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FRUSTRATION We feel frustration in a situation where we are prevented from reaching our goals. > goal, > frustration we feel if we cannot reach it E.g. flat tyre on the way to a job interview
CONFLICT We experience conflict when we need to make a difficult decision between two or more alternatives. The uncertainty and indecision caused by the conflict situation results in stress. E.g. getting accepted into a university in another city. It is a good uni but nervous about leaving home and friends
CHANGE We experience change when something in our life changes in an important way. This change makes it necessary for us to adjust and adapt. Change can be mainly negative (i.e. divorce) or mainly positive (i.e. graduating)
PRESSURE We are under pressure when we have to conform to or fit in with the expectations or demands of other people Pressure to conform can come from family, friends and broader society. i.e. Mario‟s father wants him to be a baker like him and his father before him. Mario doesn‟t know how to tell his father that he does not want to be a baker.
Physical and PsychologicalSymptoms resulting fromstress These figures show the % of Americans surveyed by the APA who reported various psychological and physical symptoms resulting from stress during the past month.
CHRONIC STRESS State of persistent tension or pressure that can lead us to feel exhausted, irritable and depressed. Can include ongoing financial problems, job- related problems, marital or relationship conflicts and persistent pain Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic GROWTH Chief of US Army: Suicide, PTSD, substance abuse, divorce, depression… what does positive psychology say about that? Seligman: human reaction to extreme adversity is bell shaped Majority of people are resilient – go through a tough time but are back to where they were in psychological and physical measures Large number of people show post-traumatic growth – go through a very hard time, but a year later, they are stronger than they were before by psychological and physical measures.
Left hand side – people who fall apart: anxiety, depression, suicide, PTSD Recommended the Army try to move the entire distribution toward growth and resilience General Casey asked Seligman to train all 40,000 drill sergeants in skills of coping, resilience and growth, then they will teach the entire 1.1 million person army these skills and measure if it prevents PTSD. Every month, 180 officers attend 10 days of training in the Penn Resilience Program
Penn Resilience Program 3 parts: 1. Mental toughness 2. Leading with strengths 3. New social skills for leadership First learn how to use skills in own lives, then learn how to teach them. Heavily based on Albert Ellis‟ ABC model…
ABC A = adversity B= beliefs C = emotional consequences A+B =C Work through professional As (i.e. fall out of a 3 mile run) and personal A (return from deployment and son does not want to play with you) Goal is to separate the A from what the thoughts in the heat of the moment (B) and from the emotions or actions the thoughts generate (C)
Techniques/Strategies Educating Mental literacy Identifying thinking traps: Soldiers learn about: overgeneralisation (judging a person‟s worth or ability based on a single action), „icebergs‟ (deeply held belief that often lead to destructive emotional reactions). Once the iceberg is identified, they are asked if the iceberg continues to be meaningful to them, is it is accurate in the given situation, if the iceberg is overly rigid. Minimising catastrophic thinking – “Putting it into Perspective”. Worst case, best case, most likely case. Plan is then developed for coping with the situation and placed with both professional and personal examples
Optimism 2009 review of 103 studies of post-traumatic growth found that optimism was a major contributor to growth. Important that mental toughness skills capture the skills of learned optimism to resist learned helplessness.
Coping strategies No single method of coping method is right for everyone or every stressor. Coping strategies can be learned. Strategies can be cognitive, emotional, behavioural or physical.
Cognitive restructuring Changing the way we think – thinking more calmly, rationally and constructively in the face of stressors that may lead to a more hopeful emotional outlook. E.g. “What if I fail” “all I can do is the best I can” Doesn‟t remove stressors but helps us perceive them as less threatening and therefore less disruptive.
Emotional Seeking social support and getting advice. Feeling cared about and valued by others can be a buffer against the ill effects of stressors, which can lead to enhanced immune functioning and quicker recovery from illness.
Behaviour Changing behaviour in order to minimise the –ve impact of stressors. E.g. time management – know how you spend your time and then schedule it for following weeks.
Physical Can be used to alter the undesirable physical responses that occur before, during or after the appearance of stressors. Drug use, relaxation training, physical exercise, biofeedback, meditation, tai chi.
Steps for coping with stressSTEP TASKAssessment Identify the sources and effects of stressGoal Setting List stressors and stress responses to be addressed. Designate which stressors can and cannot be changedPlanning List the specific steps to be taken to cope with stressAction Implement coping plansEvaluation Determine changes in stressors and stress responses as a result of methodsAdjustment Alter methods to improveresults if necessary