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If the situation is judged as being stressful, the hypothalamus (at the base of the brain) is activated. The hypothalamus in the brain is in charge of the stress response. When a stress response is triggered, it sends signals to two other structures: the pituitary gland, and the adrenal medulla.
The perception of a threat triggers a secondary appraisal: judgment of the options available to cope with a stressor, as well as perceptions of how effective such options will be (Lyon, 2012) (Figure 2).
The general adaptation syndrome (GAS), developed by Hans Selye, describes the pattern of responses that the body goes through after being prompted by a stressor. There are three stages: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.
Stress is key for survival, but too much stress can be detrimental. Emotional stress that stays around for weeks or months can weaken the immune system and cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety and even heart disease. In particular, too much epinephrine can be harmful to your heart.
Here are some healthy ways you can deal with stress:
Examples of Challenging Life Transitions
The Life Stressor Checklist-Revised (LSC-R) is a self-report measure that assesses traumatic or stressful life events. The measure has a focus on events relevant to women such as abortion, and can also be used with men.
7 Demanding Career Paths With High Burnout Rates