The Impact of Stress & Techniques for Stress Management Understanding Stress ●What is Stress? ○Subjective feeling produced by events perceived as uncontrollable and threatening ○One person may perceive it as uncontrollable and one may perceive it as controllable ○Stress and ispsychologicalandphysiological ●Recognizing Stress? ○Physical symptoms (headaches, upset stomach, muscle tension, etc..) ○Chest pains, rapid heartbeat ○Trouble sleeping ○Decreased appetite; more intake of "comfort foods" ○Becoming sicker more often ○Difficulty focusing ○Anxiety ●Stress & Stressors ○Stressors ■The events, demands, & experiences, producing stress ■Are perceived as extreme in some manner (and overwhelming) ■Any stressor should be significant enough to evoke an emotional response (eg, anxiety, distress) ■A stressor tends to be beyond our control in the sense that we need to do something to address it ■Are perceived as uncontrollable ●Stress Response ●What are major stressors for students?
○Pressure of grades ○Time management ○Money (tuition) ○Getting enough sleep ●Primary Appraisal Theory: Cognition & Stress ○Primary Appraisal ■People perceive an event as a threat to their goals ○Secondary Appraisal ■And, they conclude (perceive) that they do not have the resources to cope with the event/stress ●Stress Among Young Adults ○Millennials report highest stress levels than other (older) age groups ●Some Forms of Stress ○Major life events —> cause stress & require people to make a significant adjustment ■Example: transitioning to university ○Bothpositiveandnegativeevents can provoke stress ○Daily Hassles —> provide minor stress for most people ○Even sustained minor stress can have both psychological and physical consequences ○Acute Stress ■Results from sudden onset demands (eg, a last min assignment or task) ○Traumatic Stress ■Major occurrence of acute stress, often involving an actual or perceived threat to one's life or another's The Impact of Stress ●General Adaptation Syndrome ○Alarm Stage ■Fight or flight response ○Resistance Stage ■Body uses resources at high rate to combat stress ○Exhaustion Stage ■Elevated illness susceptibility when resources depleted
●Stress & Sleep ○Stress-sleep cycle ■The presence of stress creates less sleep - more sleep - less sleep - more sleep - and so on ○Recommended Sleep: 7-9 hours per night —> average for most people: 6.7 hours ○Impact of insufficient sleep ■53% feel sluggish ■38% feel irritable ■29% have difficulty focusing ●Stress Between Stress & Illness ○Stress ■Indirect (through behaviors) ■Direct (reduction in immune system functioning) ○Illness ●Stress & Illness are NOT Inevitable ●Kelly McGoniagal's TED Talk: Studies She Referred To ○Rethinking stress as not harmful (or even beneficial) positively impacts health outcomes ○Helping others is associated with a reduced impact for stress (i.e, resilience) Managing Stress ●Coping- the process used to manage demands, stress, and conflict ○Problem focused coping ○Emotion focused coping ●Responding to stress... ○Avoidance ○Drinking ○Self-injury ○Drug use ●Coping ○Exercise ○Mindfulness, meditation, relaxation ○Journaling & creative activities
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