Psychological Self-Help

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disruptions, like a flat tire, an uninvited visitor, a headache, a long
form to be filled out, etc. cause stress too. Lazarus's little hassles were
found to be more related to physical health than Holmes and Rahe's
major life events. So, both big and little events create stress; you
need to be aware of both. And, in fact, as Lazarus points out, health
can better be viewed as a result of effective or ineffective coping
rather than as simply a result of stress in the environment. You may
not be able to avoid stress, but you can learn to cope. 
Frustrations, threats, and conflicts cause stress
Stressors may be real or imaginary, past or future obstacles or
stumbling blocks, i.e. frustrations. If something (or someone) has
interfered with our "smooth sailing" in the past, it is called a
frustration or a regret. It may upset us and depress us. If the
obstacle is expected in the future, it is called a threat. This may be an
accurate or an unrealistic expectation; in either case it causes anxiety
and worry. A common human dilemma is when our own inner wishes,
needs, or urges push us in different directions. This is a conflict
Psychologists have described five major types of conflict that may
help you understand your stress: 
(1) Approach-avoidance conflict --we both want and don't want
something. Examples: any temptation, like sweets, we like it but want
to avoid it. You find someone physically attractive but their personality
turns you off. You'd love to teach useful psychology to high school
students but the pay is low. In this kind of situation, any decision you
make has some disadvantage. It's "damned if I do and damned if I
Furthermore, there is frequently an additional feature that makes
this conflict more difficult to deal with, namely, the attraction is
stronger than the avoidance at a distance (otherwise we'd just leave it
alone and forget it) and avoidance is stronger than attraction when we
get close to the attractive object. So, we are caught in a trap. It is like
being strongly attracted to a glorious person whom we fear may not be
interested in us. Thus, we tend to approach him/her and then just as
we are about to ask him/her to do something with us, we get "cold
feet" and run away, then come back again and so on. So often this
happens in love relationships; there is a quarrel and a break up, but at
a distance they miss each other and remember the good times and
end up getting back together, only to find the other person is still a
jerk; they fight again and leave, and over and over. Caught in this
kind of bind, the stressful oscillating between approaching and
avoiding may go on for a long time. 
Note: frustration is like an approach-avoidance conflict except
there is a barrier in the way instead of the goal itself having negative
qualities that keep us away. For example, it is a conflict when low pay
makes us hesitate to take a high school psychology teaching job. It is
a frustration when the barrier to high school teaching is the fact that
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