Stress and health handout (1)


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  • This is such a useful presentation. Thank you for your work on this. I would be grateful if you could supply the references you used. I am in the process of writing a book, and would like to acknowledge your work, as well as the information you have included. Thanks. Minsterel
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Stress and health handout (1)

  2. 2. Stress 2 Psychological states cause physical illness. Stress is any circumstance that may be real or perceived and threatens one’s well-being. Lee Stone/ Corbis When severe stress is felt it impairs our ability to cope with it.
  3. 3. Stress and Health Stress can be adaptive. In a fearful or stresscausing situation, we can run away and save our lives. Stress can be maladaptive. If it is prolonged (chronic stress), it increases our risk of illness and health problems.
  4. 4. Stress and Stressors Stress is a slippery concept. At times it is the stimulus (missing an appointment) and at other times it is a response (sweating while taking a test).
  5. 5. Stress and Stressors Stress is not merely a stimulus or a response. It is a process by which we appraise and cope with environmental threats and challenges. Bob Daemmrich/ The Image Works When short-lived or taken as a challenge, stressors may have positive effects. However, if stress is threatening or prolonged, it can be harmful.
  6. 6. Stress and Causes of Death 6 Prolonged stress – together with unhealthy behaviors – can increase our risk for today's four leading diseases.
  7. 7. Health Psychology 7 Health psychology is a field of psychology that contributes to behavioral medicine. The field studies stress-related aspects of disease and asks: 1. How do emotions and personality factors influence risk of disease? 2. What attitudes and behaviors prevent illness and promote health and well-being? 3. How our perceptions determine stress? 4. How can we reduce or control stress?
  8. 8. The Stress Response System Cannon proposed that the stress response (fast) was a fight-orflight response marked by the outpouring of epinephrine and norepinephrine from the inner adrenal glands, increasing heart and respiration rates, mobilizing sugar and fat, and dulling pain.
  9. 9. The Stress Response System 9 The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland also respond to stress (slow) by triggering outer adrenal glands to secrete glucocorticoids (cortisol).
  10. 10. General Adaptation Syndrome 10 According to Selye stress response to any kind of stimulation is similar. The stressed individual goes through three phases.
  11. 11. Stressful Life Events 11 Catastrophic Events: earthquakes, combat stress, floods lead individuals becoming depressed, sleepless, and anxious.
  12. 12. Significant Life Changes The death of a loved one, a divorce, a loss of job, or a promotion may leave individuals vulnerable to disease.
  13. 13. Daily Hassles 13 Rush hour traffic, long lines, job stress, burnout are most significant sources of stress and can damage health
  14. 14. Stress and the Heart 14 Stress that leads to elevated blood pressure results in Coronary Heart Diseases clogging of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle. Plaque in coronary artery Artery clogged
  15. 15. Personality Types 15 Type A a term used for competitive, hard-driving, impatient, verbally aggressive, and anger-prone people. Type B easygoing, relaxed people (Friedman and Rosenman, 1974). Type A are more likely to develop coronary heart disease.
  16. 16. Pessimism and Heart Disease 16 Pessimistic adult men are twice as likely to develop heart disease over a 10 year period (Kubzansky et al., 2001).
  17. 17. Stress & Susceptibility to Disease A psychophysiological illness is any stress-related physical illness such as hypertension and some headaches. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is a developing field in which the health effects of psychological, neural, and endocrine processes on the immune system are studied.
  18. 18. Psychoneuroimmunology B lymphocytes fight bacterial infections, T lymphocytes attack cancer cells and viruses, and microphages ingest foreign substances. During stress, energy is mobilized away from the immune system making it vulnerable. Lennart Nilsson/ Boehringer Ingelhein International GmbH
  19. 19. Stress and Colds 19 People with highest life stress scores were also most vulnerable when experimentally exposed to a cold virus.
  20. 20. Stress and AIDS 20 Stress and negative emotions may accelerate the progression from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). UNAIDS/ G. Pirozzi
  21. 21. Stress and Cancer 21 Stress does not create cancer cells. Researchers disagree on whether stress influences cancer progression. They do agree that avoiding stress and a hopeful attitude cannot reverse advanced cancer.
  22. 22. Stress and Immune Conditioning 22 If the immune system can be suppressed through conditioning. Researchers believe that immune enhancing responses could be inculcated to combat viral diseases.
  23. 23. Health-Related Consequences 23 Kathleen Finlay/ Masterfile Stress can have a variety of health-related consequences.
  24. 24. Strategies For Alleviating Stress 24 Reducing stress by changing events that cause stress or by changing how we react to stress is called problem-focused coping. When we cannot change a stressful situation, and respond by attending to our own emotional needs it is called emotion-focused coping.
  25. 25. Perceived Control 25 Research with rats and humans has indicated that absence of control over stressors is a predictor of health problems.
  26. 26. Explanatory Style 26 People with optimistic (compared to pessimistic) explanatory style tend to have more control over stressors, cope better with stressful events, have better moods and have a stronger immune system.
  27. 27. Social Support 27 Bob Daemmrich/ Stock, Boston Supportive family members, marriage partners, and close friends help people cope with stress. Their immune functioning calms the cardiovascular system and lowers blood pressure.
  28. 28. Managing Stress 28 Having a sense of control, optimistic explanatory style, social support can reduce stress and improve health.
  29. 29. Aerobic Exercise 29 Can aerobic exercise boost the spirit? Many studies suggest that aerobic exercise can elevate mood and wellbeing, because aerobic exercise raises energy, increases selfconfidence, lowers tension, depression and anxiety.
  30. 30. 30 Biofeedback, Relaxation, and Meditation Biofeedback systems use electronic devices to inform people about their physiological responses and gives them the chance to bring their response to a healthier range. Relaxation and meditation have similar effects in reducing tension and anxiety.
  31. 31. Life-Style 31 Ghislain and Marie David De Lossy/ Getty Images Modifying Type A life-style can reduce recurrence of heart attacks.
  32. 32. Spirituality & Faith Communities 32 Regular religious attendance has been a reliable predictor of a longer life span with a reduced risk of dying.
  33. 33. Intervening Factors 33 Investigators suggest three factors that intervene between religious involvement and better health.