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Stress & Coping

  • Health Psychology uses behavioral principles to prevent illness and promote health
  • Behavioral Medicine: Applies psychology to manage medical problems e.g., asthma and diabetes
  • Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system releasing adrenaline and noradrenaline
  • Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”
  • The amygdala is strongly connected to the interpretation of stressful situations
  • Long-term stress can negatively impact the immune system, blood pressure, blood sugar and contribute to obesity
  • There are cognitive and behavioral methods to deal with stress
  • All stressful situations begin to be evaluated with appraisal
  • Hans Selye connected physiology and the endocrine system to stress and described the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)—alarm, resistance, and exhaustion
  • Stress can be reduced by taking a problem-focused approach rather than an emotion-focused approach
  • Cognition about self and situations can contribute to both positive and negative types of coping with stress
  • People often engage in self-defeating fears and attitudes along with defense mechanisms—these are counterproductive
  • One must find healthy ways to cope with stress that work for oneself

Stress & Coping

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  1. Intro
    • Objectives
    • Health Psychology
    • Behavior Risk Factors
    • Stress, Hormones, and the Brain
    • Ways to Promote Health and Prevention
    • Major Health Promoting Behaviors
    • Stress
    • Appraisal
    • Stressful Life Events and Illnesses
    • Signs of Ongoing Stress
    • Stress Response System
    • Burnout
    • Stressful Life Events and Illness
    • Coping With Threats
    • Frustration
    • Reactions to Frustration
    • Cognition and Stress
    • Self-Defeating Fears and Attitudes
    • Self-Defeating Fears and Attitudes
    • Learned Helplessness (Seligman)
    • Measuring Stress
    • Managing Stress
    • Managing Stress
    • Review
    • Intro 0:00
    • Objectives 0:08
      • Discuss Theories of Stress and the Effects of Stress on Psychological and Physical Well-Being
    • Health Psychology 0:33
      • Uses Behavioral Principles to Prevent Illness and Promote Health
      • Behavioral Medicine: Applies Psychology to Manage Medical Problems e.g. Asthma and Diabetes
      • Lifestyles Diseases: Diseases Related to Health-Damaging Personal Habits
    • Behavior Risk Factors 1:31
      • Behaviors That Increase the Chance of Disease, Injury, or Premature Death.
      • Disease-Prone Personality: Personality Type Associated With Poor Health; Person Tends to be Chronically Depressed, Anxious, Hostile, and Frequently Ill.
    • Stress, Hormones, and the Brain 2:51
      • Stress Activates the Sympathetic Nervous System
      • Adrenaline and Noradrenaline (Epinephrine and Norepinephrine)
      • Cortisol -- Not as Quick to Act, But Arouses the Body
      • Amygdala Recognizes a Threat, Message to Hypothalamus…Adrenal Glands Release Cortisol -- Great For Survival Situations
      • BUT -- In the Long Term, Elevated Levels Can Suppress the Immune System, Increase Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar, Decrease Libido, Produce Acne, Contribute to Obesity (Especially Belly Fat) and More
      • Anxiety Issues
    • Ways to Promote Health and Prevention 5:24
      • Refusal Skills Training: Program That Teaches Young People How to Resist Pressures to Begin Smoking
      • Life Skills Training: Teaches Stress Reduction, Self-Protection, Decision Making, Self-Control, and Social Skills
      • Community Health Campaign: Community-wide Education Program That Provides Information About How to Decrease Risk Factors and Promote Health
      • Role Model: Person Who Serves as a Positive Example of Good and Desirable Behavior
      • Wellness: Positive State of Good Health and Well-Being; More Than the Absence of Disease
    • Major Health Promoting Behaviors 7:17
      • Nutrition: Eat a Balanced, Low-Fat Diet; Appropriate Caloric Intake, Maintain Healthy Body Weight
      • Exercise: At Least 30 Mins. Of Aerobics 3-5 Days/Week
      • Blood Pressure: Lower BP With Diet and Exercise -- See Physician if Need Meds
      • Alcohol and Drugs: No More Than Two Drinks Per Day; Abstain From Doing Drugs
      • Tobacco: Do Not Smoke or Use Smokeless Tobacco
      • Sleep and Relaxation: Avoid Sleep Deprivation; Give Time for Relaxation/Meditation Daily
      • Sex: Practice Safer Sex; Avoid Unplanned Pregnancy
      • Injury: Curb Dangerous Driving Habits, Use Seat Belts, Minimize Sun Exposure, Avoid Dangerous Activities
      • Stress: Learn Stress Management; Lower Hostility
    • Stress 10:02
      • Mental and Physical Condition That Occurs When a Person Must Adjust or Adapt to the Environment
      • Stress Reaction: Physical Reaction to Stress
      • Stressor
    • Appraisal 11:52
      • Primary Appraisal -- Is It Relevant? Is It Positive? Threatening?
      • Secondary Appraisal -- Are There Coping Resources Available? Do I Have a Course of Action I Can Take?
      • Stressor -- Is It Intense? Repeating? Unpredictable? Uncontrollable? Pressure?
      • A Perceived Lack of Control is Just as Threatening as an Actual Lack of Control
    • Stressful Life Events and Illnesses 14:14
      • Catastrophes
      • Significant Life Changes
      • Daily Hassles
      • My Students Usually Make Lists About Stressors and Various Symptoms of Stress
      • By the End of the Period, They are Usually Incredibly Stressed Just Thinking About Stress
    • Signs of Ongoing Stress 18:30
      • Emotional Signs: Anxiety, Apathy, Irritability, Mental Fatigue
      • Behavioral Signs: Avoidance of Responsibilities and Relationships, Extreme or Self-Destructive Behavior, Self-Neglect, Poor Judgment
      • Physical Signs: Excessive Worry About Illness, Frequent Illness, Overuse of Medicines
    • Stress Response System 19:52
      • Hans Seyle Connected Physiology and Endocrine System to Stress
      • General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)
      • Exhaustion Phase Can Be Where Burnout Occurs and a Person Gets Sick
    • Burnout 20:40
      • Job-Related Condition (Usually in Helping Professions) of Physical, Mental, and Emotional Exhaustion, Has Three Aspects
      • Emotional Exhaustion
      • Cynicism
      • Feeling of Lack of Accomplishment
    • Stressful Life Events and Illness 22:04
      • Coronary Heart Disease
      • Type A and Type B Personalities
      • Type A -- Friedman and Rosenman's Term For Competitive, Hard-Driving, Impatient, Verbally Aggressive, and Anger-Prone People
      • Type B -- Friedman and Rosenman's Term for Easygoing, Relaxed People
      • Psychophysiological Illnesses: Literally Mind-Body Illness; Any Stress-Related Physical Illness, Such as Hypertension and Some Headaches
      • Psychoneuroimmunology: The Study of How Psychological, Neural and Endocrine Processes Together Affect the Immune System and Resulting Health
    • Coping With Threats 25:51
      • Emotion-Focused Coping: Trying to Control One's Emotional Reactions to the Situation
      • Problem-Focused Coping: Managing or Remedying the Distressing Situation
      • Traumatic Stresses: Extreme Events That Cause Psychological Injury or Intense Emotional Pain
    • Frustration 27:36
      • Negative Emotional State That Occurs When One is Prevented From Reaching Desired Goals
      • External Frustration: Based on External Conditions That Impede Progress Toward a Goal
      • Personal Frustration: Caused by Personal Characteristics That Impede Progress Toward a Goal
    • Reactions to Frustration 28:48
      • Aggression: Any Response Made With the Intention of Harming a Person, Animal, or Object
      • Displaced Aggression: Redirecting Aggression to a Target Other Than the Source of One's Frustration
      • Scapegoating: Blaming a Person or Group for Conditions They Did Not Create; The Scapegoat is a Habitual Target of Displaced Aggression
      • Escape: May Mean Actually Leaving a Source of Frustration (Dropping Out of School) or Psychologically Escaping (Apathy)
      • Conflict: Stressful Condition That Occurs When a Person Must Choose Between Contradictory Needs, Desires, Motives, or Demands
    • Cognition and Stress 31:17
      • Later, in the Personality Unit, We Will Examine Defense Mechanisms, a Freudian Set of Ideas
    • Self-Defeating Fears and Attitudes 32:43
      • It Would Be Terrible to be Rejected, Abandoned or Alone. I Must Have Love and Approval Before I Can Feel Good About Myself.
      • If Someone Criticizes Me, It Means There's Something Wrong With Me.
      • I Must Always Please People and Live Up to Everyone's Expectations.
      • I Am Basically Defective and Inferior to Other People.
    • Self-Defeating Fears and Attitudes 33:53
      • Other People Are to Blame For My Problems.
      • The World Should Always Be the Way I Want it To Be.
      • Other People Should Always Meet My Expectations.
      • If I Worry or Feel Bad About a Situation, It Will Somehow Make Things Better. It's Not Really Safe to Feel Happy and Optimistic.
      • I'm Hopeless and Bound to Feel Depressed Forever Because the Problems in My Life Are Impossible to Solve.
      • I Must Always Try to Be Perfect. There Are Several Kinds of Perfectionism That Can Make You Unhappy.
    • Learned Helplessness (Seligman) 35:16
      • Acquired (Learned) Inability to Overcome Obstacles and Avoid Aversive Stimuli; Learned Passivity
      • Can Lead to or Contribute to Depression
    • Measuring Stress 36:55
      • Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS): Rates The Impact of Various Life Events on the Likelihood of Contracting Illness
      • Microstressors (Hassles): Minor But Frequent Stressors
      • Accultative Stress: Caused By Many Changes and Adaptations Required When a Person Moves to a Foreign Culture
    • Managing Stress 38:32
      • Use of Behavioral Strategies to Reduce Stress and Improve Coping Skills
      • Progressive Relaxation: Produces Deep Relaxation Throughout the Body By Tightening all Muscles in an Ares and then Relaxing Them
      • Guided Imagery: Visualizing Images That Are Calming, Relaxing, or Beneficial in Other Ways
      • Stress Inoculation: Using Positive Coping Statements Internally to Control Fear and Anxiety; Designed to Combat Negative Self-Statements.
      • Coping Statements: Reassuring, Self-Enhancing Statements Used to Stop Self-Critical Thinking
      • Find Positive Message Accounts on Social Media
    • Managing Stress 42:15
      • Reduce Your Vulnerabilities
      • Use Your Support System
      • Prepare Rather Than Worry
      • Breathe
      • Choose Instead of Reacting
      • Prioritize
      • Learn to Say No
      • Journal
      • Unplug
      • Laugh
      • Know Yourself
    • Review 45:54
      • What is Stress?
      • What Events Provoke Stress Responses?
      • Why Are Some of Us More Prone Than Others to Coronary Heart Disease?
      • How Does Our Thinking Promote Stress Reactions?
      • What Behaviors Help Us Reduce Stress Reactions?