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Created by Ryan Scott Patton.

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Video transcript

- [Narrator] Okay so in a previous video, I talked about stress, but that's a pretty tricky word, especially in terms of psychology as a psychological definition and so I broke that word stress down into two major parts. The stressor and the stress reaction. Today I wanna talk about I want to get a little bit deeper into that idea of the stressor. And if you remember that stressor referred to the actual threat or the perceived challenge that we're experiencing, and psychologist have done a pretty good job of categorizing stressors into four major categories. Four major categories of stressors. So imagine this is you and you're driving down the road, and let's imagine that you are driving away from the city that you grew up in, you're going to college for the first time, you're leaving your house for the first time, so you've got all of your stuff on the roof of your car here, you've got all of your dorm equipment and you've got your bedding here, and it's all strapped to the roof of your car let's say. And you're ready to go, you're ready to get out of the house. What that represents going to college, is this significant life change, and that's the first major category of stressors. So significant life changes. And what this category describes is a significant personal life change, such as the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job, or leaving home for the first time to go to college, or marriage, or divorce, or having children, or all the these really big significant changes to your life, so if you're interested you can look at the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, and it considers the effect of 43 different major life stressors in your life, and then offers you a hypothesis about your relative risk for stress related illness because of these significant life changes, but what that is is really a great list of 43 considered major or 43 things that are considered major life stressors. But the next major category of stressors, are catastrophic events. So imagine you're driving down the road, you're going to college for the first time, and maybe you're driving through Oklahoma or Kansas, and out of no where a cyclone appears. So there's a cyclone here. And it's ripping apart the town that you're driving through, and that would be a catastrophe. So catastrophes are these unpredictable, large scale events that nearly everyone appraises as threatening, such as war or natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes and community disasters, and as an example one study by Susan Saulny in 2006 described or at least correlated Hurricane Katrina with nearly a tripled suicide rate for New Orleans four months later. And that's related to the nature of Hurricane Katrina as a catastrophe and one of major categories of stressors that we encounter. And so say you're moving down the road here, and you're already going to college, that's a big stressor on your life, and gosh there's a hurricane blowing right outside of your, I mean a tornado, I'm sorry, blowing right outside of your car window, and so you get two major stressors on board, and what if you all of the sudden run over a really sharp object like a nail or something and your tire blows out. So you're tire just completely blows up out from under you. That actually happens quite often. Tires blow or your car stalls, or your engine burns out or something, but that's an example of one of the daily hassles that we encounter and is another major life stressor. So daily hassles, and so that seemingly minor negative events of daily life, such as aggravating roommates, or long store lines, or forgetting your car keys after making it down the four flights of stairs from your apartment, that happens to me a lot, I live on the fourth floor and I'm always forgetting something and having to run back upstairs, or email spam, or finding dog poop on your carpet, and other examples that start to sound a little more serious that include expectations that aren't communicated very well between you and your spouse or your significant other, or the inability to let go of an unattainable goal, but sometimes daily stressors are related to our socioeconomic status. Maybe we're a poor college kid and stress often accompanies inadequate income or unemployment, and then for my Nordi's daily hassles might include racism, so constantly considering whether or not people will dress like her, approve of your personality and abilities, can compound the affects of these daily stressors, and daily hassles. So although these stressors seem little, they certainly add up and take a huge toll, and in fact many psychologists, like Lazarus and Ruffin and Connor McDonald, considered daily hassles to be really the most significant form of stress. And then the last category that I want to talk about, the last of the four major categories, are ambient stressors. So let me write that in here. Ambient stressors and these are global, so not so individual stressors that are integrated into the background of the environment so you can think about the city back here, maybe the place that you grew up, maybe there's a whole lot of pollution, maybe there's a big factory in your town or something, and it's really laden with smog, like southern California or something, but they're physically perceivable but they're not urgent and they're hard to control, they're just things that we put up with in our lives in the background. That's why they're called ambient, they're just happening in the background, and so some other examples include noise or crowding, but a really interesting thing about ambient stressors is that they can negatively impact us without us even being consciously aware of their existence, we might not know that these are happening, but they're contributing to our stressors. So I just wanted to clarify that these are the four major categories that are often considered by psychologists as the stressors, so the next step we're gonna move to the other component, that stress definition which is our reaction to how we respond to stress, but I'll see you in that video.