Discussion 11: Stress and Coping Strategies
How is stress defined and what are some effective cognitive and behavioral coping strategies? What coping strategies have you found to be helpful? Use material from the assigned reading to support your answer.
Make sure to reference and cite your textbook as well as any other source you may use to support your answers to the question. Your initial post must include appropriate APA references at the end.Discussion 11: Stress and Coping StrategieHow is stress defined and what are some effective cognitive anDiscussion 11: Stress and Coping StrategieHow is sbehavioral coping strategies? What coping strategies have you found to be helpf
Stress, Health, and Adjustment
We will examine the physiological and emotional aspects of stress and health and how personality factors and behaviors interact with stress to produce different reactions. Physics defines stress as pressure exerted on a body. Psychological forces, or stresses, also put force on a body. Stress is the demand made on an organism to adapt.
Some stress is healthy and useful. It keeps us alert and motivates us. We even seek it out. Stress that we interpret as overwhelming because we cannot cope with it effectively can have a negative effect on us mentally and physically. Since many of you lead stressful lives, you may appreciate the timely investigation of some effective means of coping with stress and problem-solving strategies. We will discuss the connection between psychological and physical illnesses and health.
The sympathetic nervous system responds to stressors by preparing the body for fight or flight. Our heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate increase, while unnecessary bodily functions, such as digestion, are temporarily shut down. This fight-or-flight response prepares us to handle immediate stressors. When the stressor is no longer present, the parasympathetic nervous system helps us return to normal. When stressors are present for more extended periods of time, we may fail to adjust to them, and the ongoing response of fight-or-flight can threaten our health.
Stressful events alone do not determine how our bodies react to stress. Coping strategies refer to a person’s ability to handle stress through thoughts or actions. Experts have linked some personality characteristics with a stronger ability to manage stress. Optimism, hardiness, religious and social involvement, social support, and perceived control are all associated with a better outcome in stressful situations. How we perceive the stressful event is even more important than the event itself.
Generally speaking, better health is associated with better ability to cope with stress, not necessarily a less stressful life. Lifestyle, heredity, and personality are shown to be factors in coronary heart disease, among other illnesses. While there is not much you can do about the heredity factors, you can work on changing your lifestyle and coping strategies. Research has shown that some lifestyle choices, such as smoking and alcohol abuse, can increase health risks. Making decisions to improve your diet and take the time to exercise can improve your health overall. Exercise also has the benefits of improving mood, boosting energy level, promoting sleep, and enhancing enjoyment of life.