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What We Know About Stress: Home

Information about the stress response.

Autonomic Nervous System Response (Fight or Flight) = Stress Response

Stage 1 – Information sent to the brain through the body’s sensory system.

See danger                           Smell danger

Hear danger                         Feel danger

Stage 2 – The brain decides whether or not the information indicates danger.

Non-threat = the stress response ends (rest & digest response)

Threat = “fight or flight” kicks in to prepare the body

Stage 3 – Arousal occurs until the danger or threat is no longer there.

Release of stress chemicals (adrenaline and cortisol) flood the brain

Stage 4 – Once the threat is gone, the body calms down (i.e. returns to homeostasis)


  • is interactive between person and environment.
  • is a constant reaction to pressures.
  • is a physical and emotional reaction to everyday events.
  • involves both external sources of pressure and internal responses to stressors.
  • is natural and necessary (No stress = DEATH).
  • is perceptual.
  • is cumulative.
  • is created by any change, positive or negative.
  • is part of the human condition – in which it allows us to live full and meaningful lives.

Three Kinds of Stress

Distress is an unpleasant or disease producing stress – AKA “bad stress.”

Two categories:  

                Acute (surfaces quickly and disappears quickly)

                Chronic (not as intense but lingers longer)

Examples – work demands, school demands, car troubles, financial issues, relationship challenges, health challenges

 Eustress is a pleasant or curative stress – AKA “good stress.”

Examples – job promotion, graduation, marriage, new home

 Neustress is neither good nor bad stress.

Examples – earthquake in remote part of the world; tornado touching down in an empty field

 Dis and Eu refers to the stressor not the impact of the stressor – both can be equally taxing on the body.

"Stressed Out"

“Stressed-out” often happens when we exceed our ability to cope and our body is overwhelmed or when the threat does not leave or does not get resolved.  When this happens, our body is prone to illness or disease. 


Awareness is the first step!

The best way to manage your stress response is to change your perspective about the stress trigger.

Changing your perspective may be hard, so building coping strategies can be effective in managing stress.


Counseling & Campus Wellness

All enrolled LCCC students are eligible for FREE counseling services, if they so desire, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, handicap, race, religion, sexual orientation or progress toward academic degree. LCCC is a safe zone for all students seeking services.

Counseling and Campus Wellness 
College Community Center, Room 129
Albany County Campus
Student Services, Room 200C


Information was excerpted from the following:

  Essentials of Managing Stress by Brian Luke Seaward (Jones and Bartlett Publishers  2006)

   Excerpts from an interview with Kristin Douglas, LCCC Stress Management Instructor

   Handout Vital Signs.