The notion of coping with stress have been introduced in Selye’s earlier works. In his later model of stress, he defined coping as “adapting” to stressful circumstances “by removing stressors from our lives, by not allowing certain neutral events to become stressors,by developing a proficiency in dealing with conditions we do not want to avoid, and by seeking relaxation or diversion from the demand” (Tache & Selye, 1985, p. 20).
Salye’s model included the following essential ideas:
- Stress is inevitable, as all life events cause some sort of stress.
- In general, stress is not harmful. Only excessive or unnecessary stress might cause health or well-being problem.
- Any stressful event is triggering a need for adaptation.
- Sometimes the body’s response to stress is not obvious and only specific symptoms related to health such as disease or dysfunction might make an individual realise the presence of stress exposure.
- The presence of stress should be monitored through recognising a number of physical and/or emotional symptoms.
- Secretion of such hormones as adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), corticoid or catecholamine should not be related to stress as the only biological reaction to stress. Although, this process represents one of those involved in the main pathways of stress adaptation.
- Removal of the stressor eliminates stress.
Salye’s model of stress has been taken into consideration for developing other models of stress and coping which are grounded on different therapeutical and social principles accepted in psychology and psychiatry.
An extract from my upcoming book “Stress and Health: What you need to know for your well-being”