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3.5 Chapter Summary and Case

Chapter Summary

  • Stress is defined as the body’s response to change. Stress is defined in many different ways and stress and the types of things that cause stress can vary from person to person. Today, we generally say that stress is the body’s way of responding to a demand.
  • Acute stress is the type of stress we experience on a day-to-day basis, for example, the stress of finishing our to-do list or the stress of unplanned setbacks.
  • When a person rarely gets relief from stress, this is called episodic acute stress. This type of stress usually goes on for longer periods of time with little relief.
  • Chronic stress is characterized as long-term stress, where there is little hope for relief. These are long-term situations where the person has given up trying to find a solution.
  • Not all stress is bad; some stress can actually help us to perform at a higher level and challenge us. This type of stress is called eustress.
  • The flight or fight response is our body’s physiological response to perceived threats. The basic physiological function is the same today as it was in prehistoric times.
  • Having too much stress can cause many issues—such as headaches, sleeplessness, and irritability—that can affect our human relations ability.
  • Workplace stress costs companies as much as $300 billion annually. Stress experienced at work can come from higher demands, layoffs, conflicts among coworkers, or office politics.
  • Many people also experience personal stresses, which affect their ability to be productive at work. Personal stress can come from life changes, financial issues, family and friend issues, or our personality. Type A personalities tend to experience more stress as a result of their high need for achievement.
  • The four As of stress reduction can help us reduce stress. They include avoid, alter, adapt, and accept. By using the four As to determine the best approach to deal with a certain stressor, we can begin to have a more positive outlook on the stressor and learn to handle it better.
  • There are a variety of things we can do to reduce stress. Exercise, a healthy diet, meditation, music, and social interaction can help reduce stress. Also, getting better at time management and organization can help reduce the stress we feel.

Chapter Case

Mandy feels like she can’t deal with the stress anymore. First, her mother moved into her house for two months because of major home renovations. Mandy feels like her mother is constantly critical of the way she keeps her house and handles her life. While Mandy knows helping her mom for the next couple of months is the right thing to do, she can’t help being annoyed. Mandy is also having trouble at her job. Her job in the medical lab is usually fun, but the organization laid off three workers recently and Mandy finds her workload has been too much to handle. It is the hospital’s busy time, too, so Mandy often works late to get the work done. On top of all that, Mandy had lent her best friend, Sylvia, $200 last month for rent, and Sylvia hasn’t paid it back. Mandy not only needs the money but also feels that Sylvia was disrespectful when Mandy asked for the money back. Mandy is afraid this will affect their ten-year friendship.

  1. Identify Mandy’s stressors.
  2. What type of stress is Mandy experiencing?
  3. Using the four As model, how can Mandy go through the process to resolve her stress? Discuss in detail Mandy’s options.