Quality Stress Management Course

8 Minute Meditation for Stress Relief

When you skillfully learn to handle your stress, not only does your stress level go down, but your quality of life goes up. The skills you will learn in the 8 Minute Meditation Stress Reduction Program have a global impact. Just think about it: If you lower your stress, you feel calmer. Your heart rate is normal, your digestive and other systems are working normally, the way they were designed to. Your entire body and mind are in harmony, functioning to give you the most aware, joyful experience you can have. There's nothing in the way. Then, the world may appear totally different. Colors may seem more vivid. Your shoulders seem lighter, like some great burden has been lifted from them. Life is just good again. Read more...

8 Minute Meditation for Stress Relief Summary


4.6 stars out of 11 votes

Contents: 2 Ebooks, Guided Meditation Audio
Author: Victor Davich
Official Website: www.8minutes.org
Price: $15.99

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My 8 Minute Meditation for Stress Relief Review

Highly Recommended

The writer presents a well detailed summery of the major headings. As a professional in this field, I must say that the points shared in this ebook are precise.

I give this ebook my highest rating, 10/10 and personally recommend it.

Biofeedback Relaxation Training and Stress Management

The question has been raised as to the difference in effectiveness of outcome between biofeedback and relaxation training in reducing stress. This has been a controversial question as many clinicians and researchers argue that you can get the same benefits from relaxation strategies as from biofeedback for most problems. Furthermore, they point out that the relaxation strategies are not as costly nor do they require knowledge of complicated equipment. Only a few large-scale controlled outcome studies on the efficacy of biofeedback as compared to other behavioral techniques in the management of physiological disorders have been reported. Most of these do not find that biofeedback provides a distinct advantage over other behavioral procedures. The selectivity of physiological control often achieved by biofeedback methods would suggest that the methods would have a unique advantage in disorders in which the symptom is quite specific, for example, cardiac arrhythmias, seizure disorders,...

Assessing Stress and Coping in Late Life

There are several different ways of assessing stress, including traumatic events, life events, chronic role strain, and daily stressors or hassles. In the last decade, it has rapidly become apparent that both type and frequency of stressors change with age. While early studies suggested that the number of stressful life events decrease with age, perusal of the types of events typically found on early life event scales reveal that many are far more relevant to younger populations than to older ones (e.g., marriage, divorce, changing jobs, imprisonment). Several instruments are now available that assess life events that are more relevant to older populations such as caretaking for spouse and parents, institutionalization of parent or spouse, death of a child, child's divorce, problems with grandchildren, and the like. These instruments are less likely to show a decrease in stressful life events with age.

Cardiovascular Reactivity

Several factors limit our confidence in reactivity research. Notably, laboratory stressors are not the same as real-world stressors. Therefore, it has been a goal of researchers to measure blood pressure in response to stressors that individuals experience in their daily lives. Recently, the development of ambulatory blood pressure monitors has made it possible to monitor the blood pressure of an individual throughout the day. Participants can keep diaries of stressful events, and researchers can examine how blood pressure varies in response to these stressors. Clinically, this technique could eventually allow for improved risk prediction for at-risk individuals

Adaptation to Cancer

Another often-cited cancer intervention study examined the effects of a 6-week intervention on patients diagnosed with a deadly form of skin cancer known as malignant melanoma. The intervention included weekly 90-minute sessions focusing on relevant education, problem-solving skills, stress management, and psychological support. Outcome data indicated both short-term and long-term effects of the intervention versus the control group. At short-term (6-week and 6-month) assessments, immune markers were significantly better in the intervention group than in the controls. When studied 6 years later, the intervention group participants had lower mortality rates and fewer recurrences than did participants in the control group.

Management of Unexplained Chest Pain

Nonpharmacologic approaches can be useful in unexplained chest pain, just as in other functional gastrointestinal disorders. Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, deep muscle relaxation, biofeedback, and other stress reduction techniques, are beneficial for some patients. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture, and other alternative approaches, have had anecdotal success, but the best advice is to learn to maximize the use of antidepressants, particularly TCAs, in this patient group.

Appropriate Treatment Interventions

Women whose evaluations do not yield clear evidence of PMS or of another physical or mental illness should be shown that their daily symptom ratings do not reflect a PMS pattern, that their physical examination and laboratory tests do not suggest another physical illness, and that their psychological evaluation has ruled out a mental disorder. Some time should be spent with women with these experiences to acknowledge the reality of their symptoms, even though the meaning of their symptoms is unclear. For example, these women could be in the incipient phases of developing PMS where their symptomatology is inconsistent or of too low a severity to qualify for the diagnosis of PMS. These women should be encouraged to continue charting their daily symptoms, to return in 3 to 6 months for reevaluation, and to ensure adequate sleep, proper diet, and healthy exercise. Alternatively, other sources of symptoms that are not disclosed early in the evaluative process, such as stressful life...

Research on Differences between Childrens and Adults Responses to Biofeedback

Besides play therapy, behavior modification, and some of the newly developed cognitive strategies, there are only a few individual therapy techniques to be used directly with children. Most interventions involve changing or teaching parenting skills, or manipulating the child's environment. Biofeedback offers the therapist a mode to teach the child concepts of self-control, stress management, and an opportunity to begin talking about feelings and stressors and how these may affect physical health. Most children have an external health locus of control in which powerful others have responsibility for their health. Biofeedback may help the child gain an internalized view that acknowledges one's own role in maintaining good health.

Support Groups for Cancer Patients

Reviews of the mental health effects of support groups for cancer patients have also yielded mixed results. In 1995, Fawzy, Fawzy, Arndt, and Pasnau identified 15 group interventions for cancer patients, the majority of whom were women who participated in heterogeneous groups composed of patients with mixed diagnoses and with both initial and recurrent metas-ticized disease. With one exception, the groups met from 4 to 11 times over a period of from 2 to 8 weeks, and typically included education, stress management (coping relaxation) training, and mutual aid. In 1996, Helgeson and Cohen identified seven evaluations of support groups that involved various degrees of peer discussion and education from expert leaders, as well as four studies that compared the effects of group discussion only to the effects of education only or combined education and group discussion. Both reviews underscore the fact that many of the studies did not meet the requirements of a formal randomized controlled...

Health and its enhancement

As mentioned in a previous chapter, any illness, disease or accident involves psychological factors at some or all of its stages. Health psychologists are interested in these relationships and in how people become ill, how they stop themselves from becoming ill, how they become well again once they have been ill, or how they deal with chronic illness, and finally what the relationships are between life circumstances (particularly stressful life circumstances) and illness.

Comorbidity of Psychological Symptoms in FGIDs

Stress and psychological factors play a major role in the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of IBS. Stress may be central (eg, psychological distress) or peripheral (eg, infection, surgery) in origin. Patients with IBS report more lifetime and daily stressful events, including abuse, compared with patients with organic GI conditions or healthy individuals. A thorough history usually uncovers that stress is strongly associated with symptom onset, exacerbation, and severity in IBS. A large proportion of patients with IBS or other functional bowel disorders have coexistent psychological disturbances, particularly those with severe symptoms or those seen in tertiary care referral centers. Psychosocial factors have been recognized to modify the illness experience and influence health care utilization and treatment outcome. These psychosocial factors include a history of emotional, sexual or physical abuse, stressful life events, chronic social stress, anxiety disorders, or...

Group Composition and the Bases of Similarity

Once it is conceded that experiential similarity serves as a stronger basis for mutual identification and empathic understanding than structural similarity based on age or marital status, for example, questions arise concerning how similar the common experience must be in order for the participants to attend and compare themselves to one another, and to develop bonds of affection and belonging. For example, for a group of recent widows, their bereavement is probably not sufficient to level differences based on the cause and age of their partner's death. It is unlikely that widows whose husbands had died of heart attacks would perceive themselves to be in the same boat'' as widows whose husbands had been murdered or killed in a traffic accident or who had died in the line of wartime fire or by taking their own lives. The same careful consideration of the bases of similarity is warranted in planning the composition of virtually every group for people who have undergone stressful life...

The involvement of relatives and close friends

Bystanders should be encouraged to undertake immediate basic life support in the event of cardiorespiratory arrest. In many cases the bystander will be a close relative. Traditionally, relatives have been escorted away from the victim when the healthcare professionals arrive. However, it is clear that some relatives do not wish to be isolated from their loved one at this time and are deeply hurt if this is enforced. The Resuscitation Council (UK) has confirmed the need to identify and respect relatives' wishes to remain with the victim. Clearly, care and consideration of the relative in these stressful situations become of increasing concern as the invasive nature of the resuscitation attempt escalates from basic life support, to defibrillation and venous access, and perhaps to chest drainage, cricothyrotomy, and even open chest cardiac massage

Personality and health

A further factor that enters this complex equation is stress. Type A and Type B personalities react differently to stressful situations. Type A people react more rapidly and more forcefully to stressful stimuli than Type B people. They also tend to perceive any threat as more personal than Type Bs. It is also reasonable to surmise that Type A people tend to increase their likelihood of being in stressful situations. It is almost as if their personality style prompts them to seek out more stressful situations. Although, as was seen in previous chapters, personality is reasonably settled, it is not set in stone. To some extent personality is modifiable and so it is with Type A behaviours. Generally, we can alter our perceptions and emotional reactions by working on our cognitions. So, someone who recognises Type A tendencies in himself or herself might set various life-style changes in place, ranging from taking more exercise and learning relaxation techniques to broadly changing...

The Prevention Of Depression

The program consisted of a cognitive component, a social problem-solving component, and a coping skills component. The cognitive component taught flexible thinking and how to evaluate the accuracy of beliefs. It also included explanatory style training to foster more accurate, less pessimistic attributions. For situations in which an accurate interpretation of events was negative, children were taught to focus on solutions or on ways to cope with emotions. Coping techniques included decatastrophizing about potential outcomes of the problem, distraction, steps to distance oneself from stressful situations, relaxation training, and ways to seek social support. In this way, investigators tried to address both cognitive distortions and cognitive deficiencies. The cognitive interventions addressed dysfunctional thinking, and the problem-solving and coping skills components prevented impulsive actions.

The Stage of Resistance

After a few hours, the body's glycogen reserves are exhausted, and yet the nervous system continues to demand glucose. If a stressful situation is not resolved before the glycogen is gone, the body enters the stage of resistance, in which the first priority is to provide alternative fuels for metabolism. This stage is dominated

Behavioral Assessment

Underlying some of these cues is the association of food with love, care, and comfort, which may have its antecedents in early childhood but persists into adult life and, indeed, pervades our culture. The patient should be helped to recognize that using food to deal with stress, boredom, and emotions is, at best, ineffective. The stressful situation, for example, does not resolve with eating. In fact, eating may worsen the problem by distracting a person from dealing directly with the situation while adding the stresses of obesity and its sequelae.

Definition And Overview

By virtually every health and human service organization in North America. As the examples reveal, support groups have been convened on behalf of people of all ages who face a wide range of adaptive challenges that call for more specialized or intensive support than is naturally available to them. The groups are typically led or co-led by professionals who meet with from 6 to 10 people who are facing similar stressful events, transitions, or circumstances, or who have in common an affliction, disability, noxious habit, or problem in living. Typically, once composed, the support group is closed to new members, and meets on a regularly scheduled basis for a predetermined period of time and number of sessions. Although there are innumerable variations, the standard format involves the transmission of information and skills by one or more professionals, and exchanges of information and mutual aid among the participants. In principle, the combination of expert and experiential knowledge in...

Range of Programs and Underlying Theoretical Assumptions

Cognitive-behavioral groups typically have 6 to 10 participants, and one or two leaders. They use a teaching and training format that may include homework and specific lessons each week. Cognitive-behavioral practices such as the rehearsal of new thoughts and behavior are standard fare. For example, participants learn to identify and to reinterpret their reactions to stressful events and to think differently about appropriate responses. There is a weekly emphasis on improving communication, building cognitive skills, and consciousness-raising about men's attitudes toward women's roles and violence against women.

Management Of Virus Infections

Good bee management practice is fundamental for enhancing honey bees' natural immunity, which is the most useful tool in combating viral diseases. Stressful circumstances can favor outbreaks of viral diseases, thus any efforts that strengthen the colony health are expected to reduce the risk of virus infections. Since the varroa mite has been proven to be an effective vector in transmitting and activating viruses, timely and efficient control of the varroa mite population will reduce the incidence of viral diseases. A mathematical model proposed by Sumpter and Martin (2004) predicts that virus-associated winter collapses can be avoided if bee colonies are treated with varroacides in the summer to decrease the ABPV and DWV loads below a critical level. In addition to controlling the vector population, effective management of bee viral diseases can be achieved by maintaining good sanitation practices, feeding bees with the proper quantity and quality of food, and replacing combs and...

Restoring Relationships

Numerous studies indicate that good relationships and social support improve both mental and physical health. Humans apparently are social animals that are biologically programmed to function better when in supportive relationships. Like gorillas, birds, and ants, we thrive in close-knit colonies. Therefore, working to improve your relationships can help boost your moods, increase your ability to handle stress, and create a sense of well-being.

Community Mental Health

Risk and Protective Factors Circumstances in an individual's life, a population, or setting that either increase or decrease the chances of suffering from or manifesting problems-in-living. Stressful life events, for example, death of a parent or divorce, and daily hassles are common risk factors, while positive social support is a common protective factor. Secondary Prevention Programs that identify early signs of a disorder and intervene quickly or at the point of a crisis to short-circuit the problem from developing into a full-blown mental health problem. Tertiary Prevention Programs that intervene directly with patients to reduce the duration of their career as a patient, that is, to rehabilitate or treat them thereby reducing the prevalence of psychiatric disorder in the community.

Cognitive Model Of Depression

Cognitive therapy also considers the interaction of personality and stressful life events in the onset of depression. Two broad personality types have been identified among depressed patients autonomous and so-ciotropic. Autonomous individuals are most likely to become depressed when thwarted from achieving their goals or when confronted with failure. Sociotropic types are most sensitive to personal rejection or to loss of a relationship. Although these are pure types at opposite ends of a continuum of personality styles, they allow investigation of the relationship between life events and various cognitive vulnerabilities. Current research supports the association between sociotropy and depressive symptoms.

Emotional intelligence

Transformational leaders tend to have skills that overlap considerably with those of emotional intelligence. They are positive and sensitive, with good language skills, and high self-esteem. They are intuitive and maintain close relationships with members of their group. So, in emotional intelligence terms, they are in touch with their own feelings, honestly, they show empathy and excite emotional commitment. They are emotionally stable and encourage a similar stability in others through mood and stress management. They tend to be pleasant, more emotional, more altruistic and less aggressive than transactional leaders.

Worksheet 22My Emotional Origins

In the search for causes of your anxiety or depression, you need to include a review of your world. Open your eyes and observe. What's going on in your life that aggravates your distress From daily traffic hassles to major losses, stressful events deplete your coping resources and even harm your health. Complete The Current Culprits Survey in Worksheet 2-3 to uncover the sources of your stress. You can't make your world less stressful unless you first identify the stress-causing culprits.

The Development of Executive Functions in the Brain

In a similar manner, individuals differ in their inborn baseline levels of sensitivity to change and stress. Studies by Jerome Kagan and colleagues (1994, 2004) showed that in a sample of infants about 20 percent are born with a very low threshold for anxiety they tend from the earliest months of life to respond with obvious distress and excessive behavioral inhibition when confronted with novel or stressful situations. These individuals are likely to be seen by others as exceptionally sensitive or overly fearful well into childhood and beyond. Work by Louis Schmidt and others (1999) indicates that these more socially reticent and anxious children tend to be less successful than age-mates at tasks requiring use of working memory and are more often off task. This may be due to these children being flooded with anxious emotions in ways that interfere with their attending to other stimuli and tasks.

Treatments of covert infections

Covert infections are latent and therefore, if it is known in advance that populations with such infection are to be submitted to a stressful procedure, therapy may be warranted. Examples of such predictable stressful events would, ironically, include vaccination against furunculosis itself. Transport of fish populations is of course a major and predictable stressful event but other management procedures, such as grading or tagging, can also provide sufficient stress to activate latent covert infections. In designing therapeutic interventions to deal with these situations, it is necessary to decide whether the aim of the intervention is prophylactic or therapeutic. In prophylactic treatments, the aim is to provide adequate concentrations of the agent in the fish during the period of the stress. In contrast, therapeutic treatments are aimed at eliminating the A. salmonicida from the fish and ending the covert infection. Prophylactic treatment of covert infections It is probable that...

The Relaxation Response In Psychotherapy

For many types of disorders such as anxiety and other stress-related disorders, elicitation of the relaxation response via meditation or other techniques can help reduce sympathetic nervous system activity, which can be a part of the treatment. Researchers have examined the effectiveness of meditation-based stress reduction program in a pilot study on patients with anxiety disorders.

The Relaxation Response And Behavior Change

Since relaxation training is often taught as a part of behavior-change programs with multiple components it is difficult to measure to what degree the beneficial effects are attributable to relaxation training alone. The effect of relaxation training was evaluated in one of the most successful behavior-change programs, the Lifestyle Heart program, developed by Ornish. In this program relaxation training is combined with diet and exercise regimens as well as group support to reduce symptoms in patients with coronary heart disease. In a controlled trial patients attended a week-long retreat followed by two 4-hour sessions each week thereafter. They performed 1 hour of aerobic exercise and participated in 1-hour sessions of stress management techniques which consisted of relaxation, yoga, stretching, breathing techniques, meditation, and guided imagery. nonparticipating patients in whom the mean degree of stenosis actually progressed from 61.7 to 64.4 . Analysis also showed that diet...

Rationales For The Implementation Of Support Groups

The theoretical rationale that usually introduces studies on the use of support groups to maintain and promote mental health is based on the broad fabric of evidence, reviewed by Cohen and Wills in 1985, revealing that the support of one's personal community of associates has health protective effects. They concluded that it is largely perceived support that cushions the impact of a wide range of stressful life events and transitions. In addition, in 1988, House, Landis, and Umberson reviewed a number of epidemiological studies that showed that social integration was pro- A second rationale for introducing support groups is based on the supposition that certain stressful events and transitions create rends in the affected parties' natural networks or overtax the resources or tolerance of network members. In circumstances that call for prolonged help from family members and friends, when stigma and embarrassment surround the affected parties, or when the victims of life events express...

Insight 202 Clinical Application

Normal Blood Pressure Male

The ability of the arteries to distend and recoil during the cardiac cycle is important in modulating arterial BP. If the arteries were rigid tubes, pressure would rise much higher in systole and drop to nearly zero in diastole. Blood throughout the circulatory system would flow and stop, flow and stop, thus putting great stress on the small vessels. But when the conducting arteries are healthy, they expand with each systole and absorb some of the force of the ejected blood. Then, when the heart is in diastole, their elastic recoil exerts pressure on the blood and prevents the BP from dropping to zero. The combination of expansion and recoil in the arteries maintains a steady flow of blood downstream, in the capillaries, throughout the cardiac cycle. Thus, the elastic arteries smooth out the pressure fluctuations and reduce stress on the smaller arteries.

Situational Specificity in Coping

Termine how an individual will cope, how the chosen coping strategies influence mental health, and how this process varies from situation to situation. In 1984, Lazarus and Folkman identified a number of dimensions of stressful situations that are important determinants of the stress and coping process. Novelty (has the individual coped with this type of stressor in the past ), predictability (are there signs that will alert an individual to the onset of the stressful event situation ), event uncertainty (how likely is it that the situation will occur ), imminence (is the event likely to occur in the near future ), duration (how long will the experience last ), and temporal uncertainty (is it possible to identify whether the event will occur ) all impact affective, cognitive, and behavioral reactions to stress. That is, these situational factors play a role in determining the extent to which a person experiences a situation as stressful, and in turn, how he or she copes with the...

Problem Focused Coping

Problem-focused coping includes those forms of coping that are geared directly toward solving the problem or changing the stressful situation. Most of the research examining problem-focused coping has been on planful problem-solving. Coping strategies based on planful problem-solving involve conscious attempts to determine and execute the most appropriate course of action needed to directly prevent, eliminate, or significantly improve a stressful situation. Making a plan of action and following it is an example of the sort of cool deliberate strategy that typifies this form of coping. Although the primary effect of problem-focused modes of coping is to change or eliminate the stressful environment, it is not unusual for such coping to result inadvertently in a reduction in negative affect and or an increase in positive affect (e.g., devising and carrying out a plan to finish a task that one has felt pressured to complete). The increase in positive affect following the use of planful...

Alternative Complementary And Integrative Medicine

Uncontrolled medical diversity, and quackery. Nevertheless, hospitals, academic medical centers, and medical schools are attempting to attract new patients and consumers by offering programs for wellness, stress reduction, yoga, meditation, massage, biofeedback, Shirodhara (warm herbalized sesame oil dripped onto the forehead), acupressure, aromatherapy, and so forth. The American Hospital Association found that more than 15 percent of all hospitals were offering alternative therapies, including walk-in complementary medicine centers.

Gordo aka Old Reliable

Squirrel monkeys by nature are highly excitable and can even be mildly aggressive in captivity, which makes them difficult to tame and train. Conversely, this sensitivity to their handling environment also causes them to be excellent biological indicators in stressful situations.

Psychoneuroimmunology Stress and Health

There exists a long legacy of contradictory and sometimes confused thinking regarding the relationship between mind and body. At one time, the idea that external events and stressful situations could adversely impact health was not accepted by the medical establishment. Those who believed in such a connection could offer no plausible biological mechanism. For such a relationship to be possible, the relationship between the nervous system and the immune system must be understood. These systems are known to interact through two major pathways the autonomic nervous system and the pituitary-regulated neuroendocrine outflow. A central focus of behavioral medicine research has been to elucidate the nature of the relationship between stress and health status. The field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) examines the effects of stress on health and disease processes, primarily as mediated by the immune system. A number of studies have demonstrated that stress may reduce immune system functioning,...

Clinical Issues in Using Biofeedback

Sometimes a person's baseline physiological responses are normal, but the individual may experience exaggeration of SNS responses when stressed. Biofeedback should be focused on helping these individuals decrease SNS arousal during stressful situations. Thus, in biofeedback therapy it is important to teach biofeedback skills in a variety of situations and intensities of stimuli.

Social influences on health

Social networks are very important in dealing with the type of stressful circumstances that might eventually have an impact on health or in dealing directly with ill-health and disease. There are a number of aspects to this, the first and most obvious of which is how many people that you might have in your network of social support. To some extent, the more the better. However, sheer numbers would not make up for a lack of any practical support from among them. In other words, the nature of the support is also important, as, also, is the individual's perception of that support. For example, if, from an individual's perspective, his or her family and friends only paid lip service to providing support, the lack of quality involved would be likely to have its impact. The obvious way in which social support might have an influence on health is by helping the individual deal with stressful situations. This could be through both problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies....

Healthy Mood Management A Developmental Perspective

There appears to be a substantial genetic component in the more severe forms of depression, such as bipolar disorders and major depression. How this genetic influence is manifested physiologically is not yet known. Several biological abnormalities have been identified in subgroups of individuals exhibiting depression. However, most of them appear to occur during a depressed episode and to subside once a normal mood state is attained. None appear to be universally shared by clinically depressed individuals. Developmental influences also appear to be risk factors for depression, such as being born to a mother who is currently depressed, the loss of parents in childhood, and a high number of stressful life events. Social and environmental factors also have well-documented effects on depression. For example, poverty has been shown to account for approximately 10 of new cases of major depression.

Facial Acne in Adults

A total of 3,394 women completed the questionnaire of which 3,305 were useable. Prevalence of acne was 41 in adult women. In 17 of the cases, it was 'clinical acne' -with 6.2 inflammatory lesions as a mean - and in 24 'physiological acne' - with 1.3 inflammatory acne lesions as a mean. 97 and 94 , respectively, admitted that they used to scratch or squeeze their 'pimples'. 49 of women with 'clinical acne' had acne sequelae, i.e. scars and or pigmented macules. 34 of women with 'clinical acne' had not experienced acne during their adolescence. A premenstrual flare was recorded in 78 of women with 'clinical acne'. The adult females with acne reported a significantly more oily or mixed type than the non-acne group, sensitive skin was slightly more prevalent in the acne (71 ) and physiologic acne group (68 ) than in the non-acne group (64 ). The sensitivity of the skin to sun was no different among the 3 groups. Smoking, stressful lifestyle and professional occupation were not different...

Touch therapies

The evidence base for use of the touch therapies is growing. A wide range of uses includes helping to promote relaxation, alleviate anxiety, reduce depression, reduce pain, reduce nausea, alleviate symptoms such as breathlessness, alleviate side effects of chemotherapy, improve sleep pattern, reduce stress and tension, reduce psychological distress, provide emotional support, improve wellbeing and quality of life, encourage acceptance of altered body image


Bereavement is a universal human experience. The way it is experienced and expressed varies, reflecting such factors as the meaning of the lost relationship, personality, and ways of coping. The loss of an important relationship is a personal crisis, and, like other stressful life events, bereavement has serious health consequences for a substantial minority of people. It is associated with high mortality for some groups and up to a third of bereaved people develop a depressive illness. Help targeted at those most at risk has been shown to be effective and to make the most efficient use of scarce resources.

Dealing with stress

Stress, then, even though it is difficult to define, has both bodily and psychological aspects. The physiological reactions in stress were best demonstrated in broad terms by Hans Selye (1956) with what he termed the general adaptation syndrome. He described this as the typical reaction to stressful circumstances. It has three phases While all of this is going on at the bodily level, psychologically the individual is also finding methods of coping with the stress. These methods are based on initial appraisals of what does the event mean for me, will it be harmful And, then, will I be able to deal with it Dealing with it means either (or, more usually, both) emotion-focused or problem-focused coping. That is, faced with, say, a particularly stressful problem at work, the person might evaluate it and decide whether or not he or she can solve it as a problem. Can I change the work circumstances so that the problem goes away If not, if there is nothing that can be done (for example, being...

Focusing on Learners

In the most stressful situations, this boils down to the effort to discern what will be on the test. Learning comes to be directed by evaluation, and soon learners have lost their focus on what they will need to know to excel as physicians. In the ideal situation, learners are focused on the latter, on what a good physician needs to know. To foster such learning, educators can ensure that learners face problems that closely approximate those they will face in actual practice.

Emotions and health

Stress, then, is always followed by attempts at coping. It depends on an appraisal that either something can be done about the situation or that nothing can (and so the focus must be on emotion regulation). Some of the coping strategies that people use are stable and some are not (thinking positively, for example, seems to be stable), and, interestingly, there are no female male differences in reaction to similar stressors. The particular strategies that people use in stressful situations change from time to time. For example, problem-focused coping might work well for a while and then have to be replaced by emotion-focused coping. Most important of all, the precise form of coping strategy used (and hence a determinant of emotional reactions) depends on the stressor, the individual's personality and the area of life involved (e.g. well-being, health, social functioning, and so on). For a more extended discussion of stress and health in general, see Chapter 17.

Final Comments

In conclusion, there is no one good way to cope with stress. Stress takes on many forms, and likewise, so must coping. The most adaptive way to cope with any given stressor depends on both the personality of the stressed individual and the characteristics of the stressful situation. Dimensions of the stressful situation that must be considered in determining the best way to cope with a given stressor include (a) whether others are involved in the situation, how they are coping, and the relationship of these people to the stressed individual (b) the timing of the stressor and the degree to which it is anticipated or controllable (c) the types of specific demands inherent to the stressful situation, the duration of such demands, and one's prior experience with similar stressors and (d) what is at stake in the stressful situation. Perhaps the key to good coping is flexibility. That is, the ability to vary one's coping depending on the demands of the situation. What is clear is that no...

Concept Of Coping

They have the situation under control. However, most health psychologists who study stress and coping would define coping broadly to include all thoughts and behaviors that occur in response to a stressful experience, whether the person is handling the situation well or poorly. Coping includes what we do and think in response to a stressor, even if we are unaware of why or what we are doing. This broad definition is important for two reasons. First, if we limit the definition of coping to thoughts and behaviors that the individual purposefully and intentionally engages in as a way of handling the stressful situation, we may exclude a wide array of responses that typically remain outside of awareness. These can include, for example, believing in unrealistically positive illusions, escaping through the use of alcohol and other drugs, or fleeing from stress in one area of life (e.g., family) by immersing oneself in some unrelated activity (e.g., work). Second, this definition of coping...

Empathic Responding

Individuals vary in how often and how effectively they use empathic coping. For example, O'Brien and DeLongis have found that when a close other is involved in a stressful situation, those high in neuroti-cism are less able to use empathic coping than are those low in neuroticism.

Birth and infancy

Efforts should also be made to avoid viruses, smoking (another drug), radiation and too much in the way of vitamin supplements. Finally, in another type of category, any type of stressful event, which will, of course, vary from person to person, should also be avoided. Prolonged stress during pregnancy can have deleterious effects on the developing embryo.

Coping with Stress

Coping Cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage stress. Problem-Focused Coping Coping responses that are geared toward directly changing some aspect of the stressful situation. COPING refers to a person's cognitive and behavioral responses to a stressful situation. This article reviews literature on coping with stressful experiences. It discusses the antecedents and consequences of various strategies for coping with stress, including the role of coping in health and well-being. It describes three functions of coping problem-focused, emotion-focused, and relationship-focused.

Can stress cause MS

Our finding that there is an association between stressful life events and attacks of MS has been confirmed and extended in a number of studies in the United States and Canada. The most impressive was a San Francisco study showing that MS patients have new brain lesions detected in MRI brain scans more


The success of oil-adjuvant vaccines for the control of furunculosis in commercial fish farming has had a number of side-effects, which should also be considered. Stress is the major precipitating factor associated with furunculosis. In many situations, the fear of furunculosis has been a significant factor in the introduction of husbandry practices that were aimed at reducing stress. In particular, furunculosis has exerted a major constraint on stocking densities. The effective removal, by vaccination, of the fear of furunculosis may result in the relaxation of some farm practices, particularly when these place economic constraints on the operation of a farm. It is axiomatic that any increase in stress levels will ultimately result in reduction in fish health. The effective control of furunculosis may, therefore, become the predisposing factor for another disease. A second side-effect of the efficiency of modern vaccination is that funding for research into furunculosis has been...

What is abnormal

Balance can vary from time to time and person to person within one disorder. For example, a stomach ulcer might have its main cause in the food eaten or it might have its main cause in living a stressful life. Whatever the balance of causes, it remains a stomach ulcer. So, to say to someone 'It's just psychological' or 'It's all in your mind' is nonsense.

Escape Avoidance

There are times when individuals fail to cope actively with a stressful situation and instead engage in efforts to avoid confronting the stressor. Attempts at escape and avoidance can take a variety of cognitive or behavioral forms, such as wishful thinking, distancing, denial, or engaging in distracting activities. For example, an individual may attempt to repress thoughts of a recently deceased spouse as a cognitive means of escape-avoidance. Likewise, one could immerse oneself in cleaning the house as a way of avoiding a stressful task such as paying bills. As Aldwin noted, certain ways of coping can serve as avoidant coping strategies on one occasion despite serving as approach coping strategies on another. As an example, Aldwin suggests that cognitive reappraisal may function as a constructive approach strategy when used to view a stressful situation more positively and when acting as a catalyst for further action. Conversely, cognitive reappraisal may serve as an avoidant coping...


Affect the rate of progression of lesion development. If rapid growth of salmonids in nature is a result of a more dominant, more aggressive and stressful lifestyle, then a consequence of faster growth may well be a faster accumulation of coronary lesions. This effect may contribute to the observed higher incidence of coronary lesions in cultured fish compared with wild fish (Fig. 10.9). Given such a scenario, it is expected that stressful activities such as enforced swimming would lead to more coronary lesions. Although this idea has not been tested directly, enforced swimming has been demonstrated to act as a mitogenic stimulus for coronary VSM explants from rainbow trout (Gong et al., 1996). Slower, more continuous swimming regimes did not stimulate coronary VSM mitosis under culture conditions.

The Psychology Of Stress

The Psychology Of Stress

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