Travelling modes: Stages and Models of Stress

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Though stress is a very common part in everyone’s life and in any situation yet it is a topic of immense research by the psychologists. Its different consequences and the subjective reactions of people facing it, are still an area being dealt with in research paper writings. Read more about Stages and Models of Stress below.

In the 17th century, stress was used to refer to some mental strain or some hardships. Later in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was described as some physical strain on the person facing it.

Today, stress has seen in depth research and as a result several theories have been propounded. Stress  not only has mental consequences but also physical ones. But before we go into that zone, let us first understand what stress actually is. 

According to the psychologist, S. P. Robbins, Stress is a dynamic condition in which a person is faced with an opportunity, constraint or a demand  related to what the person desires and for which the result is perceived to  be both uncertain and important.​  Also the psychologists J. C. Quick and J. D. Quick were of the opinion that Stress or the response to it, is the unconscious preparation to fight or flee that a personexperiences when faced with any sudden demand. These were a few definitions provided by certain psychologists. Simply and precisely, stress results when what you crave for is not achieved which in turn pressurizes the human mind.

Stress basically has five stages:

  • Alarm- When you encounter a stressful situation.
  • Resistance- Process of fighting off with the stress.
  • Recovery- A stage when you are trying to recover from the stress
  • Adaptation: You now try to adapt to the environment you have just experienced.
  • Burn out- In this stage you are absolutely exhausted after fighting off the stress. 

The modes of stress are as follows:

  1. Transactional Model of Stress: This model provides the framework to evaluate the process of coping with stress and stressful events. This suggests that stress is a result of the evaluation of the situation (appraisal) we land ourselves in. This model was given by Lazarus and Folkman in 1987. Lazarus and Folkman suggested that when an event (a transaction) occurs between a person and the environment, stress results when there is an imbalance between the demand and the resources. When the demands exceed the resources, we tend to get stressed. As happens when you get a lot of homework to complete in very less time and are not able to get homework help from anywhere. In this model of stress the interpretation of the event is more important than the event itself. Therefore all in all, the model states that you receive a stimulus from the environment, perceive the stimulus as stress-giver, interpret or appraise it as irrelevant, positive or stress-giver, then move to the secondary appraisal process wherein you identify whether there are sufficient resources to manage the event or not, next you try to cope with the stress by either changing the situation itself (problem focused) or changing your reaction to the situation (emotion-focused) and in the end you understand the situation and take a learning with you. 
  2. Interactional Model of Stress: Here stress is seen as an interaction between the environment and the individual’s perception of it. The model suggests that appraisal, that is, your perception of the event, and your resources to deal with it, are essential in dealing with the resultant stress. Here you perceive the stimulus in your own way- if you consider it harmful, you evaluate your coping mechanisms and if you are unable to cope then there is stress and if you consider it as possessing no harm then no stress. Essay writing services can easily help in this topic.
  3. Person-fit Model of Stress: Here the environment offers a stimulus of stress and the person is stressed. In such a case there are subjective reactions of the person facing stress and he deals with it as fits him the best. People may face different behavioral responses such as anxiety, depression, etc.
  4. GAS: Dr. Hans Selye talked about the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) in his research paper writing. He was a Hungarian endocrinologist and defined GAS as the physiological response of certain people to sudden stressful situations. GAS provides an automatic defense system to cope with such stress. It functions in three stages:
  • Alarm Reaction– This is the immediate reaction to the stressful situation that is given by different people. Every person has a unique way of interpreting stress and responding to it. The stressor upsets homeostasis or the stable cellular balance. In this case one may face increased rate of heartbeat, increased blood pressure and rate of respiration, etc.
  • Resistance– here you fight against the stress by fighting with the reason causing it. The body has already activated certain physiological, biochemical and behavioral mechanisms. Thus a person’s resistance may go beyond the normal level while he is adjusting to the stressful situation.
  • Exhaustion– the body, in this stage is exhausted after fighting stress and certain hormones are released. When you encounter a stressful situation, cortisol rushes in your body and after the situation is successfully tackled, the hormone normalizes and the body gets exhausted. It may also face a situation of collapse before getting itself into the normal state.

Now that we have talked at length about stress and its coping mechanisms, it is important to understand that stress may be good for some and extremely bad for others. Eustress or positive stress may keep you motivated but distress or negative stress may result in extreme mental conditions.

Thus, remember not to take stress as far as it is in your control. In fact students these days stress for things as simple as getting homework help and thus affect their academic performance and their behavior as well. Hope you love reading about Stages and Models of Stress.

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