Stress ManagementBe able to list and describe using examples the 3 fundamental components of the stress equation.
The stress equation is: Stressor (stimulus) + Individual Characteristics = Stress Response
The stressor is any real or imagined situation, circumstance, or stimulus that is perceived to be a threat. An example of this is seeing a snake directly in the path before you. Individual characteristics describe the past experiences and beliefs of a person. An example is having seen traumatic snake bites on television. The stress response is the release of epinephrine and nor epinephrine to prepare for various organs and tissues for fight or flight. An example is freezing because the person saw the snake, is afraid of being bitten, and stops walking because the path just became dangerous.
Know what the research by Yerkes and Dodson at Harvard University showed about the relationship of stress to productivity
Some stress (eustress) is necessary for health and performance but that beyond an optimal amount both will deteriorate as stress increases.
Be able to list 4 common physical stress reactions, 3 common emotional stress reactions, and 3 common behavioral stress reactions (behavior changes due to stress) from those given in class or in your text.
Physical stress reactions include fatigue, colds/influenza, back aches, and sleep disorders.
Emotional stress reactions include irritable, anger, and frustration.
Behavioral stress reactions include poor concentration, violence, and being accident prone.
Be able to identify the primary organs of the central nervous system (CNS)
The brain and spinal cord are the primary organs of the central nervous system.
Be able to outline the divisions and subdivisions of the peripheral nervous system
The divisions of the Peripheral Nervous System include the Autonomic Nervous System and all other sensory and motor neurons. The Autonomic Nervous System contains the Sympathetic Nervous System and Parasympathetic Nervous System.
Be able to identify the primary functions of each of the following areas of the brain:
The reticular formation connects the brain to the spinal cord. It is a communications link that filters sensory input into the brain.
The brain stem is responsible for involuntary functions of the human body such as heartbeat, respiration, and vasomotor activity.
The limbic system is the emotional control center responsible for pain regulation and emotional processing.
The amygdala is first to register fear and emotional content memory.
The hypothalamus helps to control hunger, thirst, blood pressure, sex drive, heart rate, pain, pleasure, and appetite. It activates the autonomic nervous system, stimulates secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone, produces antidiuretic hormone, and stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine.
The cortex assesses physical arousal consciously and subconsciously, and either increases or inhibits the stress response.
Be able to describe how the primary functions of each of the following areas of the brain relate to stress, incorporating examples.
The reticular formation filters information to the brain and can filter out unnecessary information that may lead to stress. An example of this can be sleeping well in a loud city.
The amygdala is first to register fear and initially activates the sympathetic nervous system to deal with the situation even if there is no true danger. An example of this is seeing a snake on the path ahead but realizing that it is only a stick.
Neocortex and cortex deals consciously and subconsciously with sensory information and determines whether a stress response is necessary or unnecessary. An example of this can be consciously changing thought patterns to deal with negative situations.
Be able to identify how neural impulses are transmitted along a neuron, and transmitted from one neuron to another, or from a motor neuron to a muscle.
Stimulation alters permeability of Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride ions creating an action potential. The action potential passes along the nerve fiber and over the surface of the synaptic knob. Synaptic vesicles release their neurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft. Neurotransmitters fit with receptors and cAMP starts up the next neuron.
Chapter 2 of your textbook describes 3 major neuroendocrine axes. These are chain reactions of biochemical messages, and are major components of the stress response in humans that occur as a result of stimulation of a key area in the brain. Be able to name and correctly spell each axis and describe one or more of its effects.
ACTH axis is a physiological pathway whereby a messenger is sent from the hypothalamus to the pituitary, then on to the adrenal gland to secrete a flood of stress hormones for fight or flight. This increases metabolism and blood pressure.
Vasopressin axis is a chain of physiological events stemming from the release of vasopressin or antidiuretic hormone. This regulates fluid loss through the urinary tract. This increases blood pressure to ensure that active muscles receive oxygenated blood.
Thyroxine axis is a chain of physiological events stemming from the release of thyroxine. This increases overall metabolism.
Be able to name at least 2 of the primary glands of the immune system.
The thymus and the spleen are primary glands of the immune system.
Know which type(s) of lymphocytes (immune system cells) help to protect against cancer, and which type(s) of lymphocytes help to protect against infectious diseases, like anthrax.
T-lymphocytes are primarily responsible for cell-mediated immunity. B-cells primarily function to eliminate pathogenic microorganisms that contribute to infectious disease.
The Borysenko Model for the relationship between stress and disease divides the causes of disease into either autonomic nervous system dysregulation or immune system dysregulation. Be able to list 2 examples of specific medical problems resulting from autonomic dysregulation and 2 specific examples from immune dysregulation. According to Borysenko, there are two types of immune system dysregulation. Be able to name them and give examples of each type.
Autonomic dysregulation is associated with migraines and coronary heart disease. Immune dysregulation is associated with viral infections and allergies.
Immune dysregulation overreactions include allergies and arthritis. Underreactions include infections and cancer. Overreactions include arthritis and allergies.
Be able to identify at least 2 of the key concepts of Dr. Candace Pert's research on the relationship between the brain and the immune system.
Pert's model cites research findings linking the nervous system with the immune system because various cell tissues in the immune system can synthesize neuropeptides just as the brain can.
Pert believes that all neuropeptides are really one molecule that undergoes a change at the atomic level brought about by various emotional states or energy thought forms.
Be able to describe at least 3 detrimental effects of prolonged excess secretion of cortisol (as it occurs with chronic stress).
Cortisol decreases mucous production in stomach lining. Cortisol inhibits new bone formation and uptake of calcium in intestines. Cortisol stops the formation of new lymphocytes in the thalamus.
Be able to identify the key concepts of the Gerber Model with respect to the mind and the brain.
Gerber's model states that the mind consists of energy surrounding and permeating the body. Disease is disturbance in the human energy field, which cascades through levels of the subtle energy to the body via chakras and meridians.
Understand the definition of entrainment in general, and how this principle relates to external power sources that may increase our health risks.
Entrainment is organs or organisms increasing their rate of oscillation to match the stronger rate of oscillation given off by other organs or organisms. Oscillations of a higher frequency are somehow absorbed through the human energy field resulting in alterations to the genetic makeup of cells at the atomic level.
Dr. Kenneth Pelletier cites several types of compelling research evidence dealing with the relationship between thoughts and disease. These are: Multiple personality disorders and placebos. Know how each of these concepts applies to the effects of our thoughts on our health.
Multiple personality disordered individuals may manifest different diseases with different personalities. Stress is thought to be strongly associated with the cause of disease.
Placebos can be as effective as the medicine it is supposed to represent. Healing may occur as a result of the patient's belief or faith that the medicine will work.
According to Dr. Richard Lazarus' "Cognitive Appraisal Model" of stress, there are two appraisal processes continually in play as we interact with our environment. Be able to define and describe each appraisal process.
Primary appraisal is a judgment about whether the stimulus is unpleasant, uncomfortable, threatening, good or bad. Secondary appraisal is a judgment about our ability to successfully deal with the situation and or stimulus.
For each of the two appraisal processes above, be able to name an individual characteristic that affects that appraisal process, and be able to explain why and how it affects that appraisal processes.
Primary appraisal is affected by individual expectations by guiding a person to experience an event in a certain way. It is easier to see something that is wanted than unwanted.
Secondary appraisal is affected by self-efficacy in the way that a person’s confidence directly affects that person’s approach to a solution in an adverse situation.
Be able to list and briefly describe 4 characteristics of Type A Behavior Pattern (TABP).
Time-urgency is a trait of someone who is constantly time conscious.
Polyphasia is a trait of thinking or doing many activities at once.
Ultra-competitiveness is a trait of someone that is very self conscious in that they compare themselves with others of similar social status and strive to be number one at the cost of the quality of the activity.
Hyper aggressiveness is a trait describing someone who has a need to dominate people. People displaying this trait strive to be number one showing little to no compassion in the direction of others.
Be able to briefly describe what gestalt psychologists have discovered about how the structure of the human brain affects the way we perceive the environment, and how that relates to our perception of stress.
Gestalt psychologists have determined that psychological, physiological, and behavioral phenomena are irreducible configurations not derived from the simple summation of parts. This relates to the perception of stress by recognizing that all aspects of life contribute to a person's stress response.
Be able to identify how the prevalence of depression has changed over the past 50 years in America.
Depression is ten times more prevalent today than it was fifty years ago.
Be able to identify the conclusion that Aaron Beck, Martin Seligman, Albert Ellis, and other researchers have come to regarding the true nature of depression.
Beck, Seligman, and Ellis claim that depression is nothing more than symptoms caused by conscious negative thoughts.
Be able to identify what is at the core of depressed thinking, according to Martin Seligman.
According to Seligman, conscious thought patterns are at the core of depressed thinking. These though patterns are an explanatory style to describe events in either a positive or negative way.
Know what research has indicated is the strongest influence on a child’s explanatory style.
Research indicates that a child's explanatory style is most strongly influenced by the mother.
Be able to identify 3 key elements of hostility as Dr. Redford Williams defines it.
Williams identified cynical mistrust, feelings of anger, and aggressive behavior as three key elements of hostility.
Be able to identify at least 3 personality characteristics that are associated with an abnormally high risk for cancer, according to Dr. Caroline Bedell-Thomas.
Three personality characteristics associated with an increased risk for cancer include the tendency to conceal feelings, feeling unloved or unlovable, and feeling a lack of closeness to parents.
Be able to describe 3 key characteristics of the co-dependent personality.
Three key characteristics of the co-dependent personality are dependent on making others dependent on them as a means of self-validation, are perfectionists, and manipulators.
Be able to identify several key characteristics of Learned Helplessness.
Key characteristics of Learned Helplessness include the paralysis of self-motivation, perceptual distortion where perceptions of failure eclipse perceptions of success, a pessimistic explanatory style, chronic depression, and low self esteem.
Know what is the one common denominator is for the 3 major stress-prone personalities.
Low self esteem is a common denominator in stress-prone personalities, as can be seen in Type A, codependent, and helpless-hopeless types.
Be able to identify what the “Seville Statement” of 1986, proclaimed regarding aggression in humans.
The Seville Statement proclaimed that aggression in humans is neither genetically or biologically determined in human beings, it is a learned response.
Know Suzanne Kobassa-Ouellette’s 3 key Stress Hardiness characteristics. Hint: the 3 C’s. Be able to name and describe them.
The three key stress hardiness characteristics are commitment, control, and challenge. Commitment is the dedication to family, self, and work; committed to giving most things the best effort. Control is a sense of influencing the events in one's life rather than a feeling of helplessness. Challenge is the ability to see change and problems as opportunities for growth, rather than threats.
1. Gary Schwartz, Ph.D. has discovered 3 important stress resistant characteristics that he calls the ACE Factor. The acronym stands for Attention, Connection, and Expression. Know what the terms attention and connection mean in his model, and their relationship to one another.
In Schwartz's ACE Factor model, attention means that people need to pay more attention to their life experiences. Connection means that people need to use their awareness to connect their mind and their body. Attention creates the connection between mind and body eventually leading to wellness.
2. Know what the philosopher and educator, William James, said is “…our greatest weapon against stress.”
Our greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another.
Know what Viktor Frankl referred to as the “last ultimate freedom”, in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Be able to describe the significance of the last ultimate freedom to controlling stress in your life or someone else’s.
The last ultimate freedom is "Response - Ability". It is the ability to choose a response to any given situation.
3. Know what Dr. Stephen Covey means when he says, “In the last analysis, no one, nothing can hurt us without our consent.”
Dr. Covey means that our consent allows hurt more than what is the reality. A person's true identity or character need not ever be hurt. The character develops freedoms. We can choose our response to either allow the pain or grow the freedom.
4. Be able to describe the key difference between a proactive and a reactive person, according to Stephen Covey.
A proactive person responds to a situation on the basis of personal values. A reactive person responds to a situation on the basis of feelings or emotions. A proactive person can suppress their impulses and fleeting emotions to be able to respond to the stimulus.
5. Lou Tice said, “We constantly move toward our dominant thoughts.” Be able to explain the full significance of that statement to stress and well-being.
The significance of the statement is that a person whose mind constantly dwells on the negative aspect of life will actually live in that negative world and experience negative things each day. A person whose mind constantly dwells on the positive aspect of life lives in the beautiful and positive world. This person is propelled through life by their positive thoughts.
6. Be able to describe what basis Col. Ed Hubbard (Viet Nam POW) had for stating that, “None of us have begun to scratch the surface of our true potential.” Use specific examples to illustrate.
Potential is determined by what you think you can do and how hard you are willing to work to achieve it. A person can do anything that they commit their mind to do. A person may be able to perform hundreds of push ups or sit ups on little more than a couple hundred calories a day if the person puts their mind to it. A person could withstand an amazing amount of torture. A person may recall information that may have been forgotten years ago if the person really tries. A person may learn a language without having previously heard it spoken or seen it written.
7. Be able to describe how the experiences Col. Hubbard had as a POW in Viet Nam helped him to effectively control his stress for the rest of his life. Use examples.
Colonel Hubbard would leave the horrors behind him, take the positive experiences and enrich the other aspects of his life. He would continue with his life with the commitment to never be shaken by fear again. Fear is only a lack of confidence to surpass an unknown aspect of life. Personal pride is the most important thing that a person can utilize to conquer their challenges.
8. Martin Seligman has discovered that each of us has a particular explanatory style, a habitual way of explaining the causes of events in our lives. Be able to name and describe each of the 3 dimensions of causal explanations identified by Seligman. Your description may be brief, but should show a complete understanding of each dimension.
The three dimensions of causal explanations are permanence, personal locus, and pervasiveness. Permanence indicates a short term or long term explanation. Personal locus indicates whether or not the person is responsible for the event. Pervasiveness indicates if the event will globally affect many aspects of the person's life or if it will have a specific effect.
9. You will be given a description of an event (such as getting an A+ on this exam) and asked to identify either how a pessimist or an optimist would explain the causes of the event.
10. Be able to identify 3 ways that research has indicated flexible optimists do better than pessimists in life.
Research shows flexible optimists do better in school, win more elections, and succeed more at work than pessimists do.
11. Be able to name each of Martin Seligman’s 3 approaches to (or dimensions of) happiness, and succinctly describe the essence of each.
Seligman’s approaches to happiness are pleasure, engagement, and meaning. The pleasant life is having as many pleasures as possible and having the savoring and mindfulness skills to amplify the pleasures. The engaging life is knowing what your signature strengths are, and then re-crafting your work, love, friendship, leisure and parenting to use those strengths to have more flow in life. The meaningful life is using your signature strengths in the service of something that you believe is larger than you are.
12. Know which of Seligman’s 3 dimensions of happiness correlates to Plato’s first level of happiness.
Seligman's pleasant life correlates to Plato's first level of happiness, gratification.
Be able to briefly describe 2 ways which positive emotions contribute to happiness and well-being, according to Barbara Fredrickson’s “Broaden and Build Theory” of positive emotions.
Positive emotions contribute to happiness by broadening our intellectual, social, and physical resources building reserves we can draw upon when necessary. Positive emotions render us more like able and help us to cement more friendships, conditions, and social bonds.
13. Barbara Fredrickson and Marcel Losada discovered a minimum ratio of positive to negative interactions in the workplace in order to be productive. Know what that ratio is.
The minimum ratio of positive to negative interactions in the workplace in order to be productive is 3:1.
14. John Gottman discovered a “magic ratio” of positive to negative interchanges among couples that predicted marital success 10 years later with 94% accuracy. Know that ratio.
The ratio of positive to negative interchanges among couples predicting marital success over 10 years is 5:1.
15. Martin E.P. Seligman, and Chris Peterson stated that their 6 core virtues and 24 character strengths, taken together, capture the notion of…. Be able to finish that sentence.
Their six core virtues and twenty-four character strengths, taken together, capture the notion of good character.
Be able to explain how Plato’s 3rd level of happiness and Seligman’s highest dimension of happiness are similar.
Plato's third level of happiness, Doing Good Beyond Self, and Seligman's dimension of happiness, Meaningful Life, are similar because like Seligman, Plato's work is interpreted to mean that it is important to find meaning and purpose beyond yourself in life.
16. Be able to name 3 of the 5 character strengths that Peterson and Seligman’s research has indicated have the highest correlation to enduring happiness. You must know the complete name as it is stated on your Strengths handout or on the authentic happiness web site.
Character strengths that Peterson and Seligman's research has indicated have the highest correlation to enduring happiness are curiosity and interest in the world; zest, enthusiasm, and energy; and the capacity to love and be loved.
According to Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatte, there are 7 components of resilience (the RQ Test). Be able to match the name of each component with a description of that component.
The 7 components of resilience are emotional regulation, impulse control, realistic optimism, self-efficacy, accurate causal analysis, empathy, and reaching out. Emotional regulation is the ability to control attention, emotions, and behavior. Impulse control is closely tied to emotional regulation. Realistic optimism is flexible optimism or the hope that things can change for the better. Self-efficacy is the sense that we are effective in the world. Accurate causal analysis is the ability to accurately assess causes of adversity or problems. Empathy is the ability to emotional put yourself in another person's place. Reaching out allows us to increase both pleasure and meaning in life.
17. Self-efficacy and self-esteem have been identified by many experts as key stress-resistant traits. Our text describes 7 pillars of self-esteem (7 ways we can increase self-esteem). Be able to correctly name and describe any three of those 7 pillars.
Three of the 7 pillars of self-esteem are the focus on action, the practice of living consciously, and the practice of self-acceptance. The focus on action is describing our free will so that we may reach our highest potential. The practice of living consciously is living in the moment rather than confining yourself to past or future events, and being mindful of each activity you are engaged in. The practice of self acceptance is the refusal to be in an adversarial relationship with yourself.
Know the purpose of Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR), and be able to describe the process. In other words, how does one do PMR?
The purpose of Progressive Muscular Relaxation is to decrease muscular tension in the body by tensing and then relaxing the body's muscle groups in systematic and progressive fashion. The contraction should be held for five to ten seconds with a relaxation phase of about forty-five seconds. The individual should focus attention on the intensity of the contraction sensing the tension produced. During the relaxation phase of each muscle group, special awareness of the feeling of relaxation should be focused on comparing it to how the muscle felt when it was contracted.
18. Know the purpose of Autogenic Training, and be able to name two of the primary physiological changes that typically occur during autogenic training.
The purpose of autogenic training is to reprogram the mind so as to override the stress response when physical arousal is not appropriate. Two physiological changes that typically occur during autogenic training are decreases in heart rate and respiration.
19. Be able to name two of the physical sensations that one should focus on during autogenic training.
Two of the physical sensations to focus on during autogenic training are warmth and heaviness.
20. Be able to explain the key differences between brain waves produced during meditation and those produced during a normal conscious state.
In a normal state of consciousness the predominant brain waves emitted are rapid and jagged beta waves. Meditation tends to produce slow and almost rhythmical oscillations called alpha waves representing a decrease in sensory input.
21. Know the key differences between transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation. In other words how would one practice transcendental meditation, and how would one practice mindfulness meditation, and what would one do differently in each form?
Transcendental meditation is an exclusive meditation where all thoughts are eliminated. Focusing attention on one simple thing like breathing and disregarding or blocking all sensory input helps develop a deep state of calmness, relaxation, and a heightened state of awareness. Mindfulness meditation is where the mind is free to accept all thoughts. All thoughts are invited into awareness without emotional evaluation, judgment or analysis. All thoughts that enter the conscious mind must do so objectively and without judgment or emotional directive.
22. Be able to describe the essence and significance of each of the following foundations of mindfulness to stress control:
Awareness is the ability to perceive and experience things as if for the first time, a beginners mind.
Living in the moment is to live in the present because it is the only time we have to perceive the world.
Quieting the mind is to reduce the sensory input in order to quit the mind.
Acceptance is to acknowledge where we actually are in the moment. To be able and willing to see the truth about self and life right now. It is seeing things as they actually are.
Non-judging is to observe the environment and our own thought without judging them.
Know what the research says about the difference in the risk of depression between inactive and physically active individuals.
Ross and Hayes reported that inactive people are two times as likely to have symptoms of depression as physically active persons. Paffenbarger reported that physically active men have a 17% to 28% less risk for depression than physically inactive men.
23. Be able to name and describe 3 psychological benefits of regular physical activity, and be able to identify two probable physiological (physical) bases for those psychological benefits.
Three psychological benefits of regular physical activity are reduced anxiety, temporary mood improvement, and an enhanced self esteem. Two physiological bases for those benefits are the secretion of beta endorphins and enkaphalines and the improved secretion of cortisol during the stress response.
24. Be able to identify the definition of an affirmation, and correctly identify a short list of guidelines that Lou Tice gives for constructing an effective affirmation.
Affirmations are written goal statements. To effectively write an affirmation, determine areas of desired change and write down 1 or 2 affirmations for each goal. They must be written in the first person, specific, and in the present tense as if they have already been achieved. They must be stated positively using emotional words that convey a vivid image.
Be able to select two of Lou Tice’s guidelines for affirmations and describe what each means using an example.
A good affirmation would be written in the present tense. An example of this would be: I am working efficiently to finish my assignment. A good affirmation must be stated positively. An example of this would be: I am helping others in a significant way when I do community service.