What are Stressors?        

 Dr. Hans Selye, Dr. Holmes, and Rahe provided research that linked stress to damage or illness resulting   from environmental conditions or events. Others such as, Richard Lazarus, referenced by Jerrold S. Greenberg in the text titled, "Comprehensive Stress Management [1] defined "stress" so encompassing that it included an individual's cognitive  interpretation of  the environmental demands, the individual's coping skills, and  an individual's appraisal of using these skills in its interaction in responding to those environmental demands.

Dr. Greenberg defines stress as a stimulus-response interaction. He compares the stressors to stimuli and identifies the reaction to the stimulus as a stress response. This operational definition permits us, to  identify  stressors into categories in order to better understand  that stressful events have only a potential to elicit a fight-or-flight response.

Classify your previously listed 10 events, into the categories of stressors into categorizes as follows:
1. Physical, 2. Psychological, 3. Social, or 4. Philosophical.

How do you usually cope with the different  categories of stressors? Do you cope the same way with different stressors? Why or why not?  Do you see any advantages in classifying stressors? Do you see any pitfalls in attempting to classify stressors?   Explain your reasoning. What have you learned that was most important?

 1.Jerrold S. Greenberg,  Comprehensive Stress Management, 6th ed., Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1999, p.9.
 2. Brian Luke Seaward, Managing Stress-Principles and Strategies for Health and Wellbeing, 3rd. ed., Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers,2002, pages 7-9

E-mail: rbrehm@msn.com  Copyright 1998  [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.