Stress Sources Psychological Moderators Managing What is Stress? • An event that exerts physical or psychological force or pressure on a person. The demand made on an organism to adjust. Sources of Stress • • • • • • • • • Daily Hassles Life Changes Acculturation Pain and Discomfort Frustration Conflict Irrational Beliefs Type A Behavior Pattern Environment Daily Hassles • Lazarus’ term for routine sources of annoyance or aggravation that have a negative impact on health. Life Changes • Major changes in life circumstances, such as getting married, starting (or losing a job), or losing a loved one. • Life changes differ from daily hassles in that life changes can be both positive and negative whereas hassles are negative. Also, while hassles occur on a regular basis, life changes occur at irregular intervals. Life Changes Units Acculturative Stress • The feelings of tension and anxiety that accompany efforts to adapt to or adopt the orientation and values of the dominant culture. • Exposure to racism is connected with feelings of being marginal and alienated, role confusion and poorer psychological health. Pain and Discomfort • Pain and Discomfort impair performance and coping ability. • Psychologists recommend that we space aggravating tasks or chores, so that discomfort does not build to the point where it compounds stress and impairs our performance. • A Gallup poll (2000) found that 89% of adults in the United States experience pain at least once a month. Pain Overview • Pain usually originates at the point of contact, but our bodies have an extensive nervous system to communicate pain messages. • The pain message is communicated to the brain by the release of prostaglandins (analgesic drugs such as aspirin work by inhibiting prostaglandin activity). • In response to pain, the brain triggers the release of endorphins. Endorphins act by “locking into” receptors in the nervous system for chemicals that transmit pain messages to the brain. Once the endorphin key is in the lock, pain causing chemicals cannot transmit their message. Pain Mechanisms • Prostaglandins: Substances derived from fatty acids that are involved in body responses such as inflammation and menstrual cramping. • Analgesic: Not feeling pain, although fully conscious. • Endorphin: A neurotransmitter that is composed of chains of amino acids and is functionally similar to morphine. Coping with Pain • • • • • • • Accurate Information Distraction Hypnosis Relaxation and Biofeedback Coping with Irrational Beliefs Closing the “Gate” on Pain Acupuncture Frustration and Conflict • Frustration: The thwarting of a motive to obtain a goal. • Tolerance for frustration: Ability to delay gratification, to maintain self-control when a motive is thwarted. • Conflict: A condition characterized by opposing motives, in which gratification of one motive prevents gratification of another. Types of Conflict • Approach-approach: Conflict involving two positive but mutually exclusive goals. • Avoidance-avoidance: Conflict involving two negative goals, with avoidance of one requiring approach of the other. • Approach-avoidance: Conflict involving a goal with positive and negative features. • Multiple approach-avoidance: Conflict involving two or more goals, each of which has positive and negative aspects. Irrational Beliefs • The ABC approach by Albert Ellis. • Ellis believes that our response to events (and our subsequent levels of stress) are due to our beliefs about these events. • Irrational Beliefs can lead to higher levels of stress. Irrational Beliefs (ABC) A B • A = Activating Event • B = Beliefs • C = Consequences. C Type A Behavior Pattern • A pattern of stressproducing behavior, characterized by aggressiveness, perfectionism, unwillingness to relinquish control, and a sense of time urgency. Environmental Stressors • • • • • • Natural Disasters Terrorism Noise Temperature Air Pollution Crowding Disasters and Terrorism • Not only are disasters dangerous in and of themselves, but they also contribute to a rise in suicides, a feeling of lost control, and physical and psychological side effects. • Likewise, terrorist events (such as 9/11) cause lingering effects such as posttraumatic stress disorders. Noise • Loud noise is an environmental stressor that can raise the blood pressure, foster aggressive behavior, and interfere with learning and performance. Temperature • Higher temperatures lead to increased outdoor activity and increased property crime rates. • Extremes of heat can impact our circulatory system while cold increases our metabolism. • Psychologists suggest that hot temperatures incite aggressive behavior by arousing angry or hostile thoughts and feelings. Crowding • Crowding is the feeling of being “too close for comfort”. • Big-city dwellers are more likely to experience stimulus overload and to fear crime than folks in suburbs and rural areas. Overwhelming crowd stimulation can lead to a narrowing of perceptions to a particular face, destination or job. • An adverse condition of crowding is the invasion of personal space. You are likely to become anxious when people invade your personal space. Crowding (cont.) • A study by Calhoun (1962) described a “rat universe” that looked at the effects of overcrowding. The question is…do our cities also suffer from the “behavioral sink”? Psychological Moderators • • • • • • Self-Efficacy Expectations Psychological Hardiness Sense of Humor Predictability and Control Optimism Social Support Self-Efficacy • Beliefs to the effect that one can perform a task successfully or manage a stressor. • People with high self-efficacy are less likely to be disturbed by adverse events and more likely to lose weight and quit smoking. • People are also more likely to comply with medical advice when they think it will work. Psychological Hardiness • According to Kobasa, a cluster of traits that buffer stress and are characterized by commitment, challenge and control. • Commitment: A tendency to be involved, rather than alienated from, whatever you are doing. • Challenge: A belief that change, rather than stability is normal in life. Change is viewed as an incentive to grow, not as a threat to security. • Control: A perception that one is in control of their life. Predictability and Control • The ability to predict a stressor moderates its impact. Predictability allows us to brace for the inevitable and, in many cases, plan ways of coping with it. • Control allows us to feel that we are not at the mercy of fate. • Predictability is of greater benefit to people who wish to exercise control over their situations. For example, people who want information about a medical procedure will cope better after the procedure. Humor and Optimism • Both humor and optimism can moderate the effects of stress. • Students who have a sense of humor and produce humor in difficult situations are less affected by negative life events than other students. • Higher levels of optimism have been linked with lower rates of depression and fewer stress related physical symptoms. Social Support • Humans are social beings…and social support seems to act as a buffer for stress. • Research has found that Introverts, people who lack social skills and people who live by themselves seem more prone to developing infectious diseases such as colds when they’re stressed. • The major areas of social support are: Emotional concern, Instrumental aid, Information, Appraisal, and Socializing. Managing Stress • Passive (inferior): Withdrawal, Denial, procrastination, substance abuse, aggression. • Active (superior): Engagement of problem, active problem solving, positive action. Active Coping • Develop time management techniques • Keep stress at manageable levels • Become more aware of your body’s response to stress. • Know what to expect. • Reach out and be touched by someone. • Work out • Change irrational beliefs • Express your feelings • Try Humor • Minimize daily hassles and do something you enjoy each day. • Practice Meditation To the Instructor: • The preceding slides are intended to provide you a base upon which to build your presentation for Chapter 4 of Nevid’s Psychology and the Challenges of Life. • For further student and instructor resources including images from the textbook, quizzes, flashcard activities and e-Grade plus, please visit our website: www.wiley.com/college/nevid Copyright Copyright 2004 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, NY. All rights reserved. No part of the material protected by this copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission of the copyright owner.