The purpose of this report is to identify what stress is and how affects body and mind. This has been achieved by examining biological and psychological responses in detail and simplified models of both, created by Selye (1956) and Lazarus and Folkman (1984).
The report includes various methods of measuring stress including the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, physiological feedback and the levels of stress hormones. Finally, the work gives examples of stress management techniques, which can only be effective when combined.
ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone
Amplify - to exaggerate, to increase the strength of sound or electrical signals
Anxiolytic drugs - anti-anxiety medications
Atherosclerosis refers to the build up of fatty deposits called plaques in the walls of the arteries. Brandt, C. at al (2012), Atherosclerosis (arteriosclerosis – hardening of the arteries), Netdoctor, accessed 04 March 2013, http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/atherosclerosis.htm Autonomic nervous system (ANS) 'regulates the functions of our internal organs such as the heart or stomach.'
Neuroscience for Kids, accessed 02 March 2013 http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/auto.html Cortex, hypothalamus, pituitary-parts of the brain
CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone)
GAS- General Adaptation Syndrome
Homeostasis-'is the control of internal conditions, be it temperature, specific blood conditions or other variables within living organisms.'
Biology Innovation, accessed 04 March 2013, http://www.biology-innovation.co.uk/pages/human-biology/homeostasis/
Hypertension - high blood pressure
LCU - life change unit
Neurobiological - relating to the biological study of the nervous system The Free Dictionary by Farlex, 2013, accessed 03 March 2013 http://www.thefreedictionary.com/neurobiological SSRS - the Social Readjustment Rating Scale
Stimulus 1. Something causing or regarded as causing a response.
An agent, action, or condition that elicits or accelerates a physiological or psychological activity or response.
The Free Dictionary by Farlex, 2013, accessed 03 March 2013 http://www.thefreedictionary.com/stimulus Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
Oxford Dictionaries 2013, Oxford University Press, accessed 04 March 2013, http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/stress Sympathetic nervous system (SNS) 'is part of the autonomic nervous system(ANS)', Science Daily, accessed 02 March 2013, http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/s/sympathetic_nervous_system.htm Introduction
In modern, fast-paced times the word stress is used frequently, often without deeper consideration what it actually means. In fact there are three ways of defining it.
One describes stress as an internal response to a stimulus, disregarding the stimulus itself and focuses on biological and psychological reactions such as arousal of the sympathetic nervous system or emotions ranging from anger to depression.
An external stimulus may be used to define stress and is understood as any external factor that requires making an emotional, physical or mental adjustment. Stimulus can be categorised into: emotional (tension in marriage), physical (starvation or extreme pain), job-related (extensive workload), catastrophic events (floods) and chronic unpleasant circumstances (living in confined, overcrowded spaces). This definition discounts the fact that the same stimulus may cause different responses.
Finally, stress is viewed as a correlation between stimulus and response, depending upon the perception of the situation and one’s ability to cope with the stress. This ability may depend on factors such as: personality, culture, gender and locus of control