DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

¨ Slide 1- Stress – is defined as any event that produces tension or another negative emotion (fear) and that prepares the organism to either FIGHT or FLIGHT

These events can be positive or negative, physical, environmental, interpersonal, psychological examples include vacations, marriage, kids, job change, money to name a few. And also when it has a major impact on your life, work, parenting, love, school etc.


¨  Slide 2-

¨  1. Uncontrollable- a feeling of helplessness overwhelms the individual

Or the event is perceived as

¨ 2. Unpredictable- the individual is uncertain about the outcome of the event which the not knowing leads to stress.

Or the event is seen as

¨ 3. Ambiguous – which leads to uncertainty on what action to take and further leads to stress


Slide 3-

¨ Some People handle stress by being highly organized

¨ While others like the challenge of the deadline and perform well under high levels of stress.

¨ Others like Athletes are conditioned for their specific sport under high levels of stress and are comfortable in this environment.

¨ So unmanageable stress varies from person to person and is defined differently by each individual.

¨ Slide 4-

¨  here the individual takes stock or assesses whether he or she has the resources or coping skills to deal with the event. This process starts with Questions asked of one’s self:  is this event a harm or threat? How big is the threat?  This process makes up the (primary appraisal)

¨ which leads to the second step     Identify available skills to cope with or overcome the possible negative outcomes. This process makes up the (secondary appraisal) 


¨ Slide 5-


¨ This speaks to two broader categories of problem solving:

¨ 1. Problem focused – in which the individual acts to lower possible negative outcomes from the stressful event

¨ and

¨ 2. Which is Emotion focused – when the individual is trying to re-evaluate the personal meaning of the situation for example the rational of a student that a D does not make me a bad student or stupid.


¨ Slide 6-


¨ 1. The individual feels that his or her coping skills are inadequate to manage a potentially threatening or harmful event.


¨ Slide 7-


¨ There are many types of stress:

¨ 1. Acute- which is brief stress lasting a short time.


¨ 2. Chronic – which is stress that continues over time, making the individual feel less and less adequate.

¨ 3. Daily hassles – day to day aversive and difficult events that  accumulates stress

¨ 4. Major life events – these events affect the way a person lives which lead to major changes both negative and positive and leads to stress

¨ 5. Perceived inability or ability to cope can lead to stress


¨ Slide 8-


¨ Adaptive responses :

¨ 1. helps the person react quickly and positively to the potential harmful event

¨ Detrimental responses :

¨ 1. disrupts functioning – and then sets the stage for poor health


Slide 9-

¨ Stress leads to poorer self care – we are too busy to exercise, eat well, etc – we drink and smoke more and these produce negative consequences in health which reduces healing time by affecting our immune system.

¨ Stress leads to more injuries, feeling malaise, poor sleep and the inability to cope well

¨ Stress can cause changes in the nervous and endocrine systems , the immune system



Slide 10-


¨ Physical responses to stress include high sympathetic nervous system activity, high Blood Pressure, high heart rate, rapid respiration, high sugar levels in blood, muscle tension, and sweaty palms.


Slide 11-

The 2 main systems that stress affects are


¨ The Sympathetic – the body does not return to a stress-less state completely

¨ And The Hypothalamus, pituitary, and  adrenacortal glands are affected which causes cortisone patterns to change,  which impairs memory


Slide 12-


¨ The Psychological Impacts of Stress:are


¨ Increased negative moods like depression, anxiety, hostility. And anger

¨ And High depression –which are characterized by high white blood cell counts which causes the body to react as if it was fighting an infection.

¨ Where as a positive mood is linked to lower levels of stress and better ability to fight disease.


Slide 13-

How do we moderate stress:


¨ A Pessimistic explanatory style  or outlook on potentially stressful events will lead the individual to more stress induced reactions

¨ Where as an optimistic explanatory style or outlook has a buffering effect on stress and leads to generally lower stress levels


¨ Also in the form of tangible, informational, and emotional social support can lead to better coping skills and processing of stressful events.

¨ And finally: Men – Use more focused strategies in handling stressful events

Where as Women – are more emotion focused when dealing with their stressful situation.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.