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KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in Management and


Prevention

Stress Management and


Prevention Program
Resource Guide
1
KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

Stress Management and Prevention


Program Resource Guide

By

Jeff Norton

Kaplan University

HW410: Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

June 2017
Table of Contents
UNI T 1 THE NATURE OF STRESS

Information to Remember .....................................................................................................................5


Self-Assessment Exercises ......................................................................................................................6
Journal Writing .........................................................................................................................................7

UNI T 2 THE PHYSI OLOGY OF ST RESS

Information to Remember .....................................................................................................................8


Self-Assessment Exercises ......................................................................................................................8
Journal Writing .........................................................................................................................................9

UNI T 3 PSYCHOLOGY OF STRESS

Information to Remember .................................................................................................................. 13


Self-Assessment Exercises ................................................................................................................... 13
Journal Writing ...................................................................................................................................... 14

UNI T 4 PERSONALI TY TRAI TS A ND THE HUMAN SPI RITU ALI TY

Information to Remember .................................................................................................................. 18


Self-Assessment Exercises ................................................................................................................... 18
Journal Writing ...................................................................................................................................... 19

UNI T 5 DEALI NG WI TH STRESS: COPI NG STRATEGI ES

Information to Remember .................................................................................................................. 25


Journal Writing ...................................................................................................................................... 26

UNI T 6 RELAXATION TECHI QU ES 1: BREATHI NG, MED I TATI ON,

AND MENTAL I MAGERY

Information to Remember .................................................................................................................. 31


Self-Assessment Exercises ................................................................................................................... 31
Journal Writing ...................................................................................................................................... 32

UNI T 7 NUTRI TI ON AND STRESS

Information to Remember .................................................................................................................. 36


Self-Assessment Exercises ................................................................................................................... 36
UNI T 8 PHYSI CAL EXERCI SE AN D ACTI VI TY

Information to Remember .................................................................................................................. 38


Self-Assessment Exercises ................................................................................................................... 38
Journal Writing ...................................................................................................................................... 39

UNI T 9 APPLYI NG STRESS: CRI TICAL I SSUES FOR MANAGEMENT

AND PREVENTI ON TO YOUR PROFESSI ONAL LIFE

Information to Remember .................................................................................................................. 42

ADDI TI ONAL

I NFORMATI ON…………………………………………………… …………………4 3

REFERENCES…………………………………………………… …………….……4 4

(This page intentionally left blank)


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Unit

Unit 1: The Nature of Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: “The Wellness Paradigm-The integration, balance, and harmony of mental,
physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being through taking responsibility for one’s own health;
posits that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” (Seaward, 2015). This is a key element
for spiritual well-being. Developing the four components will help gain a harmony of energy.
Key Learning Point: “There are three types of stress: eustress (good), neustress (neutral), and distress
(bad). There are two types of distress: acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term), the latter of
which is thought to be the more detrimental because the body does not return to a state of
complete homeostasis” (Seaward, 2015). Understanding these categories of stress will help me
recognize when negative stress needs more compassionate attention.
Key Learning Point: “Effective stress-management programming must address issues related to
mental (intellectual), physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being” (Seaward, 2015). By utilizing
“effective stress management I can regulate my emotions more effectively promoting better
health of all components to the paradigm.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The Wellness paradigm exercise was a great assessment of my overall wellbeing. I enjoyed the concept of
how each of the four parts of the paradigm are interconnected. I found that my spiritual aspect had the
greater strength in overall abundance. The exercise helped me understand that we are all different but
share a commonality within the human design. Each of us contain different levels of mental, physical,
spiritual, and emotional strengths and weaknesses to make up the whole. The integration of each
component signifies that the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts(Seaward, 2015).

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Journal Writing:

Unit One Journal Writing Assignment

Jeff Norton

Kaplan University

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

4
Unit One Journal Writing

Complete the Journal Assignment entitled: “How Stressed Are You?” Directions are found on

pages 11 and 12 of the Mindfulness workbook. List the situation on the left. Use a rating scale of 1

through 10 for the “Start” column. You will use this Journal Assignment as a way of mapping your

stress throughout the course. Keep it handy and refer back to it often.

Situation Start Midway End


When the children cross the safety threshold 8
When the children demand my attention 6
Getting to work on time 2
When the kids are too noisy 4
When the dog brings mud into the house 4
Driving on the highway 3
Corresponding with people at work 2
Meeting survey deadlines 3
Finding time to do school work 5
Sleeping with the children 7

References

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being. Burlington,

MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Use the APA Format and Style Guide found in Doc Sharing for proper citation of other references.

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2
Unit

Unit 2: The Physiology of Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: “The body has several backup mechanisms to ensure physical survival. These
systems are classified as immediate, lasting seconds (sympathetic drive); intermediate, lasting
minutes (adrenal medulla); and prolonged, lasting hours if not weeks (neuroendocrine pathways).
Each system is involved in several metabolic pathways” (Seaward, 2015). It was interesting to
know that there is a back system in the body to promote survival. It is also interesting that the
metabolic pathways are developed with this in their design.
Key Learning Point: “There are three physiological systems that are directly involved in the stress
response: the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system” (Seaward, 2015).
These three systems are linked and with our nutrients that feed them, I can understand how diet is
so important to stress management.
Key Learning Point: “Psychophysiology: A field of study based on the principle that the mind and
body are one, where thoughts and perceptions affect potentially all aspects of physiology”
(Seaward, 2015). I understand how the mind and body are one. It seems that our perceptions can
regulate our separation of these components causing a distancing from ourselves.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
Understanding how stress relates to the body was a very important chapter for this course. By traveling the
path of where stress originated, can help address issues of our lifestyles that need to be managed. For example,
tension headaches can be produced by sympathetic-mediated contractions of muscles of the forehead, eyes,
neck, and jaw (Seaward, 2015). While understanding the physiological process, we can ask ourselves what
caused the tension. I feel when we address our lifestyles to promote a managed stress reform, we can live fuller
and happier lives.

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Journal Writing:

Unit Two Journal Writing Assignment

Jeff Norton

Kaplan University

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

7
Unit Two Journal Writing Assignment

How is stress or anxiety about people affecting your life?

Stress is affecting my personal/ family life in a few ways. I feel a sense of tension with my children. I

have three children under the age of 5 and my oldest has Autism. Trying to maintain a level head in

compilation of this, school, and work, I often feel overwhelmed. My wife and I have no outsourced

support to alleviate some of the pressure. We live remotely and have no family or friends living close

enough to ”watch the kids” for a bit. I have learned to cope using humor and play. This has helped me

tremendously to keep a peace of mind.

I also feel a sense of stress with my spouse. We have a tremendous amount of responsibilities

upon our lives at the moment. She just finished her Master’s degree and works as a leader in a

hospital. The drive to work is about 2 hours away from where we live. The four hours of driving daily

is hard on her. She is a very devoted mother and it hurts her to be away. I feel stressed on both sides

of that obstruction. We also co-sleep with our children and therefore have no time to spend together as

adults to discuss important matters that keep our household working, and conversation that keeps our

relationship going.

I have a bit of anxiety with my daughter who has recently graduated high school early and has

enrolled in college. Like any involved father, I have considered my daughter a princess since I

adopted her as an infant. Over the years, through many moves, a divorce, and many of life’s

hardships, my daughter has always been a source of inspiration for me. She has been the sun on a cold

rainy day. Now to see her older and moving on, as a young woman should, my heart is filled with

sadness and anxiety. While absorbing this new process, I must still show encouragement and support.

I realize many people endure this road, but it is difficult non the less. I find when I look back at the

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memories it often creates more sadness as opposed to looking ahead in the promising years to come

that offer more happiness.

How is stress or anxiety about work affecting your life?

Meeting deadlines, and corresponding with people can be stressful in my workplace. I deal with more

micromanagement than I have in the past many years. I try not to take my work home and deal with

work at work. When I leave work for the day, I typically have a long drive home, and listen to

calming music on the way. There are times when I will go for a walk in the woods before coming

home. This tends to relieve a lot of pressure that was absorbed throughout my day. I feel it to be very

important not to bring my frustration home from work. It would be like bringing gasoline to a fire.

How is stress or anxiety about the world affecting your life?

I don’t feel stressed about the world issues. I try to separate myself from the news and social

media. I have prepared myself in many forms that would enhance our survival rate if things got too

bad. It seems that nature has a way of balancing itself, yet like most things, luck favors the prepared.

How is stress or anxiety about food and eating habits affecting your life?

My eating habits are good and therefore I do not feel stress from either poor nutritional

choices or lack of exercise. I eat lots of fruit and vegetables, chicken, and nuts. I exercise vigorously

five to six days of the week, for a few hours a day. My work also has it’s physical demands, in

conjunction with my exercise routines.

How is stress or anxiety about sleep and sleeplessness affecting your life?

Sleep is probably my biggest stressor. I co-sleep with my two boys. It is very difficult to get a

good night sleep. We (my spouse and I) have tried many ways to help the kids sleep independently.

We have read books, tried many methods, and eventually have decided when they are ready to sleep

on their own they will. In the meantime, it has been very difficult to sleep away from my wife, and get

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kicked and pushed all night long. We are trying to figure out a way to help them transition, but until

now it has been very stressful.

Summary

Overall, I feel a balance within my own life. I consider stress to be like the ocean that rises and falls.

This balance, I feel can be achieved through understanding and practice. Through life experiences, I

have gained a profound depth of patience. I realize that my experiences can and have faded with time,

but when you recall the memories of those experiences, they can assist you in the present when going

through difficult times.

References

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being. Burlington,

MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Use the APA Format and Style Guide found in doc sharing for proper citation of other references.

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3
Unit

Unit 3: Psychology of Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: “Common themes among the theories are the concepts of self-awareness and
self-acceptance, two inner resources that become the most important coping skills to manage
personal stress effectively” (Seaward, 2015). I loved this chapter. This showed how there are so
many similarities between thoughts of becoming more self-aware.
Key Learning Point: “Several strategies, involving both coping and relaxation techniques, are
recommended to express anger and fear in a healthy fashion and to control these emotions for
optimal well-being” (Seaward, 2015). Expressing our emotions is very difficult to do at times. I
feel with the strategies I have learned I will be better equipped to relax when I need to.
Key Learning Point: “There are effective and non-effective conflict-management styles. To
withdraw, surrender, or act aggressively is not effective. Persuasion and dialogue are advocated
as effective ways to negotiate, compromise, and come to a peaceful resolution” (Seaward, 2015).
I learned that there are some things that are not effective to promote a peaceful resolution. I feel
that timing is also a factor to promote success in conflict resolution.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The mind is not real, it is a creation of the ego. Suffering (stress) is a figment of the mind that is
believed to be a consequence of our desires with attachments (Seaward, 2015). This was the theme for
my Self-Assessment Assignment for Unit 3. From the various theorists I was able to understand their
approach of meditative practices of freeing the mind from the Tibetan culture, to the defense
mechanism of Freud, the conscious and unconscious relationship of Jung, Kubler-Ross and the stages
of death and dying and her thoughts of unconditional acceptance, Frankl and the search for the
meaning of life using tragic optimism, Dyer and his views on guilt and worry and his works with the
erroneous zones and how, with a tamed ego, we can move to a place of love, Buscaglia and his
expressions of self-love and self-esteem, Maslow and his hierarchy of self- accusation leading to self-
transcendence, and Seligman positive psychology and authentic happiness, have different thoughts,
reflections, theories, and methods to achieve, in essence, a true form happiness. I found how to cope
with my fear by staying in the present and accepting things for what they are with self-love and
compassion. I also found new ways to improve communication by using better listening skills,
empathy, sincerity with both words and writing, and discipline.

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Journal Writing:

Unit Three Journal Writing Assignment

Jeff Norton

Kaplan University

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

12
Unit Three Journal Writing Assignment

I have been meditating for many years and have committed to a routine in the mornings for

about fifteen minutes right after I stretch. I practice an inclusive awareness meditation style. My days

are extremely busy with demands from many things in my life, so finding time is somewhat difficult

to cultivate and nourish my spiritual wellbeing. I find that the morning is the best time to awaken

myself through the mental, physical and spiritual practices. I typically start by making coffee to keep

me awake and give me a jump start. Then I put the fire place on adding some music from sounds of

nature cd that I have. Creating a nice environment is paramount for a comfortable ambience but also

helps me look forward to the experience daily as “Me time” moment. I then will stretch and rotate my

joints for about forty minutes calming back down with meditation. It takes about an hour for the

routine but is very rewarding in it’s whole.

For the purpose of the journal assignment, I will go through this morning’s meditation practice. This

class has helped me identify the attitudes of mindfulness. I treat every meditation experience as a

beginner although I have been meditating for some time now. As I welcome the experience and open

my mind I create a vision of a sunrise and hold onto that thought for a moment as I welcome myself

to this practice. I then let go of my thoughts and feelings as I let them come into my head and watch

as the flow freely like a log going down a river. I notice thoughts of work, my children, my wife, my

trip to Japan, etc float freely by. I acknowledge the thoughts but continue to let them go by. I begin to

focus on my breathing. I feel the calmness and gentleness of my full breaths. I notice that my mind

reflects on my body position. From the position on my knees to the straightening of my spine. I let

those thoughts float by. I continue to listen to my breathing and notice thoughts continue to float by. I

now come to the end of my practice, and thank myself for taking the time to participate in this

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morning’s routine. I then open my eyes and slowly become aware of my surroundings. I continue to

focus on my breath and feel it increase in pace a little as I begin to move. I then bow forward and

conclude this mornings routine.

In summary, I would just like to add that this experience is such a great moment for me in my day. As

I continue to practice I hope to extend the practical attributes throughout my day, so that I can manage

my stress more efficiently. I look forward to tomorrow where I can practice again.

References

14
Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being. Burlington,

MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Use the APA Format and Style Guide found in doc sharing for proper citation of other references.

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

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4
Unit

Unit 4: Personality Traits and the Human


Spirituality
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Personality comprises several traits, characteristics, behaviors, expressions,
moods, and feelings as perceived by others. (Seaward, 2015). The perceptions of others can
impact how we see ourselves and this can be critical to our self esteem if we are not able to
recognize it and manage our stress from it. I feel it can be looked at in both a positive or negative
way.
Key Learning Point: Spirituality has proved elusive to define because its essence seems to permeate
everything. Harmony with self, others, earth, and a higher power is often considered a description
of this concept. Spirituality and religion are related, but separate, concepts. (Seaward, 2015).
Learning that a person doesn’t have to practice a religion to be spiritual was a great lesson. It is a
spiritual expression with one’s self that creates the embodiment of religious practice.
Key Learning Point: There are many ways to change behavior, all having a common format called
the behavior modification model. This progression of stages includes denial that a behavior
contributes to poor health, or that one practices an undesirable behavior; then (1) awareness of the
undesirable behavior; (2) desire to change; (3) cognitive restructuring, a conscious attempt to
change; (4) behavioral substitution; and (5) evaluation of the results. (Seaward, 2015). The
progression stages were a model for change in unwanted behavior. I will carry this forward.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
In this chapter I learned about self-esteem and self-acceptance and how they share a relationship with
each other. I learned about the stages of change through Prochaska’s insightful works and how a
person may slip back into the Relapse stage by returning to the previous unhealthy diet and exercise
until the newer behavior is readopted(Seaward, 2015). It was very interesting that this was actually a
part of the overall change process.

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Journal Writing:

Unit Four Journal Writing Assignment

Jeff Norton

Kaplan University

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

17
Unit Four Journal Writing Assignment

Complete the Journal Assignment entitled: Explore: Identifying Emotions in the Body.

Directions are found on pages 74 through 77 of the Mindfulness workbook. Upon completion of this

Assignment, practice taking a moment to mindfully tune in to your body and discover any physical

sensations associated with strong emotions. This should be a minimum of three full pages.

I have been in Japan this past week and I am currently feeling a swirled mixture of emotions

that are not necessarily consistent in nature. Therefore, I will assert my assessment of my emotions to

reflect the more consistent emotions that I feel. I feel it would be a more accurate summary of how I

feel in my daily life, and with this new insight, I can create a more accurate and sustainable approach

to my behavior changes. I have italicized the emotions that are more familiar to me, rather than circle

them.

FEAR: apprehension, anxiety, distress, edginess, jumpiness, nervousness, panic, tenseness,

uneasiness, worry, fright, feeling overwhelmed.

Apprehension is usually felt in my head and stomach. I feel like they manifest in a form of

tension leading to a light nausea in the most extreme case. The images that come to mind are typically

related to getting in front of people at work. I am somewhat of an introvert and getting in front of

people is a little intimidating to me.

Edginess is felt by a slight tingle in my hands and heart region. I believe it is closely related to

uneasiness because when I feel uneasy I also get edgy. They both manifest in my neck and shoulders

and a little in my stomach. I feel edginess when I come into an environment that is more public and

less known to me. An example would be an airport.

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Worry is usually felt in my stomach region. I feel worry when I am running late or people are

relying on me. This manifests is my head, neck and shoulders. I feel this the most when I am stuck in

traffic and need to get to work.

Feeling overwhelmed is one of my most common feelings in the fear category. I feel

overwhelmed often and it is usually manifested in a whole body experience. My head, torso, and even

legs seem tense when I feel overwhelmed. The response is a compilation of other emotions as well. I

typically feel overwhelmed when there is too much on my plate. I have four children, a spouse, a full

time job, martial arts training/ exercise, and school that are constantly playing demanding roles in my

life. Things can get complicated and therefore I receive the feelings of being overwhelmed.

CONFUSION: bewildered, uncertain, puzzled, mystified, perplexed, chaotic, foggy, or unaware.

I am typically mystified when doing my martial art. I feel a deep sense of joy and gratitude

when experiencing the discoveries of my training. The feeling usually manifests itself in my torso

region, but is not limited to that area. I also at times feel the mystified experience in my head as well.

Chaotic feelings can sometimes be seen as a negative thing, but I like to experience this emotion

because it helps me stay in tune with life. It usually manifests in my torso and I feel it mostly in my

head. Chaos seems to be mostly around my children and their activities.

ANGER: aggravation, agitation, annoyance, destructiveness, disgust, envy, frustration, irritation,

grouchiness, grumpiness, rage.

Aggravation, agitation, annoyance, frustration, irritation, grouchiness, grumpiness, and rage are all

related to my children. There are adverse feeling which will be shown as well, but my children are a

great source of anger and frustration. The above mentioned emotions of anger are almost a escalation

in stages. I annoyance which leads to frustration, this grows to agitation and continues to aggravation

and onto grumpiness. With more frustration, the grumpiness leads to grouchiness and that leads rage.

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Frustration is usually the fire that starts it all and it manifests itself in my whole body. I feel frustrated

when my feelings and words are not being acknowledged. I don’t know of another solution to trying

to engage with someone who won’t listen to you. This is the source of my frustration with my

children. It usually is surrounded by safety issues, like one hitting another or throwing things, etc.

SADNESS: alienation, anguish, despair, disappointment, gloom, grief, hopelessness, insecurity,

loneliness, misery, unhappiness, rejection.

Start paragraph

SHAME: guilt, embarrassment, humiliation, invalidation, regret, remorse, mortification.

I have experienced a lot of guilt growing up in my family. It manifests in my heart and

stomach. I have learned to lessen the effects of guilt through self-acknowledgement.

LOVE: affection, arousal, attraction, caring, compassion, desire, fondness, infatuation, kindness,

liking, longing, warmth, sympathy, sentimentality.

All of these emotions have direct expressions shared with myself and others. I believe they all

manifest in the whole body but centered in the torso region predominantly. My relationships with my

wife and children are mostly where these feelings are shared.

JOY: amusement, bliss, contentment, eagerness, elation, enjoyment, enthusiasm, excitement,

exhilaration, hope, optimism, pleasure, satisfaction.

Again all of these emotions are shared with my family, friends, and to some degree my co-

workers. The feeling manifest themselves in the head and torso and are expressed comfortably with

all people I am in relationships with.

Summary

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In summary, I have learned a great deal with this exercise and not only what is causing my points of

pain but also my opportunity for growth and development. I am looking forward to the changes I can

make from this exercise.

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References

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being. Burlington,

MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Use the APA Format and Style Guide found in doc sharing for proper citation of other references.

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

22
5
Unit

Unit 5: Dealing with Stress: Coping Strategies


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: “Additional hints for cognitive restructuring include meditation to clear your
mind, taking responsibility for your own thoughts, fine-tuning expectations, giving yourself
positive affirmations, and accentuating the positive aspects of any situation” (Seaward, 2015). I
feel that giving yourself positive affirmations increase your ability to self love. The overall feeling
of self- awareness and self- love creates the perception of self worth.
Key Learning Point: “There is no one accepted reason why we laugh. Four theories attempt to
explain the nature of the funny bone: superiority theory, incongruity (surprise) theory,
release/relief theory, and divinity theory” (Seaward, 2015). I loved learning about how and why
people laugh. Although they are perceptions, they can deliver a refreshing approach to stress and
really take the steam out of the anger train.
Key Learning Point: “Time management is defined as the ability to prioritize, schedule, and execute
responsibilities to personal satisfaction. Time-management skills are now taught to people to help
them gain a sense of control over personal responsibilities” (Seaward, 2015). We place so much
stress on ourselves trying to go somewhere fast, or get something done fast, that it promotes ill
health results. We need to learn to relax and breath.

Discussion Post:
Class and Prof,
Attitudes are attributed to the way we believe, perceive, and feel based on our values (Seaward,
2015). The beliefs can be either positive or negative and will usually create a change in behavior
depending on how one feels. Stress is related to these attitudes because of the way people perceive a
situation. People who have been diagnosed with terminal cancer have not only reversed the process,
have actually rid themselves of it altogether. There is usually no evidence to support the why in the
event, except for the person’s attitude.

Seaward, B. L. (2015). Managing Stress, 8th Edition. [Kaplan]. Retrieved from


https://kaplan.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781284084603/

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Journal Writing:

Unit Five Journal Writing Assignment

Your first and last name

Kaplan University

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

24
Unit Five Journal Writing Assignment

Choose from either formal practice: Walking Meditation or Mindful Self-Inquiry for Stress

and Anxiety. Directions are found on either pages 58 through 60 or 119 through 121 of the

Mindfulness workbook. Upon completion of either practice, take a moment to reflect on whatever

came up for you mentally, emotionally, and physically. This should be a minimum of two full pages.

Take some time to write about whatever came up for you mentally, emotionally and physically

when doing this practice for the first time.

For this week’s Journal assignment I have chosen to do the mindfulness exercise in walking.

Although I do practice a moving type of meditation throughout my day, it was nice to reacquaint

myself with a more in depth focus on the actual movement of walking. I began the exercise by

stretching. I do this every morning and it helps relax but awaken my body for the demands of the day.

I also created my normal, routine of morning music which is inspirational. This helps me focus more

on my body and kind of creates a spiritual routine for me. After my mindful breathing of about five

minutes I got up and began my mindful walking exercise.

I began by standing in a stationary position with both feet adjacent to each other and

acknowledged my body, and in a thankful way, appreciated the fact that I had legs and feet to begin

this exercise. As I worked my mindful engagement of my thighs, knees, and calves, I worked down to

my ankles, and then my heels, arches, balls of my feet, and finally to my toes. During this process, I

tried to imagine all of the muscles, tendons and bones, creating a sense of thanks throughout the

process. As I began to take my first step I realize that my weight shifted from my right foot to left foot

and my knees slightly bent. As my right foot began to move forward I felt the top of my foot and the

muscles at work as my left leg held the weight of my body through the transition forward. As I moved

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forward I felt my body trying to balance and sway through the process. My right foot began to

descend and as the foot hit the ground, I felt a connection to the earth. I noticed my weight slowly

begin absorbed from the weight that the left leg had been carrying. The weight began to sink into the

heel of my right foot, and then it transitioned to my arch, and finally the ball of my foot. The feeling I

had was fullness, and almost like a hug. I proceeded to make m next step, and checked my breathing.

I seemed to still be relaxed, at this point I noticed my thoughts started to drift a little onto my day and

brought them back to center. As my right leg loaded the weight of my body my left leg began getting

lighter. It was preparing to move. My knees began to slightly bend as my quads began to hold the

weight from the previous shift. My left leg began to move forward in a similar fashion that the right

did. The transition definitely made my mind focus on the balance and as my foot hit the ground the

weight again settled to the earth in which I passed a thankful thought of appreciation. The weight

transitioned from the heel to the toe of my foot as the right leg began to gather the weight again from

the left leg. This process continue for about ten steps, and although each step was it’s own they all

seem to resemble the same pattern. I will say that I thanked each step I took, to not only acknowledge

the experience of my foot touching the ground, but also to appreciate the ground itself in this newly

defined relationship. My breathing seemed to remain the same throughout the short duration of the

practice. The sensations that I felt were truly more focus on the weight and balance of the exercise. I

was surprised at how the body compensates for the adjustment of weight distribution within the shift

of weight. I also feel that keeping a clear mind while performing the walk is very important. This will

be very hard to do in other environments, but it seems to be a practice, and that requires time and

patience.

In summary, I feel this was a great exercise. I have been doing mindful movement to build

awareness for many years now and can really relate to this more focused exercise. I think it seems to

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create a larger awareness of ourselves and the relationship to the environment. I have even expanded

it to others in my surroundings and how they relate to their surroundings. This exercise seemed to

have a even a greater sense of focus to include the mental, physical, and emotional aspects. The whole

exercise, in it’s entirety, seems to hold a greater spiritual inclusion that normally goes unnoticed by

most individuals. This is truly a practice and requires time, patience and sincerity. I plan on

increasing my level of focus within my own movement throughout my day.

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References

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being. Burlington,

MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Use the APA Format and Style Guide found in doc sharing for proper citation of other references.

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

28
6
Unit

Unit 6: Relaxation Techniques 1: Breathing,


Meditation, and Mental Imagery
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Diaphragmatic breathing is thought to be the easiest method of relaxation. When
the emphasis of breathing is centered in the lower abdomen rather than the thoracic cavity, a less
sympathetic neural activity is generated, causing a greater relaxation effect. (Seaward, 2015). I
have practiced this for many years. I learned that when our stomachs are relaxed, we are
breathing properly.
Key Learning Point: Basically, there are two methods of mind cleansing: to exclude all thoughts from
the mind save the one that is used to clear the rest out, and to include all thoughts but detach
oneself emotionally from these images. Transcendental Meditation and Zen meditation are
examples of exclusive and inclusive meditation, respectively. (Seaward, 2015).I learned of two
methods of meditation and how each are great ways to relax and focus. I also learned that
meditation helps build awareness.
Key Learning Point: Mental imagery describes the ability of the unconscious mind to generate
images that have a calming, healing effect on the body. Visualization is one aspect of mental
imagery, wherein there is conscious direction of self-generated images. Guided mental imagery is
a variation wherein images are suggested by another person (either live or on tape). (Seaward,
2015). Mental imagery is a great way to get away while staying in one spot. I have experienced
the effects and absolutely love it.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
In this chapter I learned about diaphragmatic breathing both techniques and benefits. I also learned
about mental imagery and visualization and the effects it has on the wellness paradigm. The types of
meditation and how they correspond to the techniques of using mental imagery as a form of stress
management. Meditation has been shown to decrease oxygen consumption, decrease blood lactate
levels, increase skin resistance, decrease heart rate, decrease blood pressure, decrease muscle tension,
increase alpha waves (Seaward, 2015).

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Journal Writing:
Unit Six Journal Writing Assignment

Jeff Norton

Kaplan University

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

30
Unit Six Journal Writing Assignment

Complete the Journal Assignment entitled: Explore: Is Your Body-Mind Happy? Directions are found

on pages 151 through 153 of the Mindfulness workbook. Upon completion of this Assignment,

practice identifying unkind messages you send to yourself and turn it around with positive

affirmations. This should be a minimum of two full pages.

The mindful interactions I have with myself are usually good. In respect to that though, I feel I

can have expectations of myself which are sometimes unattainable. When I fall short of the

expectations, I typically become a little frustrated for falling short. It seems that at this point I do one

of two things, either I put blame on the other person/ situation/ or inanimate object, or I chalk it up to

a learning experience. I have recently been looking at things a little differently though due to a book I

have read. By accepting all mistakes as my own, and letting myself learn through a more loving

approach using humor, I feel I am gaining a better understanding of forgiveness and human nature. I

don’t feel a lot of residual stressful tension in my body. I have cultivated a routine in my mornings

that help me stay balanced much of the day. I also train and exercise mostly every day in some

fashion, which also helps regulate tension by expelling it through both methods.

Seeds of suffering would be present if you didn’t nurture your garden. I feel I do a pretty good job

with gardening. It has taken me a long time to get a green thumb and although I tend to my garden, I

open each day with a watering mentality. Throughout my day, I will actually do things that are not

always in agreeance with my job or family routine to satisfy the deficiency of my spirit. For example,

if I feel stressed out about something, I will leave work and take a walk for a bit to re-center myself.

There are times where I can’t get away, but during those times I tell myself that soon we will be able

to go or do whatever it is that re-centers my being. This will usually give me the patience to get

through the event of stressfulness.

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Day-to-day life feelings of resentment?

Although I try not to let resentment get the better of me, I have one situation where I find a person’s

behavior very difficult for me to navigate. I work in sales and service and have an aggressive

approach to increasing my business. This person is somewhat like me in the respect that we both have

aggressive approaches to business. She, however, is very demeaning to her associates and belittles

their physical bodies, creative approaches to work, and is not afraid to do it publically. To me, her

behavior resembles a bully. I have spoken to her about this behavior, I have spoken to her

management team, and although everyone is aware of the behavior, no one has changed the

environment for her to continue this behavior. She runs a good department through increased sales,

but she cannot keep staff long enough to gain any stability or tenure. This experience has been very

challenging for me but has a great learning experience within it. I have to work with her despite how I

feel about her behavior. I have withdrawn in my own performance due to not wanting to work with

her. I have tried to create a peaceful approach, but she is not willing to build a relationship. Therefore,

I have excluded her from further interference with my feelings/emotions. At this point, it is the most

effective way I have discovered that protects myself from being pulled off balance (emotionally).

Although I appreciate the fact that she is a human going through her experiences in life, I can’t

control anything and therefore, I can only regulate my own emotions.

My reflections on this assignment have stimulated a different perspective on the way I manage

my frustration. I have seen a few different techniques that I use regularly without mindful knowledge

of really using them. These exercises have helped turn the light onto the fact that I incorporate many

tools that help me transition through difficult circumstances. I feel better with knowing in the case of

the difficult co-worker, that perhaps, in some cases, there is not a happy ending in all cases. Despite

32
the fact that we try, a relationship takes two people who want to share an experience. It is important to

know that not all people are ready to receive loving kindness, due to their own obstructions. Even

when we are extending a peaceful hand, they still want to slap it away. In my experience it seems that

a relationship is shared equally. There are times when one may have to give a bit more, but in the end,

it all equals out. Anything other than this, is a creation of co-dependence.

References

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being. Burlington,

MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Use the APA Format and Style Guide found in Doc Sharing for proper citation of other references.

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

33
7
Unit

Unit 7: Nutrition and Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: “To get the benefits of physical exercise, four criteria must be met: intensity,
duration, frequency of training, and mode of exercise. Together they are called the all-or-none
principle, meaning that without meeting all four requirements few if any benefits will be gained.
It takes between 6 and 8 weeks to see significant benefits in the body” (Seaward, 2015). I learned
that the body takes a bit longer than I expected to see benefits. I will use this in my next
occupation.
Key Learning Point:“ Exercise evokes not only physiological changes, but various psychological
changes (e.g., runner’s high) as well, again suggesting that mind and body act as one entity.
Habitual physical exercise produces both physiological homeostasis and mental homeostasis.
Individuals who engage in regular physical exercise report higher levels of self-esteem and lower
incidences of depression and anxiety” (Seaward, 2015). It was good to know that exercise
delivers on both mental and physical aspects of the wellness paradigm. I think if you really enjoy
exercise you may be able to include a spiritual exercise along with the other two components.
Key Learning Point: “Food affects not only the physical body, but the mental, emotional, and
spiritual aspects as well. The concept of spiritual nutrition suggests eating a wide variety of fruits,
vegetables, and grains that nurture the health of the seven primary chakras. In addition, spiritual
nutrition suggests ensuring a balance in all aspects of food, including the acid/base balance”
(Seaward, 2015). I thought this was very interesting. It really makes a difference what you put
into your body.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The Mindful lying Yoga practice was the topic for this assignment. I utilized various positions to
bring a harmony about my mind and body. Through the various exercises I got to experience many
different positions while keeping a focus on my breathing. This was a very good assignment to link
the mind, body, and spirit together in harmony. The Principles of Harmonious Action in Lao Tzu’s
The Balance of Life include yoga, meditation, and t’ai chi which are seen as ways to reinforce the
way of Tao (Seaward, 2013). Taoism is seen as everything being connected through chi(energy).

34
Discussion Post:
Hi Class and Prof,

There are many foods out there that trigger stress response for most of them have some form of
caffeine, processed sugar, processed flour, and salt in them(Seaward, 2015). These ingredients cause
escalating issues if they are used in excess. It is unfortunate that it is not necessarily these ingredients
that are the issue but the other chemicals in our foods that make us want/need to have more. It is these
chemicals, like MSG (monosodium glutamate), that our bodies, when ingested, demand more of the
food. It can be actually painful to withdraw from the use of them. Caffeine for instance, when exclude
from your diet after consistent use will leave you with a headache. It is sad to see that we are so
manipulated by food companies that neglect our health to a monumental degree.

Seaward, B. L. (2015). Managing Stress, 8th Edition. [Kaplan]. Retrieved from


https://kaplan.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781284084603/

35
8
Unit

Unit 8: Physical Exercise and Activity


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “union,” which is accomplished through
meditation. More specifically, it refers to the union of mind, body, and spirit. Hatha yoga is one of
five types of meditation and it emphasizes physical balance. Hatha actually translates to (a
balance of) the sun (ha) and the moon (tha). Hatha yoga is the most commonly practiced form of
yoga meditation in the United States. (Seaward, 2015). It was awesome learning about where
Yoga came from and how it really is suppose to be conducted. It seems, like in all American
aspects of our culture, we try to speed things up and destroy the level of sincerity, which in this
case is the internal design.
Key Learning Point: T’ai Chi is deeply rooted in philosophy, primarily Taoism, but to a lesser extent,
Confucianism. The premise of this exercise is to move with, rather than against, the flow of
universal energy. The positions (over 100 in all) reinforce the concept of consciously moving
with, rather than against, perceived stressors in everyday life. (Seaward, 2015). It was interesting
to know there are over 100 exercises. I learned that breathing is the main part of the different
forms, suggested in this art form.
Key Learning Point: Food affects not only the physical body, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual
aspects as well. The concept of spiritual nutrition suggests eating a wide variety of fruits,
vegetables, and grains that nurture the health of the seven primary chakras. In addition, spiritual
nutrition suggests ensuring a balance in all aspects of food, including the acid/base balance.
(Seaward, 2015). It was interesting to learn how the chakras are supported by a healthy diet. The
level of acid/base can influence these points.

Self-Assessment Exercises:
This was an assignment of putting together a proposal for a business wellness plan. I used a model of
three different options to conduct mindful exercise using yoga. The plans mostly included the
following poses: Supine Pose, Supine full body pose, supine twist, Leg Stretch, Single Knee Stretch,
Pelvic Rock and Tilt, Bridge pose, Bridge Pose with Arm Stretch, Rocking back and Forth, Leg Side
Stretch, Prone Leg Stretch, Modified Cobra, Full Cobra, Cow pose and Cat Pose, Child’s Pose, Bird
Dog Pose, Supine full body Pose, and Corpse Pose (Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). Although there
were modifications to each option, I felt the client would have benefitted greatly from any of their

36
choices. The options were developed for most restrictive space and time principles up to a larger
space if considered.

Journal Writing:

Unit Eight Journal Writing Assignment

Jeff Norton

Kaplan University

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

37
Unit Eight Journal Writing Assignment

For this Journal assignment I chose my wife. I hold her in the highest regard for she offers so much

inspiration and devotion towards me and our children. I felt this exercise would help me form deeper

expressions of love and gratitude toward her and the effort she shows daily.

OPENNESS: I think of the first time we met and how new our relationship was. I remember the sun

in her eyes and I watched as she walked away in her blue dress.

EMPATHY: I think of her struggle with daily life, managing time away from the family, stuck in

traffic and her commitment to us and her career.

COMPASSION: I think of how hard it is for her and how I have been a little hard selfishly

demanding more of her at times than she could give, but did anyway to sacrifice for my needs above

her own.

LOVING-KINDNESS: I think of how I need to relate more to her needs and help her through her

passage of living with more ease.

SYMPATHETIC JOY: I think back to her growing up and the fun moments she shared with her

father. How they went fishing together and how they shared a very close bond.

EQUANIMITY: I think of how I can treat her with a more consistent approach in times of difficulty.

Especially with our four children.

Summary

This was a great exercise in developing a larger expression of positive emotions toward someone I

love very much. It is sometimes difficult to fully grasp the level of emotions and the way they

represent a deeper side of expression for me. I feel that with the exercise above I can grow as a

human, to not only embrace the people I love a bit more, but also look at the people who challenge

38
my emotions in a negative way with a bit more empathy and/or compassion. I am always trying to

find more depth to my approach to people because I work in the sales industry. I have to connect with

people and this exercise offers a new way to do so, in a very positive way.

References

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being. Burlington,

MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Use the APA Format and Style Guide found in doc sharing for proper citation of other references.

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

39
9
Unit

Unit 9: Applying Stress: Critical Issues for


Management and Prevention to your
Professional Life
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: “For a coping technique to be effective, it must do one or all of the following:
increase awareness of the cause of stress, help process information about the stressor, and adjust
attitude and possibly behavior to work toward a peaceful resolution” (Seaward, 2015). Peaceful
resolutions are sometimes difficult to achieve, but using coping techniques can make it easier.
These techniques can promote a harmonizing effect in not only the individual but also others
around that person.
Key Learning Point: “Avoidance is considered a negative coping technique; however, to step outside
your problems for a short while to gain a better perspective on them is thought to be quite healthy.
Hobbies can be used as positive diversion tactics that allow for a healthy release from daily
stressors. When approached in this way, hobbies can contribute to self-esteem, which then
transfers to other areas of one’s life” (Seaward, 2015). Avoidance seems to be a buffer of time,
even if it is considered negative. Sometimes people need some space to gain a foot hole in
stability to confront a problem that is larger than themselves.
Key Learning Point: “Stress can induce a sense of personal violation. Harboring feelings of
resentment and anger is a means of maintaining control over someone we feel has unjustly
attacked us. But when feelings of anger are not released correctly, they become toxic. Forgive
ness allows these feelings to be released so that a peaceful resolution is the final outcome”
(Seaward, 2015). Toxic feelings are never a good thing. It seems that when a person practices
ridding the body of negativity, they have to embrace themselves. Self-awareness clearly plays a
part in this.

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Additional Information
My secondary source is Seaward’s book published in 2013.

Seaward, B.L. (2013). Health of the Human Spirit: Spiritual Dimensions of Personal Health (2nd

ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

41
References

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being (8th ed.).

Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Seaward, B.L. (2013). Health of the Human Spirit: Spiritual Dimensions of Personal Health (2nd

ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Stahl, B. & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

42