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Eustress and Distress: Reactivation

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Jan Felicjan Terelak

The author of the book provides a comprehensive examination of stress, an integral part of people’s lives. In the first chapter, he reviews the 20th-century theories of stress, from biological mechanisms of stress through medical concepts to contemporary models of psychological stress. The second chapter provides a detailed classification of sources of stress, based on physical, chronobiological, psychological and social factors. In the third chapter, the author focuses on reactions to stress and presents them from physiological, emotional, cognitive and behavioral perspectives. The fourth chapter focuses on two theoretical constructs: resistance to stress and coping with stress. The author presents task-oriented, emotion-oriented and avoidance-oriented strategies of coping with stress and underlines the role of social support in dealing with stress.

The author emphasizes the fact that stress has many faces. It can be seen as "eustress", which has an important motivational function, forcing us to make efforts and achieve life goals, or "distress", which distracts us from achieving our goals and comfort of life.

Jan Felicjan Terelak is Professor at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Head of the Chair of Stress and Labor Psychology and Director of the Inter-University Psychological Laboratory. His scientific activity focuses on the problems of extreme stress psychology, aerospace and space psychology. As a researcher, he was involved in the psychological selection of pilots flying on jet aircraft and candidates for Polish astronauts for several decades. In the conditions of natural experiment, as one of four psychologists in the 20th Century, he conducted observations in Antarctica of a 20-person group of polar explorers for a period of 15 months over adaptation to tormenting social isolation from the perspective of future astronautical flights. He also conducted unique research at the space station on redistributing work and leisure time, and biorhythm disorders.