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CHAPTER_3_MANAGING_STRESS

CHAPTER_3_MANAGING_STRESS - CHAPTER 3 MANAGING STRESS...

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CHAPTER 3 MANAGING STRESS OVERVIEW Stress affects our lives in ways that are just becoming clear. While it has been understood that there was a link between stress and disease, the science of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is beginning to unravel the secrets of just how greatly stress affects our immune system and, therefore, different disease processes. Chapter 3 is devoted to helping the student understand what stress is and when it is healthy and when it is not. This chapter also helps us to examine ways that stress management can alter our lives toward greater health and happiness. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Define stress and examine the potential impact of stress on health, relationships, and success in college. 2. Explain the three phases of the general adaptation syndrome, and describe what happens physiologically when we experience a real or perceived threat. 3. Examine the health risks that may occur with chronic stress. 4. Discuss psychosocial, environmental, and self-imposed sources of stress and examine ways in which you might reduce risks from these stressors or inoculate yourself against stressful situations. 5. Examine the special stressors that affect college students and strategies for reducing risk. 6. Discuss techniques for coping with unavoidable stress, reducing exposure to stress, and making optimum use of positive stressors to promote growth and enrich life experiences. OUTLINE I. What is Stress? A. Stress is the mental and physical response of our bodies to the changes and challenges in our lives. 1. A Stressor is any physical, social, or psychological event or condition that causes the body to adjust to a specific situation. 2. Adjustment is our attempt to cope with a given situation. Attempts to adjust may cause strain. 3. Strain is the wear and tear our bodies and minds sustain during the process of adjusting to or resisting a stressor. 4. Two major types of stress: a. Eustress is stress that presents the opportunity for growth and satisfaction. b. Distress is negative stress that can result in debilitative strain. 1
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II. The General Adaptation Syndrome. (See Figures 3.1, 3.2) A. The alarm phase occurs when homeostasis is disrupted and body prepares for “fight or flight.” 1. Stressor is interpreted by the cerebral cortex and triggers the autonomic nervous system. a. The sympathetic branch energizes the body for fight or flight by signaling the release of several stress hormones. b. The parasympathetic branch slows the body down after stress reaction. 2. The hypothalamus determines the overall reaction to stressors. 3. Epinephrine secreted by adrenal glands strengthens heart beat, dilates bronchioles, increases oxygen intake and breathing rate, stimulates the liver to release more glucose, and dilates pupils to improve visual sensitivity. Also, blood is moved away from digestive system, nasal and salivary tissues are affected causing dry mouth.
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