Assignment: Psychological Factors And Health

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Assignment: Psychological Factors And Health

Assignment: Psychological Factors And Health

Physical, Emotional, and Cognitive Effects of Stress

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  • Health psychology—The field of psychology that studies the relationships between psychological factors and the prevention and treatment of physical health problems.

The Body’s Response to Stress

  • General adaptation syndrome (GAS): Hans Selye’s term for a hypothesized three-stage response to stress.
  • Stage 1: Alarm reaction
  • Stage 2: Resistance
  • Stage 3: Exhaustion

Stage 1: Alarm Reaction

  • Also called the alarm reaction, this is the first stage of the GAS, which is triggered by the impact of a stressor and characterized by activity in the sympathetic division of the nervous system.

Fight-or-flight reaction

Regulated by endocrine system

  • The autonomic nervous system (ANS) consists of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

Sympathetic Nervous System

  • The sympathetic nervous system accelerates bodily processes, such as heart rate and breathing, and leads to the release of energy from stored reserves in times when the body needs additional oxygen and fuel to work harder.
  • This system takes over during the alarm reaction.

Parasympathetic Nervous System

  • The parasympathetic nervous system restores the body’s reserves of energy and tones down bodily arousal.

Autonomic Nervous System


Components of the Alarm Reaction


Stage 2: Resistance Stage

  • After the alarm reaction, the body enters the resistance or adaptation stage. Levels of endocrine and sympathetic nervous system activity are lower than in the alarm stage but are still higher than normal.
  • During this stage, the body attempts to restore lost energy and repair bodily damage.

Stage 3: Exhaustion Stage

  • The exhaustion stage is characterized by weakened resistance and possible deterioration.
  • If the stressor is not dealt with properly, one may enter the exhaustion stage. Individual abilities to deal with stressor vary, but the body will become exhausted if the stress continues indefinitely.
  • The parasympathetic system dominates. Continued stress during the exhaustion stage can lead to “diseases of adaptation” (hives, allergies, and coronary heart disease).

Stress and Emotions

  • While positive emotions can bring use joy, negative emotions can fill us with dread. Stress can lead to anxiety, anger, and depression.


Emotional Effects of Stress

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