Biological Methods of Stress Management

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  • Benzodiazepines (BZs)
  • The group of drugs most commonly used to treat anxiety and stress because they slow down the activity of the central nervous system
  • GABA  is a neurotransmitter that is the body's natural form of anxiety relief
  • 40% of neurons in the brain respond to GABA which queitens many neurons in the brain by reacting with GABA receptors on the outside of receiving neurons.
  • When GABA locks into these recptors it opens a channel which increases the flow of chloride ions into the neuron. which make it harder for the neuron to be stimulated by other neurotransmitters, slowing down its activity and making the person feel more relaxed.
  • BZs enhance the action of GABA by binding to special sites on the GABA receptior and boosting the actions of GABA, which llows more chloride ions to enter the neuron, making to more resistant to excitation. So the brain's output of exitatory neurotransmitters is reduced, and the person feels calmer.
  • BZs and seretonin - Seretonin has an arousing effect on the brain and is a neurotransmitter. BZs reduce any increased seretonin activity which then causes anxiety.
  • Beta-Blockers (BBs)
  • Sympathetic arousal - stress leads to arousal of the sympathetic nervous system which creates raised blood pressure, increased heart rate, elevated levels of cortisol and so on. These can lead to cardiovascular disorders and


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