What is stress?
Everybody has it, everybody talks about it, yet few people have taken the trouble to find out what stress really is. Many words have become fashionable when scientific research revealed a new concept likely to influence our way of thinking about major issues of life or to affect our everybody conduct.
The word stress like ‘Success’ ‘Failure’ or ‘Happiness’ means different things to different people so that defining it is extremely difficult although it has become part of our daily vocabulary. It is effect, fatigue, pain, fear the need for concentration, the humiliation of censure, the loss of blood, or even an unexpected great success which requires complete reformulation of one’s entire life. The answer is yes and no. This is what makes the definition of stress so difficult. Every can be singled out as being ‘it’ since the word applies equally to all the others.
In ordinary language coping is used to mainly the outcome of managing a problem and overlooks the intermediate process of appraisal, performance, and correction that most problem solving entails. Coping is not a simple judgment about how some difficulty worked out. It is an extensive, recursive process of self-exploration, self- instruction, self- correction, self-rehearsal and guidance gathered from outside sources.
Hans Selye – Defined stress as the sum of all the non-specific responses of an organism to noxious stimuli.
A physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension & may be a factor in disease causation.
One of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter existent equilibrium.
Concept of stress: The term stress first applied to events or situations such as working for an examination, that may have an adverse effects on someone. Second it is applied to the adverse effects that are induced, which may be psychological or physiological changed.
The first set of factors can usefully be called stressors. They include a large number of physics, psychological and social factors in the environment that can produce adverse effects. The term is sometimes extended to include events that are not experienced as adverse at the time but may still have adverse long-term effects.
The effect on the person can useful is called the stress reaction to distinguish it from the provoking events. This reaction includes autonomic response (increase in B. P.). Endocrine changes (Secretion of Adr. & nor Adr) and psychological response (Such as a feeling of being keyed up).
To explain the body reaction to the stress one scientist (SELYE) formulated the General adaptation syndrome. The body goes through three stage in damaging situations.
Stage I Alarm reaction.
Stage II Stage of resistance.
Stage III Stage of exhaustion.
These three stages are analogous to the three stages of man’s life.
Stress and Emotion:
The relationship between stress and emotion is important, for they are concepts that overlap. Emotions tell more about what is important to people and how they view their daily lives than can any test measuring stress reaction. Both emotions and stress are better thoughts of an processes than as static states.
Sources of Stress:
1. Major life events.
2. Natural and technological disaster.
3. Minor life events.
4. Social changes.
5. Occupational changes.
7. Stress produced by the individual.
Laxarus (1966) when we use the term coping we are referring to strategies for dealing with threat.
Lipowski (1970) All cognitive and motor activities which a sick person employ to reserve his bodily and psychic integrity to recover reversibility impaired function and compensate to the limit for any irreversible impairment.
Lazarus & Folk (1984) They define coping as constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person.
Mechanism of coping:
Coping mechanisms have two components Internal events and observable behavior.
After bereavement a person’s coping mechanisms might be first, a return to former religious belief (an internal mechanism) and second joining a social club to combat loneliness (an observable behavior).
Functions of Coping:
Three major function of coping are:
1) To change the situation for the better life we can either by changing ones own offending action (focus on self) or by changing the damaging or threatening environment.
2) To Manage the somatic and subjective components of stress related emotions themselves, so that they do not get out of hand and do not damage or destroy morale and social functioning.
3) Alteration of (perceptually controlling) the meaning of experience so as to neutralize the problematic character.
The three functions of coping are also referred to respectively by the terms
A) problem – focused or instrumental coping b) appraisal focused coping c) Emotion focused or palliative coping.
The latter two functions are sometimes paired and referred to as palliative functions.
Problems focused forms of coping are more apt to be employed when circumstance are viewed as changeable, where as appraisal focused and emotion focused coping occur more often in the context of situation deemed un-control-able.
Other terms used regarding coping are:
A) Coping styles
B) Coping strategies.
Research on coping falls into two areas i. E. On coping style and coping strategies. Interest in the latter area has been increasing rapidly in the last decade for a number of reasons.
It some studies have revealed that knowledge of the individual characteristics coping style is not always useful in predicting how he or she will respond in novel situation.
Second researchers have also found that any given coping strategy or those characteristic of a person’s coping style can have both –ive and +ive as well as short term and long term consequences. Thus labeling an individual style as uniformly maladaptive or ineffectual may not be appropriate or accurate.
Third it may be easier to alter characteristics of a person’s coping repertoire than to change the person’s response style.
Determinants of coping.
Evaluating the Efficacy of coping.
There are two types of copers: a. Good copers may be regarded as individuals with a special skill or with personal traits that enable them to master many difficulties.
On the other hand there are two groups of patients who are bad copers. One group adamantly denies any difficulty of any description. The second group floods the interview with details of how badly the world and its occupants have treated them.
Both good and bad copes have specific traits.
Coping is after all, a skill that is useful in a variety of situations, although many modifications of basic principles are called for. Confidence in being able to cope can only be enhanced through self – appraisal, self – instruction, and self-correction over and over. Coping well with illness – with any problem – does not predict invariable success, but it does provide a foundation for becoming a better coper.
1) The level of the stressor can be reduced.
2) Techniques to bolster health can be provided.
3) Impact of stressors on health can be suffered.
1) Social support
2) Coping strategies (Raymond Flannery)
A) Personal control
B) Possess task involvement
C) Good habits
D) Utilize social support.
3) Short therapeutic intervention (Mardi Horowitz)
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