Stress is a state of bodily or mentaltension resulting from factors that tendto alter an existent equilibrium. Stress isan unavoidable effect of living and is anespecially complex phenomenon inmodern technological society. It hasbeen linked to coronary heartdisease, psychosomatic disorders, andvarious other mental and physicalproblems.
life changes are noticeable alterations inones living circumstances that requireadjustment.Holmes & Rahe (1967) - developed theSocial Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS)to measure life changes. They foundthat, after interviewing thousands ofpeople, while BIG changes like death of aloved one are very stressful, small lifechanges have tremendous effects.
EVENT SCALE OF IMPACT Death of Spouse 100 Divorce 73 Marital Separation 65 Jail Term 63 Death of Close Family 63 Member Personal Injury/ Illness 53 Marriage 50 Fired at Work 47 Retirement 45Change in Health of Family 44 Member Pregnancy 40 Sex Difficulties 39
EVENT SCALE OF IMPACT Gain of New Family 39 MemberChange in Financial State 38 Death of Close Friend 37Change to different line of 36 Work Large Mortgage 31Change in responsibilities 29 at work Son/ Daughter leaving 29 home Trouble with in-laws 29 Outstanding Personal 28 Achievement Begin or End School 26
EVENT SCALE OF IMPACTChange in living condition 25 Revision of Personal 24 Habits Trouble with Boss 23 Change in Residence 20Change in Sleeping Habits 16 Vacation 13 Minor Violations of the 11 Law
AnxietyDepressionPanic AttacksFeeling of GuiltAngry OutburstIncreased CynicismIsolation/ Few Close FriendsFeeling Overwhelmed
Unable to feel HappyFeeling of HopelessnessMood SwingsIrritabilityResentmentFeeling of PowerlessnessLow Self-EsteemLow Self- Worth
Lack of Interest in ActivitiesCognitive Effect of StressEffects of Stress in memory
It is now known that bottled upemotions can lead to bodily symptomsor bodily and mental symptoms thatarise from mental conflict or innerstress.Emotions such asanger, rage, grief, anxiety fromunfulfilled deadlines, or fear of failurecan manifest themselves in the form of apsychosomatic illness. Forexample, suppression of anger has beenlinked to breast cancer.
That is the mind/body involvement.Our minds influence our bodies andour bodies influence our minds.It gets even morecomplex, because manypsychological effects of stressbecame conditioned, deeplyingrained in our nervous systems.
Characteristics of theStressorPerson’s Perception ofthe Stressor
Each event or situation hascertain characteristics thatdetermine the severity that thestressor may or may not haveon us.Severity was based on Holmes-Rahe Scale.
Significance How critical and important theevent is to the individual (deaths,failing an exam, break-up withboy/girlfriend), and how much changewill have to be dealt with. The greaterthe significance and change, thehigher the impact of the stressor.
Time length If a stressor is continued over along period of time, it will result inhigher stress levels. For example,tiredness: insufficient sleep over anextended period of time will resultin higher stress than that caused byjust one night of bad sleep.
Cumulative Effect This is when stressors are builtup over a period of time withoutappropriate mechanisms to reduceor release the build-up. Forexample, a long series of littleirritations and annoyances couldresult in a massive blowoutbetween two people.
Multiplicity A number of stressors at onetime will result in higher stresslevels. For example, a fight withone’s parents, final exams aroundthe corner and loss of a loved onewill be experienced as much morestressful than if each of theseevents happened separately.
Approaching deadline If a demand has been made afew weeks or months in advance ofthe deadline, the degree of stresswill increase as the due dateapproaches.
Self-concept This is based on varioustheories of personality. One iscalled the Theory of InterpersonalNeeds. It states that each personhas the following emotional needs:
The need to discover our uniqueidentity as well as to be includedbecause of this unique identity.The need to have the power tocontrol or influence what we doand what happens to us.