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Discuss the effectiveness of strategies for coping with stress.

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Introduction

´╗┐Discuss the effectiveness of strategies for coping with stress. Stress is the body's reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious. The causes of stress are known as stressors an example of a stressor could be a coursework deadline. Stress management is important as studies show that prolonged stress can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Prolonged stress can also lead to other health problems. A study by Cohen & Herbert (1996) suggests that stress causes increased susceptibility to cold, flu and other viruses. They included three types of stressors, acute laboratory stressors (such as speaking before audience), short-term naturalistic stressors (such as examinations), and long-term naturalistic stressors (such as unemployment, bereavement). Their findings suggested that stress was associated with decreased numbers of t helper cells as well as natural killer cells this leads to increased susceptibility to infections. One method of coping with stress is exercise. Exercise is any activity that requires physical effort designed to improve or sustain physical health. ...read more.

Middle

Participants reported for their Exercise Psychology practical session ready dressed for exercise. Thetesting phase of the practical session was held in a large sports hall. Before this session, students were trained in the palpation of the radial artery for estimating heart rate during exercise. Five minutes after the completion of the POMS (profile of mood states), students were instructed to start running or jogging at a self selected pace. However, walking was not permitted, because that would introduce another exercise. Fifteen minutes into their exercise, participants were requested to take their pulse for 10 seconds using the palpation method they had been trained to use. The POMS scores before and after exercise were analyzed and showed an increase for all the criteria. One possible problem with the study is that the method used to record the participant?s pulses was not accurate. The study was representative of both men and women and was a field experiment so does not lack ecological validity. Another method of coping with stress is stress inoculation training. Stress inoculation training is a management technique devised Dr. ...read more.

Conclusion

SIT takes time and effort and as clients have to go through a rigorous program of training over a long period, it can only work with people who have a sufficiently high level of motivation and commitment; therefore, it may not suit certain individuals. Stress inoculation has proved to be effective in reducing the stress that people experience in moderately stressful situations. However, it is of less value when treating individuals who are experiencing prolonged levels of intense stress. I believe that coping methods for dealing with stress are very important and effective. I believe this, as there is evidence that exercise, stress inoculation training and other methods all help to relieve stress in an individual. Without coping methods such as the above people would not live as long due to increased risk of coronary heart disease, quality of life would also be decreased, as susceptibility to viruses such as flu would be increased. Although coping methods are effective in helping individuals cope with stress not all individuals have the commitment and drive to commit to taking part in coping methods. Most coping methods do involve a commitment and sometimes people who are very stressed might see this as a commitment they don?t have time to or don?t want to make. ...read more.

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