Life & Well Being (Oct 31).doc

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1100
Robin Milhausen

What is Stress? Non-specific responses of the body to any demands made on it. Eustress (Good Stress) “The salt of life” – adrenaline, blood flow patterns Distress (Bad Stress) “The kiss of death” – feeling sick, sweating Impact of Stress (Model) – if there is no stress, then I am bored. Stress is needed in order to meet challenges and improve performance. But too much distress can lead to poor health. - Performace - Health - Gene Expression (immune function, aging) WWII fighter pilots had been monitored because we knew their stress levels were important to their performance. Your jaw and your waist are the quickest things to tighten up when you feel stress. (ie. Dogs backed into a corner have tension in their jaw in order to bite.) Poor breathing: Impairs concentration Impairs memory Impairs cognitive tasks Impairs perceptual tasks Impairs problem solving Even doing a simple task such as naming cards (ie. 9 of clubs, 8 of diamonds) was difficult for the fighter pilots due to breathing problems affecting the brain. BREATHE to think (and learn) most clearly Slow - 12-15 br/min is average, seated - Near 6 br/min elicits good heart rate variability Low - From the diaphragm Longer blow out - Exhale longer than inhale Gene Expression Stress ages us. Each time a normal cell divides, telomeres – bits of DNA at the ends of its chromosomes – get a little shorter. When the telomeres get too short, the cell can no longer divide and ultimately dies. Dwindling telomeres may be a major factor in the bodies aging process. Models of stress - and it’s impact on health 1. General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) (See the models in notes – GAS & Effects of Stress) 2. Eliciting the stress response Instantly – nerves Perpetuating the response - Short term hormones (adrenalin) Gives a few hours of response - Long term hormones (cortisol, thyroxine) Gives days to weeks of response (see model “Cognitive – transactional model (Lazarus)) Can stress make us ill? - More heart attacks on Monday mornings than any other day - Firing works boost
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