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