Before we look at different methods of dealing with stress we must
first define stress and find out what causes stress. There are 3
definitions of stress:
1. The response definition: this is Selye's approach; it means that
any stimulus that causes a stress response is by definition, a
2. The stimulus definition: This definition argues that we can agree
that certain events are stressful, so therefore any reaction they
provoke can be called a stress response. Unfortunately there are
individual differences and we cant assume that what one person is
stressed by everyone else is also stressed by.
3. The transactional model: This is the most popular approach to
studying stress today. It argues that the key to defining the
degree of stress experienced by an individual lies in their
perception of themselves and their world.
Many people try to manage stress and there are lots of methods
available. One method is to use drugs to treat stress. The most
commonly used drugs to combat stress are the benzodiazepine (BZ)
anti-anxiety agents and beta-blockers. BZ's such as Librium and Valium
are the most commonly prescribed drugs for psychological disorders and
have been proved to be very effective in combating stress and anxiety.
They appear to act by reducing activity of the brain neurotransmitter
seretonin. Beta-blockers don't actually enter the brain but reduce
activity in the pathways of the nervous system around the body. As
Sympathetic arousal is a key feature of the state of stress these can
be very effective against symptoms such as a raised heart rate ...
... middle of paper ...
what happens in our lives.
The concept of Hardiness has been criticised, as the relative
importance of the three factors is unclear. Also kobasa'a studies
usually involve middle class white men and cannot be successfully
generalised to include women, other ethnicities and social classes.
Kobasa's work does draw attention to other factors that are important
in managing stress, social support and exercise.
All these factors do play an important part in managing stress but
taking into account all the criticism's and factors involved in
studies the drug related methods are probably the best ways of dealing
with stress in the short term, but other methods such as stress
inoculation training are the best methods for those people who have
enough time and money to devote themselves successfully to the
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