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MANAGING STRESS. Chapter 5. THE VENTURA COLLEGE HEALTH CENTER OFFERS FREE PERSONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING (805) 289 – 6346. Student Stress Scale. Complete the survey and bring your results to class. https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/183433.p.

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  1. MANAGING STRESS Chapter 5


  3. Student Stress Scale.Complete the survey and bring your results to class • https://www.baylor.edu/content/services/document.php/183433.p

  4. 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT STRESS • Everyone feels stressed from time to time. But what is stress? How does it affect your health? And what can you do about it? • Stress is how the brain and body respond to any demand. • Every type of demand or stressor—such as exercise, work, school, major life changes, or traumatic events—can be stressful. • Stress can affect your health. It is important to pay attention to how you deal with minor and major stress events so that you know when to seek help. • STRESS AFFECTS EVERYONE • NOT ALL STRESS IS BAD • LONG TERM STRESS CAN HARM YOUR HEALTH • THERE ARE WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR STRESS • IF YOU ARE OVERWHELMED BY STRESS, ASK FOR HELP FROM A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL

  5. WHAT IS A STRESSOR? • Definition for a stressor is: • An event or context that elevates adrenaline and triggers the stress response because it throws the body out of balance and forces it to respond. • The threat, event or change are commonly called stressors. • Stressors can be internal (thoughts) or external (life events) • Environmental stressors (elevated sound levels, over-illumination, overcrowding) • Daily stress events (e.g. traffic, lost keys) • Life changes (e.g. divorce, bereavement) • Workplace stressors (e.g. harassment, lack of control)

  6. Managing Stress • STRESS AND EVERYDAY LIFE • Stress - an event or series of events that lead to strain, often results in physical and psychological health problems • Sources of stress are frustrations, conflicts, pressures, and change • Learning to cope with stress is essential to maintain wellness • Stress has both positive (eustress) and negative (distress) effects Either we control stress, or stress controls us STRESS AND THE HARDY PERSONALITY • Some people seem to be especially resilient and are better able to cope with stress • Distinguishing characteristics of hardy people are • A liking for challenge • A strong sense of commitment • An internal locus of control

  7. What is the Fight or Flight Response? • This is the body’s response to perceived threat or danger. • During this reaction, certain hormones like adrenalin and cortisol are released, speeding the heart rate, slowing digestion, shunting blood flow to major muscle groups, and changing various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength. • Originally named for its ability to enable us to physically fight or run away when faced with danger, it’s now activated in situations where neither response is appropriate, like in traffic or during a stressful day at work. When the perceived threat is gone, systems are designed to return to normal function via the relaxation response, but in our times of chronic stress, this often doesn’t happen enough, causing damage to the body.

  8. EUSTRESS V.S. DISTRESS Eustress or positive stress occurs when your level of stress is high enough to motivate you to move into action to get things accomplished. Distress or negative stress occurs when your level of stress is either too high or too low and your body and/or mind begin to respond negatively to the stressors.

  9. Stress and the Hardy Personality • Some people seem to be especially resilient and are better able to cope with stress • Distinguishing characteristics of hardy people are • A liking for challenge • A strong sense of commitment • An internal locus of control


  11. ALARM STAGE • As you begin to experience a stressful event or perceive something to be stressful psychological changes occur in your body. • This experience or perception disrupts your body’s normal balance and immediately your body begins to respond to the stressor(s) as effectively as possible. • Cardiac - increased heart rate • Respiratory - increased respiration • Skin - decreased temperature • Hormonal - increased stimulation of adrenal glands which produce an adrenal rush.

  12. RESISTANCE STAGE • During this stage your body tries to cope or adapt to the stressors by beginning a process of repairing any damage the stressor has caused. • Your friends, family or co-workers may notice changes in you before you do so it is important to examine their feedback to make sure you do not reach overload. Emotional indicators include: • tearfulness • fear • anxiety • panic • guilt • agitation • depression • overwhelmed.

  13. EXHAUSTION STAGE • During this stage the stressor is not being managed effectively. • The body and mind are not able to repair the damage. • At this stage, the body has depleted its energy resources by continually trying but failing to recover from the initial alarm reaction stage. • Once it reaches the exhaustion stage, a person's body is no longer equipped to fight stress. They may experience: • Stress related health conditions: heart disease, obesity, addiction, migraines, gastrointestinal problems. • Fatigue • Depression • Anxiety and more

  14. EXAMPLES • Digestive disorders, withdrawal, headaches, tension, insomnia, loss of temper.

  15. Destructive Reactions to Stress: • Reactions to stress can be viewed on a continuum from being effective and adaptive, on one end, to being ineffective and maladaptive, on the other. • If your reactions to stress are ineffective over a long period of time, this failure typically results in physical and psychological harm. • Defensive Behavior: If your experience stress, you may react by attempting to defend your self-concept by denying or distorting reality. • Drugs and Alcohol: Americans rely heavily on drugs to alleviate symptoms of stress, rather than looking at the lifestyle that produces stress. • We are likely to ignore our body messages. • A drawback to using drugs and alcohol, is that we numb ourselves physically and psychologically. • Ultimately they compound our problems. • Once the effects of the drugs wear off, we are still confronted by the painful reality that we sought to avoid. • The problem here is that stress is now controlling us, instead of our controlling stress.

  16. Burnout as a Result of Continual Stress: • Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual exhaustion. • People who are burned out have depleted themselves on all levels of human functioning; they have forgotten to take care of themselves. • They generally feel negative about themselves and others, they strive for unrealistic goals which leads to a chronic state of feeling frustrated and let down. • Burnout is characterized by feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. • If we do not have a variety of leisure pursuits that give us meaning, there is a high potential for burnout. • One of the ways to deal with this condition, is to recognize it first, and to make changes in our lives. • Realize that unless you take care of your emotional and physiological needs first, you will not be able to take care of others. • Prevention is the key!!

  17. Constructive Reactions to Stress: • The following are characteristics of constructive coping: • it involves direct confrontation with a problem • it entails staying in tune with reality • it is based on accurate and realistic appraisal of a stressful situation, rather than on a distortion of reality • it involves learning to recognize and inhibit of harmful emotional reactions to stress • it entails a conscious and rational effort to evaluate alternative courses of action • it is not dominated by wishful or irrational thinking. Dealing with Self-Defeating Thoughts and Messages: • The basic notion here is that most of our stresses result from our beliefs about the way life is or should be. • We need to rid ourselves of negative self-talk. Acquiring a Sense of Humor: • Too many of us take ourselves far too seriously and have a difficult time learning how to enjoy ourselves • this leaves very little room for expressing the child within us. • If we learn to “lighten up”. • We need to give fun a high priority in life.

  18. I’M IN CONTROL - DISTRESS RELIEF STRATEGIES Feeling good about yourselves can be an effective buffer against stress. Eliminate unnecessary worries. Most worries are either passed on to us by another or conjured up in our imagination. GET PHYSICAL 1. Relax neck and shoulders 2. Stretch your body (yoga) 3. Get a massage 4. Exercise GET MENTAL 5. Count to 10 6. Control your thoughts 7. Fantasize 8. Congratulate yourself 9. Ignore the problem if appropriate, after evaluation 10. Perform self maintenance 11. Talk to a counselor or therapist

  19. GET SPIRITUAL 12. Meditate 13. Pray 14. Remember your purpose USE YOUR BODY AND MIND TOGETHER 15. Take a break 16. Get hug therapy 17. Try progressive relaxation 18. Try yoga 19. Try aroma therapy 20. Laugh DEVELOP NEW SKILLS 21. Prioritize daily tasks 22. Learn something 23. Practice a hobby

  20. Developing a Type B Personality: • The best long-range way to deal with stress, is to make substantial changes in one’s way of living. • Type B people are not slaves of time, and are not preoccupied with achievements and aggressive competition. • They are able to relax and have fun without feeling guilty. • They are able to play without the need to win at any cost. • It also entails learning a balance in life, especially a balance between work and play. Meditation: • Simply sitting quietly and letting your mind wander or looking within can be a simple form of meditation. • There are many self-help books that teach one how to meditate. Relaxation: • If we can genuinely learn to relax and take care of ourselves in a positive and nurturing way, the benefits will enhance our lives and those of other people who live with us.

  21. The Relaxation Response • The relaxation response is a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress • e.g., decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. • If practiced regularly, it can have lasting effects when encountering stress throughout the day and can improve health.

  22. Elicitation of the Relaxation Response • Sit quietly in a comfortable position. • Close your eyes. • Deeply relax all your muscles, beginning at your feet and progressing up to your face. Keep them relaxed. • Breathe through your nose. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe out, say the word, "ONE", silently to yourself. For example, breathe IN ... OUT, "ONE",- IN .. OUT, "ONE", etc. Breathe easily and naturally. • Continue for 10 to 20 minutes. You may open your eyes to check the time, but do not use an alarm. When you finish, sit quietly for several minutes, at first with your eyes closed and later with your eyes opened. Do not stand up for a few minutes.. • Do not worry about whether you are successful in achieving a deep level of relaxation. Maintain a passive attitude and permit relaxation to occur at its own pace. When distracting thoughts occur, try to ignore them by not dwelling upon them and return to repeating "ONE." With practice, the response should come with little effort. Practice the technique once or twice daily. • Regular elicitation of the relaxation response has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for a wide range of stress-related disorders. In fact, to the extent that any disease is caused or made worse by stress, the relaxation response can help. • The relaxation response can be brought forth through many techniques in addition to the method above, such as imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, repetitive prayer, meditation, repetitive physical exercises, and breath focus. The Relaxation Response, Herbert Benson, M.D.:

  23. The following is a list on different ways to relax: • sitting in a quiet place for as few as ten minutes a day and just letting your mind wander. • listening to music and fully hearing and feeling it (without making it the background for another activity). • sleeping deeply and restfully. • being involved in a pleasurable hobby. • engaging in sports that have the effect of calming you. • asking for and receiving a massage. • walking in the woods or on the beach. • closing your eyes and listening to the sounds in nature. • stop to smell the roses.  • listening to the sounds of your breathing. • practicing some form of meditation each day. • relaxing in a hot tub. • allowing yourself to have fun with your friends • regularly practicing muscle-relaxation exercises. • practicing some form of self-hypnosis to cut down stress.

  24. Other Suggestions for Managing Stress • Think of ways to simplify your life • Learn and practice a variety of relaxation exercises • During the day – pause and remember to breathe • Make the time each day to do what you really enjoy doing • Keep your mind focused on what you are experiencing in the present • SOLITUDE: Make the time to be alone on a regular basis • Be kind to yourself --- and to others • Be part of the solution

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