Discuss the effectiveness of strategies for coping with stress.

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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. Exercise can help reduce stress for a person by releasing endorphins and other chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin are released. These give an increased sense of well being- this helps to make the stressor feel less significant and more manageable. Exercise also increases blood flow to the brain and helps to relax tense muscles. One example of an exercise that could be done to relieve stress is running.

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Szabo 2003 conducted a study into psychological effects of exercise. Ninety-six first year university students enrolled in Sport and Exercise Psychology lectures were invited to participate in this research as part of a practical session. This method eliminated the problem of self-selection, but to adhere to ethic al standards students were asked not to take part in the study if they suspect that there may be any medical or health reason that could result in negative consequences to them. They were also instructed not to disclose their names for the sake of maximal confidentiality, but they were requested to report ...

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