PHYS ED 32 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Sympathetic Nervous System, Cortisol, Endocrine System

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22 Apr 2019
Stress Management
What is Stress?
A stressor is any physical of physiological event, real or imagined, that produces a
Eustress -- pleasant stressor
Distress -- unpleasant stressor
Stress response is the collective physiological & emotional responses to any stimulus
that disturbs an individual’s homeostasis.
Common Sources of Stress
Major life changes
Daily hassles
College stressors
Interpersonal & social
Fight or Flight Response (Fig 10.1; pg. 313)
Sympathetic nervous system accelerates body processes
Endocrine system (glands) secretes hormones that influence metabolism
Norepinephrine (brain); epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol (adrenals) trigger the fight
or flight reaction
Epinephrine: Stress hormone secreted from inner part of adrenal glands that is
accelerated (stimulator)
Cortisol: Stress hormone that has influence on learning, memory & protection;
can have opposite effect is circulated around
Psychological and Behavioral Responses to Stressors (Fig 10.3; pg. 316)
Responses include anxiety, depression, fear
What can influence our emotional & behavioral responses are:
Personality traits -- Type A are ultra-competitive, controlling, impatient -- more
problems if aggressive, hostile, cynical
Gender, Culture, Experience
The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) (Fig 10.4; pg. 317)
The sequence follows 3 particular stages:
Alarm: fight or flight reaction; susceptible to illness, disease
Resistance: coping stage; more resistant to injury, disease
Exhaustion: life threatening breakdown stage; increases susceptibility to heart
disease, hypertension, obesity, and reduced brain & immune function.
Managing Stress
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