NCERT Class 12 Psychology Chapter 3 Meeting Life Challenges

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NCERT Class 12 Psychology Chapter 3 Meeting Life Challenges

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Also, you can read the NCERT book online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Book guidelines. CBSE Class 12 Psychology Solutions are part of All Subject Solutions. Here we have given NCERT Class 12 Psychology Chapter 3 Meeting Life Challenges Notes, NCERT Class 12 Psychology Textbook Solutions for All Chapters, You can practice these here.

Chapter: 3

Review Questions

1. Explain the concept of stress. Give examples from daily life. 

Ans: The word stress has its origin in the Latin words ‘strictus’, meaning tight or narrow and ‘stringere’, the verb meaning to tighten. These root words reflect the internal feelings of tightness and constriction of the muscles and breathing reported by many people under stress. Stress is often explained in terms of characteristics of the environment that are disruptive to the individual. Stressors are events that cause our body to give the stress response. Such events include noise, crowding, a bad relationship, or the daily commuting to school or office. 

Examples from daily life are mentioned below:

(a) Wake up at the same time every morning.

(b) Create a list of tasks for the day.

2. State the symptoms and sources of stress. 

Ans: The way we respond to stress varies depending upon our personality, early upbringing and life experiences. Everyone has their own pattern of stress response.that are often unavoidable such as air pollution, crowding, noise, heat of the summer, winter cold, etc. Another group of environmental stresses are catastrophic events or disasters such as fire, earthquake, floods, etc.

3. Describe the GAS model and illustrate the relevance of this model with the help of an example. 

Ans: The GAS model, or General Adaptation Syndrome, describes the three stages our body goes through in response to stress. It’s a helpful way to understand how stress impacts us physically and mentally. 

Here’s a breakdown of the stages:

(i) Alarm Reaction Stage: This is the initial reaction to a stressor, where the body’s fight-or-flight response is activated. Adrenaline and other stress hormones are released, resulting in increased heart rate, energy levels, and alertness.

(ii) Resistance Stage: If the stressor persists, the body enters the resistance stage. During this phase, the body tries to adapt to the stressor. Physiological responses remain heightened, but the body attempts to return to a state of normalcy. This stage can last for a longer period, and the body’s resources are gradually depleted.

(iii) Exhaustion Stage: If the stress continues for too long, the body’s ability to resist is lost, leading to the exhaustion stage. The prolonged stress causes the body’s energy reserves to be drained, leading to fatigue, burnout, and reduced immunity. Chronic stress can result in serious health problems.

Example are: 

(i) Alarm Stage: You wake up with a racing heart and sweaty palms, feeling anxious about the presentation. 

Resistance Stage: You spend the next few days focused and determined, preparing your presentation and rehearsing it to manage your anxiety.

(ii) Exhaustion Stage: If you don’t take breaks or find ways to manage your nerves, you might become exhausted and burnt out before the presentation, hindering your performance.

4. Enumerate the different ways of coping with stress. 

Ans: In recent years the conviction has grown that it is how we cope with stress and not the stress one experiences that influences our psychological well-being, social functioning and health. Coping is a dynamic situation-specific reaction to stress. It is a set of concrete responses to stressful situations or events that are intended to resolve the problem and reduce stress. The way we cope with stress often depends on rigid deep-seated beliefs, based on experience, e.g. when caught in a traffic jam we feel angry, because we believe that the traffic ‘should’ move faster. To manage stress we often need to reassess the way we think and learn coping strategies. People who cope poorly with stress have protective thoughts. Examples of this are watching TV, phone up a friend, or try to be with other people. 

Lazarus and Folkman have conceptualised coping as a dynamic process rather than an individual trait. Coping refers to constantly changing cognitive and behavioural efforts to master, reduce or tolerate the internal or external demands that are created by the stressful transaction. Coping serves to allow the individual to manage or alter a problem and regulate the emotional response to that problem. According to them coping responses can be divided into two types of responses, problem-focused and emotion focused. Problem-focused strategies attack the problem itself, with behaviours designed to gain information, to alter the event, and to alter belief and commitments. They increase the person’s awareness, level of knowledge, and range of behavioural and cognitive coping options. They can act to reduce the threat value of the event. For example “I made a plan of action and followed it”. Emotion-focused strategies call for psychological changes designed primarily to limit the degree of emotional disruption caused by an event, with minimal effort to alter the event itself. For example “I did some things to let it out of my system”. While both problem-focused and emotion-focused coping are necessary when facing stressful situations, research suggests that people generally tend to use the former more often than the latter. 

5. Explain the effect of stress on psychological functioning. 

Ans: These are stresses that we generate ourselves in our minds. These are personal and unique to the person experiencing them and are internal sources of stress. We worry about problems, feel anxiety, or become depressed. These are not only symptoms of stress, but they cause further stress for us. Some of the important sources of psychological stress are frustration, conflicts, internal and social pressures, etc.

Psychological Stress These are stresses that we generate ourselves in our minds. These are personal and unique to the person experiencing them and are internal sources of stress. We worry about problems, feel anxiety, or become depressed. These are not only symptoms of stress, but they cause further stress for us. Some of the important sources of psychological stress are frustration, conflicts, internal and social pressures, etc. 

(i) Frustration results from the blocking of needs and motives by something or someone that hinders us from achieving a desired goal. There could be a number of causes of frustration such as social discrimination.

(ii)  Conflicts may occur between two or more incompatible needs or motives, e.g. whether to study dance or psychology. You may want to continue studies or take up a job.

(iii) Social pressures may be brought about from people who make excessive demands on us. This can cause even greater pressure when we have to work with them. Also, there are people with whom we face interpersonal difficulties, ‘a personality clash’ of sorts.

(iv) Internal pressures stem from beliefs based upon expectations from inside us to ourselves such as, ‘I must do everything perfectly’. Such expectations can only lead to disappointment. 

6. Describe how life skills can help meet life’s challenges. 

Ans: Life skills are abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Our ability to cope depends on how well we are prepared to deal with and counterbalance everyday demands, and keep equilibrium in our lives. These life skills can be learned and even improved upon. Assertiveness, time management, rational thinking, improving relationships, self-care, and overcoming unhelpful habits such as perfectionism, procrastination, etc. are some life skills that will help to meet the challenges of life.

7. Discuss the factors that lead to positive health and well-being. 

Ans: It is unlikely that we will go through life without some experience of personal crises causing acute pressure for a while. Many people sail through and rebuild their lives very positively. They are likely to have constructive attitudes and also have lots of emotional and social support of various kinds available to them. When we find ways of managing these pressures and can use the energy to create something positive out of the situation, then we will have learned to survive healthily and this will leave us more stress fit for future crises. It is like being immunised against the dangers of unhealthy stress. 

(i) Stress Resistant Personality: Recent studies by Kobasa have shown that people with high levels of stress but low levels of illness share three characteristics, which are referred to as the personality traits of hardiness. It consists of ‘the three Cs’, i.e. commitment, control, and challenge. 

(ii) Hardiness is a set of beliefs about oneself, the world, and how they interact. It takes shape as a sense of personal commitment to what you are doing, a sense of control over your life, and a feeling of challenge. Stress resistant personalities have control which is a sense of purpose and direction in life; commitment to work, family, hobbies and social life; and challenge, that is, they see changes in life as normal and positive rather than as a threat. Everyone does not have these characteristics, many of us have to relearn specific life skills in areas such as rational thinking, and assertiveness to equip ourselves better to cope with the demands of everyday life, etc. images from the past, which affect our perception of the present and the future. 

Some of the principles of rational thinking are: challenging your distorted thinking and irrational beliefs, driving out potentially intrusive negative anxiety -provoking thoughts, and making positive statements. 

(iii) Improving Relationships: The key to a sound lasting relationship is communication. This consists of three essential skills: listening to what the other person is saying, expressing how you feel and what you think, and accepting the other person’s opinions and feelings, even if they are different from your own. It also requires us to avoid misplaced jealousy and sulking behaviour.

8. How does stress affect the immune system?

Ans: Immune system and make one feel better to cope with stresses of life. The key to healthy living is to eat three main meals a day, and eat a varied well-balanced diet. How much nutrition one needs depends on one’s activity level, genetic make-up, climate, and health history. What people eat, and how much do they weigh involve behavioural processes. Some people are able to maintain a healthy diet and weight while others become obese. When we are stressed, we seek ‘comfort foods’ which are high in fats, salt and sugar.

9. Give an example of a life event which is likely to be stressful. Suggest reasons why it is likely to cause different degrees of stress to the person experiencing it. 

Ans: Losing a long-term job is a life event which is likely to be a cause of stress to an individual. A person’s response to stress largely depends on how the events are appraised or interpreted. This was explained by Lazorus in his Cognitive theory of stress.

10. Given what you know about coping strategies, what suggestions would you give to your friends to avoid stress in their everyday lives. 

Ans: (i) Practice Mindfulness and Meditation:

(a) Mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness practices such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These techniques can help centre your thoughts and reduce stress.

(b) Meditation Apps: Use apps like Headspace or Calm for guided meditation sessions.

(ii) Exercise Regularly:

(a) Physical Activity: Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine. Exercise releases endorphins, which improve mood and reduce stress.

(b) Variety of Activities: Find physical activities you enjoy, whether it’s walking, running, dancing, or swimming.

(iii) Maintain a Healthy Diet:

(a) Balanced Nutrition: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid excessive caffeine, sugar, and processed foods.

(b) Hydration: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

(iv) Prioritise Sleep: 

(a) Consistent Schedule: Maintain a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

Sleep Environment: Create a restful sleep environment by keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool.

(v) Time Management:

(a) Prioritise Tasks: Make a to-do list and prioritise tasks. Break large tasks into smaller, manageable steps.

(b) Set Boundaries: Learn to say no and set boundaries to avoid overcommitting yourself.

11. Reflect on the environmental factors that have 

(a) A positive impact on the being.

Ans: Health is a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Positive health comprises the following constructs: “a healthy body; high quality of personal relationships; a sense of purpose in life; self-regard, mastery of life’s tasks; and resilience to stress, trauma, and change”.Specifically, factors that act as stress buffers and facilitate positive health are diet, exercise, positive attitude, positive thinking, and social support.

(b) A negative effect. 

Ans: Negative events are appraised for their possible harm, threat or challenge. Harm is the assessment of the damage that has already been done by an event. Threat is the assessment of possible future damage that may be brought about by the event. Challenge appraisals are associated with more confident expectations of the ability to cope with the stressful event, the potential to overcome and even profit from the event. When we perceive an event as stressful.

12. We know that certain lifestyle factors can cause stress and may lead to diseases like cancer and coronary heart disease, yet we are unable to change our behaviour. Explain why?

Ans: Changing behaviour, especially when it involves lifestyle factors that can lead to diseases like cancer and coronary heart disease, is challenging for several reasons:

(i) Habits and Addiction: 

(a) Habits: Behaviours, especially those repeated over a long period, become habits that are hard to break.

(b) Addiction: Some lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and unhealthy eating, can lead to physical and psychological addiction.

(ii) Psychological Factors:

(a) Stress and Coping Mechanisms: Many unhealthy behaviours are used as coping mechanisms for stress. Removing these behaviours can initially increase stress levels.

(b) Denial and Perceived Invincibility: People often believe they are less at risk than others, leading to denial about the potential consequences of their behaviour.

(c) Immediate Gratification: Unhealthy behaviours often provide immediate pleasure or relief, whereas the benefits of healthy behaviours are long-term.

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