FRHD 1100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Natural Disaster, Homeostasis, Psychoneuroimmunology

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Chapter 3: Personal Stress Management
Stress: The non-specific response of the body to any demands made upon it; may
be characterized by muscle tension and acute anxiety, or may be a positive force
of action.
Eustress: The positive stress in our lives (child birth, weddings).
Distress: Negative effects of stress that can deplete or even destroy life energy.
Stressors: Specific or non-specific agents or situations that cause the stress
response in the body.
Five Categories of Stressors:
1. Acute time-limited stressors: Anxiety-provoking situations such as having
to give a talk in public.
2. Brief naturalistic stressors: A more serious challenge such as meeting a
deadline for a major student group project.
3. Stressful event sequences: Difficult consequences of a natural disaster or
traumatic occurrence such as a death of a friend or relative. There is a
recognition that although stressful at times, the difficulties will end at some
point in the future.
4. Chronic stressors: Ongoing demands caused by life-changing
circumstances, such as a permanent disability caused by an accident or
caregiving of a loved one who is dealing with Alzheimers. These stressors
do not have any clear end point.
5. Distant stressors: Traumatic experiences that occurred long ago such as
child abuse of work in a war zone. They continue to have emotional and
psychological impact.
General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS): Our bodies constantly strive to maintain a
stable and consistent physiological state, called homeostasis.
The body attempts to restore homeostasis after being threatened or exhilarated
through a means of adaptive response.
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Three Stages of GAS:
1. Alarm: When stressors first occur the body quickly makes internal
adjustments (rising hormone levels, increase in blood pressure and heart
rate) to cope and temporarily lower resistance in order to return to normal
activity.
2. Resistance: If the stressor continues, the body uses its internal resources to
maintain homeostasis. During the stressful period of recuperation, you
struggle to carry on as normally as possible, but this requires considerable
effort.
3. Exhaustion: If stress continues for long periods of time it becomes difficult
to keep up normal functioning. Even a tiny amount of additional stress at
this point can cause a breakdown.
Cognitive Transactional Model of Stress and Coping:
1. Primary appraisal process
2. Secondary appraisal process
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