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first : Go to this website and take the Burnout Self-Testhttps://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_08.htmAfter taking the test, upload your results (Score range)for submission AND list some ways you can reduce your stress to avoid burnout .second : Discussion: Stress ManagementWatch this TedTalk by Kelly McGonigal on how to make stress your friend.https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friendWhat are your thoughts about this video?Does it change the way you view stress now?Will it help you the next time you are in a stressful situation? Why or Why not?** put the answer for each point in single file .
Chapter 3: Stress Management
Stress is a feeling you get when faced with a challenge. In small doses, stress can be
good for you because it makes you more alert and gives you a burst of energy. For
instance, if you start to cross the street and see a car about to run you over, that jolt you
feel helps you to jump out of the way before you get hit. But feeling stressed for a long
time can take a toll on your mental and physical health. Even though it may seem hard
to find ways to de-stress with all the things you have to do, it’s important to find those
ways. Your health depends on it.
Section 3.1 Chronic Stress
We all have stress sometimes. For some people, it happens before having to speak in
public. For other people, it might be before a first date. What causes stress for you may
not be stressful for someone else. Sometimes stress is helpful – it can encourage you to
meet a deadline or get things done. But long-term stress can increase the risk of
diseases like depression, heart disease and a variety of other problems. A stressrelated illness called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after an event like
war, physical or sexual assault, or a natural disaster.
If you have chronic stress, the best way to deal with it is to take care of the underlying
problem. Counseling can help you find ways to relax and calm down. Medicines may
Section 3.2 The Effects of Stress on the Body
Not all stress is bad. All animals have a stress response, which can be lifesaving in
some situations. The nerve chemicals and hormones released during such stressful
times prepares the animal to face a threat or flee to safety. When you face a dangerous
situation, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, your brain uses
more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival. In the short term, it
can even boost the immune system.
However, with chronic stress, those same nerve chemicals that are life-saving in short
bursts can suppress functions that aren’t needed for immediate survival. Your immunity
is lowered and your digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems stop working
normally. Once the threat has passed, other body systems act to restore normal
functioning. Problems occur if the stress response goes on too long, such as when the
source of stress is constant, or if the response continues after the danger has subsided.
Section 3.3 Stress and the Brain
Stress has many definitions, but according to Richard Lazarus, stress is a state of
anxiety produced when events and responsibilities exceed one’s coping abilities. In this
way, stress relies not only on environmental factors, but on cognitive appraisals of these
factors (Myers, 2004). The cerebral cortex perceives the stressor, the hypothalamus
stimulates the pituitary gland to release epinephrine and norepinephrine. This in turn
stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormone cortisol (Myers, 2004). Stress
affects many other areas of the body, such as the amygdala, which produces a fear
response. It seems to hardwire the brain differently. Middle-aged rats that had
undergone early life stress had abnormal brain-cell activity and memory loss (Brunson
et. al., 2005).
The sources of stress are numerous: from catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina,
significant life changes, poverty and inequality, to daily hassles like traffic tie-ups and
demanding jobs (Myer, 2004). Especially in urban and overcrowded environments,
psychologist s see links between everyday stressors and hypertension, and unhealthy
behaviors such as lack of sleep and alcoholism (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). In fact, the
leading causes of death today in America are linked to lifestyle and stress. According
United Nations Security Council, about half of the world’s children grow up in extremely
stressful environments (poverty, violence, war, abuse), which means that these children
may have impaired cognitive abilities later on in life.
According to research by Janet Rodin, the less perceived control of a situation, the
greater the stress. The elderly that lived in nursing homes, were lonely, and had to be
fed, dressed, and changed, felt significantly more stress and had shorter lifespans than
their independent, active counterparts.
Females seem to be more susceptible to stress and depression. After experiencing
traumatic events, females are twice as likely as men to develop Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder, where humans develop maladaptive behaviors such as avoidance, reduced
responsiveness and guilt (Myers, 2004).
However, mindful exercise, such as Tai Chi, meditation, and aerobic exercise decrease
stress response and promote overall well-being (Sandlund and Norlander, 2000). In a
University of Wisconsin study, participants who did meditative exercises showed more
electrical activity in the left side of the frontal lobe, indicating that they had a lower
anxiety and a more positive emotional state (Davidson, 2003). Meditation, yoga, and
other relaxation exercises also assist in autonomic reflexes. This is called conscious
control. Through these practices, it is possible to gain control over the sphincter
muscles in the anus and bladder. Yoga has been shown to help control heart rate, blood
pressure, and other autonomic functions. These are learned behaviors – they involve the
formation of new pathways in the brain.
Researchers have also found the correlation between a social support network of close
friends and family and less physiological stress effects (Brown and Harris, 1978). Stress
Inoculation Training and Hardiness Training are cognitive behavioral techniques that
work to improve stress resistance through analyzing stressors, teaching coping
techniques, and changing behavior so that the patient feels more assertive and in
control (Kobasa, 1986). Drugs, such as beta-blockers, which reduce stress arousal,
anxiolytic drugs, such as minor tranquilizers, and anti-depressant drugs, which treat
severe anxiety, can also be used to combat stress.
ection 3.4 Your Bodies Response to Stress
Fight or Flight Response
When we experience excessive stress, either from internal worry or external
circumstance, a bodily reaction called the “fight-or-flight” response will be triggered.
Harvard physiologist Walter Cannon originally defined it. The response system
represents the genetic impulse to protect ourselves from bodily harm, but also can
result in negative health effects. According to Cannon’s theory, during stress-response
processes, the sympathetic nervous system increases the heart rate and releases
chemicals to prepare our body to either fight or flee. When the fight-or-flight response
system get activated, it tends to perceive everything in the environment as a potential
threat to survival.
In modern life, we do not get the option of “flight” very often. We have to deal with those
stressors all the time and find a solution. When you need to take an SAT test, there is
no way for you to avoid it; sitting in the test room for five hours is the only choice.
Lacking the “flight” option in stress-response process leads to higher stress levels in
Section 3.5 General Adaptation Syndrome
Selye’s Concept of General Adaptation Syndrome
Hans Selye (1907-1982) started the modern era of research into something called
stress. In 1950, Selye addressed the American Psychological Association convention.
He described a theory of stress-induced responses that become the standard model of
stress, the one people usually refer to (or criticize) in academic journal articles about
How did Selye discover the stress response?
Selye’s discovery of the stress response was an accident. He was doing research on
the effect of hormone injections in rats. Initially he thought he detected a harmful effect
from the hormones, because many of the rats became sick after receiving the injections.
But when Selye used a control group of rats, injected only with a neutral solution
containing no hormones, he observed that they became sick, too.
As it turned out, the rats responded more profoundly to the trauma of being injected
than they did to the hormones. The experience of being handled and injected led to high
levels of sympathetic nervous system arousal and eventually to health problems such
as ulcers. (Note that stress was not found to directly cause ulcers by Selye.) Selye
coined the term “stressor” to label a stimulus that had this effect.
What is a stressor for rats? For lab assistants?
The immediate response to stress is the release of adrenaline into the
blood plasma (the liquid part of the bloodstream). “Mild stressors such
as opening a cage door or handling a rat produces an eightfold increase
in plasma epinephrine [adrenaline] concentrations” (Axelrod and
Reisine, 1984). The sentence is ambiguous; does the rat or the human
experience the eightfold increase in adrenaline? In this case, it is the rat
which is having its adrenaline (plasma epinephrine) measured. However,
many lab assistants probably experience a burst of adrenaline, too,
when handling a rat for the first time.
What were the three stages of Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome?
Selye proposed a three-stage pattern of response to stress that he called the General
Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) . He proposed that when the organism first encountered
stress, in the form of novelty or threat, it responded with an alarm reaction. This is
followed by a recovery or resistance stage during which the organism repairs itself and
stores energy. If the stress-causing events continue, exhaustion sets in. This third stage
is what became known popularly as burn-out. Classic symptoms of burn-out include
loss of drive, emotional flatness, and (in humans) dulling of responsiveness to the
needs of others.
Hans Selye’s Study of Stress Response
In 1934, Hans Selye at McGill University discovered a new type of
hormone. He gave rats daily injections of ovarian extract and found that
the rats had enlarged adrenals and shrunken spleens, thymus, lymph
nodes, and intestinal ulcers. “Multiple organs in the body generate this
hormone, and thus he announced that it is a nonspecific response of
body to noxious agents. (Evan-Martin, 2007)
In 1936, Selye defined these series of symptoms in the experiments with
the rats as the General Adaptation Syndrome, which consists of three
stages: the alarm stage, the resistance stage, and the exhaustion stage
(Evan-Martin, 2007). The alarm stage is similar to the fight-to-flight
response, and the body mobilizes resources to react to the incoming
noxious agent. The resistance forces will be built up when the noxious
challenge is detected as continuing. The exhaustion stage will cause
death if the body is unable to overcome the threat.
For example, your mom told you that you are going to take the SAT next month. The
first reaction is shock, starting complaints and feelings of stress, which represent the
beginning of the first stage. In the resistance stage, you will try your best to do practice
tests, reviewing vocabulary, studying any type of study aids that are available. Finally,
you will feel like you are doomed to fail this test and feel desperate, feel constantly
anxious, have difficulty falling asleep and waking up in the morning. The exhaustion of
this stage will have deleterious effects on your health by depleting your body resources
which are crucial for the maintenance of normal functions. Your immune system will be
exhausted and function will be impaired. Also, the decomposition which is a functional
deterioration of body may happen as the exhaustion stage extends. Selye believed that
one becomes sick at that point because stored hormones secrete during the stress
response are depleted (Sapolsky, 1998).
Section 3.6 Distress may be destructive to health
Hans Selye’s research that led to the concept of the General Adaptation Syndrome
(GAS) demonstrated that stress that is perceived as a threat (distress) may be
debilitating if it is continuous. But even “flow” could go on too long and the person would
need a break. But “flow” only develops in activities that are freely engaged in. Negative
stress, or distress, is often part of activities that we perceive we cannot escape. Our
bodies and minds seem to have evolved to cope well with sudden and brief stressors,
such as escaping attack by a predator. We do not seem to be designed to handle
chronic stress even if it is mild, like driving in heavy traffic. Our society has created
many conditions that produce chronic stress and are associated with stress related
illnesses. We have time pressures, work pressures, relationship pressures, crowding,
noise, crime, to many things to do in too little time, achievement pressures, and even
education-related pressures in this course. It is this detrimental effect of ongoing stress
that underlies the GAS and the concepts of stress-induced health problems.
Section 3.7 Eustress
Hans Selye originally defined stress as the body’s response to challenges. He was
dismayed by the implication that all challenging events in life were unhealthy and
undesirable. Stress was not always bad, he pointed out. Sometimes a challenge is a
good thing. Indeed, one could argue that nothing useful in life can be accomplished
without some degree of stress.
“Good stress,” Selye pointed out, is “the spice of life.” To combat the notion that all
stress was bad, Selye developed the idea of eustress, which is a person’s ideal stress
level. Selye proposed that different people needed different levels of challenge or
stimulation (stress) in their lives. Some people (“turtles”) need low levels of stress.
Others (“racehorses”) thrive on challenges.
In the long run, the popular conception of stress as something bad proved to be more
durable and accurate than Selye’s notion of stress as a challenge to the system. In
other words, the word stress continues to mean something bad (not something
challenging) to most people. That seems to make the most sense, because
psychologists found that only unpleasant stressors produced the harmful stress reaction
identified by Selye (corticosteroid secretion). Challenges were not harmful in
themselves. A person could be a busy executive or engage in strenuous exercise
without experiencing negative stress-related symptoms, as long as the person enjoyed
Section 3.8 Burnout and Stress Related Illness
Burnout syndrome is considered an important work-related illness in welfare societies. It
was through observations by German psychologist Herbert Freudenberger inside a
detoxification clinic in the mid-1960s that the first scientific descriptions came to light of
staff affected by this disorder. It was only in the 1980s that evaluation criteria for the
syndrome became available, through the design of a standard measurement
instrument, the Maslach Burnout Inventory or MBI.
Burnout is a psychosocial syndrome. It involves feelings of emotional exhaustion,
depersonalization and diminished personal accomplishment at work. Emotional
exhaustion is a situation where, owing to lack of energy, workers perceive they are no
longer able to participate on an emotional level. Depersonalization entails the
development of negative attitudes and feelings towards persons for whom work is done,
to the point where they are blamed for the subject’s own problems. Diminished personal
accomplishment is a tendency in professionals to negatively value their own capacity to
carry out tasks and to interact with persons for whom they are performed, and feeling
unhappy or dissatisfied with the results obtained.
The MBI questionnaire has been adapted for application not only to human services
professions but to all types of occupations in general. An updated definition of burnout,
constructed using the latest version of the MBI, is that proposed by Maslach et al. In
their description, it is “a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal
stressors on the job, and is defined by the three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism,
and inefficiency.” Exhaustion is the feeling of not being able to offer any more of oneself
at an emotional level; cynicism is contemplated as a distant attitude towards work, the
people being served by it and among colleagues; ineffectiveness is the feeling of not
performing tasks adequately and of being incompetent at work.
Burnout is generally considered a response by a person to chronic work-related stress
in an attempt to adapt or protect oneself from it. From a transactional approach, stress
is defined as “the result of a relationship with the environment that the person appraises
as significant for his or her well-being and in which the demands tax or exceed available
coping resources.” This is the case because a life event is not what produces stress;
rather, it is caused by the appraisal the affected person makes of it. According to
Lazarus and Folkman, coping is “cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific
internal and/or external demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the
resources of the person.” A person will be psychologically vulnerable to a determined
situation if he or she does not possess sufficient coping resources to handle it
adequately, and if at the same time, he or she places considerable importance on the
threat implicit in the consequences of this inadequate handling. From this perspective,
burnout syndrome may be seen as a progressively-developed process resulting from
the use of the relatively ineffective coping strategies with which professionals try to
protect themselves from work-related stress.
Burnout has also been described as an experience where the worker is aware of
considerable discrepancy between his or her efforts and the results, between the
invested efforts and the rewards obtained at work. This phenomenological analysis
framework is introduced into the subjective experience of those affected, and the
conclusion is reached that the burnout process is triggered when the worker feels that
his or her efforts are disproportionate to the gratification achieved, and consequently is
no longer able to justify or cope with further investment of effort. Burnout syndrome may
be seen as the continuous perception that efforts made to carry out tasks are not
effective, because expected gratitude, recognition or success at work are not being
This tool can help you check yourself for burnout. It helps you look at the way you feel
about your job and your experiences at work, so that you can get a feel for whether you
are at risk of burnout. Resource:
Section 3.9 Common Causes of Stress
Stress happens when people feel like they don’t have the tools to manage all of the
demands in their lives. Stress can be short-term or long-term. Missing the bus or
arguing with your spouse or partner can cause short-term stress. Money problems or
trouble at work can cause long-term stress. Even happy events, like having a baby or
getting married can cause stress. Some of the most common stressful life events
Death of a spouse
Death of a close family member Divorce
Losing your job
Major personal illness or injury
Spending time in jail
Figure 1. Holmes and Rahe’s rating Scale
Section 3.10 Common signs and symptoms of stress
Everyone responds to stress a little differently. Symptoms may vary person to person.
Here are some of the signs to look for:
Not eating or eating too much
Feeling like you have no control
Needing to have too much control
Lack of energy
Lack of focus
Trouble getting things done
General aches and pains
These symptoms may also be signs of depression or anxiety, which can be caused by
Section 3.11 Do women…
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