Models of stress

In this brief article, we will be discussing the models of stress, stress response, models of stress in coping, and more information about models of stress. 

What Is The Stress Response?

The Stress Response is a physiological response that is based on the studies on stress being part of the general adaptation syndrome model (GAS).

This is one of the models of stress that follows three assumptions:

  • Stress is a defensive mechanism or coping mechanism
  • Stress complies with the three stages or phases of alarm, resistance, and exhaustion or fatigue.
  • If the stress is prolonged or chronic, it could bring an outcome such as diseases of adaptation or even death.

In other words, stress can be experienced in a positive light or eustress or a negative light which is distress.

This kind of response is considered as a physiologically based concept since this reaction can stem from a physiological process.

Stress is very rampant in human conversations such as making it the causes of having serious conditions, a great number of concerns, ailments, and sicknesses that can come from unidentified backgrounds.

Stressors can be internal or external such as having a serious physical condition that can lead to this kind of response.

Studies have shown that stress is associated with coronary heart disease which can be fatal to affected people.

Symptoms Of Stress

You may observe that you have symptoms and signs of stress when you are trying to make your kids disciplined, busy in your work duties, dealing with your finances, and dealing with your relationship issues.

As you can see, this kind of response is evident everywhere.

It is better if you know your symptoms and signs of stress to help you address them immediately and seek professional help.

Although knowing these kinds of symptoms can be more difficult than promised out loud.

You might not even be able to recognize that you are already experiencing symptoms of stress until you have reached your limit.

This kind of response can bring a huge impact on your emotions, behaviours, cognitions, and your physical health such as having chronic conditions.

The following are some of the typical symptoms of stress that are present in affected people.

  • Significant changes in appetite
  • Increased or elevated engagement in unhealthy behaviours such as excessive or extreme alcohol drinking
  • Constant worrying
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Easily irritated

Types Of Stress

Most people have their fair share of experiences with stress when they have to deal with the responsibilities of their jobs.

Like the symptoms of stress, you can control your stress responses by knowing about the types of this response. 

Once you are able to control your stress response, you will notice that you are able to work better, have healthy relationships, and live a positive life.

You can have these kinds of responses whether emotionally or physically.

Dr. Karl Albrecht is a management consultant and conference speaker who is the founder or somewhat founder of the development of stress-reduction training and workshops for people who are running businesses.

In his book titled “Stress and the Manager”, he was able to determine 4 typical types of stress which will be discussed in the following sections.

The following are the names of these typical types of stress:

  • Time stress.
  • Anticipatory stress.
  • Situational stress.
  • Encounter stress.

You can get Albrecht’s book that discusses the types of response on this website.

Time Stress

As mentioned in its time, you will encounter time stress when you are worried about the time or lacking the time needed.

This is where you are anxious about the number of activities you have to do and you’re afraid of the knowledge that you might haven’t done much. 

Time stress can make you feel convicted and helpless.

You might have felt this stress when you were worrying about the deadlines you have to meet or rushing to not be late for a meeting.

This is why time stress is what we typically feel today.

This is also why you should set some time to make up with your work for your job. 

For instance, you can update your time management skills.

You might typically feel that there isn’t enough time to do your needed work to be done but you can recognize that there is time and you only need to set some time

Anticipatory Stress

Anticipatory stress focuses on your concentration of future outcomes.

This stress might manifest when you are facing a specific event such as trying to get ready for a presentation that you need to do. 

Anticipatory stress can also appear ambiguous and general such as being fearful about something bad that can occur in the future.

Since this stress is focused on the future, you can counteract this stress by visualizing an event where the worst won’t happen. 

You could use some positive visualization techniques that can help you fix your expectations and minimizing anticipatory stress.

Studies have found that you can’t really tell your expectations that you have visualized to the events that happened in a neurological basis. 

These positive visualization techniques are also very useful when you want to reach future aims.

You can learn more about visualization techniques and apply them in your daily life by buying this book on this website.

Situational Stress

You can feel situational stress when you are exposed to a situation where you can’t manage it using your capabilities.

For instance, you might be facing an emergency situation where someone just got shot and you don’t know how to deal with a shootout and taking care of the victim. 

Situational stress can manifest in situations where there are disagreement and the need for approval from a group.

For example, you are trying to impress a group that you always want to be with but you find out that you’ve embarrassed yourself in front of them which will make you experience this stress.

Situational stress can also occur when you find yourself in a situation that you didn’t expect to happen.

To counteract with this stress, you need to practice self-awareness

This can be done when you know about your emotional and physical signals that can occur when you are under pressure.

Every person experiences stress differently and it is your choice to find out about your stress symptoms and control them to help you in the long run.

Encounter Stress

Encounter stress is more concentrated on the people you will meet.

The fact that you might be interacting with a person you don’t want to see can induce this stress.

You can experience encounter stress if the person you are interacting with only induces distress in you.

Physicians and social workers are more likely to have this stress since they have to meet with people who have physical and mental distress.

Some would refer to this stress as a form of contact overload since you might feel like you are meeting with a lot of people.

You can deal with encounter stress by restricting your interactions with people in the day or improve your people skills. 

You can upgrade your people skills and apply them in your daily life by buying this book on this website.

Psychological Models Of Stress

A model is a description and causation of interactions between concepts and facts which seek to intervene, predict behaviour, and guide human behaviour.

A model of stress is a social theory that seeks to understand how stress can affect an individual and a group.

A model of stress should have a variable which is the collection of attributes associated with this kind of response.

The formation of scientific relationships can turn into models of stress.

There are different kinds of models of stress being studied recently.

These kinds of models are understanding the characteristics of this response to help manage it better in affected people.

The following are the common models of stress used in explaining human behaviour and guide treatment.

  • Transactional Theory of Stress and Coping as a model of stress
  • Diathesis-Stress Model
  • Stress Being A Stimulus Model
  • The General Adaptation Syndrome And Stress Model which was briefly discussed above

Transactional Theory Of Stress And Coping

The transactional theory of stress and coping is one of the models of stress that focuses on the outcome of the interaction between person and circumstance. Dr. Susan Kobasa relates this theory to the concept or trait of hardiness or grit in stressed people.

These people with the hardiness trait are more likely to stay healthy despite the overwhelming stress that they feel.

There are also some findings that there are different variables that can be stressors.

The nature of stress is also described by this model of stress which is acute, intermittent or episodic or chronic.

The types of stressors that were found in these studies were event, situation, cue, and condition which were termed as locus of control, tone, predictability, impact or affect, and time. 

Lazarus and Hoffman described this model of stress as combining the interpretation of other models of stress and evaluating them making stress described to be primary, secondary, and reappraisal components. You can learn more about this theory by buying this book on this website.

The Diathesis-Stress Model

The diathesis-stress model is another model of stress that is described to be an interaction between one’s vulnerability and the occurring stressful situation.

In other words, this model talks about how people have different levels of being vulnerable to a psychological disorder such as depression. 

These different levels of vulnerabilities are known by this model of stress as diathesis.

Your diathesis may involve the psychological and physical influences that you have been influenced too. 

These diatheses are not enough to make you acquire a psychological disorder according to this model of stress.

In this case, you have to face a stressful situation that will create the onset of your psychological disorder. 

This model of stress can explain that if you already have a vulnerability to depression and you are faced with a stressful situation that you find uncontrollable, you are more likely to become depressed.

While a person who doesn’t have the vulnerability to depression will need higher levels of stressful situations that can make them have depression.

Stress Being A Stimulus Model

The stress being a stimulus model of stress exclaims that stress is a significant event that demands the person to adapt and adjust to the change.

Holmes and Rahe made the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) help develop their model of stress which will be based on how the person may experience this response through life events.

These researchers believed that stress was the cause of experience and not the stressful experience altogether.

There was then a problem with this model of stress.

These researchers first believe that stress was dealt with by humans in a passive light where they take it as it is and not do anything about it.

However, the ongoing developments of their previous model of stress have found that the interpretation of the stressful event made the person feel this response or not.

The following are the assumptions surrounding this model of stress:

  • Change is inherently or implicitly stressful
  • Life events demand or persuade the same levels of adjustment across the human population.
  • There is a typical limit of adjustment beyond which sickness will result.

The interpretation that surrounded stress in humans can be positive or negative depending on the valence and duration of the stressful situation.

You can learn more about this modified model of stress by buying this book on this website.

The General Adaptation Syndrome And Stress Model

Hans Selye introduced the concept of stress being a physiological response which he explained in his model of stress called the general adaptation syndrome and stress model.

This model of stress considers this response as a dependent variable and the concepts it follows were mentioned before:

  • Stress is a defensive mechanism or a coping mechanism.
  • Stress follows the three stages or phases of alarm, resistance or backtracking, and exhaustion.
  • If the stress is prolonged or chronic, it could result in diseases or disorders of adaptation or even death.

In Selye’s The Stress Concept: Past, Present & Future, he exclaimed that stress could lead to positive outcomes such as growth or negative outcomes such as disorders in which the alarm response can trigger the sympathetic nervous system to get the body to respond to the threat.

There is also the resistance response which is the body’s reaction to the loss of threat to bring balance in the person’s body but if this is dysfunctional, the person becomes sick due to the overburden of this response.

This is also where the model of stress coping was made to help people minimize the damaging effects of this response.

How To Cope And Deal With Stress

Researchers who have been studying the stress response state that this kind of response is better handled by taking an active step against this response.

Lazarus and Folkman say that there are cognitive appraisal strategies that can be used to deal with this kind of response.

These researchers have focused on the fact that there are problem-focused coping styles and emotion-focused coping styles that have positive and negative components involved.

There is a need to understand that the appraisal of the situation and the finding of the resources that can deal with the stressful situation are important components to consider to deal with this kind of response.

If you think you don’t have the skills to deal with a stressful situation, you may pave the way to emotion-focused coping styles where you are driven to act through your emotions which don’t typically end well.

If you think you can find ways to solve this kind of situation, you are more likely to use your problem-focused coping styles which you will find some help through people who have experienced this kind of turmoil and find practical solutions.

This kind of coping style can lead to moving forward, be more resilient, and growth-enhanced health results.

Social support can also be a coping style to deal with stress which can also lead to a healthy life.


In this brief article, we have discussed the models of stress, stress response, models of stress in coping, and more information about models of stress. 

If you have any questions about models of stress, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

FAQs: models of stress

What are the 5 types of coping strategies?

The 5 types of coping strategies or techniques are releasing or expressing pent-up emotions, controlling hostile feelings, distracting oneself in unhealthy or healthy ways or methods, engaged in meditation, and using controlled relaxation procedures or techniques. 

What is passive coping?

Passive coping is a stress-management strategy or technique in which a person absolves himself or herself of responsibility for managing or controlling a stressor and instead relinquishes and returns control over its resolution to external resources such as other people and environmental influences.

What is active coping?

Active coping is characterized by solving problems or concerns, seeking information, seeking social support, seeking professional help, changing environments or situations, planning activities, and reframing the meanings of concerns.

What is positive reinterpretation?

Positive reinterpretation is reappraising or reevaluating a stressful situation to see it in a.

Positive light such as finding something good from something bad in a stressful situation.

Thus, the meaning of an event is redefined to permit the experience of positive emotion.

Why are coping skills important?

Coping skills are important because they facilitate or guide a person’s handling of a stressful experience.

There are many coping strategies or techniques, both positive and negative, involving exercising, seeking religious support, focusing or concentrating on the positive, distancing one’s self, acting out, eating, drinking and more.


BCcampus. Stress and Coping.

MindTools. Albrecht’s Four Types of Stress.


ScienceBeta. Psychological Models of Stress.

Slideshare. Theories of stress.

SpringerLink. Stress: Concepts, Models, and Measures.

Wiley Online Library. Models of stress.