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Health, Stress, and Coping. Chapter 15. Health, stress and coping. The physiology of stress. The psychology of stress. Coping with stress. The Stress-Illness Mystery. Stressors can increase illness when they: severely disrupt a person’s life. are uncontrollable.

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health stress and coping

Health, Stress, and Coping

Chapter 15

©2002 Prentice Hall

health stress and coping2
Health, stress and coping
  • The physiology of stress.
  • The psychology of stress.
  • Coping with stress.

©2002 Prentice Hall

the stress illness mystery
The Stress-Illness Mystery
  • Stressors can increase illness when they:
    • severely disrupt a person’s life.
    • are uncontrollable.
    • are chronic (i.e., lasting at least 6 months).

©2002 Prentice Hall

stressors and the body
Stressors and the Body
  • Noise.
  • Bereavement and Loss.
  • Work-Related Problems.
  • Poverty, Powerlessness, and Racism.

©2002 Prentice Hall

stress and the common cold
Stress and the Common Cold

©2002 Prentice Hall

the physiology of stress
The Physiology of Stress
  • General adaptation syndrome.
  • There are three phases in responding to stressors:
    • Alarm.
    • Resistance.
    • Exhaustion.
  • Goal is to minimize wear and tear on the system.

©2002 Prentice Hall

current approaches
Current Approaches
  • HPA (Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex axis)
    • A system activated to energize the body to respond to stressors.
    • The hypothalamus sends chemical messengers to the pituitary gland.
    • The pituitary gland prompts the adrenal cortex to produce cortisol and other hormones.

©2002 Prentice Hall

the mind body link
The Mind-Body Link
  • Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)
    • The study of the relationships among psychology, the nervous and endocrine systems and the immune system.
  • Psychological factors explain why not all people are stressed the same amount by the same things.

©2002 Prentice Hall

the psychology of stress
The Psychology of Stress
  • Emotions and illness.
  • Letting grievances go.
  • Explanatory styles.
  • The sense of control.
    • The benefits of control.
    • The limits of control.

©2002 Prentice Hall

emotions and illness
Emotions and Illness
  • Hostility and heart disease.
    • Type A Personality: Determined to achieve, sense of time urgency, irritable, respond to threat or challenge very quickly, and impatient with obstacles.
    • Type B Personality: Calmer and less intense.
  • Personality type is less predictive of health problems than is hostility.
    • Proneness to anger is a major risk factor

©2002 Prentice Hall

hostility and heart disease
Hostility and Heart Disease
  • Men with highest hostility scores as young medical students had higher rates of heart disease 25 years later.
  • Hostility is more hazardous than a heavy workload.

©2002 Prentice Hall

depression and disease
Depression and Disease
  • Two studies followed 1000 people for many years.
  • Those who had been clinically depressed at the outset were 2-4X more likely to have a heart attack than nondepressed people were.
  • Other research failed to find the link.

©2002 Prentice Hall

emotional inhibition
Emotional Inhibition
  • Emotional Inhibition: A personality trait involving a tendency to deny feelings of anger, anxiety, or fear; in stressful situations, physiological responses such as heart rate and blood pressure rise sharply.
  • People who display this trait are at greater risk of becoming ill than people who can acknowledge feelings.

©2002 Prentice Hall

letting grievances go
Letting Grievances Go
  • Research on confession: divulging private thoughts and feelings that make you ashamed or depressed.
    • Freshman who wrote about their fears reported greater short term homesickness and anxiety. By end of year they had fewer bouts of flu visits to the infirmary.
  • Can also give up thoughts that produce grudges and replace them with different perspectives.
  • Forgiving thoughts.

©2002 Prentice Hall

explanatory styles
Explanatory Styles
  • A study of Hall-of-Famer baseball stars showed that those with Optimistic explanatory styles:
    • Lived longer
  • They may have been in better health because optimists:
    • take better care of themselves when sick
    • cope better.
    • draw on friends in hard times.

©2002 Prentice Hall

the sense of control
The Sense of Control
  • Locus of Control
    • A general expectation about whether the results of your actions are under your own control (internal locus) or beyond your control (external locus).
  • Feelings of control can reduce or even eliminate the relationship between stressors and health.

©2002 Prentice Hall

the limits of control
The Limits of Control
  • Primary Control (Western Cultures)
    • An effort to modify reality by changing other people, the situation, or events; a “fighting back” philosophy.
  • Secondary Control (Eastern Cultures)
    • An effort to accept reality by changing your own attitudes, goals, or emotions; a “learn to live with it” philosophy.

©2002 Prentice Hall

coping with stress
Coping with Stress
  • Cooling Off.
  • Solving the problem.
  • Looking outward.

©2002 Prentice Hall

cooling off
Cooling Off
  • Relaxation Training
    • Learning to alternately tense and relax muscles, lie or sit quietly, or meditate by clearing the mind; has beneficial effects by lowering stress hormones and enhancing immune function.
  • Massage therapy.
  • Exercise is also an excellent stress reliever.

©2002 Prentice Hall

fitness and health
Fitness and Health
  • Among those with low stress, fit and less-fit people had similar levels of health problems.
  • Among those with high stress, there were fewer health problems among people who were more fit.

©2002 Prentice Hall

solving the problem
Solving the Problem
  • Emotion-focused and problem-focused coping.
  • Effective Cognitive Coping Methods:
    • Reappraising the situation.
    • Learning from the experience.
    • Making social comparisons.
    • Cultivating a sense of humor.

©2002 Prentice Hall

looking outward
Looking Outward
  • Friends can help with coping:
    • People with network of close connections live longer than those who do not.
    • After heart attack, those with no close contacts were twice as likely to die.
  • Relationships can also cause stress.
  • Giving support to others can be a valuable source of comfort.

©2002 Prentice Hall