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Stress Management. Stress is the adjustment we make to any situation. This includes negative as well as positive situations. Anxiety Can’t sleep Over eating Upset stomach Fatigue Guilt Avoidance. Jealousy Nervous Irritated Headaches Need to escape Feeling “left out” Feeling “used”.

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stress management
Stress Management
  • Stress is the adjustment we make to any situation.
  • This includes negative as well as positive situations.
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Can’t sleep

Over eating

Upset stomach








Need to escape

Feeling “left out”

Feeling “used”

Stress Management

Negative Symptoms could include:

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Stress Management
  • Negative stress is not cancelled out by positive stress.
  • All stress is additive.
  • A lot of positive stresses can lead to a negative stress reaction.
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Stress Management

Defense Mechanisms:

These are mental/emotional devices that we use to reduce the stress that we do not want, or feel we are incapable of handling well.

These “devices” seem to be helpful, but over time are very destructive. They prevent us from dealing with reality, and retard our problem-solving abilities.

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Stress Management

Defense Mechanisms:

  • Defense mechanisms are introduced in this training package because they appear to be means of managing stress.
  • In fact they can reduce stress, but they do not remove stress and after a period of time they will add more stresses.
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Stress Management

Defense Mechanisms:

  • Denial – refusing to perceive reality
  • Rationalization – justifying behaviors with false reasons
  • Fantasy – escape to imagination
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Intellectualization – dealing with personal issues in an impersonal way

Projection – attributing one’s own problems or motives to others

Repression – avoiding painful thoughts from entering consciousness

Reaction Formation – repression plus exaggerated opposite behavior

Compensation – excelling in other areas

Stress Management
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Stress Management
  • Your stress is a result of your perception
  • Own the stress
  • Own the emotions
  • Know the difference between how you feel and how you behave
  • Know the difference between what must be done and what you prefer being done
  • Choose to grow problems or solutions
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Stress Management
  • Problem based coping?
  • Emotion based coping?
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Stress Management

Problem based coping

  • The stressor is something you can do something about
  • Action is required
  • Often risk is involved
  • Often several options are available
  • Think “solution”
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Stress Management

Emotional based coping

  • Problem is not solvable by your actions
  • You may need to seek protection
  • Closely examine your expectations/values
  • Acceptance
  • Find alternatives
  • Avoidance
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Stress Management

If we only blame our stress on the circumstance and have no awareness of how we are perceiving the circumstances it will make it very difficult (or impossible) to determine if emotion based coping is needed.

Awareness of our perception of stressful situations is essential. This is accomplished by asking: “What expectations do I have about these circumstances?”; “Are my expectations realistic?”; “Have I communicated my expectations?”; and “Are my expectations conflicting with others expectations that are also realistic?”

This type of personal evaluation may allow us to see how and why we set ourselves up for much of our stress.

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Stress Management

Owning your own stress and emotions –

As long as we are blaming our stress on circumstances outside our control, or on others, we are putting ourselves in the role of victims. We are playing the role of the helpless, and will remain unaware of the possible choices we really have.

In reality, sometimes we are victims, but probably much less than we think we are – much less! Stress management requires that we search to determine what our role was in the relationship to the stressful circumstances.

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Stress Management

By determining our role which will be some combination of actions, inactions, or expectations; we have found something that we can control or manage – ourselves.

This is the core of stress management – manage yourself. Not by controlling how you feel, but by controlling how you behave, and getting a handle on your expectations.

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Stress Management

Many of us were taught backwards. We believe that if we feel right we will act right. This is untrue, and a close honest examination of your life will verify this untruth.

The reality is – if you behave right you will feel right.

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Stress Management

There are no simple little “tricks” to stress management. Stress management means self management, and this is not always easy. In fact it is a life-long and sometimes arduous task.

The great benefit of this is that it puts the only person who should be in control of your life in control of it – you.

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