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Stress Management


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Title: Stress Management

Stress Management
Stress Management
  • Hans Selye
  • the nonspecific response of the body to any
    demand made upon it.
  • That is a very broad definition. It is brought
    up here to make you realize that anything you do
    to your body or mind will cause some reaction.
    That reaction is broadly defined as stress.

Eustress and Distress
  • Eustress good stress. This type of stress
    promotes positive functioning and growth.
  • Distress negative stress. This refers to stress
    that becomes debilitating and causes folks to
    withdraw from situations.
  • Homeostasis a constant balancing act where
    eustress and distress are the variables.

  • General Adaptation Syndrome
  • This is Selyes view on what happens to us each
    time we encounter stress.
  • Three phases to the process
  • Alarm initial response that attempts to return
    the body to homeostasis.
  • Resistance process of adjusting to the stressor
    and adapting to the new situation.
  • Exhaustion attempts to pacify the stressor have
    been unsuccessful and normal functioning is now

Non-biological Theories of Stress
  • Richard Lazarus
  • neither an environmental stimulus, a
    characteristic of the person, nor a response, but
    a relationship between demands and the power to
    deal with them without unreasonable or
    destructive costs
  • PERCEPTION takes center stage as only each person
    can decide what stimulus results in stress for

DQ 6 Do you agree more with Selye or Lazarus?
Categories of Stressors
  • Acute time-limited stressors short duration with
    an event of importance to the moment but not the
    future. Example trying to find your missing
    sock or your keys, being rushed before you leave
    the house.

Categories of Stressors
  • Brief naturalistic stressors not referring to
    nature. This category deals with stressors that
    are of larger importance and have a longer
    lasting effect. Ex. taking an exam.
  • Stressful event sequences results from major
    life altering circumstances. The individual
    knows there will be an end or a lessening of
    symptoms. Ex. planning a wedding or a
    graduation party.

Categories of Stressors
  • Chronic stressors stressors without an end in
    sight. Ex. college is an example of a chronic
  • Distant stressors stressors that occurred long
    ago but still cause problems in current time.
    Ex. child abuse or perhaps you were cheated on
    long ago and still harbor those feelings towards
    your current other.

The Stressor
  • All theories involve a stressor.
  • Stressor any stimulus with the potential for
    triggering a fight-or-flight response.
  • Fight-or-flight what our bodies instinctively do
    to prepare us to either
  • Run from the stressor to avoid it.
  • Stand our ground and take on the stressor.

The Stressor
  • Not always a physical harm issue.
  • Environmental toxins, heat, cold.
  • Psychological self-esteem, depression.
  • Sociological being fired, death of a friend.
  • All stressors cause the same physiologic
    responses. If it is not a physical harm issue,
    those byproducts accumulate.
  • Elevated blood pressure, increased muscular
    contractions, serum cholesterol, and an increase
    in stomach acid production.

Stress Reactivity
  • How your body reacts to the stressor.
  • Increase muscular tension, heart rate, blood
    pressure, neural excitability, sodium retention,
    perspiration, serum glucose, stomach acid
    production, urination.
  • Decrease saliva.
  • Alters respiration rate, brain waves.
  • If these products are not used, they will
    accumulate and become detrimental to our health.

Stress Reactivity
  • Duration how long your body is away from its
    normal physiology.
  • Degree how large of a discrepancy there is
    between the stress response and your normal
  • One prong of stress management is getting those
    physiologic responses back to normal as quickly
    as possible.

Physiological Stress Reactions
  • Hormones are key.
  • Epinephrine (adrenaline) is released to prepare
    your body to deal with the stress.
  • Begins the fight or flight response.
  • Cortisol
  • Conversion of fats and proteins to CHO so the
    body has the fuel needed for combating the
  • Increased belly fat storage.
  • Increased levels from uncontrollable /
    unpredictable stressors.

Emotional Personality Traits
  • How we are taught to deal/cope with stress from
    our parents has a major impact on our
  • Type A (higher stress levels), Type B
  • A too much to do, not enough time over
    multi-task, perfectionist, hostile, cynics,
    mistrustful, angry, suspicious.
  • B relaxed, calm.
  • Can still have equal ambition and success as A.

Relationship between stress and illness.
Stress Interactions
  • Stress Immunity
  • Acute Helps fire up the immune system.
  • Chronic Debilitates the immune system.
  • Stress Digestion
  • Increase fluid and fiber intake to lessen
    symptoms caused by stress on digestion.
  • Over OR under eating depends on each person.
    Some folks eat more to calm themselves, others
    forget to eat.

College Stress
  • Research shows the number of students stating
    they are overwhelmed going down.
  • Annually stress levels begin low and raise high.
    Final exams, term projects, major presentations
    are all due at the end and not in the 1st week of
  • Perennial stress levels are high to low meaning
    you are more stressed as a freshman than as a

DQ 7 Why is college stress going down?
College Stress
  • First-generation college students experience
    significantly elevated stress levels.
  • Link to alcohol is not substantiated with regard
    to stress. Does stress cause drinking or the
    other way around? College students break the
    mold because we drink when we are happy and not
    just when we are sad.

Olympic Athletes Study
  • A study was done by Dr. Dan Gould looking at
    medal winners vs. non-medal winners. Understand
    that at the Olympic level coaching, training, and
    nearly all physical variables are equally
    distributed across competitors.
  • The largest difference between the folks that won
    medals and those that did not was the COPING
    STRATEGIES the winners utilized.

Olympic Athletes Study
  • Even at the Olympic level unexpected events
    occur. How those folks dealt with those
    surprises was the biggest difference between
    winners and losers.
  • How we perceive a stressor, either as a challenge
    we can overcome or as a threat we need to
    withdraw from, goes a long way to determining our
    stress response.

Threat vs. Challenge in College
  • Each situation is viewed differently across
    people because of their perceptions.
  • Taking an exam
  • Threat feelings of anger, a lack of preparation
    may occur, and a negative outlook towards the
  • Challenge increased preparation, view the test
    as an opportunity to show a high level of

Stress Management
  • Impractical, if not impossible, to eliminate
  • Probably not beneficial to eliminate stress as it
    can increase motivation and productive
  • The overwhelming goal is to decrease the harmful
    effects associated with stress.

Stress Model
  • Intervention any activity designed to block the
    harmful effects of a stressor.
  • Cognitive Appraisal how each person interprets
    the situation.
  • Public speaking is a perfect example of this.
    Some folks view public speaking as a threat and
    it becomes a debilitating situation. If I felt
    that way I should have picked a different
    profession because teaching usually involves
    public speaking.

Stress Model
  • If a situation is perceived as stressful an
    emotional response occurs.
  • The physiological responses quickly follow and
    the body is then prepared to fight-or-flight.
  • Illness or adaptation are two options that occur
    at the end of the stress model.

Stress Model
Stress Model
  • It is important to realize that the model does
    not always follow linearly.
  • When you have an emotional response of anger and
    then take that out on someone else you may have
    just encountered a new life situation prior to
    finishing the previous one.
  • Similarly, one complete model may lead directly
    into a new round of going through the model. A
    disease may be a consequence of the 1st stress
    model and lead you directly to a new life
    situation starting a new round.

  • Roadblocks are any activity that you employ to
    short-circuit the stress model.
  • You can employ roadblocks at any point during the
    stress model. The earlier in the model you can
    employ a roadblock the better off youll be.
  • If you can strive to find a positive in each
    situation, or to place a lower value on an event,
    you will stop the model at the cognitive

Comprehensive Management
  • Roadblocks do not remove all stress from a
    situation. If you think of stress in terms of a
    quantity, the residual amount goes on to the next
    step in the stress model.
  • That realization has led to the term
    Comprehensive Stress Management (CSM).
  • CSM being able to employ a variety of roadblocks
    at each level along the model.

Stress Model as a Roadway
Hassels Uplifts
  • Hassels daily events that are typically
  • Shoe lace breaks.
  • Drop your toast on the floor.
  • Forget your lunch.
  • Uplifts daily events that are typically
  • You look nice today.
  • Job well done.
  • Thanks for
  • Playing with your puppy or children.

Hassels Health
  • Hassels predictive of psychological distress,
    dynamics of stress and aging, and related to
    poorer mental and physical health.
  • Your response to the hassle is key! Breaking your
    shoe lace means you may have to change your
    shoes. It doesnt mean you will now have a bad
    day, week, or that you are cursed. Just because
    a hassle occurs doesnt mean you have to allow it
    to become a stress potential life event.

  • Interpersonal situations that involve others.
  • Saying No is difficult for many people. You
    dont want to disappoint a friend or you may
    realize you may want a return favor later.
  • However, protecting your own time is invaluable
    and everyone needs to learn how to say No.

Asserting Yourself
  • Assertive Behavior expressing yourself and
    fulfilling your own needs.
  • Friend What movie do you want to see tonight?
  • You I really want to see that new Will Ferrell
  • Often times the response to the question is I
    dont know, I dont care, Whatever you want.
    Those are the opposite of asserting yourself.

Asserting Yourself
  • Nonassertive behavior sacrificing your needs to
    satisfy someone elses.
  • Husband Where do you want to go to dinner
  • Wife Whatever you want is fine with me.
  • Husband Sweet. I have really been wanting to
    try out the new Sports Bar with an all you can
    eat BBQ while we watch the Cubs game.

Asserting Yourself
  • Aggressive behavior seeking to dominate or to
    get your own way at the expense of others.
  • Wife I was really hoping to go see the high
    school play this weekend.
  • Husband That isnt an option. You know I hate
    those things and then I wont have fun and then
    well get into a fight and you wont have fun
    either. We should just stay home.

Asserting Yourself
  • Asserting yourself can be a difficult skill to
  • Stress comes when you repeatedly deny your own
    needs and put others before yourself.
  • The trick is to be understanding, courteous, and
    respectful when asserting yourself.

Nonverbal Assertiveness
  • Words need to match actions to show maximum
  • Good upright posture, facing the people you are
    talking to, speak clearly and loud enough for
    folks to hear easily, and speak with confidence
    and without hesitation.

Verbal Assertiveness DESC
  • Describe use clear and distinct words to give
    detail on the situation.
  • When you sit around all day watching baseball
  • Express relate your feelings.
  • I have to cook, clean, and take care of the
  • Specify identify at least 1 way you would like
    the situation to change.
  • I want you to take the dogs for a walk before
    you sit to watch the game.

Verbal Assertiveness DESC
  • Consequence tell the other person what will
    happen if s/he does not abide by your request.
  • I will not cook until after you take the dogs
    for a walk.
  • Remember to use assertive body language when you
    utilize the DESC pattern for forming your

Conflict Resolution
  • Conflict is often a major source of stress
    potential life situations.
  • The more frequent and longer duration of your
    conflicts the more stress you experience.
  • The more stress you experience the more likely
    you are to get into a conflict.
  • Rinse and repeat! ?

Conflict Resolution
  • Major problems w/ communicating in conflict
  • Lack of listening.
  • Attempts to win.
  • Inability to demonstrate an understanding of the
    other persons point of view / perceptions.
  • A refusal to consider or accept solutions you
    didnt think of or propose.

Time Management
  • Time is always used and not ever saved.
  • The goal is to limit the amount of time wasted.
    However, that is not to say that time spent
    unproductively was wasted.
  • Watching a movie or playing a video game are not
    necessarily wastes of time. They can be great
    stress relievers.
  • Be very careful if you choose to make a comment
    about how someone else uses his/her time. Not
    everyone has the same perceptions.

Social Support
  • Social support may be our best ally in combating
    stress potential life situations.
  • Folks experiencing a great deal of stress
    potential life situations that had multiple
    friends / family members to rely upon experienced
    comparable stress levels to someone that did not
    experience a similar situation.

Social Support 3 Types
  • Tangible support your car breaks and your friend
    lets you use her car so you can go to work.
  • Emotional support having a friend listen to you
    while you vent about work or school.
  • Informational support asking a friend for advice
    and trusting that s/he has your best interest at

Social Support 2 Ways
  • Informational support may be to such a high
    quality that it prevents you from putting
    yourself in a stress potential life situation.
    That advice then had a direct effect on your own
    personal stress model.
  • Stress buffering theory is when some form of
    social support stops the stress model before it
    gets to negative consequences.

  • Perceptions does not always equal reality.
  • Perceptions are not always equal across people.
  • I view an unmade bed as comfy and ready to be
    slept in!
  • My wife views the same unmade bed as messy,
    annoying, and a reminder that she has one more
    thing to do.

Selective Awareness
  • We are constantly bombarded by sensory
    experiences. What we choose to pay attention to
    is usually under our own control.
  • Every situation has good and bad. Sometimes it
    is difficult to find both, but they are always
    there. You have to select how you view the

Selective Awareness
  • You could perceive this Power Point as terribly
    boring and that this class is not what you
  • You could perceive this class as being very
    practical and take whatever lessons you can and
    use them in your life to make your stress load a
    little lighter.

  • As I sit here I have a concert of crickets
    blasting away. While a part of me certainly
    wishes their instruments would all suddenly go
    quiet, the majority of me realizes I am fortunate
    enough to be sitting in the yard of the home I
    own and that is my orchestra of crickets blasting

  • It can be very difficult to find enjoyment in
    many activities. However difficult the challenge
    is, the reward is almost certainly greater.
  • It has been said happiness is the secret to life.
    If you accept that and happiness is the absence
    of distress. Then finding ways to limit your
    distress will allow you to experience happiness.
  • Everyone is a better husband, wife, friend,
    neighbor, etc. when they are happy.

Attitude of Gratitude
  • This is simply appreciating what you have.
  • All of us have many things to be grateful for.
    We just have to take the time and put forth the
    mental energy to realize all of the things we
  • This concept can quickly turn to religion but it
    does not have to. You can thank your wife for
    her social support and be grateful that she gives
    it to you so easily.

  • Humor has been shown to be an effective means of
    dealing with stress.
  • It has a primary use of defusing stressful
  • Think of the Star Wars movies. At some point
    during the most tense moments in the movie, the
    camera will shift to C-3PO and R2-D2 for comic
    relief. That humor lowers the tension and thus
    allows it to be ratcheted up again later.

  • 14 yr. olds laugh every 4 minutes.
  • Adults laugh only 15 X / day!
  • Humor has been shown to
  • Improve immune system function.
  • Increase tolerance of pain.
  • Decrease the stress response.
  • Patch Adams, the movie with Robin Williams, was
    based on a real individual.

Stress Reduction Techniques Self-Selected
  • Breathing
  • Refocusing
  • Serenity breaks
  • Stress signals
  • Reality checks
  • Stress inoculation
  • Laugh
  • Spiritual coping
  • Sublimination
  • Exercise
  • Journaling

Stress Reduction Techniques Requiring
  • Progressive relaxation the process of
    alternating tensing and relaxing all the muscles
    of the body. Upon completion you feel more
  • Imagery creating mental pictures or scenes that
    help you calm down and relax.

Stress Reduction Techniques Requiring
  • Self-talk (scripts) making a set of statements
    that you can use to elevate your confidence or
    calm your nervous.
  • Hypnosis seeing a hypnotherapist to assist you
    in calming down and coping with stressful

Stress Reduction Techniques Requiring
  • Systematic desensitization is the process of
    exposing you to something stressful on a very
    small scale and working up to more stressful
  • If you are scared of spiders
  • Look at a picture of a spider
  • Be in a very large room with a spider
  • Be in a small room with a spider
  • Touch a spider

Helpful Hints for Stress Reduction
  • Schedule your time. Knowing what you are going
    to do and when you are going to do things will
    keep you on schedule and avoid the stress of
    being rushed or late.
  • Plan ahead. Similar to above but with a longer
    outlook. Paying attention to upcoming events or
    due dates will allow you to be more fully

Helpful Hints for Stress Reduction
  • Find time robbers. These are little activities
    that you do that soak up minutes without you
    noticing. Checking email or voicemail repeatedly
    are two examples.
  • Dont procrastinate. We all know what this is
    do not wait until just before deadlines to
    accomplish your tasks.

Helpful Hints for Stress Reduction
  • Your study style. However you study best is
    perfect! Music on or off? Bright room or low
    lighting? Do you read the textbook before
    lecture and after? It really does NOT matter.
    What you have to do is find the pattern that
    works for you and use it.

Helpful Hints for Stress Reduction
  • Focus on current task. Do not worry about next
    week when you have something right in front of
    you that must be done now.
  • This is also studying when it is study time. Not
    Googling something and ending up on Ebay for 20
    minutes. Then finding yourself on Wikepedia,
    then checking email, then

Helpful Hints for Stress Reduction
  • Chunk large projects. Large projects are usually
    best done in portions. Sitting down and
    attempting to do too much at one sitting will
    decrease your quality of work.

Helpful Hints for Stress Reduction
  • Clean and clear workspace. Keeping your desk free
    of distractions and having enough space to lay
    out any materials you may need.
  • This also includes your email inbox! Do not
    accumulate old messages that will tend to
    distract you when you check for new messages.
    Create a stored message folder, respond, or
    delete but dont just let them sit in your inbox.