrenalin help prepare you for the fight or flight response by...
Increasing blood pressure and heart rate
Tensing muscles
Increasing breathing
Suppressing nonemergency processes such as digestion
The PituitaryAdrenal System (PAS) ­ Is the body's response to long term (chronic)
stressors.
If the stress is long term, it will start to use up your body's resources so a counter shock
response supplies your body with fuel.
The hypothalamus is triggered at the sight of a stressor, which controls most of the
body's hormonal systems. Activation of the hypothalamus triggers the release of CRF
into the pituitary gland which releases the hormone ACTH stimulating the adrenal cortex
which in turn releases corticosteroids such as cortisol.
The cortisol has physiological effects on the body, which replace the energy used up by
the body's initial reaction to stress.

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Stress and The Immune System
Most studies in the effects of stress on the immune system have found that stress
decreases immune cell functioning.
Fischer ­ found that astronauts during splashdown had higher levels on immune cell
functioning suggesting stress is good for the immune system.
Kiecoltglaser carried out a natural experiment on medical students.…read more

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Most studies give correlational data so don't show cause and effect.
Daily Hassles
Daily hassles are everyday issues such as being late for work or missing the bus that
cause us stress. The negative effect of daily hassles can be counteracted by daily uplifts
such as a compliment. However, daily hassles can accumulate, if you experience too
many in one day, which can create serious stress problems such as depression.…read more

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Pomaki ­ studied 226 hospital doctors and found those who experience role conflict
had higher levels of depression and somatic complaints.
Personality Factors and Stress
Some people appear to be able to deal with stress better than other people and
psychologists argue this is all based on personality.
The Type A personality describes someone who wants to achieve more and more in
less and less time. Friedman and Rosenman believed the type A personality consists of
three main features.…read more

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However ­ self report questionnaires are mainly used to test personality and people can
manipulate their result.
Psychological Methods of Stress Management Therapies
Psychological methods of stress management focus on the causes of stress and
creating relaxation methods to help deal with stress.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ­ Stress Inoculation Training
Meichenbaum ­ believed we can't change the cause of our stress, but we can change
the way we think about stress.…read more

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Hardiness training has been used effectively on managers, students and Olympic
swimmers. However, one problem is it tries to change learned habits which can be
extremely time consuming.
Physiological Methods of Stress Management Drugs
Betablockers ­ are used to combat the acute SAM response to stress. They reduce
the amount of adrenaline and noradrenalin by blocking the receptors in cells so organs
such as the heart are not stimulated for the fight or flight response.…read more

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Comments

Salma

Thank you this has helped sooooooo muchh!!!

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