Stress: Combination of thoughts & worries which negatively affect
body's responses

     - alarm - body getting ready for immediate danger
     - vigilance - body constantly alert for supposed danger

What causes you stress?  College student stress test.

     1. Negative situational factors (stressors)
     2. Positive situational factors (stressors)
     3. Personality factors

       a) anxious people don't cope as well
     Trait anxiety has main effects because person is less able to handle 
conflicting demands, higher work load, etc.

      b) highly reactive people; easily arousable don't handle 
stress as well)

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF STRESS

a. Emotional signs of stress:

     1. Apathy - the "blahs", feelings of sadness
     2. Anxiety - restlessness, agitation, insecurity
     3. Irritability - hypersensitive, defensive, arrogant or argumentative
     4. Mental fatigue - feeling preoccupied, difficulty concentrating
     5. Overcompensation or denial - working too hard, denying that you 
have problems, ignoring symptoms

b. Behavioral signs:

     1. Avoidance - keeping to yourself,neglecting responsibility

     2. Doing things to extremes - alcohol, gambling, spending, sex

     3. Administrative problems - being late for work/class, poor appearance, 
          being accident prone

     4. Legal problems - tickets, inability to control impulses

C. Physical Signs:   Listen to your body, it tells you when stressed

     1. Excessive worrying about or denial of illness
     2. Frequent illness
     3. Physical exhaustion
     4. Overuse of self-medication

     5. Ailments such as headaches, nausea, insomnia, appetite 
changes, weight gain or loss, indigestion, constipation or 
diarrhea


HANDLING STRESS

A. Time/situation management

     1. check for a week to see how you spend your time

     2. monitor checkbook, chargecard bill, or ATM withdrawal record to 
see where you're spending your money

     3. Prioritize - what activities have the worst consequences or the most 
immediate consequences if you DON'T do them

B. Cognitive methods of coping - changing the way you think

   1.  many people have irrational beliefs about their lives, themselves, and 
how other people react to them which increase stress

   2. take a problem-solving approach; don't wallow in the problem, focus on 
the solution

   3. Learn to say "no".  Be assertive about what you can take on and what you 
can't do at this time.  Don't overload yourself so that you can't do 
ANYTHING well.

C. Physiological:  
 
  1. Keeping fit:

     - physical activity is great stress-reducer!  Go run.  Work out.  Lift 
weights.  Play tennis.  Not only do these get the endorphins flowing which 
tends to improve mood & outlook, but they keep you stronger.  Also helps 
you sleep better if you're physically tired.

    -  avoid drinking alcohol & caffeine
    -  take vitamins, eat well, etc. to keep your bodily defenses up

  2.  Relaxation techniques

   -  must learn how to relax body to give it a break
   -  helps you sleep
   -  deep muscle relaxation; tape

D. Communication to reduce stress

     1. some studies have found that expression of fears, etc. 
helps coping

     2. make list of positive self-statements, or hopeful 
outlooks & read it to yourself

     3. counseling center on campus

     4. PRODUCTIVE, LESS STRESSED PEOPLE DO THESE 3 C's

        a. Commitment to themselves & what they're doing 
(what I'm doing is important, valuable, etc.)

        b. A sense of being in Control of work, rather than being 
controlled by it  (internal locus of control)

        c. View change as a Challenge that stimulates, rather than as a threat

     5. External Sources of help - counseling center on campus, etc.