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Explain the Concept of General Adaptation Syndrome?

Referencing Styles : APA | Pages : 1

Definition of GAS

The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) can be discussed and defined as a three-staged response that a certain body would have in respect to stress. The concept of stress is known as a certain form of mental pressure. This factor forms a certain level of physical effect within the body. The process of understanding of the different stages undergoing the body when it would be exposed to stress factors. This kind of scenario would also be able to help people in becoming aware of the certain physical signs in relation to stress.  

Hans Selye was the first person who had coined the GAS term in the 20th century. Selye had discovered that rats had displayed a similar kind of set of certain physical responses that were according to several kind of different stressors. The scientist had also related GAS to the way in which the body would be able to adapt to the perceived form of threat in order to survive in a better manner.

The Different GAS Stages

There are three possible stages within the GAS. These include:

1. Alarm reaction

2. Resistance

3. Exhaustion

The different processes that occur within the human body are explained in each of the description of the stages.

1. Alarm reaction stage – In this stage, a distress signal is being sent from a certain part of the brain that is known as hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for the release of certain hormones known as glucocorticoids. They again help in release of cortisol and adrenaline that is known as a stress hormone. The stage of alarm reaction within the GAS helps in preparing a person to respond to different stressor, which they would be experiencing. Based on perceiving a stressor, the body would be able to react with a “fight-or-flight” response. In the alarm reaction stage, the sympathetic stage would get activated. In this stage, the body would be able to adapt to react in a quick manner in confronting or fleeting from any kind of posed threat that might be posed to them.

2. Resistance – During this stage, the human body would keep trying to counteract with the certain form of physiological changes that would be happening during the stage of alarm reaction. If the situation of stress would reach to the end position and during the resistance stage, the human body would reach to a normal position. If the situation of stress would persist, the body would remain in an alarm state. The stress hormones would remain to be produced within the body. During this stage, the changes of results within hormone that might have occurred from the previous stage would have occurred would be apparent. The stress levels within the hormone would return to normal position, thus enabling the focus of the body from alertness to repair.

3. Exhaustion – After a certain extended period of stress, the human body would again reach into the final GAS stage. In the exhaustion stage, the body would be in a state in which it would be depleted of every form of energy resources. The body would fail to recover itself from the initial stage of alarm reaction.

Occurrence of GAS

The study performed by Selye was only limited to the physical stressors that includes physical over-exertion and cold temperatures. The various kind of events within the human life that could be the reason for a person to experience stress and GAS includes the following phenomenon. These are: breakdown of relationships, job loss, medical problems and monetary troubles. In relation to the fact regarding theories, the different discussed situations that could be the cause of GAS might be found to be beneficial. The alarm reaction stage helps in providing people with a certain surge of concentration and energy that could be helpful in solving of problems.

Ways of GAS Management

The primary step in the process of controlling of GAS is in the way of understanding the different factors that lead to triggering of stress. There are different factors that lead to triggering of stress in different people. Hence, it would be extremely important for every person to identify the certain events and situations, which would be particularly be a stress for them. Hence, it would be possible for making certain changes to lifestyle that would reduce the exposure to those triggers.

In certain times during which it would not be possible to avoid a trigger of stress, then it would be extremely important for finding certain ways for the reduction of their impact put over the mind and body. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America have put forward a certain recommendation of physical activity as a certain promising way of reducing the factors of stress. The different forms of exercise help in the release of endorphins that also helps in improving the sleep factors and also promotes a sense of wellbeing. There are certain easy ways to perform exercise that include running or brisk walking.

Takeaway of GAS

The stress factors are the primary factors of cause that would help in making of physical changes towards the body. The GAS is generally considered as a three-staged process that is undergone by the body during the exposure of stressful events. A long term process of stress leads to different forms of negative effect on the well-being and physical effect over human body.

The final stage incorporated within GAS can be defined as exhaustion. This kind of phenomenon would generally happen when a person would be exposed to a certain level of stress for certain elongated periods of time. This would in turn lead to vulnerability to illness in relation to stress. Hence, a proper form of understanding of triggers in relation to stress would be able to help someone to changing their lifestyle for reducing of stress factors. Finding of ways in which the stress impact could be managed within the body and mind could be considered as a critical factor. The management of stress could be defined with the improvement of certain form of activities that include yoga, deep-breathing, mindfulness or meditation.


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