Discuss the impact of stress on the body as explained by Robert Sapolsky’s research and book Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers

Read the book   

Weiten, W., Hammer, E., & Dunn, D. (2014). Adjust. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 

Chapter 3 and chapter 7

After reading Chapter 3&7 and reviewing the Stress and Social Development PPT, please attend to one or more of the following:

Discuss the impact of stress on the body as explained by Robert Sapolsky’s research and book Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers

Provide an example of a time when stress impacted your relationships

Share stress management resources and practices with your peers; provide an example of how this practice has helped you

Use the Calm.com/Calm App resource and discuss your experience

Discuss your level of wellness in 2 or more of the 6 dimensions of wellness; provide specific examples

Share your action plan as to one way you will work to improve your wellness

In order to receive full credit, be sure to post two separate posts in each discussion forum: one original post (5 points) attending to one of the provided questions or prompts 

Stress and Social Development

Biopsychosocial Model of Illness

  • Holds that physical illness is caused by a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors
  • Biological factors operate in a psychosocial context that can also be highly influential
  • Health Psychology is concerned with how psychosocial factors relate to the promotion and maintenance of health and with the causation, prevention, and treatment of illness

Stress, Personality, and Illness

  • How does personality impact wellness?
    • Strong link found between anger and hostility and coronary disease
      • If you walk around angry all the time you’re going to have a bad time
  • Many findings to link (correlational) stress and illness in the body
  • Stress undermines the body’s immune functioning
  • Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers, Robert Sapolsky
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ePYet3Fbts

Stress and Relationships

  • Chronic stress has the potential to negatively impact social, familial, and romantic connections
  • Individuals who struggle to effectively manage stress are prone to emotional outbursts
    • Can contribute to higher frequency or intensity in interpersonal conflicts
  • Who we blame when we are stressed
    • Do you blame yourself and as a result experience decreased self esteem
    • Do you blame others and as a result experience decreased relationship satisfaction

Stress and Social Development

  • Stress and social functioning impact each other in a circular way
    • Stress impacts relationships/relationships impact stress
      • Can be positive or negative
  • Low self-esteem causes increased stress in social interactions
  • Stressful social interactions may decrease individual’s desire to create meaningful relationships
  • Unmanaged stress can turn into chronic anxiety
    • Social anxiety, social phobia, generalized anxiety

What is wellness?

  • Well being is defined as being both healthy and happy
  • How do we achieve this?
  • What is the difference?

Is there a relationship between the two?

Six Dimensions of Wellness

  • Physical
    • How well does your body work?
    • Exercise, nutrition, rest, sleep, stress management, self care
  • Intellectual
    • Learning new things, expanding your knowledge base as well as your brain
    • Mental Illness – breakdown in the way your brain processes information
  • Emotional
    • Positive and realistic self concept
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Resiliency
  • Social
    • How we connect and interact with people
    • How meaningful are these connections?
  • Career
    • Job satisfaction, career ambitions, work performance
  • Spiritual

Having a sense of inner peace and contentment

How do we improve these dimensions?

  • One step at a time
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3JPa2mvSQ4
  • Cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships (Social)
  • Identify and express your emotions (Emotional)
  • Proper sleep hygiene, regular activity, frequent self care, diet (Physical)
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9IZDInBv1M
  • Continually seeking opportunities to learn, brain games, DOING YOUR HOMEWORK (Intellectual)
  • Meditation, yoga, self reflection, focusing on obtaining inner peace (Spiritual)
  • Set goals, plan for the future, acknowledge your accomplishments along the way (Career)
  • Stay committed to your changes
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MVJOI8RbnQ

Managing Stress as a Path to Wellness

  • Mindfulness
    • Defined as an intentional, nonjudgmental awareness and observation of our experiences in the present moment without seeking to change them immediately (much is taken from the Buddhist philosophies)
  • Mindfulness increases our ability to develop Meta Awareness
    • An awareness of what we are experiencing right now
    • Am I physically and mentally present?
      • Worrying about things means you are not mentally present
  • Mindfulness is an important component of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
    • Often used in treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar, or other mood disorders
    • Helps to increase emotional regulation
    • Develop coping skills to successfully manage triggers and reactive states
  • Allows for stronger therapeutic presence and emotional awareness in session
  • Challenges to just mindfully be with the problem/issue instead of always seek to change it immediately
  • Promotes openness, humanity and acceptance of clients
  • Effective self-care technique
  • Increase ability to shift attention, rather than letting emotions determine the focus
  • Create a non-judgmental and objective perspective of emotions, thoughts and sensations
  • Develop ability to live in the moment and not in the past or future-focus on here and now experiences

Mindfulness Resource

  • www.calm.com
  • Can also be downloaded as a free app on your smart phone
  • Provides guided meditations, body scan activity, mindfulness skill building, and many more resources
  • Useful to learn about the practice of mindfulness and to build up skills
  • Practicing mindfulness daily has positive benefits

Baby Steps: Applying what you’ve learned

    • What are you going to do this weekend to try and improve one of your own personal wellness dimensions?
    • Identify a goal
    • Commit yourself to a plan of action
    • Tell a friend or invite someone to join you to create accountability

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