Stress and Human Health
There is more to health than germs and disease-we also need to consider the amount of
stress in our lives ad how we deal with that stress. When people undergo a major upheaval
in their lives, such as losing a spouse, declaring bankruptcy, or being forced to resettles in a
new culture, their chance of dying increases.
- The negative feelings and beliefs that occur whenever people feel unable to cope
with demands from their environment.
- Your body’s physiological response to threatening events.
- Is the degree to which people have to change and readjust their lives in response to
an external event. Ex. Graduation from university is a happy occasion, but it can be
stressful because of the major changes it sets in motion in one’s life.
- Psychological or physiological stress
- The belief that we can influence our environment in way that determines whether
we experience positive or negative outcomes.
- Ex patients who had undergone a coronary angioplasty because of diseased
arteries. The people who had a high sense of control over their futures were less
likely to experience subsequent heart problems than those with a low sense of
control. Thus, knowing that we can control our lives gives us more of a chance to
improve our health.
-Believing we can control our lives is one thing; believing that we can actually execute the
specific behaviours that will get us what we want is another.
- Albert Bandura
- The belief in one’s ability to carry out specific actions that produce desired
- Ex if Sam believes that he can perform the behaviours that will enable him to
quit smoking-throwing away his cigarettes. Avoiding situations in which he is most
tempted to smoke, distracting himself when he craves cigarette-then chances are he
will succeed. If he has low self-efficacy in this domain, believing that he can’t
perform the behaviour necessary to quit, then he is likely to fail.
- Therefore having high efficacy is an important determinant of whether we succeed.
Explaining Negative Events Learned Helplessness
- The state of pessimism that results from explaining a negative event as stemming
from stable, internal, and global factors. Ex. You did poorly on a test so you say to
yourself “Wow, I guess I can’t really cut it, I was worried that I wasn’t smart
enough t o make it in university, and boy was I ever right”.
- The belief that the cause of an event is a result of factors that will not change over
time (Ex. Our intelligence), as opposed to unstable factors that will change over
time (ex. The amount of effort we put into a task).
- Explaining this negative event as stemming from an internal cause-that is, making
an internal attribution-means we believe that something about us caused the event
(ex. Our own ability or e