For this SLP assignment, you will research the four major categories of stress, then develop an action plan that targets your greatest source of stress
For this SLP assignment, you will research the four major categories of stress, then develop an action plan that targets your greatest source of stress. Your assignment will be to develop a PowerPoint presentation that includes the following:
Title Slide with Name, Course, and Date
Slide 2 – Introduction
Topics to be covered in outline form
In your own words, write down a definition for stress. List and describe four examples each for a physical type of stress, cognitive type of stress, emotional type of stress, and behavioral type of stress (see the Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms image from the Module Overview for guidance).
Show one image illustrating each category of stress (i.e., one image for physical stress, one image for emotional, one image for behavioral and one for cognitive).
Describe how stress can be positive. Give two examples and show an image to illustrate.
Develop an Action Plan
- What is the biggest source of stress in your life right now? Would you describe it as short- or long-term stress (or both)?
- Is this a positive or negative stress? Why?
- What (if anything) can you do to eliminate negative stress in an effective way from your life?
Slide 9 – Conclusion
Summarize your project findings.
SLP ASSIGNMENT EXPECTATIONS
For this SLP assignment you will develop a PowerPoint Presentation that is approximately 1-10 slides in length and addresses the requirements outlined above. Place the text containing the answers to the questions above in the slide area, summarizing each topic using bullet points (in your own words, expand in more detail using the notes area). Images to convey text will not be accepted.
Be sure to include citations referencing your sources on each slide (use either the slide or notes area). Include a descriptive title for each slide that describes the topic being discussed. Be sure to include a title slide with your name, assignment type (ex. SLP Module 1 or 3), and course title. Include an introduction slide with the subjects you will cover in outline form. Include a slide summarizing your project findings (Conclusion slide). Your final slide should contain a list of references cited in APA format.
Please upload your final presentation to the correct Module SLP dropbox. Please also note your Turnitin originality score and make revisions as needed. Please contact your instructor with any questions.
THE MODULE OVERVIEW IMAGE:
What Is Stress?
The word stress comes from the Latin word strictus, meaning “hardship,” “adversity,” or “affliction.” The concept of stress can have many parts, from the physical to the emotional. Stress can occur whenever environmental pressures exceed our perceived ability to cope.
Various life situations from the internal to the external and how we perceive them can contribute to the level of stress we experience in our daily lives. These stressors are perceived by the area of the brain known as the cerebral cortex, responsible for judgment, decision making, and other higher functions. This interpretation is different for everyone, based upon a person’s personality, behavioral style, values, beliefs, norms, and attitudes.
“Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014“. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436 [CC By 3.0]
The way we behave day-to-day constitutes our behavioral style. All of us have developed certain behavioral patterns-distinct ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. The next stage in the development of stress is emotional arousal, which triggers activity in an area of the brain known as the limbic system. The limbic system is considered the primitive area of the brain that is the seat of various emotions such as anger, fear, insecurity, and worry. Some common symptoms of stress are expected, but others probably less so. All of these can become harmful when they occur chronically and significantly.
Stress and the Human Body
The human body is a complex collection of organ systems designed to maintain a stable internal environment in which all its processes can function efficiently. The term homeostasis describes the body’s ability to maintain relatively stable internal conditions, even though the outside world may be constantly changing. The internal conditions of our body may vary, but within relatively narrow limits. If this stable internal state is disturbed, the body will attempt to reestablish a steady state through various regulatory mechanisms. Stress can be any event that disturbs homeostasis or the body’s attempts to maintain a normal, stable internal environment.
Stress can be physical, such as an injury, or emotional, like anxiety. It can also result from pain or extreme exercise. Any of these events can initiate a response from the body. The type of response depends on the intensity and duration of the stress.
The first two modules of this course focus on those body systems responsible for acting during times of short- and long-term stress – the nervous and endocrine systems. Cells within the nervous system, called neurons, collect information from the body and relay it to the brain in the form of electric impulses. As these regions communicate with each other and gather information from the brain, the signals are interpreted and a decision is made about how to respond. The decision on how to respond is then sent to other systems throughout the body. The heart may be stimulated to increase its rate of contraction, for example, or the adrenal glands may release hormones. These hormones are the chemical signals associated with an “adrenaline rush.” This is the feeling the body gets when it feels a surge of strength and excitement from the release of hormones. These signals will stimulate or inhibit the organs involved in the “fight or flight” response.
Stresses can be divided into two different types: acute and chronic stress. Both elicit a response from the body by signaling the release of hormones that will travel throughout the body to signal various organs to respond to stressful stimuli we encounter every day.
Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers
In the video Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, you will be introduced to the concept of stress and how it differs for humans versus an animal running from a predator. Dr. Robert Sapolsky, a well-known neuroscientist, explains the causes of stress and its effects on our bodies.
Short-term Responses to Stress
Many people are familiar with the short-term reaction to stress, often known as the fight or flight response. This short-term response is initiated in an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus has influence over the body’s nervous and endocrine system responses.
The body prepares to deal with the stress by breaking down stored glycogen reserves in the liver into a form of fuel known as glucose. Glucose gives the body energy to deal with the acute situation. Blood vessels constrict, which diverts more blood to the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles. Blood pressure rises and the heart beats more forcefully in preparation to fight or flee from the stressful situation.
Long-term Responses to Stress
Long-term responses also initiate in the hypothalamus, but result in a slower, more complex series of responses. Hormones released by the hypothalamus target the pituitary gland, causing the adrenal glands (small organs that sit atop the kidneys) to increase their production of the hormone cortisol. Other chemicals, like growth hormone and thyroid hormone, are also released. Increased levels of thyroid and growth hormone speed up the body’s metabolism to help it deal more effectively with stress. Excess cortisol helps the body deal with immediate threats by raising blood pressure, mobilizing glucose for energy, and releasing fat stores from tissues. It also plays a role in decreasing inflammation throughout the body. Cortisol can also suppress the body’s immune response and reduce its ability to protect the body from illness and infections. If stress is prolonged, it can take its toll on the body and lead to illness.
When Is Stress Good for You?
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, is credited with the previous quote which seems to support a positive role for stress, at least when it comes to experiencing moderate levels. While chronic levels of stress can be harmful, findings suggests exposure to moderate levels of stress may be beneficial, especially early in life. Experiencing some stress during one’s lifetime, with the chance to recover in between, may actually prepare a person to better handle other stressful episodes later. This research is supported by Richard Dienstbier’s (1989) theory of mental toughness.
Mental development has also shown a positive response to short-term, acute stress as well. Animal studies have shown that memory and performance can be improved by exposure to brief episodes of stress. You will learn more about the positive and negative effects of stress on the human nervous system in Module 2.
In “When is Stress Good for You,” Dr. Robert Sapolsky explains when stress can be good for you.
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