Glencoe Health 2005.pdf

Stressor 199 lesson 1 effects of stress the stress of

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stressor 199 Lesson 1 Effects of Stress The stress of competition motivates this teen to practice every day. In what other ways can stress have a positive effect on teens?
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T HE A LARM R ESPONSE The Body’s Stress Response hen you perceive a situation or event to be a threat, your W body begins a stress response. For example, if a car alarm suddenly goes off as you walk by, you may jump at the sound or feel your heart start to race. The sudden, loud noise is a stressor that affects you instantly, without you even thinking about it. Two major body systems, the nervous system and the endocrine system, are active during the body’s response to stres- sors. This response is largely involuntary, or automatic. It happens in three stages and can occur regardless of the type of stressor. Alarm Alarm is the first stage in the stress response. This is when the body and mind go on high alert. This reaction, illustrated and explained in Figure 8.1, is sometimes referred to as the “fight-or- flight response” because it prepares the body to either defend itself or flee from a threat. nervous system For more information about the nervous system, see Chapter 15, page 399. endocrine system To learn more about the endocrine sys- tem, see Chapter 18, page 464. Physical Symptoms pupil dilation increase in perspiration faster heart rate and pulse rise in blood pressure faster respiration rate narrowing of arteries to internal organs and skin increased blood flow to muscles and brain increase in muscle tension release of blood sugar, fats, and cholesterol 1. Alarm begins when the hypothalamus, a small area at the base of the brain, receives danger signals from other parts of the brain. The hypothalamus releases a hormone that acts on the pituitary gland. 2. The pituitary then secretes a hormone that stimulates the adrenal glands. 3. The adrenal glands secrete adrenaline. Adrenaline is the “emergency hormone” that prepares the body to respond to a stressor. 200 Chapter 8 Managing Stress and Anxiety HS_HEALTH_U03_C08_L1 12/6/03 9:01 AM Page 200
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201 Lesson 1 Effects of Stress Resistance If exposure to a stressor continues, the next stage of the stress response is resistance. During this stage, your body adapts to the rush created by alarm and reacts to the stressor. This is the stage in which you “fight” or take “flight.” Your body is briefly able to per- form at a higher level of endurance. In the case of “fight,” your ability to resist a physical challenge or attack may be enhanced. In the case of “flight,” you may be able to run faster and farther than normal in order to escape from danger. The resistance stage is why people in extremely high-stress situations have been known to accomplish incredible feats, such as lifting an automobile to save a child trapped underneath.
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