Psychological determinants of the stress response are part of the relationship between stress and wellbeing.
According to Lazarus & Folkman’s model, stress is a transaction (hence the name) between one and one’s environment. In this sense, stress is very much psychological, and psychological determinants shape a) the bounds of the stress; and b) how the situations is dealt with. The Transactional Model of Stress and Coping encompasses two states of perception in order to work out what really is a stressful situation:
During the primary appraisal, potentially stressful situations or stimuli are recognised. We go through a process – considering the potential amount of harm or loss, the degree of threat, and the possibility of challenge – in order to form suitable emotions in response to the situation.
During the secondary appraisal, there is less emphasis on working out whether or not the situation is stressful, and more on assessing how to cope with the situation. There is also a re-assessment of the situation, just to ensure that the primary appraisal was accurate.
Sometimes, a re-appraisal may occur, whereby available resources and potential threats are taken into account.
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