May 2, 2012
CHAPTER 12—HEALTH, STRESS & COPING: HOW CAN YOU CREATE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE?
1. According the What Is Psychology? text, stress is defined as any event or environmental stimulus (stressor) that we respond to because we perceive it as challenging or threatening. This definition implies to the three aspects to stress. The text states that first there are stimuli in our lives that we perceive as challenges or threats such as traffic , an approaching exam, or a hurricane. Second our reactions to these stessors include bodily reactions. Third by perceiving and then reacting, we cope with the challenges or threats. In my opinion I believe stress is what we feel when everything seems to have become too much. I believe this occurs when we are overloaded with work and wonder whether we really can cope with the pressures placed upon us. Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress. Some stresses get you going and they are good for you because without any stress at all many say our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless.
2. After calculating my “life events” score on the Holmes & Rahe’s Social Readjustment Scale I concluded that I am currently in a moderate life crisis. The most significant life event in the past year was my mother becoming sick. It has been an issue that I constantly worry about since I found out about it. The reason why positive events aren’t stressful is because they do not impose a threat or challange to ones well being. I also completed the Undergraduate Stress Questionaire. The more statements that one has checked off on the questionnaire, the more likely one needs health. Both surveys demonstrate that I am in a stressful point in life.
3. As of now there aren’t any catastrophes or disasters that are currently affecting my life. Daily hassles however have an impact on my everyday life. Daily hassles are defined as the everyday irritations that individuals face. The daily hassles I face include losing my keys, having homework to complete, not getting a callback from my boyfriend, losing money, etc. These daily hassles add to the stress of the other major life changes such as finishing up the school year or getting ready for final. The stress for daily hassles can definitely increase the stress and make the stress of another event feel overwhelming.
4. A conflict is decribed as having to choose between two or more needs, desires, or demands. Conflicts can lead to stress because it can challenge a sense of well being. In the approach-approach conflict which is a situation where a person must choose between to likable events, a person may for instance have to choose which restaurant they would like to have dinner at.. This will cause stress because the person cannot come to an agreement. In an avoidance-avoidance conflict, there may be a sitituation where a person must choose between two undesirable events, An example of this would be someone having to decide whether they want to donate a piece of their kidney or risk losing a loved one. In the approach-avioda eachnce conflict, a person may have to decide between several alternatives that each have positive and negative features. An example of this would be a person having to choose which person they would like to be in a romantic relationship with. Each person may have there own positive and negative aspects which may make it harder for the person to choose. Although these conflicts are different, all of them can lead to stress.
5. Chronic stress is ongoing and long term. Just as in acute stress, the body goes into the fight or flight response but since the stressor is chronic, the body almost never gets a chance to relax. However, unlike the acute stress response, the body's response to chronic stress is slower and more subtle as it increasingly reacts to the unrelenting situations of daily life. I believe that chronic stressors such as