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Unformatted text preview: Stress Management Stress Stress: A state of mental or emotional strain (tension) which may lead to a variety of emotional responses Stress is high when you perceive you cannot meet the demands of a situation. Stressor: Any potential source of stress Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension or fear Stress: General Information A state of mental and emotional strain that leads to a variety of emotional reactions Can come from any change Even the most wellmanaged life is full of potentially stressful experiences Not all stress is bad How does stress affect us? Physical Symptoms Stomach ache Headache Dizziness Eye Strain Too much/little sleep Feelings Afraid/fear Anxious Excitement Anger Sadness / Depression How does stress affect us? Behavior Exaggerating normal behavior Withdrawing/Isolating Fights Procrastination / Avoidance Thoughts Negative automatic thoughts "This is horrible!" "I can't stand this!" "I'm going to fail" "I think I'm going crazy" The Fight or Flight response A series of biochemical changes that prepare you to deal with threat Provides immediate energy for emergencies Your body releases powerful stress hormones like: Adrenalin (Epinephrine) is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that participates in the "fight or flight" response of the sympathetic nerv. System. Cortisol is commonly known as "the stress hormone" (e.g.,breaks down glucose into fuel) The Fight or Flight response Our Central Nervous System (CNS) works to produce more oxygen and sugar in our blood to provide added energy to our muscles and brain. At the same time, our body reduces other systems (e.g., building muscles, creating new red blood cells, etc). Very adaptive in certain emergencies, but often problematic when your brain triggers this system when safety is not at stake. Can be turned off with the relaxation response Stress Management
Activity: Discuss a recent stressor and how you have been trying to manage it. What would a Jedi do? Keep track of the number of times you answer "yes" Quick Stress Test Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? Are you constantly worried about your future? Do you feel like you are always under pressure to "get things finished"? Do you use alcohol, drugs, or medications to relax or reduce tension? Do you often feel that you have less energy than you need to finish the day? Are stomachaches and/or headaches a common problem for you? Keep track of the number of times you answer "yes" Quick Stress Test Are you overly concerned with being "liked" or "accepted"? Do you have trouble finding time to have fun and enjoy yourself? Is it common for you to feel pressured to do far more things than you have time for? Is it difficult for you to find satisfaction in the simple pleasures of life? SCORE: 1 point for each yes. 5 or above is often indicative of a highly stressful lifestyle. Adapted from Dr. Richard Francisco Adaptive Aspect of Stress Motivation! Adapting to change Attention / staying focused Staying safe Planning ahead Experiencing excitement How does stress affect performance? Stress Stress: Mind/Body Connection Stressor Mind (What you think) Body (Physiological) You Mood (How you feel) Behaviors (What you do) Stress Response vs. Relaxation Response Increased heart rate Increased Muscle Tension Rapid shallow breaths Decreased immune functioning Inhibited digestion Decreased heart rate Decreased muscle tension Slow deep breaths Increased immune functioning Normal digestion Deep Breathing The diaphragm is the muscle that controls the size and frequency of breaths Breathing is automatic, but can be controlled Diaphragm contracts during stress Breathing becomes shallow and rapid Upper chest and shoulders rise up and down When relaxed these muscles are loose Breathing slows and deepens Abdomen rises and falls with breaths Voluntary DB puts body in a relaxed state Meditation Mindfulness meditation Paying attention in a particular way On Purpose In the Present Moment Nonjudgmentally - Jon Kabat-Zinn Observe thoughts like clouds passing in the sky ... Or a leaf floating down a stream Mindfulness Concepts Thoughts are just thoughts, they are not facts Don't believe everything you think! Too much of your life is spent dwelling on the past or worrying/fearing what will happen in the future Being more present and engaged in this moment, the one in which you are living, is a path to increased wellbeing and health Relaxation Exercise
Body Scan Begin by focusing on your breath Use your diaphragm to take slow deep breaths Mentally scan down the muscles in your body Gradually release the muscle tension in your face and continue down your body When going to sleep, imagine trying to leave your imprint in the sand Sleep hygiene Develop regular sleep times Avoid Caffeine Don't drink too many liquids before bed time Only use your bed for sleeping and sex Many people who have insomnia use their bed for talking on the phone, reading, worrying, etc This creates a connection in your mind between anxiety/arousal and your bed. Pair with relaxation Challenge unhelpful thoughts Ex. "If I don't fall asleep soon I won't be able to function"... "I'll just be a little more tired and irritable" Practice relaxation techniques Don't try to fall asleep, "I'll just relax my mind and body" Give yourself permission to let your worries go for the night Cognitive Restructuring (A) Activating Event (B) Belief (C) Behavioral/Emotional Consequence (D) Dispute Change the Perspective! (E)
New Effect Cognitive Distortions Catastrophizing: The worst possible outcomes for events are predicted. All-or-nothing thinking: You think in terms of extremes (i.e. complete success or total failure) Mind Reading: You assume you know what other people are thinking (usually presuming the worst) Cognitive Restructuring I can't handle this. I'm going to lose it! I'm really frustrated. I'll just do the best I can If I can't get this, I can't do anything right This is tough, but I'll get through it They all probably think I'm an idiot! I can't read minds; I'm being too hard on myself Planned pleasant activities Make weekly plans that you look forward to (can be simple and fun) Schedule monthly and yearly plans too! Having something to look forward to can help improve mood, manage stress, and may benefit your relationships Expressive writing Research has shown that writing about emotional circumstances in our lives can help us function better, both physically and emotionally (Thorne, 2004). An outlet for venting thoughts and emotions Take 10 minutes to write down thoughts and feelings Write for yourself, not as if you were going to share it Don't worry about grammar, or being repetitive Fine to express a wide range of thoughts & emotions This is for you, save or destroy your writings If too upsetting, switch topics, you are in charge! Social Support Family Friends Groups Talk to a counselor Stress management is one of the most common reasons for attending counseling To summarize... Stress is inevitable and can be adaptive Unmanaged chronic stress can be emotionally and physically harmful There are many actions we can take to successfully manage our stress Our thoughts play a major role in our response to stress and ability to cope Assertiveness
Three interpersonal Styles Passive Aggressive Assertive Your opinions, feelings and needs are withheld or expressed only in part You honestly state your feelings and needs, but at the expense of other's feelings. You clearly express your feelings, and needs, without violating the rights of others. Assertiveness Expressing personal rights and feelings in a way that does not violate the rights of others Describe thoughts, non-blaming description Use "I" statements to express your feelings Main message- trying to solve a problem, not blame Ex. "I felt hurt when I didn't see you at my birthday" Express your wants in specific behaviors Instead of, "Stop being so inconsiderate" "Could you call me next time if you can't make it?" Stress Management
David A. Emmert, Psy.D. Counseling Services Administration building, Room. 201 (408)-924-5910 www.sa.sjsu.edu/counseling Exercise and Nutrition Eat at least 3 healthy meals a day (mindfully) Exercise regularly (3x per week or more) Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night Nicotine & caffeine aggravate anxiety Make a weekly plan! Coping Statements
(a.k.a. affirmations) "I know it will get better" "I can only control myself" "I am proud of myself for trying this" "I can handle this challenge!" Find your own self-statements that are meaningful and feel right to you! ...
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