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Stress management

Abstract

Stress management (SM) is a widely used term with a seemingly obvious meaning. The research literature contains many studies evaluating its effectiveness, but it is not clear how many different forms of SM exist and how efficacious they are for which target problem. One hundred and fifty-three studies on SM were analyzed to determine consensus in definitions and therapy protocols. Results showed that a typical delivery format exists (mostly group form, 8–10 sessions in length and multitechnique), but the number of techniques used was very large, techniques were inconsistently labeled are often poorly described. It is concluded that in outcome research, the term "stress management" is operationally defined with such variability that comparisons of SM outcome studies are not meaningful at this time.
Author Keywords: Stress management; Arousal reduction; Coping; Therapy outcome
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Introduction

This paper questions whether or not stress management (SM) researchers agree on what SM is, what the necessary treatment ingredients are and whether or not comparisons of different studies using SM are possible and meaningful. Previous experience with the conduct of controlled studies of SM for health outcomes [1 and 2] and the desire to continue this line of research motivated us to begin examining the efficacy of SM with the possible goal of conducting a meta-analytic review. A minimal, yet pivotal, requirement for considering meta-analysis is that the same or very similar treatments can be meaningfully clustered together so that differential efficacy with either different populations or disease categories can be determined [3]. Hence, it was necessary to determine whether SM was a sufficiently homogeneous approach to permit meta-analytic comparisons. The results of this "journey" into definitions of SM are described below. In addition to providing numeric results from an empirical analysis, suggestions for designing and reporting future research on SM are offered.
The sheer range of problems where SM has been applied is exceedingly diverse, and (to cite a few) studies have reported evidence for the efficacy of SM interventions for a large variety of problems including psoriasis, diabetes, pain, coronary heart disease, hypertension, allergies and the common cold. Endpoints studied were equally diverse with studies reporting subjective symptom reduction, biological changes, decreased mortality or increases in subjective quality of life.
This brief literature review sought to answer three core questions: (a) What techniques do typical SM interventions entail? (b) What do the typical therapy protocols look like? (c) Do these techniques (and their packaging) represent a sufficiently homogeneous body such that results of SM, as operationalized by different researchers, can be directly compared with each other? In what follows, the reader will find an empirical review that is meant to help decide whether the descriptor "stress management" is indeed suitable for outcome evaluations.

Methods

Medline, Psychinfo and Web of Science searches were conducted for the period of 1990–2000 using the search terms "stress management," "stress reduction," "stress management program," "stress reduction program," "outcome" and "effectiveness." Additional articles were found by scrutinizing the reference lists of these initial articles. Articles were included if they were empirical in nature, featured an intervention labeled as stress management or stress reduction in the abstract or as a keyword and reported treatment outcome measures. For one subanalysis, half of the articles were culled and every technique listed in each study was extracted and compiled in a list in order to illustrate the diversity of the terms and techniques that had been used. A box-score analysis was then conducted on all of the articles identified. Although a box-score review typically involves an element of subjectivity and can be criticized as a crude approach for the evaluation of empirical literature, efforts were made to ensure categorizations reached consensus between two raters. Each study was classified according to its target population: physical outcomes, worksite, students, psychiatric and other. Physical outcomes included those interventions designed for individuals with a physical disease, such as temporomandibular disorders, diabetes coronary heart disease. The worksite category includes articles with SM directed towards employees in a work environment. Articles in the "student" category encompassed those interventions aimed at student populations, such as medical or nursing students, and high school students. Articles in the psychiatric category were composed of interventions designed for people with psychiatric diagnoses, for example, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorders. The "other" category is composed of articles with target populations that did not fit into any of the above categories; examples of such groups are individuals with general health risk factors such as lack of social support and poor coping skills, the disabled, spouses of elderly veterans and patients undergoing medical procedures.
For each study, SM techniques were identified, tallied and classified, subject to the following categories: arousal reduction approaches (i.e., imagery/relaxation/meditation, biofeedback), coping skill training (i.e., multicomponent cognitive–behavioral), broadly defined systems approaches that considered environmental influences, or ‘unspecified SM’ techniques if not enough detail for another categorization could be found. All categorization was undertaken independently by two raters (L.O. and S.Y.); in cases of disagreement, all three authors discussed the decision for consensus.

Results

A total of 153 papers that featured SM were included in the analysis.1 The treatments' targets were classified into the following categories: (a) physical outcomes (N=61, 40%); (b) worksite (N=34, 22%); (c) students (N=25, 16%); (d) sports (N=4, 3%); (e) psychiatric (N=5, 3%); and (f) other (N=24, 16%).
The great majority of studies endorsed either a cognitive–behavioral approach to coping skills training or an approach that emphasized relaxation, imagery or meditation. By adding the numbers of techniques that each study reported to have used, a sum total of 1044 technique terms was obtained, with a mean number of 6.8 techniques employed per study (S.D.=4.4). The modal number of techniques was found to be six techniques per study (18 studies, 11.4% of 153), followed by seven techniques per study (N=17, 11.1% of 153) (see Table 1). Cognitive–behavioral techniques (CBTs) were used most often, comprising roughly 60% of the techniques cited. Table 2 presents the distribution of the total number of techniques reported across all studies. As Table 2 indicates, the most widely used SM components are strategies that fit with a cognitive–behavioral orientation (N=617), and those with an emphasis on imagery, relaxation and meditation (N=343). A detailed list of the techniques for half (77 of 153 studies) of the outcome studies is not provided here but can be obtained from the authors. For this analysis, only every second study was chosen for the sake of parsimony. [pic] Table 1. Relative popularity of employing different numbers of techniques per study [pic] N=number of studies. [pic] Table 2. Total number of techniques listed, summed across all studies [pic] N=number of techniques. [pic]
The majority of the studies endorsed a multicomponent cognitive–behavioral approach (N=118, 77%) and/or an approach based on imagery, relaxation or meditation (N=130, 85%) (see Table 3). This pattern of results indicates that many studies used both, a multicomponent behavioral approach packaged with an approach based on imagery, relaxation or meditation. [pic] Table 3. Number of studies endorsing a particular orientation of stress management [pic] Relaxation=imagery, relaxation and meditation; CBT=multicomponent CBTs; Unspecified=unspecified stress management techniques; N=number of studies. [pic]
Of the 153 articles surveyed, 115 (75%) were judged to provide an adequate description of the "gross" treatment protocol features (individual vs. group treatment), total number of sessions and duration per session. Eleven studies (7.2%) paired group and individual formats, 28 (18.3%) studies offered individual treatment and 90 (58.8%) offered treatment in a group setting. Session lengths ranged from 15 min to 8 h, with total treatment durations (i.e., number of sessions multiplied by session length) ranging from 15 min to 200 h. The mean total duration of an intervention was 12.7 h (S.D.=19.5) with a mode of 6 h and a mean session duration of 1.5 h (S.D.=1.0) with the modal session duration being 1 h. The mean number of sessions per intervention is 10.1 (S.D.=18.1) with a mode of six sessions. Because one study used a treatment of highly unusual length, namely 200 h, the mean and S.D. provided above present a skewed picture of the data. If this one study is removed from the calculation of means, then mean variability is greatly reduced (S.D.=8.2).
Finally, we assessed in a dichotomous fashion whether a given study provided a clear description of the treatment content. Forty-eight percent of the studies (N=73) were judged to provide reasonable detail in the description of the SM techniques applied, while 52% (N=80) provided only sketchy, incomplete descriptions, which we considered inadequate.

Typical components of SM interventions

Even the inspection of only half of all studies revealed a staggering number of different techniques that had apparently been used: 225 different terms for techniques were used in 77 studies (half of the selected articles). Nevertheless, this seemingly extreme variety is magnified by the fact that some authors use slightly different words for what is clearly the same technique (e.g., Jacobson's relaxation vs. Progressive Muscular Relaxation) or used different terms for what are probably indistinguishable techniques (e.g., Deep Breathing vs. Diaphragmatic Relaxation). While taking some liberties in compressing different terms into underlying major categories, we reduced these technique listings into the following categories of the most commonly used SM. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but merely an illustration of the underlying categories of techniques.

Imagery, relaxation and meditation

Types of strategies in the imagery, relaxation and meditation category with particularly frequent applications were: diaphragmatic breathing, directive and receptive imagery, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, autogenic training and massage therapy. Most of these can be taught using treatment manuals that will facilitate later comparisons across studies. Examples of manual-based interventions are visualization [4], Progressive Muscle Relaxation as pioneered by Edmund Jacobson in the 1930s [5], Autogenic Training (developed by Schultz [6] and manualized in English [7].

Cognitive–behavioral approaches

Examples of frequently used cognitive–behavioral strategies include emotion-focused or problem-focused cognitive coping skills, self-monitoring of stress intensity, thought record keeping and rewriting, cognitive reappraisal, time management, assertiveness training, systematic desensitization and various didactic and educational topics. Although treatment manuals are available for specific applications of CBT like generalized anxiety or panic disorder, the CBT strategies used for SM are rarely laid out in standardized treatment manuals.

Systemic approaches

Systemic approaches to SM focus on altering the social, environmental or political factors, those external to the individual, which contribute to stress. Thus, systemic approaches can be classified into multiple levels, depending on the distance from the participant to the target. For instance, a lower level intervention might include attempting to modify family dynamics and personal relationships that may cause or exacerbate existing stressors, and a higher-level approach may involve inducing societal change through creating and implementing new government policies. An example of a low-level (or proximal) systemic approach is to invite participation of spouses and family members in an intervention.

Discussion

A pervasive problem in the area of SM intervention trials is the lack of an explicit description of the underlying definition of stress; more often than not, the reader needs to infer the underlying conceptualization from the researchers' choice of treatment techniques. Using such an imperfect inferencing approach, the results of the box-score analyses suggest that the majority of interventions endorse a combination of arousal reduction and skill-building models that emphasized relaxation, imagery or meditation, and multicomponent CBTs. CBTs were most numerous, comprising roughly 60% of the total techniques cited. However, this figure may be an overrepresentation of CBTs relative to relaxation strategies. For instance, a given program may cite the use of tai chi, which would count as a single tally in the imagery/relaxation/meditation column, while a cognitive program that breaks down cognitive coping skills into thought stopping, cognitive reappraisal and cognitive restructuring would receive four tallies in the CBT column.
The sheer magnitude of the list of techniques suggests that there is ample choice of technique options for SM. This presents good news for the stressed, as it indicates that research in this area is burgeoning and that many treatment options are available. Many of the technique labels, however, look initially different, whereas upon closer inspection, it appears that the huge number of different terms probably reflects a much more limited number of actually different techniques.
There does appear to be some consensus on acceptable treatment delivery protocols in that there is a modal type of delivery, which consists of small-group treatment, 6–10 sessions in length, averaging 10–15 h of participant exposure to treatment. Given the average of about six different techniques being taught in such a program, this also means that only 1–2 h is spent on teaching each technique. Essentially, this translates into typical interventions using a generic ‘garden hose’ approach to SM, where individuals are presented with relatively little opportunity to acquire mastery in any particular technique; furthermore, it actively prevents isolation of the most effective treatment ingredients. Perhaps the thrust of future research should be to identify precisely which skills or techniques are most efficacious for a given population or situation.
While our results indicate that there is a modal SM intervention, the analysis nevertheless revealed such great diversity in content that it is not feasible to compare various SM programs with each other or with other treatments. Different treatment lengths may account for different outcomes but that feature could be accounted for in statistical meta-analysis by relating resulting effect sizes to treatment length. Differences in, and poorly described, program content, however, defy meaningful comparisons.
The readiness of the SM literature for narrative or quantitative review is also seriously undermined by poor communication of research protocols and results. One quarter of studies did not even indicate number of sessions and/or session lengths. In other cases, researchers merely stated that they used CBTs, without indicating what was actually meant by that. We were puzzled in many instances by the fact that reviewers and editors accepted vague and confusing descriptions of the treatments. For example, Parker et al. [8] claim that their intervention "included relaxation training and instruction in cognitive–behavioral strategies" (p. 1808) but do not elaborate further on their strategies; using the phrase "covered such topics as…" creates clearly avoidable ambiguity. Similarly, Bond and Bunce [9] assert that SM was taught through "various exercises" (p. 159) and devised ways to change stressors through "creativity techniques" (p. 159), omitting to tell the reader which specific techniques had been utilized. Along a similar vein, many studies (N=17) merely stated that SM or stress reduction techniques were used, but failed to include information about what topics were discussed and what strategies were taught (e.g., [10, 11 and 12]). Such studies cannot be replicated, and no trustworthy evidence on efficacy can accumulate [13].
Another communication issue pertains to levels of categorization, which occurs when logically super- and subordinate levels of categorization are treated as being equivalent. For instance, McCarberg and Wolf [10] provide a list of specific methods employed in their study that would normally be considered SM strategies (e.g. cognitive restructuring) and then add that they also used SM [10 and 14]. Similarly, a blurring of categorical levels occurs when authors describe their intervention as incorporating "relaxation with imagery, self-control training of scratching including habit reversal and cognitive techniques, and stress management" [14]. While the first three techniques are rather specific, the latter two methods in this listing are much more global and partly subsume the first three techniques. Relaxation is typically a component of SM, yet SM is also listed on its own, implying that the authors consider the two concepts to be mutually exclusive.
The box-score analysis indicates that the most commonly employed components in a SM program involve multicomponent cognitive–behavioral or relaxation-oriented techniques. This suggests that the SM literature clearly conceives of the individual as in need of help and does not place much emphasis on contextual factors that are pervasive, societal and historical in nature [15].
One major source of confusion arises from the typically atheoretical and often incomplete manner in which SM researchers disseminate their data and knowledge. The problem is perpetuated when journals decide to publish papers that simply claim to be using SM, without requiring and enforcing that researchers describe all their treatment procedures in at least some detail. Thus, one—at best, partial—solution to the conundrum of a consensual definition of SM is to improve the manner in which findings are communicated. SM publications should contain sufficient detail to permit replication and to guide clinical practice. Ideally, a standardized SM treatment manual would be developed that research can then refer to. Given its highly variable operationalizations, the term SM as previously used would be unsuitable for inclusion in APA Division 12's (Clinical Psychology) efforts to expand the list of empirically validated treatments.
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Acknowledgements

While writing this article, the second author was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the B.C. and Yukon Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We acknowledge the critical feedback received from Dr. Bonita Long, James Hutchinson, Dr. Amy Janeck and Dr. Paul Hewitt. Lephuong Ong is now at York University, Toronto.
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References

1. L Turner, W Linden, R van der Wal and W Schamberger, Stress management for patients with heart disease: a pilot study. Heart Lung 24 (1995), pp. 145–153. Abstract-EMBASE | Abstract-MEDLINE | $Order Document
2. W Linden, JW Lenz and AH Con, Individualized stress management for primary hypertension: a randomized trial. Arch Int Med 161 (2001), pp. 1071–1080. Abstract-Elsevier BIOBASE | Abstract-EMBASE | Abstract-MEDLINE | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef
3. R Rosenthal, Writing meta-analytic reviews. Psychol Bull 118 (1995), pp. 183–192. Abstract | Abstract + References | PDF (1031 K)
4. M Davis, ER Eshelman and M McKay. The relaxation and stress reduction workbook (2nd ed.), New Harbinger Publications, Oakland (CA) (1982).
5. DA Bernstein and TD Borkovec. Progressive relaxation training: a manual for the helping professions, Research Press, Champaign (IL) (1973).
6. JH Schultz. Das Autogene Training (Konzentrative Selbst-Entspannung), Thieme, Leipzig (1932).
7. W Linden. Autogenic training: a practitioner's guide, Guilford Press, New York (1990).
8. JC Parker, KL Smarr, SP Buckelew, RC Stucky-Ropp, JE Hewett, JC Johnson, GE Wright, WS Irvin and SE Walker, Effects of stress management on clinical outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 38 (1995), pp. 1807–1818. Abstract-EMBASE | Abstract-MEDLINE | $Order Document
9. FW Bond and D Bunce, Mediators of change in emotion-focused and problem-focused worksite stress management interventions. J Occup Health Psychol 5 (2000), pp. 156–163. Abstract | Abstract + References | PDF (513 K)
10. B McCarberg and J Wolf, Chronic pain management in a health maintenance organization. Clin J Pain 15 (1999), pp. 50–57. Abstract-MEDLINE | Abstract-PsycINFO | Abstract-EMBASE | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef
11. RH Pruitt, C Bernheim and JP Tomlinson, Stress management in a military health promotion program: effectiveness and cost efficiency. Mil Med 156 (1991), pp. 51–53. Abstract-PsycINFO | Abstract-EMBASE | Abstract-MEDLINE | $Order Document
12. JC Rutledge, DA Hyson, D Garduno, DA Cort, L Paumer and CT Kappagoda, Lifestyle modification program in management of patients with coronary artery disease: the clinical experience in a tertiary care hospital. J Cardiopulm Rehabil 19 (1999), pp. 226–234. Abstract-EMBASE | Abstract-MEDLINE | $Order Document | Full Text via CrossRef
13. W Linden and FK Wen, Therapy outcome research, health care policy, and the continuing lack of accumulated knowledge. Prof Psychol Res Pract 21 (1990), pp. 482–488. Abstract | Abstract + References | PDF (586 K)
14. A Ehlers, U Stangier and U Gieler, Treatment of atopic dermatitis: a comparison of psychological and dermatological approaches to relapse prevention. J Consult Clin Psychol 63 (1995), pp. 624–635. Abstract | Abstract + References | PDF (1174 K)
15. T Newton. Managing stress: emotion and power at work, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (CA) (1995).
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[pic]Corresponding author. Tel. +1-604-822-4156; fax: +1-822-6923
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1 Given the intended brief nature of this article, the full reference list encompassing the 153 studies that were analyzed here is not included with the article itself but is available from the authors on request.

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| |Journal of Psychosomatic Research |
| |Volume 56, Issue 1 , January 2004, Pages 133-137 |

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...CHAPTER 1 THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND Introduction “Stress is not what happens to us. It is our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.” This sagacious saying was quoted by Dr. Maureen Killoran, a certified universalist and an advocate on health and wellness. The quotation imparts to us that stress is not altogether negative as what most people would think at first. It still depends on how an individual sees and copes with the stress placed upon him. If you perceive potentially stressful events as a challenge instead of a threat, less stress will most likely result. Stress does not have to control your life because it can be managed. (http://krystalk.wrytestuff.com/swa560692-Stress-Management-Managing-Stress-Before-Its-Manages-You.htm) However, stress, it seems, knows no age, race, gender, religion, nationality, or socio-economic class. For this reason, it is called “the equal opportunity destroyer,” for when left unresolved, stress can undermine all aspects of your life. (Seaward, 2006) Although it may seem that stress becomes a critical mass in your life once you leave home and get to college, the truth is that manifestations associated with stress started much earlier than college years. It is just that, the peak of the most stressful events in your life happens in college. College students, especially freshmen, are a group particularly prone to stress due to the transitional nature of college life. (Ross, 1999) As one shifts......

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Stress Management

...Stress management Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. Information Emotional stress usually occurs in situations people consider difficult or challenging. People may feel stressed in different situations. Physical stress is a physical reaction of the body to various triggers. The pain experienced after surgery is an example of physical stress. Physical stress often leads to emotional stress, and emotional stress often occurs in the form of physical stress (e.g., stomach cramps). Stress management involves controlling and reducing the tension that occurs in stressful situations by making emotional and physical changes. The degree of stress and the desire to make the changes will determine how much improvement takes place. ASSESSING STRESS Attitude: A person's attitude can influence whether or not a situation or emotion is stressful. A person with a negative attitude will often report more stress than would someone with a positive attitude. Diet: A poor diet puts the body in a state of physical stress and weakens the immune system. As a result, a person can be more likely to get infections. A poor diet can mean making unhealthy food choices, not eating enough, or not eating on a normal schedule. This form of physical stress also decreases the ability to deal with emotional stress, because not getting the right nutrition may affect the way the brain processes information. Physical activity: Not getting enough physical activity can put the body in a......

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Stress Management

...literature and studies from other researches relevant to the present study. Related Literature       Many researches have been conducted to know what stress is all about and its effects to human if it exceeds beyond our control.         Selye as cited by Berry (1997) defined stress in physiological terms as a non-specific or generalized bodily response.   This response results when any demand is made on the body, whether it is an environment condition that we must survive or a demand that we make ourselves in order to accomplish a personal goal.   Selye distinguished between two forms of stress.   Distress is the response to negative events and eustress (euphoria) is the response to positive events.         Stress is good and will motivate people to succeed, but too much stress can affect one’s performance (http://www.chow.com).   Greener as cited by de Jesus (2010:p.22) opined that most people can cope with and even need a certain amount of stress to perform to the peak of their ability but when demands for dealing with it outstrip resources, strength or time, it becomes dangerous.         Feldman (2005) said that stress is a normal part of life and not a necessary a bad part of life.   However, it is also clear that too much stress can take a toll on both physical and psychological health.   According to Stuthers (2000), stress is what people feel when they are worried or uncomfortable about something.   This worry in the mind can make the body feel bad.   They......

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...IMPACT OF ACADEMIC STRESS AMONG THE MANAGEMENT STUDENTS OF AMET UNIVERSITY – AN ANALYSIS Dr.D.Rajasekar ABSTRACT The study examined the “Impact of academic stress among the management students. Stress management encompasses techniques to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with physiological stress. Students have different expectations, goals, and values that they want to fulfill, which is only possible if the students are integrated with that of the institution. The objective of the study is use to find out the present level of stress, source of stress and stress management techniques that would be useful for management students. The study takes into account various criteria like physical, psychological, individual, demographical and environmental factors of stress among the management students. The sample comprises of 100 students of AMET Business School, AMET University. Data was collected through structured academic stress questionnaire by using convenient sampling method. Keywords: Stress, Academic Stress, Student stress; Stress among management students. INTRODUCTION The education sector in India is evolving, led by the emergence of new niche sectors like vocational training, finishing schools, child-skill enhancement and e-learning. The Indian education system, considered as one of the largest in the world, is divided into two major segments of core and non-core businesses. While, schools and higher education for the core group,......

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Stress Management

...TERM PAPER MPOB L LOVELY INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT topic:- stress management SUBMITTED TO:- Ms. MANBIR KAUR GILL SUBMITTED BY:- NAME:- PRASHANT KUMAR ROLL NO:- RT1901 “A19” SUB:- MPOB REG NO:- 10900829 PROG :- MBA (1ST) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT | I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude towards all those people who have helped me in the successful completion of this term paper, directly or indirectly. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude towards Ms. Manbir kaur gill (my term paper guide) for her guidance and help which she willingly provided at every step of my term paper. PRASHANT KUMAR M.B.A 1st SEMESTER TABLE OF CONTENT INTRODUCTION 1 ORGANIZATION SIGNIFYING 4 LITERATURE REVIEW 5 RESEARCH METHODOLGY * SECONDARY DATA 8 DATA ANALYSIS ...

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...Name: Course: Institution: My response to stress When I am all worked by stress, I am usually very restless and often lack sleep. I also experience mild headaches. Everything usually seems very boring and I get very dull. When stressed up, I am usually very irritable and gets annoyed I project a very bad temper. I therefore isolate myself and contact very few or no one at all. These are my general reactions to stress. I am most concerned about how easily I get annoyed and can lash out at very slight things. If this persists, I can end up hurting myself or other people. I therefore try to control my stress levels to avoid incidences that I might regret. I have found some easy ways of dealing with my reactions. When I feel stress building up, first thing I do is to momentarily give myself a break from what is stressing me. For instance if it is an exam that is making me stressed up, I momentarily stop reading for the test, slide into my track suite, carry my mp3 player and earphones and go for a jog. This usually sets my mind to other issues in my life. As I progress with the jog, I keep playing in my head positive encouraging phrases. My all-time favorite is, ‘let me make it happen, like I always do!’ With this phrase continually running through my head, I usually begin feeling relaxed and mostly even find myself smiling. At that moment, I know that the paper is no longer affecting me. I then get back home, still playing the message, take a warm bath and pray. This helps me......

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... Psychology and Management of stress Task 1 Outline and evaluate (i) Selye’s (1956) General Adaption Syndrome of stress. The General Adaption Syndrome (GAS) is Selye’s belief that that the body has physiological ways in which to deal with long term and short term stress and its and that prolonged exposure to stress can result in illness. He started this in the 1930’s and based this on researching hormones of rats and found that the rats had stress response to his research. He believed that regardless of the type of stressor, the reaction of the stressor was always the same. (Rice et al 2010p100) Selye’s model has three stages: Alarm stage – This is where the environmental stimuli is viewed as a stressor and the ‘fight or flight’ instinct is aroused and the first reactions are aroused. This is where the automatic nervous system (ANS) is activated and the sympathetic branch of the nervous system to release adrenaline and noradrenaline, which in turn raises the heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration and digestion, slows. This stage is usually disappears quickly through the parasympathetic branch which returns everything to normal. If it continues we then move to the next stage Resistance stage – This is where the environmental stressors are still there, and the body physiologically starts to adapt and adjust. Arousal is still high and the high level of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) is still in the body. ACTH will try to resist stress by conserving......

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