Causes of Stress Biological Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs) Nutritional excess (caffeine, sugar) Psychological Perfectionist attitudes Obsessiveness/compulsiveness Need for control Interpersonal Lack of social skills, shyness, insecurity, loneliness Environmental strain (noise, temperature) PERSONAL NOTES: My causes of stress as identified through this class are primarily environmental strain which also affect me psychologically.
Stress is… What we experience when we face challenges Can be negative or positive Distress (e.g., exams, divorce, deadlines) Eustress (e.g., marriage, graduation, job promotion) Stressors External (physical) or internal (fear) challenges Responses to stress occur: Cognitively in form of worry Somatically in form of biological responses
Stress Response Is initiated when some real or perceived threat or challenge is encountered Involves the secretion of two kinds of hormones from the adrenal glands: Catecholamines (epinephrine and nonepinephrine): elevated levels are secreted in situations that presents a challenge to an individual Cortisol: Generally occurs when an individual is faced with a threat or unpleasant challenge PERSONAL NOTES: Lab tests have revealed that I have abnormal cortisol levels which I believe are caused by my professions and the resulting stressors it creates.
General Adaptation Syndrome ď‚´ The effects of prolonged stress ď‚´ This response pattern is comprised of three stages. Stage 1: Alarm-reaction
Stage 2: Resistance Stage
Stage 3: Stage of exhaustion (my stage)
Homeostasis and Allostasis Homeostasis (single point turning): The ability of an organism to change and stabilize its internal environment despite constant changes to external environment.
Allostasis (adaptation process): A wide range of functioning of the coping/adaptation systems, depending on a variety of factors (time of day, internal needs, external demands)
Allostatic Load The cost of coping/adaptation Wear and tear on the brain and body Ongoing stress means that the stress response never “turns off,” which ultimately leads to illness and disease PERSONAL NOTE AND EXAMPLE OF THE EFFECTS OF CHRONIC STRESS: Chronic stress has lead to my decreased immune function and serious illness multiple times over the last 2 years, memory loss, and increased risk of anxiety and depression.
Hormones & Stress Role of endocrine system - Hypothalamus - Adrenal gland Endocrine Responses to stress -Epinephine (widely referred to as "adrenaline“) -Coritsol (also produced by adrenal gland) -Cateholamine (urinary epinehine and norepinehine) Personality traits as a result of hormonal changes -Type A behavior - Exhaustion (feeling of excessive fatigue, increased irritability, and feelings of demoralization) PERSONAL NOTE: I have been diagnosed within the past year with exhaustion and mental fatigue associated with stress and body clock.
Epinephrine “Adrenaline” Epinephrine plays a central role in the short-term stress It is secreted by the adrenal medulla as are other stress hormones When released into the bloodstream, epinephrine binds to multiple receptors and has numerous effects throughout the body. increases heart rate and stroke volume, dilates the pupils, and, constricts arterioles in the skin and gut while dilating arterioles in leg muscles. It elevates the blood sugar level by increasing hydrolysis of glycogen to glucose in the liver, and at the same time begins the breakdown of lipids in adipocytes. Epinephrine has a suppressive effect on the immune system. PERSONAL NOTE: Currently beginning treatment for leg issues related to stress association with my job – only happens at work!
Cortisol Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects: Impaired cognitive performance Suppressed thyroid function Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia Decreased bone density Decrease in muscle tissue Higher blood pressure Lowered immunity and inflammatory responses in the body, as well as other health consequences PERSONAL NOTE: I have experienced ever consequence of increased cortisol in my system over the last two years.
PERSONAL NOTE: This is me now….
Exercise as Management Why it worksâ€Ś
Cross-Stressor Adaptation Hypothesis A stressor of sufficient intensity and/or duration will induce adaptation of stress response systems Exercise training is thought to develop cross-stressor tolerance: Habituation: A decreased magnitude of response to some familiar challenge Sensitization: exercise is augmented source or response to a stressor. Individuals who are highly physically active in their leisure time are 49% times less likely to report high perceived stress and 75% times less likely to report moderate perceived stress as compared - Aldana, Sutton, Jacobson, & Quirk, 1996 to individuals low in PA.
Exercise and Stress People report feeling less stress following exercise People are less stressed in general when they are physically active Study with fit and unfit women determined that aerobic fitness can influence sensitivity to stress Evidence suggests that fitness or exercise training may provide a more rapid recovery from the stressor once it is no longer present. Shorter duration of the stress response can reducing the allostatic load and overall wear and tear on the body. Intermittent but regular exercise can lead to psychological coping, emotional stability, and physiological changes Physiological changes lead to improved performance in stress situations, enhanced immune system function, and greater stress tolerance
More effects of exercise on stress… Basic assumption is being fit reduces one reactivity to stress. Crew and Lander (1987) reviewed 34 studies of the effects of aerobic fitness on stress reactivity. Fit individuals have sizable smaller stress response than unfit individuals (Crew & Landers, 1987): More efficient coping system Being inoculated to the repeated stressors Less than 20 minutes of light to moderate exercise has been shown to have a buffer effect on stress
More effects of exercise on stress… PERSONAL NOTE: Because my physical and mental degeneration is a direct result of my stress, and exercise is proven to lower the hormones activated by the stress response, it makes sense for me. I have also seen and remember well the difference I felt when exercise was a regular part of my life. I had none of the physical or mental issues I have now. I had a great sense of self. That is what I’d like to get back. Next is how I plan to…
Cardiovascular & Aerobic Training I’ve recently moved to a great new town with clean parks, tracks and fields all over. I will start out doing light interval training once a week for the following benefits. Research does suggest that aerobic fitness may produce stress buffers Aerobically fit individuals may experience a smaller sympathetic response to stress Individuals who improve significantly in their aerobic fitness experience stress-buffering effects during stress exposure and during recovery from stress
ď‚´ PERSONAL NOTE: This is me when I begin exercising. It looks a lot like me 12 years ago.
Suggested Use of Exercise Use it to combat daily stressors Morning exercise: Get’s us ready to face day’s challenges Lunchtime workout: Gives us a break in the day to recharge batteries Evening workout: Helps us purge tensions and worries of the day
Barriers What I could let get in my way, like many doâ€Ś
Individual Barriers I don't have the time/money. I am not the sporty type/no good at exercise. I don't enjoy exercise. I am too old/tired/overweight/self-conscious. There are no facilities close by. I can't be bothered. PERSONAL NOTE: Only one of these is the valid reason I am unable to exercise right now – time.
Environmental Barriers Modern technology reduces energy expenditure because devices and services are explicitly de-signed to decrease physical labor. No physical activity in a working day typically spent sitting at a desk or standing at a counter or cash register. Motorized transportation and parking lots built as near to destinations as possible to minimize walking and increase convenience and safety. Television, video games, and computers and next to sleeping, watching TV occupies the greatest amount of leisure time during childhood
But… They wont get in my way because I am both mentally and physically ready for change. For me exercise, in one activity, which I can randomize and still get the same benefits, I can improve every condition I currently suffer because of the stress put on my body from my job.
References http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/basics/using-exercise-to-beatstress.aspx Crews DJ1, Landers DM. A meta-analytic review of aerobic fitness and reactivity to psychosocial stressors. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1987 Oct;19(5 Suppl):S114-20. Girdano, Daniel A. Controlling Stress and Tension. Pearson. 2012. Percept Mot Skills. 1996 Feb;82(1):315-21. Relationships between leisure time physical activity and perceived stress. Aldana SG1, Sutton LD, Jacobson BH, Quirk MG. Squiers, L., Renaud, J., McCormack, L., Tzeng, J., Bann, C., & Williams, P. (2014). How Accurate Are Americans' Perceptions of Their Own Weight?. Journal of Health Communication, Advance Online Publication . U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity and Health:A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NationalCenter for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 1996.