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Stress – The Impacts of Stress

4. Coping with Stress

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About this Lecture


This fourth lecture approaches coping with stress, starting by outlining the two primary drug types used to regulate stress levels: benzodiazepines and beta blockers. Benzodiazepines are outlined as working by activating the naturally occurring gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, which serves to decrease brain activity and create a state of relaxation. Beta blockers, also used to control high blood pressure, block the action of adrenaline and noradrenaline directly, reducing the feelings of increased heart rate when under stress. Drug treatments are criticised for only treating the symptoms of stress instead of the source, something that therapies like cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can do. Stress inoculation training is a form of CBT, designed to prepare clients for stressful situations and increase their resilience to the effects of stress. A third method for coping with stress outlined is using biofeedback in a form of conditioning therapy. The last method discussed is social support, separated into Cutrona and Suhr’s five categories: informational, emotional, esteem, social support network and tangible support.


In this course, Dr Livia Tomova (University of Cambridge) explores the topic of stress. The first lecture discusses the physiological stress response, detailing the key hormones, organs and neurotransmitters involved in these complicated biological processes. The second lecture looks at sources of stress and the methods researchers have used to measure someone’s stress level or response. The third lecture expands on this by outlining individual differences in people’s responses to stressful situations, focusing on the concepts of hardiness and personality types. The fourth lecture describes four key methods for coping with stress: drug therapies, cognitive behavioural therapies, biofeedback, and social support. The fifth and final lecture explores how stress can impact cognition, specifically memory processes.

Note: Dr Livia Tomova is currently looking for 16-19 year old males in the Cambridge area to take part in a research project looking at how being alone affects young people’s cognition. Click here for more information.


Dr Livia Tomova is a research associate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, with an interest in how stress, loneliness and social isolation affect the brain and mind. Dr Tomova’s current research focuses on biological markers indicating vulnerability to the effects of isolation and loneliness in adolescents and young adults. Her recent publications include investigations into how social isolation can evoke cravings in the brain akin to the hunger response, and how acute stress can alter value representation. Dr Tomova’s other research interests include whether social media can fulfil social needs.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Tomova, L. (2021, December 03). Stress – The Impacts of Stress - Coping with Stress [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Tomova, Livia. "Stress – The Impacts of Stress – Coping with Stress." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 03 Dec 2021,

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