There are many different types of stress and various impacts that stressful situations can have on all areas of our health. Review these possible stress-provoking situations.
- Sally is a hardworking young professional who was applauded for her work performance and given more responsibility. After a few months there is a rapid decline in her productivity and she is seen withdrawing from work. Sally's new manager constantly criticizes her for her lack of productivity, which makes her performance worse, and causes her more worry.
- Nancy is ready to leave the house for work and spills coffee on her clean work clothes. Then, she finds that her car will not start. When she tries to call for help, she realizes her cell phone is disconnected because she did not pay the bill. She starts to cry.
- Bob found out that one of his best friends just died. The funeral will be held next week.
- Tom is called at work and told that he needs to pick up his teenage son from school. This is the second time this year that his son has been sent home for fighting. Tom’s boss is not happy that he requests to leave work early.
- Tracy, a single mother, finds she doesn’t have enough money left to buy food for her children before her next paycheck in two weeks. This is the third time this year she has struggled to put food on the table.
Choose one situation to evaluate and answer the following questions:
- Does this represent chronic or acute stress?
- What type of response might the body and brain be experiencing to manage the stressor?
- What would be the goal for coping with this stress? (eliminate, reduce, tolerate)
- What type of coping strategy should be implemented—emotion-focused coping or problem-directed coping? How would the individual employ this approach? In other words, using this type of coping strategy, what could he or she do to cope with the stressor? Give 2 examples.
- Write 2 “coping self-statements” the individual might make in response to this stressor. You will find some examples of coping self-statements in your textbook.
- What are some of the potential long-term impacts on this individual's health if he or she does not find a way to cope with this stressor?