prepare and submit a term paper on Stress Phase Model.

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Stress-Phase Model

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Stress is the difference between the self-image of a person and his/her ego ideal. Stress usually arises out of stressing factors that could be work-related or environment-related. The manifestation of stress can be emotional cognitive, behavioral or physical, depending on a number of factors. Different people display different levels of stress depending on their age, gender, socio-economic status, ability, and occupation. Some occupations are generally stressful when compared to others and the stress-phase model can best describe the circumstances under which stress factors trigger stress in individuals and the manifestation of stress in various individuals.

When a person perceives an imminent threat to his/her life, career, or socio-economic status, he/she releases large quantities of stress hormones. Stress hormones are usually destructive to the body especially they stay active within the body for a long time. Hans Selye best described stress using a stress model known as the ‘General Adaptation Syndrome.’ In his model, Hans attributed aging and ailments to excessive exposure to stress. In as much as stress is present in every living thing, it is worth noting that chronic stress may affect the life of a person adversely, especially in their elderly years. Cortisol and adrenaline are the main stress hormones that the body releases upon sensing danger or uneasiness.

Hans’ model is a basic description of the phases through which a person under stress undergoes before the stress levels becomes critical or ultimate. In essence, there are three major phases of stress and each takes a different duration on every individual, again depending on the factors mentioned earlier. The first stage is the alarm stage, followed by resistance stage, then the exhaustion stage, in that order. The general Adaptation Syndrome recognizes the three stages as essential in stress identification, prevention, and therapy.

The Alarm stage is characterized by the release of stress hormones namely adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline upon the recognition of a threat. The threat could be either real or perceived, depending on the psychological health of an individual. The alarm stage is perhaps the most dangerous stage of stress because during this stage, a person’s body releases the highest amounts of stress hormones in order to trigger a response from the person. In most cases, a person usually responds in a unique manner when under stress in the sense that such persons may do things that they may never have done under normal conditions. The person may experience a rise in blood pressure because the stressor may be a potential threat to the person’s life.

When it comes to the resistance stage, it is worth noting that the stress levels are significantly lower when compared to the alarm stage but the damage to the body tissues is still fresh. Stress hormones take a toll on the muscle tissues by damaging them hence the body will spend considerable amounts of time trying to repair the damaged tissues. In addition, the body will struggle to reduce, if not cut off, the production of stress hormones because the stressor is now absent. Perhaps this is one of the most difficult situations to deal with because a person will not be dealing with the stressors directly, but the effects that that stressors bring.

If stress does not go away immediately after the release of the stress hormones, the body will begin to gradually lose its immunity against the harmful impacts of the stressors. This stage is known as the exhaustion stage and it may lead to fatalities if the stress remains tenacious, particularly for extended periods. This is a critical phase because the body begins to drain out its ability to adapt to stressful factors. The stress-phase model shows the various phases through which stress manifests itself and how the body responds.

True or False Section (T/F)

1. False: The Autonomous Nervous System (ANS) is part of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and is primarily delegated to handling primary sensory information.

2. True: The “HPA Axis” describes important connection from the brains Limbic System to the bodies Endocrine System that is responsible to a person’s perception of stressors or demands in their life.

3. True: Besides the Physical challenges of change in the workplace, change in general work processes and cognitive changes (learning and relearning skills) have significant impact on performance.

4. True: Diversity encompasses all forms of differences among individuals including age, gender, culture, ability, religious affiliation, personality, economic bias, social status, military attachment, and sexual orientation.

5. True: Stressors and the physical or psychological stimulus/demands to which an individual responds.

6. True: The stress response is the generalized, patterned, unconscious mobilization of the body’s natural energy when confronted by a demand or stressor.

7. True: Four mind-body changes that constitute the stress response include: shunting of blood from extremities. activating of the Reticular Activating System. release of glucose and fatty acids. shutting down of immune, emergent and restorative processes.

8. True: The Yerkes-Dodson Law shows that performance increases when increasing stress/arousal loads up to an optimum point, and then stress loads become to great resulting in depressed performance.

9. False: One primary argument suggested by Richard Lazarus’ ideas of stress is that individuals see the same demands or stressors similarly in most situations.

10. True: Besides individual differences in how individuals appraise specific demands, Lazarus suggested individuals also engage in coping skills.

11. True: While technology may have changed in many workplaces, the flow of information, and communication methods have not.

12. True: The primary goal of ergonomic designs is creating high functioning workplace that minimizes the stress or strain on the worker.

13. True: For Harry Levinson, stress is the tension or discrepancy between the ego ideal and the self-image. The greater the discrepancy, the greater the stress.

14. True: Harry Levinson’s approach in elaborating the stress concept focused attention on “executive psychodynamics,” involving ego ideal and self-image as considerations.

15. True: The culture of an organization reflects norms. values. benefits. communication. quality of life and the ways in which people developed, matured and rewarded.

16. True: Essential components of a healthy organization culture include unity, communication, justice, learning, flexibility, and support.

17. True: Teams, while potentially active, place additional demands on workers such as on their interpersonal skills.

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