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KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in


Management and Prevention

Stress
Management and
Prevention
1

Program Resource
Guide

KA P L A N U N I V E R S I T Y

Stress Management and Prevention


Program Resource Guide

By
Kandice Damron
Kaplan University
HW410: Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention
Date of Assignment

Table of Contents
UNIT

STRESS

QUICK

FACTS

Information to Remember
Resources: Exercises: Exercises
Tools: Journal Writing: Journal Writing
UNIT

STRESS

DOES

WHAT?

Information to Remember
Resources: Exercises: Exercises
Tools: Journal Writing: Journal Writing
UNIT

PSYCHOLOGY

OF

STRESS

Information to Remember
Resources: Exercises: Exercises
Tools: Journal Writing: Journal Writing
UNIT

DOES

THIS

STRESS

M AKE

M E

LOOK

Information to Remember
Resources: Exercises: Exercises
Tools: Journal Writing
UNIT

HEL LO

STRESS,

YOU

AGAIN?

Information to Remember
Resources: Exercises
Tools: Journal Writing
UNIT

INHAL E,

EXHAL E,

Information to Remember
Resources: Exercises
Tools: Journal Writing

AND

HANG

UP!

FAT?

UNIT

NOT

SO

COM F O RT

F OOD

Information to Remember
Resources: Exercises
Tools: Journal Writing
UNIT

EXERCIS E

TO

EXERCISE

STRESS

Information to Remember
Resources: Exercises
Tools: Journal Writing
UNIT

THEN

THERE

IS

THE

Information to Remember
Resources: Exercises
Tools: Journal Writing
Tools: Journal Writing
ADDITI ONAL

INF ORM ATIO N

REAL

WORL D

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Unit

Unit 1: Stress Quick Facts


Information to Remember:

Stress is any perceived threat. This is an important notion because what may
seem as a threat to one person is not a threat to another. This explains why we
all act differently in the same situations. Some people will crack when giving
many obstacles at once but other people will thrive. It does not matter how
other people view a situation, stress is about the person being affected. If that
person feels threatened then the stress is very real regardless of what
someone else may think.

There are three types of stress: eustress, neustress, and distress. Eustress is
positive stress, things that motivate you to do better such as reaching a goal or
falling in love. Neustress is how it sounds, neutral. Neustress has no effect,
bad or good, such as drought in another country. Distress is what is commonly
considered just stress. Its the bad stuff and can be acute or chronic. Acute
distress is over quickly such as getting a flu shot over with (not fun), and
chronic distress is extended over time such as dealing with an annoying coworker or bills piling up.

Stress is not just mental and to treat stress you have to consider whole selfwellness. The wellness paradigm consists of spiritual wellness, emotional
wellness, mental wellness, and physical wellness. Stress plays a role in each of
these factors and affects every aspect of our wellness.

Resources: Exercises:

2
Unit

My Health Philosophy was a great exercise in considering my own opinion. To


actually acknowledge your feelings on health and wellness is to accept the
changes you need to make. This exercise enables you to consider how
important health and wellness really are to you and why.

Tools: Journal Writing:

Personal Stress Inventory: Top Ten Stressors: This is a form to list 10 of your
top stressors and really think about how they effect you. You have to identify
what part of your wellness they affect spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical.
Next you have to consider how long it has persisted and rather it elicits anger
or fear. It is eye opening to consider how something bothers you and in what
way. I had never consider if laundry made me anger or fearful, I always just
said stressed. This was an eye opening form that I believe needs to be
readdressed every so often to keep you in check.

Unit 2: Stress Does What?


Information to Remember:

Stress actually directly affects three systems in our bodies: the nervous
system, the endocrine system, and the immune system. The nervous system
includes the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The
endocrine system controls hormones, and the immune system fights disease.
All of these systems correlate directly with stress which shows how much of an
impact stress can actually have on our bodies; its much more that just
occasional head aches.

The brain is divided into three levels: vegetative, limbic, and neocortical. The
vegetative is the base and controls breathing, heartbeat, and all other
automatic functions of our bodies. The limbic system comes next and is
responsible for emotional responses. Finally the neocortex is where sensory
information is processed. Each of these levels of the brain are part of the CNS
along with the spinal cord and each can be manipulated by stress.

The endocrine system consists of glands, hormones, circulation, and target


organs. Stress affects the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands the most. The
adrenal gland is affected the most and it puts out corticosteroids and
glucocorticoids. The hypothalamus influences the pituitary gland that makes
hormones used by other parts of the body. By messing with this system, stress
effectively messes with everything within our body.

Tools: Journal Writing:

Physical Symptoms Questionnaire is a great way to consider how stress is


really affecting your body. You may be having symptoms that are stress
related and not even realize it. This questionnaire also gives pause to how
often the symptoms present themselves, how severe they are, and how long
they last. This is important because if this questionnaire is considered every
few months you may be able to spot patterns.

My Health Profile is another way to consider the affects stress may be having
on your body. This is another questionnaire that needs to be considered every
couple of months to spot changes and help to buffer the affect stress has on
our bodies. By seeing the problem we are giving ourselves a chance to correct
it, this survey aids in seeing the problem

Unit 3: Psychology of Stress

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Unit

Unit

Information to Remember:

Key learning point from the unit about Feast or Famine <insert your text>

Key learning point from the unit about Feast or Famine <insert your text>

Key learning point from the unit about Feast or Famine <insert your text>

Resources: Exercises:

List the title (s) of Exercise (s) selected to include in the resource guide
<insert your text>

Tools: Journal Writing:

List the title (s)of Journal Writing (s)selected to include in the resource guide
<insert your text>

Unit 4: Does This Stress Make Me Look Fat?


Information to Remember:

Stress prone personalities seem to attract stress to them. They include Type A
personality, codependency, helpless-hopeless personality, and Type D
personality. Type A people have some unresolved anger issues and have a
strong need to be in control of all aspects of their lives. Codependent people
need other people to depend on them for self-validation. Helpless-hopeless

personalities are very depressed, expect failure, have low self-esteem, and low
self-motivation. Finally Type D is a personality connected with depression and
anxiety.

Stress resistant personalities are hardy personality, survivor personality, and


sensation seekers. The hardy personality centers on commitment, control, and
challenge. Survivor personality describes someone who never gives up and
always finds a winning attitude using acceptance, optimism, and creative
problem solving. Sensation seekers, or biphasic people, use both their right
and left-brain to think about solutions to problems.

Self-esteem can over rule personality as a defense against stress. People with
low self-esteem seem to be more sensitive to stress while people with higher
self-esteem are more resistant to it. When you feel good about yourself and
the choices you make you are less likely to be threatened by outside sources.

Resources: Exercises:

Your Meaningful Purpose in Life asks you to consider what is important to you
now and what may be more important later. Do your choices change?
Considering your purpose in life gives your life meaning and considering what
you purpose may be at different ages give you perspective when make choices
today.

Tools: Journal Writing:

Stress Prone Personality Survey and the Stress Resistant Personality Survey
work together to allow you to see how you may be allowing stress to much
power. It is important for you to be balanced and stable and these quick
surveys can help you to see where you may do better to be more balanced with
regards to stress.

Unit 5: Hello Stress, You Again?

5
Unit

Information to Remember:

There are many ways to cope with stress. Cognitive reframing, looking at
things from a new perspective is one way but what is important is finding what
works for you. Your friend may enjoy journal writing, another maybe
meditation. What ever works for you is the one that matters. Stress is a part
of life and it is imperative that we learn how to deal with it.

Coping with stress is not always going to work the same way. We are
constantly evolving and so is our stress, what works on one issue may not work
on the next. We change so much that sometimes what stresses out the most
one day wont affect us at all a month down the road. We have to be willing to
grow and learn to continue to handle stress.

Tools: Journal Writing:

The Time-Crunch Questionnaire put your time management into perspective.


It forces you to consider how you are balancing your time and changes you
could make to reduce stress.

Value Assessment and Clarification make you consider what is really important
to you and why. How do we prioritize our values? How are they represented
in our lives?

Unit 6: Inhale, Exhale, and Hang up!

6
Unit

Information to Remember:

Diaphragmatic breathing is the easiest way to practice relaxation. It is simply


breathing deeply and paying attention to your inhale and exhale. It is
important to go slow and focus on breathing through your lower stomach, or
diaphragm, instead of through your chest.

Meditation can be inclusive or exclusive and either way it is a great was to


relax that is growing in popularity. Inclusive meditation involves allowing all
thoughts into your mind without judgment you are simply allowing a situation
to float through your mind to open up possible ways to cope. Exclusive
mediation is focused on one syllable such as ommmmm to clear your head
and just focus on your body.

Mental Imagery uses the imagination to inspire specific results. You can use
relaxing images to help you to relax just a visualizing your favorite spot on the
beach. Imagining a new behavior replacing a less that desirable one can help
you to change that aspect of your behavior. Finally by seeing damaged tissue
be healed in your mind, you can stimulate the actual healing. Mental imagery
is limitless and powerful.

Resources: Exercises:

Three Short Guided Visualizations are a peek into how you can get out of your
own head. By mentally picturing, fully imagining a walk on a secluded beach,
you can actually feel like you just walked on a secluded beach. We can trick
our brains into relaxing if we just try.

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Tools: Journal Writing:

7
Unit

Too Much Information was a way for me to admit that I have an issue with too
much information. I often offer too much information as well as seek it out.
This worksheet helped me to place where the problem was and how I can fix it
(put the phone down!).

Unit 7: Not so Comfort Food


Information to Remember:

Psychological effects of food include cravings and eating disorders such and
anorexia, bulimia, and over eating. It sounds extreme but many people fall to
these when under stress. Do you eat to feel better? Or forget to eat when
stressed? Stress messes with our eating habits with then cause more stress.
It is a vicious cycle we need to be conscious of in order to keep it in check.

The four dominoes can show the relationship between stress, nutrition, and
the immune system. Domino 1: Stress depletes nutrients in the body Domino
2: Lack of nutrients leads to cravings which lead to poor choices that do not
replenish the nutrients we need Domino 3: some food is known to increase
certain physical responses that induce stress, such as caffeine Domino 4:
Processed foods add to toxins in our bodies that can lead to colds, flues, or
even cancer.

The GI (gastrointestinal) Tract is sensitive to stress which effects how our


bodies handle the food we put in it. Stress slows down digestion and causes
any number of problems such as cramps, gas, ulcers, and hemorrhoids. Poor
food choices also create sludge in our system which also hinders digestion.

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Tools: Journal Writing:

8
Unit

Stress Related Eating Behaviors is a questionnaire to consider how your eating


habits may be affecting your stress and immune functionality. This brought to
light a few issues I didnt even realize I had like snacking.

Self-Assessment: Nutritional Eating Habits took the questionnaire a little


further and focused on what exactly you were consuming instead of just how
much or often.

Unit 8: Exercise-to-Exercise Stress


Information to Remember:

The six components of fitness are cardiovascular endurance, muscular


strength and endurance, flexibility, agility, power, and balance. Cardiovascular
endurance is the agility transport oxygenated blood for energy metabolism
from our heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Muscular strength is to the amount
of force against a resistance and muscular endurance is the ability to handle
repeated contractions. Flexibility is the use of a muscle group to its entire
range of motion. Agility is maneuverability and coordination of fine motor
skills. Power is forms times distances of time. Balance is maintaining
equilibrium in motion.

For physical activity to become addictive it must be done for at least an hour a
day, on a regular basis, have a base of 6 months of training, be liked by the
participant, noncompetitive, and done alone or with only on other person.

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Once a habit is formed, or you become addicted, physical exercise is no longer


a chore. When you enjoy exercise you get that many more stress reducing
benefits!

Exercise is responsible for both physical and psychological changes, which


suggests the mind and body being connected as one as so many other
principles suggest. It produces both physiological homeostasis and mental
homeostasis.

Tools: Journal Writing:

My Body, My Physique questions how you see yourself. It goes further to not
judge but get to the bottom of why you feel the way you do about yourself.
Listing what I dont like about my body was easy, listing what I do like was a
little more difficult but eye opening because I do like many aspects of my
physical form.

My Bodys Rhythms was a head scratcher at first because I really had never
thought much about it I guess. Your Circadian Rhythms helped me to see that
I actually do have a pattern. While I am not in perfect sync every day, I am
usually pretty close. I will be watching my rhythms from now on in an attempt
to be better balanced.

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Unit 9: Then there is the Real World

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Unit

Information to Remember:

Information seeking can reduce and cause stress. By seeking out information
on a perceived threat, we gain a little control over the situation, which reduces
the stress. However, we can find too much or too little information or just
information we didnt want to know which could raise stress levels.

Forgiveness is a powerful tool. Many stressors make us anger which means


there is something to forgive. My forgiving a situation you allow yourself to let
go of the anger and move on. Forgiveness is not about the source being
forgiven its about the one doing the forgiving.

Hobbies allow for a mental escape and release. It is cautioned not to avoid
your problems with hobbies, but they allow your mind to focus on something
you enjoy for a time. This mental time out is sometimes just what you need.

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Additional Information
Howtomakestressyourfriend.(n.d.).RetrievedNovember22,2014,from
http://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend?
la
nguage=en
ThisisaTedTalkthatcoversaninterestingoutlookonyouroutlookofstress.It
isaninterestingtakeonhowwedealwithstressandIthinkitwouldbeagreat
additiontothiscourse!
Kimhi,S.,Eshel,Y.,&Shahar,E.(2013).Optimismasapredictoroftheeffectsof
laboratoryinducedstressonfearsandhope.InternationalJournalOf
Psychology,48(4),641648.doi:10.1080/00207594.2012.676181
Thisalookintotherelationshipbetweenstress,optimism,fears,andhope.
Optimismcanoutweighstress.
McGonigal,K.(2012).Thewillpowerinstinct:Howselfcontrolworks,whyitmatters,
andwhatyoucandotogetmoreofit.NewYork:Avery.
Thisisabookonwillpowerandasecondarysource.Thiscourseinspiredsome
changesinmebutIneverseemedtofollowthrough,Ijustdidnthavethe
willpowertochange.Thisbookgivesinsighttowhywegetstuckandhowto
fixit.Thisincludeshowtolearnnewhabitssuchasmanagingstress!
Sapolsky,R.(1998).Whyzebrasdon'tgetulcersanupdatedguidetostress,stress
relateddiseases,andcoping.NewYork:W.H.Freemanand.
Seaward,B.(2008).Theartofpeaceandrelaxationworkbook.Boston:Jones&

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BartlettPub.
Seaward,B.(2009).Managingstress:Principlesandstrategiesforhealthandwell
being(6thed.).Sudbury,Mass.:JonesandBartlett.

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