What Is Stress?
- Stress can be considered in three ways;
- Stimulus: things happen to us
- Response: what happens within us
- As an interaction between an individual and his/her environment
Each individual manages stress in a different way.
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- General Adaptive Syndrome
- The body's defence against stress, regardless of the stressor or whether it is environmental or from within the body
- By Selye
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Stage One of G.A.S
- Stage One: Alarm Reaction
- The body releases adrenaline and other psychological mechanisms to combat stress and to stay in control
- FIGHT OR FLIGHT
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Stage Two of G.A.S
- Stage Two: Resistance
- Also known as "adaption"
- When the stressor is not removed the body goes into long term protection
- The adrenal cortex produces corticosteroids (hormones) that increase blood sugar to sustain energy and raise blood pressure
- If this adaption phase continues for too long the sufferers become prone to fatigue and negative stress.
- Overuse of this mechanism eventually leads to disease
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Stage Three of G.A.S
- Stage Three: Exhaustion
- The body has run out of its reserve of body energy and immunity
- The blood sugar levels decrease as the adrenals become depleated
- Leads to decreased stress tolerance, mental and physical exhaustion, illness and collapse
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How Do Our Bodies Respond To Stress? (Selye)
Selye proposed there is a similar response to stressors regardles of the nature of each stressor. He observed this by...
- Exposing rats to extreme cold, fatigue, electrical shocks and surgical trauma
- Observing hospital patients who displayed the same symptoms regardless of illness - loss of ambition, appetite, weight and strength, and a characteristic facial expression
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