PSY217 Psychology And Design

PSY217 Psychology And Design

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PSY217 Psychology And Design

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PSY217 Psychology And Design

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Course Code: PSY217
University: Ryerson University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Canada


How do you define stress Is stress something in the environment Is it a physiological or psychological reaction that occurs within a person Most psychologists define stress as the physiological and psychological response to a condition that threatens or challenges the individual and requires some form of adaptation or adjustment.While stress is a psychological state, it can significantly increase one’s risk of developing serious illnesses.  
The prognosis is even worse when people’s feelings of stress are combined with unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or lack of sleep.  Unfortunately, as we become more stressed, we may use some of these unhealthy behaviours as stress relievers or we may attempt to reduce stress by staying up late and waking up early to get things done.In situations such as these, our behaviours and our mental states work synergistically to drag us into an unhealthy cycle.
As a mental health specialist, you have been asked to develop an Intervention Action Plan/Tool for client information and distribution.  You are expected to research this information using sources other than your text (although your text may prove to be a useful starting point). In this research compendium/portfolio you will include the following sections:
1 Stress:  This section can introduce the concept of stress.  Define and discuss the following professional terminology that might better client understanding: Health psychology; Stress; Stressors; Acute stress; Chronic Stress; Environmental psychology; Eustress, and; Distress
2 The Stress Response System:  We all perceive stressors differently and each of us has our own strategies for coping with stress.  Having said this, we all have very similar immediate psychological responses to stress.  In this section, please include client-friendly information on the Fight or Flight Response, the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) and any Alternative Stress Responses that you might discover.
3 Stressful Life Events: In our lives we encounter stress in varying forms and degrees of severity.  Clients may be surprised to discover that the cumulative impact of what we perceive to be minor stressor may be just as significant as the impact of one large-scale event.  In this section, provide information (define and explain the how these events relate to and affect stress levels) on the following areas to better client understanding:  Catastrophes (include Post-traumatic Stress); Burnout; Significant Life Changes, and; Daily Hassles. 
4 Stress and Its Impact on Health:  Just as laughter can improve our health, stress can cause our health to deteriorate.  Use this section to inform clients of following: Stress and the Heart, Stress and the Immune System, Stress and HIV/AIDS, Stress and Cancer and, Stress and Somatoform Disorders.
5 Coping with Stress: Take a moment and think about it:  How do you cope with stress?  Everybody has a different answer.  There are many coping strategies that can be useful.  In this section explore, explain and provide examples of the following: Coping; Anticipatory Coping (worries react to stressors before they are even a reality); Problem-focused coping (a response aimed at reducing, modifying or eliminating a source of stress) and Emotion-focused coping (a response aimed at reducing the emotional impact of the stressor).
6 Stress Management: Use this section to equip clients with hands on, useful information they may use to manage stress.  Please use this section to explore the different options available in the management of stress.  Include and discuss the benefits of:Social Support; Exercise, Relaxation and Meditation.Your research may provide you with additional techniques, please include them here.

An Introduction to Stress Stress: Basic Concepts The Stress Response System Stressful Life Events Health Impacts of Stress Coping Strategies Stress Management  Concluding Remarks Our body’s response to specific environmental changes, through mental, physical and emotional reactions, is what constitutes ‘Stress’.  While minor quantities of stress are essential to keep us motivated and energetic, excessive stress can ultimately disrupt our mental and physical peace, leading to a loss of a balanced and peaceful life. Hence, Stress Management is of utmost importance to lead a life of optimism in the face of any challenges (Gunnar and Vazquez 2015).  
Stress: Our body’s reciprocation towards  perceived threatening, demanding or harmful situations (Dardas and Ahmad 2015).  Stressors: Any environmental, biological or chemical event causing stress. (Example, high temperatures, marital conflict, smoking) (Chou et al. 2015).  Acute Stress: Sudden or immediate response to threat (Example: Escaping a road accident) (Coiro, Bettis and  Compas 2017).  Chronic Stress: Prolonged feelings of stress and anxiety (Example: abusive marriage) (Roe et al. 2017).  Eustress: Advantageous stress required for motivation and survival (Alertness during road crossing) (Kozusznik, Rodríguez and Peiró 2015). 
Distress: Negative or harm stress (loss of a loved one, suffering from an injury or disease) (Parker and Ragsdale 2015).  Health Psychology: Study of human behavioral and psychological actions associated with fitness and health (Prestwich et al. 2014).  Environmental Psychology: Study of the relationship between people and their environment and environmental effects on human behavior (Steg, van den Berg and de Groot 2018).  
Fight or Flight: A Physiological response to a threat, with the help of the Autonomic Nervous System, compelling a person to either response or run away from danger. (While encountering a physical assault, the individual can confront or flee from the perpetrator. Associated symptoms include pupil dilation, skin flushing, rapid pulse and shivering as a response (Gold 2015).   General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS):
An individual’s measurable response to stress through 3 stages of  alarm stage (fight or flight, such as nervousness during a public speech),  resistance stage (counter response stress, such as, gaining courage to speak to the public with confidence) and exhaustion stage (reduced ability to cope with the stress, leading to fatigue or depression afterwards) (Buckner et al. 2017).  Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal System (HPA): Presence of stressor, leads to the activation of the pituitary gland by the  hypothalamus, which further stimulates adrenal glands to secrete Cortisol – the stress hormone which helps the body to manage stress by regulating energy/blood sugar levels (Dieleman 2015).  
Catastrophes:  Unexpected occurrence of highly destructive incidences such as war, community violence or natural disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes. Survivors of such situations may relive the event for years through psychological symptoms such as nightmares or flashbacks, known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Burnout: Stress caused due to high work load leading to irritability, anger, emotional fatigue, feelings of incompetency and loss of interest towards one’s job.  Significant Life Changes: Sudden or unexpected situation such as being fired from your job, leading to stress in the form of low confidence, self-esteem and reduced mental and emotional security.  Daily Hassles: Common, daily life problems such as arguments, losing important files or being stuck in traffic. Though minute, the effects can accumulate to produce harmful symptoms in the future due to their high frequency of occurrence (Orth and Luciano 2015).  
Heart: Excessive stress affect heart health by increasing blood pressure and cholesterol due to constant functioning of adrenaline hormones.  Immune System: Excessive stress weakens Immunity and increases susceptibility to diseases.  HIV/AIDS: Stress increases mortality in HIV/AIDS patients by weakening the immune system, resulting in higher viral load.  Cancer: Stress increases inflammation, leading to increased free radical formation and oxidative stress which may cause cancer.  Somatoform Disorders: High stress levels leads to somatoform symptoms such as gastrointestinal disorders, headaches or muscle aches (Sahlin et al. 2014).  
Coping: Behaviors, strategies and actions aimed at managing a threatening or stressful situation.  Anticipatory Coping: Coping strategy focusing on previously assumed harm or threat (studying hard beforehand to manage exam stress efficiently).  Problem Focused Coping: Coping strategy which focuses on the stressor. Includes: Problem Analysis  (Understanding study materials before an exam), Hard Work (Study hard but as per capabilities), Practical Application (Learn from previous exam results), Talking (Communicating with the professor for doubts). 
Emotion Focused Coping: Coping strategy focusing on emotions caused by the stressor. Includes: Brooding (Accepting that exams are approaching despite a dislike towards it), Imagining (Contemplating about academic excellence), Avoiding (Procrastinating or avoiding study), Blame (Blaming oneself or others for disturbances in studying), Social support (Talking to your classmate about the exam) (Frank, Bose and Schrobenhauser-Clonan 2014).  
Social support: Communicating with close friends and family members, or individuals who have previously dealt with the stressor, will help in reducing distressing symptoms and reducing coping strategies.  Exercise: Physical activity improves immunity and reduces the physiological symptoms of stress leading to better stress management.  Relaxation: Relaxation therapies like massages or aroma therapies improves coping and reduces symptoms of anxiety associated with stress.  Meditation: Yoga and meditation improves breathing and regulation of emotions, further leading to better management of a stressful situation (Stagi et al. 2015).  
While a some amount of stress, helps us in managing day-to-day living, excessive stress can be harmful for one’s emotional, psychological and physiological health. Hence, in such situations, one must engage in sufficient coping strategies or take help from external sources for the purpose of stress management and improved health outcomes.  
Buckner, S.L., Mouser, J.G., Dankel, S.J., Jessee, M.B., Mattocks, K.T. and Loenneke, J.P., 2017. The general adaptation syndrome: potential misapplications to resistance exercise. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 20(11), pp.1015-1017. Chou, W.P., Ko, C.H., Kaufman, E.A., Crowell, S.E., Hsiao, R.C., Wang, P.W., Lin, J.J. and Yen, C.F., 2015.
Association of stress coping strategies with Internet addiction in college students: The moderating effect of depression. Comprehensive psychiatry, 62, pp.27-33. Coiro, M.J., Bettis, A.H. and Compas, B.E., 2017.
College students coping with interpersonal stress: Examining a control-based model of coping. Journal of American College Health, 65(3), pp.177-186. Dardas, L.A. and Ahmad, M.M., 2015. Coping strategies as mediators and moderators between stress and quality of life among parents of children with autistic disorder. Stress and Health, 31(1), pp.5-12. Dieleman, G.C., Huizink, A.C., Tulen, J.H., Utens, E.M., Creemers, H.E., van der Ende, J. and Verhulst, F.C., 2015.
Alterations in HPA-axis and autonomic nervous system functioning in childhood anxiety disorders point to a chronic stress hypothesis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 51, pp.135-150. Frank, J.L., Bose, B. and Schrobenhauser-Clonan, A., 2014.
Effectiveness of a school-based yoga program on adolescent mental health, stress coping strategies, and attitudes toward violence: Findings from a high-risk sample. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 30(1), pp.29-49.

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