The body’s non-specific response to stress that consists of three stages: the alarm reaction, when the body responds with the heightened physiological reactivity of the “fight or flight” response to meet the demands of the stressor; resistance, when the body tries to cope with the stressor and outwardly appears to have returned to normal but inwardly is releasing high levels of stress hormones; and exhaustion, where resources are depleted and the body’s defence against disease and illness is decreased
Life changes require some degree of social readjustment or alteration in the individual’s current life patterns (life change), which is the response to a significant life event. For example, death, divorce, a change of job, marriage, vacation, or Christmas. Each life event is assigned a life change unit (LCU) based on how much readjustment the change would necessitate. The adaptation needed to cope with the life change absorbs energy, and so depletes the body’s resources, and thus life changes are a source of stress
A state of psychological and physical tension produced, according to the transactional model, when there is a mismatch between the perceived demands of a situation (the stressor[s]) and the individual’s perceived ability to cope. The consequent state of tension can be adaptive (eustress) or maladaptive (distress)
An event that triggers the stress response because it throws the body out of balance and forces it to respond. For example, life changes (e.g. , divorce, bereavement), daily hassles (e.g. , traffic, lost keys), workplace stressors (e.g. , role strain, lack of control) and environmental stressors (e.g. , noise, temperature, overcrowding). Stressors are not objective in that they do not produce the same response in all people, as this depends on the individual’s perception of the stressor. Thus, nothing is a stressor unless it is thought to be so!
Factors in the work environment or aspects of the job that cause stress. For example, overcrowding, noise, and temperature are factors in the environment. Lack of control, interpersonal relationships, role ambiguity, and work overload are all examples of work pressures that cause stress