Define 'stress'. And what are the two types?
- A state of psychological and physiological arousal in response to changes in internal and external environment.
- Eustress: Stress that is positive in nature
- Distress: Stress that is negative in nature
What is the fight or flight response?
- The automatic arousal of the body that is activated by the SNS when confronted with a threat allowing them to flee (flight) or confront it (fight).
- Sympathetic NS sends message to adrenal medulla which releases adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Describe the HPA axis
Hypothalamus is activated in response to a stressor, which in stimulates the Pituitary gland to activate the adrenal gland to release the stress hormone cortisol
Describe Lazarus and Folkman's transactional model of stress and coping
- Emphasised the importance of cognitive processes when confronted with a stressor
- The way the stressor was perceived was important. Showed that stress is subjective
- Focused on the relationship between the individual and the environment when assessing whether a stressor caused harm, threat and challenging.
Describe primary appraisal
- When confronted with a stressful situation judgement is made
- 1.Has no significance.
- 2.Is benign. Also known as a positive or
- desirable encounter
- 3. Is stressful: if stressful then evaluating whether it has caused Harm, is threatening or challenging.
Describe what happens during secondary appraisal
- The stage where the individual looks at what internal and external resources are available to them for coping with the stress
- Internal resources: will power, motivation
- External resources: social support, professional help
What is coping and the different types of coping?
- Coping: Changing cognitive and behavioural efforts to attempt to manage stressors
- Problem focused coping: fixes the source of the stress
- Emotion focused coping: strategies that deal with emotional responses to stress (distractions, ignoring it,
What are strengths of the transactional model?
- It used human subjects
- it took into account different mental processes and emotions of individuals (acknowledges individual perception)
- Focused on how people cope with stress
What are limitations or the transactional model?
- Lack of emphasis on physiological elements of stress
- It does not include social, cultural and environmental factors when looking at how individuals perceive stress
What are social, cultural and environmental factors of stress
What is allostasis? Name a difference between homeostasis and allostasis
- Achieves physiological and/or psychological stability through behavioural or physiological change and adapting to the stressors
- Allostasis is a much more dynamic and adaptive process compared to homeostasis
What is 'allostatic load'?
- The cumulative cost to the body due to allostatic response
- The frequent occurrence of stress responses (F-F HPA axis) can cause long term damage to the body due to the constant exposure to stress hormones.
What is 'Biofeedback'? Provide 3 examples
- A technique that enables an individual to receive information about their physiological responses to stress using sensitive instruments.
- In therapy, the patient is taught how to change these levels by altering their thoughts, feelings and behaviour
- GSR, ECG, EMG
What is meditation? Relaxation?
- Meditation: An actively occurring ASC that uses mental exercises to become highly focused on one single thought at the exclusion of others.
- Relaxation: any activity that brings about a state of reduced psychological and/or physiological tension.
- Both reduce physiological arousal
Describe how physical exercises reduces stress
- Physical exertion to improve one's health
- Releases endorphins which is a natural pain relief
- Reduces muscle tension
- Uses up excess energy from stress hormones
- Enhances physical health
- Distracts the person by focusing on movement not stressor
How is social support a strategy for coping with stress?
- Refers to the network of family, friends, neighbours and general community that are available to assist us during times of need.
- Can assist through: Tangible assistance eg. food, money
- Emotional support- reassurance
- Information support- Advice
- Appraisal support- helps the individual understand the stressor and the resources available