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Stress and Health - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Stress and Health. Stress Facts. The American Academy of Family Physicians estimates that 60% of the problems brought to physicians in the U.S. are stress related. Many are the result of stress; others are made worse or last longer because of it. Health Problems with Excessive Stress.

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Stress Facts

  • The American Academy of Family Physicians estimates that 60% of the problems brought to physicians in the U.S. are stress related. Many are the result of stress; others are made worse or last longer because of it.

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Health Problems with Excessive Stress

  • CHD and stroke

  • Gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers

  • Impaired immune system

  • Insomnia, headache

  • Backache

  • Drug & alcohol use

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How Stress Promotes Illness

  • Direct effect

    • Raises blood pressure

    • Impairs immune system

  • Indirect effect

    • Less positive behaviors (exercise, healthy diet, lack of sleep)

    • More negative behaviors (drinking, smoking, unhealthy diet)

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(The optimal amount of stress)

The Stress Target Zone

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Stress Continuum

  • Rust Out (Boredom)

    • Fatigue, frustration, dissatisfaction

  • Eustress

    • Creativity, problem solving, change, satisfaction

  • Burn Out (Distress)

    • Over-stimulation, ineffective problem solving, exhaustion, illness, low self-esteem

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Types of Stressors

  • Environmental

    • Heat, noise, crowding

  • Physiological

    • Drugs, caffeine, tobacco

  • Emotional (psycho-social)

    • Pressures, life

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Characteristics of Stressful Events

  • Negative

    • Harder to accept than

      • positive

  • Uncontrollable

    • Take control of what you

      • can

  • Ambiguous

    • Accompanies poorly defined

      • expectations

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Contemporary Views of the Nature of Stress

The Process of Stress

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Appraisal of Stressors

High Stress

See stressor as a threat




See stressor as a challenge

Low Stress

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  • Commitment

  • Control

  • Challenge

Are you a “Hardy” Person?

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Responses to Stress

  • Physiological

    • Increased HR

    • Tense muscles

  • Cognitive

    • Worry, lack of concentration

    • forgetfulness

  • Emotional

    • Anger, sense of dread

  • Behavioral

    • Less patient, hurrying

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Stressorwithin your control

Active CopingStrategies



Stressorout of your control

Passive CopingStrategies

Coping with Stress

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Active Coping Strategies




Problem Solving


Seeking Social Support

Passive Coping Strategies






Seeking Social Support

Types of Coping Strategies

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Types of Social Support

  • Informational

  • Material

  • Emotional

  • These may be either active or passive

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Summary of Stress

You may not be able to smooth out the surf, but you can learn to ride the waves!

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Steps for Stress Management:

  • Identify causes and symptoms of stress

  • Use measures to reduce stress

  • Seek solutions for avoiding stressors

    • Accept what can't be changed

    • Act on what can be changed

  • Maintain fitness and health

    • Better able to cope with stress when rested and in good shape

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Common Stress Reduction Techniques

  • Quick "time out"

  • Jacobson's progressive relaxation

  • Autogenic training

  • Biofeedback

  • Meditation / imagery

  • Exercise

Each technique will be discussed separately in subsequent slides.

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Quick "Time Out"

  • Deep breathing

  • Take mind off of problems

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Jacobson's Progressive Relaxation Technique

  • Involves alternate contraction and relaxation of muscles

  • Teaches person to identify stress-related tension in the body

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Autogenic Relaxation Training

  • Combines deep rhythmic breathing with soothing imagery

  • Feelings of heaviness and warmth facilitate process

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Meditation / Imagery

  • Relies on deep breathing

  • Facilitated by images of peace and relaxation

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  • Provides a break from reality

  • Improves mood and self-esteem

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  • Stress is a natural part of life but with appropriate stress management techniques you can learn to manage it more effectively.

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Time Management

  • Maximizing your available time

  • Focusing your time on your priorities

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Steps for Time Management

  • Step 1 Establish priorities

  • Step 2 Monitor current time use

  • Step 3 Analyze time use

  • Step 4 Make a schedule