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Lesson 2

Stress Psychophysiology

Influences of Stress on Biological Changes

When we are dealing with stress, we have several biological changes, e.g. the autonomic nervous system and adrenal

cortex system will increase secretion, heart rate and blood pressure will increase, pupils will dilate, muscles will become

tense and perspiration will increase, the rate of breathing and metabolism will increase, glucose will increase, etc.


Stress and Illness

Stress can lead to the following illnesses: hypertension, coronary heart disease, ulcers, rheumatoid, etc. It can increase

blood pressure and serum cholesterol. Moreover, stress can decrease the effectiveness of immunlogical system.

Furthermore, stress can increase muscle tension and bracing, and thus causing headaches, backaches, neck and shoulder


Relaxation Technique -- Deep Breathing

Before practicing deep breathing, we have to ensure that the environment is quiet, the temperature and the light are

suitable. We have to sit or lie on a comfortable position, turn off our mobile phone and pager, and then close our eyes.

Teacher and students can lie on the floor or sit in the chair, inhale a deep breath of air, hold it, and then use their mouth

and nose to exhale the air slowly. Practise it for several times.


Class Activities Teaching Materials

1. Two or three students can be divided into groups and discuss their biological reactions when they are under stressful situations.

2. Teacher explains the influences of stress on biological changes.
Literature: Deep Breathing
3. Teacher explains the illnesses caused by stress.
Illustrated pictures: 5,6

4. Practice deep breathing.


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