WHAT IS STRESS
The term stress has been defined in several different ways. sometimes the term is applied to stimuli or events in our environment that make physical and emotional demands on us, and sometimes it is applied to our emotional and physical reactions to such stimuli. in this discussion, we will refer to the environmental stimuli or events as stressors and to the emotional and physical reactions as stress.
Many sorts of events be stressors, including disasters, such as hurricanes or tornadoes; major life events, such as divorce or the loss of a job; and daily hassles, such as having to wait in line at the supermarket when you need to be somewhere else in 10 minutes. What all this events have in common is that they interfere with or threat our accustomed way of life. when we encounter such stressors, we must pull together our mental and physical resources in order to deal with the challenge. How well we succeed in doing so will determine how serious a toll the stress will take on our mental and physical well-being.
许多事件都是压力源，包括灾难，如飓风或龙卷风; 重大生活事件，如离婚或失业; 每天都有麻烦，比如当你要在10分钟内到别的地方去却不得不在超市排队等。所有这些事件都有共同之处，就是它们干涉或威胁我们习惯的生活方式。当我们遇到这样的压力时，我们必须整合我们的精神和物质资源来应对挑战。我们如何成功地做到这一点将决定压力对我们身心健康将产生多大的影响。
Reacting to stressors
The Canadian physiologist Hans Seyle has been the most influential writer on stress. Seyle proposed that both humans and other animals react to any stressor in three stages, collectively known as the general adaptation syndrome. the first stage, when the person or animal becomes aware of the stressor is the alarm reaction. In this stage the organism becomes highly alert and aroused, energized by a burst of epinephrine. After the alarm reaction comes the stage of resistance , as the organism tries to adapt to the stressful stimulus or to escape from it. If these efforts are successful, the state of the organism returns to normal. If the organism cannot adapt to the continuing stress, however, it enters a stage of exhaustion or collapse.
Seyle developed his model of the general adaptation syndrome as a result of research with rats and other animals. In rats, certain stressors, such as painful tail-pulling consistently led to the same sorts of stress reactions in humans, however, it is harder to predict what will be stressful to a particular person at a particular time. subjective
person's the on depends stressful be will stimulus particular a Whether
appraisal of that stimulus. How threatening is it How well have I handled this sort of thing in the past how well will I be able to handle it this time for one person, being called on to give a talk in front of a class is a highly stressful stimulus that will immediately produce such elements as a pounding heart and a dry mouth.
for another person, being called on to give a talk is not threatening at all, but facing a deadline to complete a term paper is extremely stressful. in humans, moreover, the specific stress reaction is likely to vary widely; some stressful situations give rise predominantly to emotions of fear, some give rise to anger, and some give rise to helplessness and depression.
COPING WITH STRESS 应对压力
It is Friday evening and two young lawyers get phone calls at home. The trial data for an important case has been moved up. Both of the lawyers will now have to prepare a report for the case by Monday morning. It is a threatening situation for both. Each must do extensive research and write a complex document of some 40 pages, all in a single weekend. furthermore, each knows that her work will be evaluated by the firm's partners, and how well she does may greatly in fluence her future in the firm.
One of the lawyers finds the situation extremely stressful; she feels tremendous anxiety, experiences headaches and stomach upset, and has difficulty working. she somehow manages to produce a report, but she is not at all happy with it. the other lawyer, although she too feels the pressure of the situation, sees it not so much as a threat but as a challenge-an opportunity to show how good she is. she moves into the firm's offices for the weekend and sleeping only three hours a night, completes a brilliant report with a clear mind and a surge of energy. as this example helps illustrate, stress is caused not so much by events themselves as by the ways in which people perceive and react to events.
她以某种方式设法做出报告，但她对此并不满意。另一位律师虽然也感受到了这种情况的压力，但并不认为这是一种威胁，而是一种挑战 - 一个显示她有多好的机会。她周末进入公司办公室，每晚只睡三个小时，精神清醒，精力充沛，完成了一篇精彩的报告。正如这而是由人们对事件的感知和反应的压力不是由事件本身引起的，个有力的例子说明的那样，
Degree of control控制程度
An important influence on people's ability to cope with stressful situations is the degree of control that they feel they can exercise over the situation. both animals and humans have been found to cope better with painful or threatening stimuli when they feel they can exercise some degree of control rather than being passive and helpless victims. such a sense of control can help minimize the negative consequences of stress, both psychological and physical. in one well-known experiment, Jay Weiss administered electric shocks to pairs of rats. In each pair, one of the two animals was given a degree of control over the situation; it could reach through a hole in the cage and press a panel that would turn off the shock both for itself and for its partner. Thus, the two rats received exactly the same number of shocks, but one was passive and helpless, and the other was in control. after a continuous 21-hour session, the animals were sacrificed and their stomachs examined for ulcers. those rats that could exert control had much less ulceration than their helpless partners.
The ability to control painful stimuli often benefits humans, too. For example, the loud music coming into your ears from your iPod is probably not stressful; in fact, it's quite enjoyable. but the same music coming from your neighbor's house can be terribly and stressful. merely knowing that one can control a noise makes it less bothersome. That's one reason why your loud music does not bother you-you know you can turn it off.
控制疼痛刺激的能力也经常使人类受益。例如，从你的iPod进入你的耳朵大声的音乐可能没有压力，事实上，这是相当愉快的。但是来自你邻居家的同样的音乐可能会让你非常紧张。只知道一个人能控制噪音会减少麻烦。这就是为什么你的嘈杂音乐不会打扰你 - 你知道你可以把它关掉。
Even when you cannot control them, unpleasant events tend to be less stressful if they are predictable - if you at least know when they will occur. This was demonstrated by Weiss in another study with rats. One group of rats heard a buzzer about 10 seconds before they would receive a shock; although the animals could not escape the shock at least they had a chance to prepare themselves for the expected pain. A second group of rats received no such warnings; The shocks came unpredictably. Weiss found that the rats that were forewarned of the shocks developed fewer ulcers than the rats that were not forewarned. This finding has parallels in human life.
it when traumatic less usually is example, for one, loved a of death the
anticipated than when it is unexpected. On a less tragic level, many students find surprise quizzes to be more upsetting than scheduled quizzes that they can prepare for.
即使你无法控制他们，如果不愉快的事件是可预测的，那么往往会减轻压力 - 如果你至少知道他们什么时候会发生。 Weiss在另外一项关于老鼠的研究中证实了这一点。一组老鼠在接到电击前约10秒钟听到蜂鸣声，虽然动物至少不能逃避震荡，但他们有机会为预期的痛苦做好准备。第二组老鼠没有收到这样的警告; 冲击变得难以预料。 Weiss发现，预先警告的老鼠发生的溃
Are some people generally better than others at coping with stress Research suggests that the answer is yes - that there is a certain kind of person who has a relatively stress-resistant personality. The leading researcher in this field has been Suzanne Kobasa. found that people who cope well with stress tend to have three characteristics: They are committed to what they are doing, they feel in control (rather than powerless), and they welcome moderate amounts of change and challenge. In studies of people facing stressful situations, Kobasa and her associates found that those with stress-resistant personalities- that is, those who are high in commitment, control, and challenge-experience fewer physical illnesses than those whose personalities are less hardly.
有些人一般比其他人更好地应付压力吗研究表明答案是肯定的 - 有某种人具有相应对抗压力
的性格。这个领域的领先研究者是Suzanne Kobasa。 Kobasa博士发现，处理压力的人倾向于有三个特点：他们致力于他们正在做的事情，他们感到可控的（而不是无能为力），他们欢迎适度的变化和挑战。在面对压力情况的人们的研究中，Kobasa和她的同事发现那些有抗性的个性- 即那些高度承诺，控制和挑战的人 - 比那些性格不那么强壮的人经历更少的身体疾病。
Until quite recently, it was generally believed that to maintain good health people should strive to avoid stressors in their lives. Such a strategy can be quite limiting, however. The desire to avoid stress may also lead people to avoid potentially beneficial changes in their lives, such as job changes or promotions. Moreover, the attempt to avoid stress is often unrealistic. How, for example, can a person avoid such shocks as a parents death in fact, if people do not confront a certain amount of stress in their lives, they will end up being bored and unstimulated, which also can be physically harmful. In the last analysis, each person needs to come to terms with stress in his or her own way, sometimes trying to avoid it, but sometimes accepting it or even seeking it out as a challenge to be mastered.
STRESS AND ILLNESS压力和疾病
In many stressful situations, the body's response can improve our performance –
we become more alert, and better able to take effective action. But when stress is encountered continually, the body's reactions are more likely to be harmful than helpful to us. As will be seen later in this unit, the production of stress-related hormones seems to make people more susceptible to heart disease. And stress reactions can reduce the disease-fighting effectiveness of the body's immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to illnesses, ranging from colds to cancer. Other diseases that can result at least in part from stress include arthritis, asthma, migraine headaches, and ulcers. Workers who experience the greatest amount of job pressure have been found to be especially likely to suffer from a large number of illnesses. Moreover, many studies have shown that people who have experienced major changes
in their lives are at an unusually high risk for a variety of illnesses.
在许多紧张的情况下，身体的反应可以改善我们的表现 - 我们变得更加警觉，并且能够更好地采取有效行动。但是当压力持续不断，身体的反应更有可能是有害的，而不是对我们有帮助。正如本单元稍后将会看到的那样，压力相关激素的产生似乎使人们更易患心脏病。而压力反应会降低人体免疫系统的抗病能力，从而增加感染疾病的可能性，从感冒到癌症。其他可导致压力的疾病包括关节炎，哮喘，偏头痛和溃疡。发现工作压力最大的工作人员特别容易患上大量的疾病。此外，许多研究表明，那些经历过重大变化的人，患上各种疾病的风险非常高。
As an example of stress-induced illness, take the case of stomach ulcers, small lesions in the stomach wall that afflict one out of every twenty people at some point in their lives. Ulcers are a common disorder among people who work in occupations that make heavy psychological demands from assembly line workers to air-traffic controllers. In such cases, stress tends to be the culprit. Stress leads to increased secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Hydrochloric acid normally helps to break down foods during digestion, but in excess amounts it can eat away at the stomach lining, producing ulcers.
Stress and cancer 压力与癌症
One of the least understood diseases, and partly for that reason one of the most feared, is cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in America. Medical scientists and researchers are still trying to understand the biological mechanisms of cell behavior that underlie the onset and development of cancer. However, studies seem to suggest that there may be links between emotions and cancer.
These links involve the functioning of the body's immune system, a collection of billions of cells that travel through the bloodstream and defend the body against invasion by foreign agents, including bacteria and viruses, and against cells that become cancerous. Psychological factors can influence immune functioning and the field of research on these influences is called psychoimmunology. It is believed
that small cancers form frequently in everyone, but our immune system usually rejects them. However, prolonged stress may lead to elevated levels of corticosteroids and to lower levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine in the brain. These and other changes apparently make it harder for the immune system to reject cancer cells. When the organism copes with the stress in an active way, these changes in the immune system seem to be minimized when the organism reacts with helplessness and depression, the changes are maximized.
These links between stress, helplessness, immune function, and cancer have been demonstrated experimentally in studies with animals. In one study, conducted by Sklar and Anisman, three groups of mice were injected with the same number of cancer cells. One group was exposed to an electric shock that they could learn to escape by jumping over a barrier to safety. A second group was exposed to the same duration of shock, but had no means of actively coping with the stress. The third group was never shocked. The cancer grew the fastest and led to the earliest death in the animals that had no means of coping with their stress. In contrast, the animals that growth from those that had not been shocked at all.
The link between stress, helplessness, and cancer has been demonstrated in humans as well. In one dramatic study in1981, Richard Shekelle and his co-workers studied over 2, 000 men who had taken a psychological test that diagnoses depression and other emotional states. Seventeen years later, the researcher found that those men who had been highly depressed at the time of the testing had twice the chance of dying of cancer as men who had not been depressed since depressed people tend to drink more alcohol or smoke more cigarettes, which in turn increases their risk of cancer, Shekelle took this into account when he analyzed his data; the association between depression and cancer still held, regardless of drinking or smoking rates. in another study, widowed husbands were found to have a decline in the function of wives
their of months two system-within immune the of -part cells blood white their deaths.
症之间的关系仍然存在。在另一项研究中，丧偶的丈夫在其妻子死亡的两个月内被发现其白血细胞的功能下降 - 免疫系统的一部分。
There is also some evidence that people's emotions are involved in cancer once it has begun. in a study of women who underwent mastectomy for early-stage breast cancer, Greer found that women who reacted to their diagnosis with either a fighting spirit or strong denials were more likely to be free of disease eight years later than were women who reacted with stoic acceptance or with feelings of helplessness.
Recommendations for treatment治疗建议
Findings on the links between emotional reactions to stress and the progression of cancer have given rise to some recommendations for the treatment of cancer patients. In particular, programs that can help give cancer patients a greater feeling of control over their destinies and that can help them adopt a “fighting spirit” might just increase their odds of survival. Although there is no solid evidence as yet that such programs can in fact extend people's lives, developing such programs remains an exciting frontier in health psychology.
Heart disease 心脏病
Heart disease is western society's number-one killer. it is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and accounts for more than one in four of all deaths in America. Heart disease used to be considered a male disease, and among the middle-aged this is still true. However, since 1984, more women than men actually die from heart disease in the United States each year. it is just that the onset
of heart disease starts later in women than in men. some good news, though for both genders is that deaths from heart disease in the united states have been falling since the beginning of the twenty-fist century. Worldwide, however, the picture is not so good. Heart disease rates are climbing rapidly all around the globe as more and more cultures adopt a Western Lifestyle-smoking more, exercise less, and eating a diet higher in fats.