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HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in

Management and Prevention

Stress
Management and
Prevention

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Program Resource
Guide

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PURDUE UNIVERSITY

Stress Management and Prevention


Program Resource Guide

By

Zackery Maples

Purdue University

HW410: Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

April 30, 2018


Table of Contents
UNIT 1 THE NATURE OF STRESS

Information to Remember 3
Self-Assessment Exercises K3
Journal Writing 4

UNIT 2 THE PHYSIOLOGY OF STRESS

Information to Remember 5
Self-Assessment Exercises K5
Journal Writing 6

UNIT 3 PSYCHOLOGY OF STRESS

Information to Remember 9
Self-Assessment Exercises K10
Journal Writing 10

UNIT 4 PERSONALITY TRAITS AND THE HUMAN SPIRITUALITY

Information to Remember 12
Self-Assessment Exercises K13
Journal Writing 13

UNIT 5 DEALING WITH STRESS: COPING STRATEGIES

Information to Remember 17
Journal Writing 17

UNIT 6 RELAXATION TECHIQUES 1: BREATHING, MEDITATION,

AND MENTAL IMAGERY

Information to Remember 21
Self-Assessment Exercises K21
Journal Writing 22

UNIT 7 NUTRITION AND STRESS

Information to Remember 25
Self-Assessment Exercises K25
UNIT 8 PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND ACTIVITY

Information to Remember 27
Self-Assessment Exercises z27
Journal Writing 28

UNIT 9 APPLYING STRESS: CRITICAL ISSUES FOR

MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Information to Remember 30

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 31

REFERENCES 32
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Unit

Unit 1: The Nature of Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Spiritual well-being is about being balanced and feeling a connection

beyond yourself. Everyone finds a connection in something, thus, giving us all meaning, a

purpose (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: The importance of maintaining a balance in terms of mental well-being is

because in life, making sound decisions is important. Without sound decisions, and the

caution we use when we make them, mistakes are made (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Emotional well-being, means to me as the power to feel and show the full

aspects of human emotions and to control them and be controlled by them. Emotions are

something very powerful that each person possess (Seaward, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The four components that make up the wellness paradigm are mental well-being,

physical well-being, emotional well-being, and lastly spiritual well-being. Each of these four

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parts work together, balancing and developing the human life. Each piece is as equally

important as the other (Seaward, 2015).

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, midway, and end. 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


Finishing my Bachelor’s in Health and Wellness 6 4 2
Planning Vacation 5 5 2
Finding a new job 9 6 3
Selling my house 7 6 2
Moving into a new house 8 5 3
Planning a vow renewal wedding 6 4 2
Installing air conditioning in my house 6 5 2
Getting better sleep at night 8 4 2
Lose 10 pounds 8 6 3
Paying off my loan 5 3 1
(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010)

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Unit 2: The Physiology of Stress

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Unit

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: The nervous system is a soft balance of numerous features and there’s a

central nervous system which adds the spinal cord and brain, as well as the peripheral

bisection which involves the autonomic and somatic nervous systems (Bergland, 2017).

Key Learning Point: The chemical rebound generated by stressful situations result in an assault

of stress hormones being stirred around the body. While these hormones are useful in

intense situations, their capability to hinder the immune system can result in inflammation,

reduced white blood cells, and a higher sensitivity to infection and tissue damage

(Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Concurrent evidence from both human and animal studies propose that

boosted physical exercise aids neuroplasticity of certain brain structures and as a result

emotional functions as well as behavioral responses (Bergland, 2017).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The body-mind link has reclaimed scientific interest in recent years with more than a

dozen of academic books dedicated to the topic. This shows the growth in interest. Physical

exercise refers to body movement that leads to energy consumption and is entered by skeletal

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muscles. Physical exercise or exercise has been formerly defined as a disruption of

homeostasis through muscle contraction resulting in movement and increased energy

consumption (Bergland, 2017).

Journal Writing:
How is stress or anxiety about people affecting your life?

I have never really sat down to think about how people affected my life. Now that I

think about it, there have been times where I let people get to me, mentally, and effect my

day. There have been times where I would be off, sitting on the couch, just wondering how

things would be when I go back to work. If I have a misunderstanding with someone it

affects me. I feel like I lose time in my day because I often wonder if when I go back to work

will we be on good terms. I have often got anxiety wondering if people accepted me. I tend

to care a lot about what others think of me, although I’ll say it does not.

How is stress or anxiety about work affecting your life?

When I first working in the Army, I had a lot of stress and anxiety. There were times

that I did not want to go back to work. Everything was new, and there was a lot that I did not

know how to do. Then, after a while, I didn’t have as much stress and anxiety that I once

had. With that being said, there will always be some type of stress and or anxiety that will

come about. I worked in law enforcement, and there is always going to be some level stress.

There is a lot of liability that rest on your shoulders. There are so many different personalities

that you must deal with, meaning co-workers and criminals. There are times where you must

go hands on with somebody due to their actions. This alone can be stressful. I worry if I said

the right things to them. If I had done the best thing in the situation. I tend to put a lot of

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pressure on myself in doing the best that I can that I sit there on my time off wondering how I

can make it better. What I need to improve on.

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

Things are doing on in the world I try not to stress about. When we got a new

president, I did not stress it what so ever. I look at it as there is always going to be

something that comes up in the world. There is always going to be something happening

that we cannot control. This is what I tell myself, “We cannot control the things around us

that are happening, we can only control ourselves”. So, therefore I do not stress the events

that are happening around the world. I can only feel sad or happy about the events that take

place, but I do not allow it to control me in any way that would bring on stress and or anxiety.

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

This topic is one that I tend to have the most stress and anxiety over. I constantly

worry about what I am putting in my body, food wise. I worry about the weight that I’ll be

gaining due to that. I love food, but I also do not want to get any bigger than I am. I tend to

cut back on what I eat if I feel that I have had too much. There are times where I might limit

what I eat during the day and how many times I eat during the day because I worry about my

food intake and weight gain. This is a stress I deal with almost every day. I constantly worry

about if what I am eating will affect me in the long run.

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

This topic I tend to stress about a lot. I often worry about sleep because I don’t go to

bed the same time every night depending on if I work the next day. If I do not get as much

sleep as I would like, I feel stressed about it all day. This is probably one of the worst things I

stress over.

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How is stress or anxiety about exercise or lack of physical activity affecting your life?

I would like to exercise more. Do I stress about it often, not really. There are times

where I would like to get out there and exercise more than I do. I like to think when I am at

work that I walk a lot. I am always on my feet. I do not stress about the fact that I do not work

out like I would want to. I just need to understand that I could work out more than I do. This

too is another topic that I do not let control my life with stress and anxiety.

Summary

This journal has allowed me to get a better understanding of what brings on stress and

anxiety and what topics do not. I need to get a better understanding on why those topics

brings on stressors and anxiety. I also need to get a hold on what I need to do to maintain

the stress and deal with it in a healthy manner. Each person deals with stress in a different

light. Everyone lets different things stress them or bring on anxiety. I learned through this

journal that certain topics give me stress or allow them to bother me, whereas others so not

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

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Unit 3: Psychology of Stress

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Unit

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: There is so much to be learned from the perspective of the Tibetan and

how they relate the stress in the mind. Today, drugs are often seen as the cure all, the quick

fix. It took a young man to try to understand the human nature of human existence

(Seaword, B., 2015).

Key Learning Point: To deal with stressful stimuli, the mind creates several different strategies.

“One thing theories have in common is that they all tend to place some type of defenses to

protect the mind from the threat of painful or dangerous events in our life” (Seaword, B.,

2015).

Key Learning Point: Fear is a natural thing to deal with. How we deal with it is what is important.

There are different ways to deal/handle fear. One strategy to overcome fear is behavioral

therapy. “Behavioral therapy has the patient engage in coping (cognitive reappraisal) and

relaxation (mental imagery) techniques to desensitize himself or herself to stressors”

(Seaword, B., 2015).

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Self-Assessment Exercise:
It is important to train the mind to find that balance. There are two types of minds, smaller and

higher. The smaller mind needs to connect with the higher mind to reach one’s full potential

(Seaword, B., 2015). Having a connection to the higher mind sets the tone for us to achieve

healing and inner peace.

Journal Writing:
Take some time to write about whatever you came up for you mentally, emotionally,

and physically when doing this practice for the first time.

Breathing in and out, sitting in silence, really forced me to focus on my thoughts. I

collected my thoughts and reflected on them. The thing that came to my mind the most and

repeatedly was my son. He is the most important thing in my life. As a father, I know I will

always worry about him. I worry if his life will be everything that he wants and hopes it will

be.

Will he enjoy his life as he grows up? I worry if he will have positive friends that leave

a lasting good impression. Friends that he will have for the rest of his life. Friends that will

push him to be the best and ones that he can lean on when he does not want to come to his

parents. I wonder if my son will look back once he is older, and say, my mother and father

gave me the best life that they could, and it was amazing.

I worry that he will grow up and look back and say that he had those times in his life

that were not positive and were unhappy. I do not want anything like that to impact him in

such a way that it would hinder him in anyway. During this time of breathing, and reflection, I

think about my finances and my new house. Will I ever be able to get my house to look the

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way that I envision it to be? Will I ever be 100% satisfied with how it looks and will everyone

else that steps through those front doors? I keep saying to myself, I have time to finish.

I will get there. I tell myself not to stress, but I can’t help it. I worry about money

constantly. I wish I made more at my job. I wish at times I had chosen a profession that

could pay more than I make at this time, or that my job would give us a pay raise like the

surrounding counties have. It’s not that I am a spender, I’m not, I just like to save, and with

bills it is hard to do that at times.

Summary:

There are always going to be times of reflection during the moments of silence.

Silence gets you thinking, and game planning. I cannot change what I worry about or how

often I worry about it. I think having those moments to set aside to just think are positive

moments. Just because you take the time out to think and reflect, it can be a stress reliever.

It does not always have to be stressful to think about things or just let whatever comes to

mind just flow (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

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Unit 4: Personality Traits and the Human

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Unit

Spirituality
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Stress affects many things in life. Relationships are one of the biggest

problems when it comes to stress. Bad days will happen when you’re in a relationship. We

all have setbacks and encounter bad days at work. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Going through all the stages with exercise we can learn where we fall

short. Pre-contemplation stage means you’re not ready to change your life. Contemplation

means you’re getting ready and maybe coming up with a plan or deciding which gym to go

to. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Self-esteem is the level of regard in which a person holds himself or

herself. A person with a healthy, high self-esteem has a large positive but levelheaded self-

image, including an understanding of both his value and flaws, with an acknowledgment of

both. (Seaward, 2015).

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Self-Assessment Exercise:
It is possible for our beliefs and values to alter over time as we bring to light new evidence

or have experiences that challenge our formerly held views. Contrarily our beliefs and values

can also be strengthened by experience or guidance. Beliefs and values regulate our attitudes

and opinions. It is not always possible to avoid stressful situations, but the capabilities for

spotting the buildup of stress and dealing with that stress can help to change the relationship

between self-esteem and stress (Seaward, 2015).

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Journal Writing:
FEAR: apprehension, anxiety, distress, edginess, jumpiness, nervousness, panic,

tenseness, uneasiness, worry, fright, feeling overwhelmed.

When looking at the list of words, the ones that stick out most in my mind are anxiety

and feeling overwhelmed. All these emotions I feel in the pit of my stomach, because

they are ones that make my stomach turn. These do not make me feel good at all.

There are so many things that happen in my life and many things that I take on that

make feel overwhelmed. There are times where I take on too much and I just get too

overwhelmed by it. With being overwhelmed there comes anxiety because I worry

with everything in my life. It makes me stand on edge. The images that come to mind

when I think about these two words is me, sitting hunched over with nothing but

mixed emotions on my face.

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

unaware.

When it comes to confusion the word that most sticks out to me is uncertain. If I am

confused, then I am never certain about what I am doing or how I am thinking. I feel lost, and

clueless. When I am confused, I feel it in my head, my brain really to be specific. When I am

confused it manifest due to me dealing with something that I am not certain about. When it

comes to thoughts about confusion, I do not really have any. Other than the fact that I feel

dumb, lost, and useless during this time frame. The image that comes to my mind is a

question mark. With confusion, comes questions, and a question mark is very symbolic of

that.

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

frustration, irritation, grouchiness, grumpiness, rage.

Thinking about anger the words that comes to my mind is annoyance, irritation,

frustration, and grouchiness. With anger, I feel it all throughout my body. There is not one

place where I can pin point where I feel it. The anger comes from situations that I cannot

control. It also comes from things that irritate me. One thing that bugs me that brings on my

anger would be when I clean an area in my house, and my wife and my son come behind

me and mess it up. This could be as simple as me vacuuming the carpet and they get

crumbs on it. It seems like something so small get upset about, but anger manifests in

people differently. The image that comes to my head when I think about anger is pure red. I

see nothing but red. This could be because when I get angry there is no calming me down. I

must take the time out alone to calm down on my own.

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

insecurity, loneliness, misery, unhappiness, rejection.

Thinking about the word sadness, hopelessness and unhappiness make their mark in

my mind. I feel sadness in my mind and my entire body feels week. Sadness manifests

when I am sad about anything. This could be when I do not get a day off from work I want.

The fact that I cannot see my family when I want because they are in a different state than I

am in. There are times where the feeling does not make an impact, but there are other days

where it wrecks my entire day. It overcomes be me like a rainy day. The image that comes to

my mind when I think about sadness is that depression commercial with the sad circle that

mopes around the park. I do not see smiles. I see frowns and dark colors.

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

With shame, embarrassment, regret, and guilt come to mind. Having that shame

feeling is never a good one to feel. It does not come when there is something positive in

your life. When I feel shame, I feel it in my stomach. My stomach is in knots, and it

constantly feels like it is turning. I feel upset with myself if I cause myself to feel shame. The

image that comes to mind is a boy that is hiding from the world. A boy who is afraid to be

seem and confront others. No one wants to admit when they have done something that have

caused themselves shame. Shame can manifest for me when I did something I am not

proud of at work, or my life. It could come from me doing something that my family would not

be proud of, or when I lost my integrity.

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

infatuation, kindness, liking, longing, warmth, sympathy, sentimentality.

Love is one amazing emotion to feel. When love comes to mind, I think about

affection, caring, compassion, longing, and desire. This emotion I feel in my heart. Love

comes from my son, who I could not live without. Each day with that little man is a blessing

from God. Love comes from my wife, through the rough times and the good she is always

there to support me. Love comes from my friends who I do not see all the time, but still have

them there to support me and talk to. The image that I see when I think about the word love

is hearts. I also see a person who has a constant smile on their face because they know

they are loved each day.

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

excitement, exhilaration, hope, optimism, pleasure, satisfaction.

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Joy, this word I associate with bliss and enjoyment. This word is not one that I think

about or describe daily. Although I feel it, I never use the word. This can be strange to me

now that I think about it. Joy would be one that I feel in my heart. Pure satisfaction is how I

can describe it. Joy can manifest from having a great day, to accomplishing something you

set your mind too. Joy can come from being with your family and enjoying everyday life. The

image that comes to mind when I think about joy is just a ray of sunshine. Something happy

to go along with how I am feeling. There are times I walk outside and see the sun and I feel

joy because of a beautiful day.

Summary

Thinking about different emotions brings are different images. I never on a daily basis

do I think about the emotions and what brings them on. This journal allowed me to do that.

Although I know what brings these emotions out of me, it just happens naturally, and I never

have to think about what makes them (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

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Unit 5: Dealing with Stress: Coping Strategies

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Unit

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: When defining attitude, it is helpful to bear two useful conflicts in mind. The

first is the existence of ambivalence or differences of attitude towards a given person,

object, situation etc. from the same person, sometimes at the same time (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: A person may not always be aware of his or her attitude or the effect it is

having on behavior. A person who has positive attitudes towards work and co-workers

(such as contentment, friendliness, etc.) can positively influence those around them.

(Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: positive attitudes are usually manifested in a person’s behavior; people

with a good attitude are active and productive and do what they can to improve the mood of

those around them (Seaward, 2015).

Journal Writing:
Taking this time to walk, alone, with nothing but time to think brings up many topics.

There are moments of joy that come through my mind, and then there are times of pure

sadness. When you have nothing but time to walk, and ponder your thoughts, of course

things are going to come up that you not wanting to talk about or think about. This exercise

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is something new for me. I have never just got up and walked around and thought about

things, for the purpose of an assignment. I mean I have walked around and thoughts have

come up, but I have never just let my mind wander for the purpose of an assignment.

To be honest, I do not like to let my mind wonder. I do not like to think about things or

just allow thoughts to pop in my mind. This gets me into either a happy positive mood, or it

will get me into a sad depressive mood. But for the sake of the assignment, I let my mind

bring up thoughts and I sit on those and I think about them. I am learning that having these

thoughts and really thinking about them could be healthy for me and allow me to deal with

things that I did not want face.

The one thing that came up in my mind is how emotionless I get when it comes to

certain things. I am dealing with a feud with my 21-year-old sister. She is heading down a

path right now due to this boyfriend she has, and I do not agree with it. I worked on law

enforcement, and I’ve seen people like her boyfriend get in trouble all the time. I try to

express my concern to her and tell her she is heading down a dark path that she needs to

stay away from, and all she can say to me is that my opinion does not matter to her.

Before she dated this guy, she would have never said that to me. I see the change in

her and it worries me. I recently told her that I cannot have contact with her if her lifestyle is

this way because I work in law enforcement. I have no emotions when it comes to cutting

her out of my life and that concerns me. I wonder why I do not feel anything and what to do

to fix that.

I worry that when I go home to see my family next month that things are going to be

really awkward. I ponder the thought on should I try to mend this relationship. The next thing

that comes to my mind is work, and money. The same thing that came to my mind the last

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time I did a journal and had to think. I think about it even more because my husband is going

through a job change, and that is stressful.

I work 3-4 days a week depending on the week and they are 12-hour shifts. Those

are long days in the law enforcement world. I pick up a couple days of overtime in the jail to

make some extra money in order to get my savings account back up to speed after we

moved. I do make good money, but with taxes it feels like I do not make hardly anything. I

cannot get over how that makes me feel and just home much I want to work to have extra,

but then I feel like I am missing out on time off because I am at work. I just do not feel like I

can win in this and at times it overwhelms me to no end.

Another thing that I thought about was how much time I spend on things. I spend a lot

of time at work, with school work, and other things. I wish I felt happy in the fact that I take

some time out for myself, but I do not feel like I can. I want my degree, but I feel like I am

just so overwhelmed with the school work, and time I need to put into it. I cannot help how

much I have to work, except for overtime, but I feel like on the days I work, and my son is not

in daycare that I am missing out on his life and I do not like that. I know it will not change, but

I just hope that my son knows I am working for him to have a good life, and to be able to do

things that he wants growing up that I never did.

Summary: Every thought I have, every moment I have to think about it, is another

moment and thought I am stronger. I am learning to deal with my emotions, and my

thoughts. I am bringing things to the surface that I normally would leave hidden. I usually talk

about it one time and then I tuck it away. These exercises are allowing me to grow as a

person and discover new ways of dealing with my inside emotions that I normally wouldn’t

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

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Unit 6: Relaxation Techniques 1: Breathing,

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Unit

Meditation, and Mental Imagery


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: The diaphragm breathing helps with good posture and core muscle

strength, which helps with everyday activities. In most cases overdeveloped abdominals and

sucking the stomach in can hurt proper movement of the diaphragm, and promote upper

chest breathing (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Visualization and imagery approach attempts another way for stress

reduction. These approaches involve the methodical practice of establishing an accurate

mental image of an alluring and peaceful place or environment (Seaward, 2015).

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Key Learning Point: Deep and composed breathing allows the body to create increased

levels of nitric oxide, an admixture that helps open up compressed blood vessels and

conclusively causes a cutback in blood pressure (Seaward, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
Meditation can improved heart health. Meditation can reduce the thickness of

their arterial walls. The resulting in the decrease in arterial wall thickness converts into lower

risk of stroke and heart attack. Meditation can decrease tension within the muscles, pointing

attention to different body parts by controlling calming the mind and breathing will help

muscles relax (Seaward, 2015).

Journal Writing:
Place I notice I do send a lot of unkind messages to my body. I’ve been getting out of

shape these past couple months and its taking a toll on my body and mind. My gets tired

easy and I feel lazier. I’ve been trying to clean my diet up but the love of unhealthy food

keeps pulling me in. I’ve been exercising of and on but try and keep going. When I look into

the mirror every day I don’t like what I see.

I would never talk to anyone the way I talk about myself. That’s a good point to bring

up on why I talk to myself like that then. I think I tell myself that I’m too fat and out of shape

because I can handle it. The reality is that it does take a toll on me mentally. These

messages that I keep saying to myself do stress me out and makes me tired because of the

stress.

Being unhappy with myself affects my life also because I don’t want to go in public or

I have to wear certain clothes. Being ashamed of my body does make me unhappy. The

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stress from this affects me at work and at home. At work being on a diet really puts me on

the edge because it’s something I don’t want to do. The same thing happens at home with

my son because it seems I get angry easier over the little things.

This affects my mind because I’m putting stress on myself when I shouldn’t be. This

makes my body tired and lazy. I feel like I have no energy when I get home from work. I feel

like not going to the gym a lot of times because my body is stressed and tired. I should be

feeling great from my diet but I’m not and I guess it’s because I don’t want to.

The difference in my life if I stopped doing this would be having a better attitude and

more energy. Having not to worry about what I look like will take stress off my body and

mentally. If I could just focus on the diet and nothing else I would be fine but it’s not as easy

as it sounds. If I stopped worrying about what others think and not worried about what I look

like in the mirror I would be more successful. If I stopped being lazy it would make my life

easier and really help accelerate my diet results. I just need to put my foot down and focus

my attention on the goal.

Difficult People.

When someone is pressing my buttons it really irritates me. Some of my friends and

co-workers do it the most. Some may not be doing it on purpose but some of my friends do it

on purpose. Most of the time I just ignore it and move on but if I had an open heart and

actually talked to them about it, it could change. Maybe some of them are having a hard time

in life so they do stuff that I may not like. It’s weird thinking about the other side but I think

most people forget to.

It does take a lot to for me to get upset with difficult people but some people are worst

then others. One of my co-workers come to me and talk and talk to me way too long. It gets

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on my nerves but I look at it as he must want to vent to someone. I’ve noticed that difficult

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Unit

people aren’t really difficult at all I just think they need a friend or their having a hard time in

life. The guy who just talks to me named Mark is a real nice guy. He just likes to talk to me

way too long but I think it’s his way of releasing stress or venting to me.

Reflection.

Writing this week’s journal really opened my eyes of what I need to change. I think I need

to relive some stress from my body and mind. I need to focus on my goal with my diet rather

than being ashamed of my body. I realized Mark from my work might be going through difficult

times and I should be nicer to him (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

Unit 7: Nutrition and Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Stress is a killer, the biggest killer in the world, responsible for tens of

millions of heart attacks and strokes, so we need to get a better handle on it. Find out ways

to feel in control (Iliades, 2016).

Key Learning Point: During stressful periods, adrenaline and cortisol levels are elevated and

digestive function is severely impaired, reducing the amount of saliva, stomach acid and

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digestive enzymes, and slowing down the rhythmic wave-like contractions (peristalsis) in

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Unit

the bowel, that can lead to constipation (Iliades, 2016).

Key Learning Point: Food cannot get broken down properly, nutrient absorption is impaired and

wastes are not eliminated regularly, leading to bloating, constipation, abdominal cramps,

headaches, fatigue, skin problems, depression, weight gain and an increased risk of auto-

immune diseases (Iliades, 2016).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
I learned the basic idea of meditation and it’s simple. Every time my mind began to wonder off

and away from me breathing I get lost in thought and I had to bring my attention back to my

breathing. The point is that every time you bring your attention back to your breath (Stahl &

Goldstein, 2010).

Unit 8: Physical Exercise and Activity


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Cardiovascular-endurance exercise acts as a catalyst to keep the body’s

physiological systems in balance. Through the multitude of mechanisms involved in energy

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metabolism, hormones, enzymes, and food substrates are used for their intended purpose

(Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Foods high in fat and simple sugars and empty calories tend to rob the

body of essential nutrients. Consequently, the body is operating under a nutritional

deficiency, not nutritional abundance (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: The body encounters many environmental stressors in the course of a day,

including particles known as free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive oxygen particles

most commonly found in air pollution, tobacco smoke, radiation, herbicides, and rancid fatty

foods (Seaward, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercises:
The plan is to open a health and wellness center in our workplace. This health and wellness

center would provide information on getting healthier, diet, exercise, and nutrition classes.

The classes we would provide are yoga, stress reduction, and nutrition classes. Most of the

classes would be during, before, or after work and during lunch (Seaward, 2015).

Journal Writing:
OPENNESS:

The first thing that comes to mind when closing my eyes and imagine talking to my wife

about openness is just being open. I know that’s not that ideal answer but it’s what came to

mind. I think openness is being open to change or embracing something you don’t agree

with. Openness could come as a form as sacrifice also.

EMPATHY:

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The first thing that came to mind when talking with my wife is being mindful of someone’s

feelings. I have a family and I have to remind myself that they are not like me and some

things might affect them differently than me.

COMPASSION:

The first thing to come to my mind about compassion is being comforting. Sometimes I say

stuff before I think and hurt people’s feelings without knowing it. It’s something I’ve worked

on.

LOVING-KINDNESS:

The first thing to come to my mind is my son. I never knew what true love was until my son

was born. The greatest gift ever was my son and I learned that being kind to your wife during

labor is a must.

SYMPATHETIC JOY:

The first thing to come to my mind is my friends. We came up in a rough neighborhood and

both my best friends are successful. I am very happy for my friends and tell them how we

weren’t supposed to make it according to the statistics.

EQUANIMITY:

The first thing that came to my mind is my wife. She needs love and compassion and I’m

responsible for giving her that because we’re married. I think of her as a mother and how

she needs our son’s love. My and I love her very much and we tell her every day.

Summary:

I look back at this journal and think I need to do this more. Just find somewhere quiet and sit

there with my eyes close and think about these qualities. Think about my wife, son, family,

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and friends. I need to improve on some of these qualities like compassion because

9
Unit

sometimes I say stuff that could hurt people’s feelings (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

Unit 9: Applying Stress: Critical Issues for


Management and Prevention to your
Professional Life
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: To conquer fear of the unknown, gathering information about a specific

circumstance becomes one of the best defenses against stressors. Information seeking

involves collecting and processing facts about a stressful event or situation, which can then

be used to help solve the problem and regain emotional stability (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Avoidance is a defense mechanism deeply rooted in the ancient flight

response. It is popularly believed that if we avoid situations that cause fear or frustration,

our lives will become simple and stress free (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Healthy diversions are any activities that offer a temporary escape from

the sensory overload that can produce or perpetuate the stress response. Diversions offer

the conscious mind a “change of venue” to promote clear thinking. Taking your mind off a

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problem, or removing an issue from conscious attention for a designated period of time, and

diverting attention to an unrelated subject focuses the mind and enables it to deal better

with these issues upon return (Seaward, 2015).

Additional Information

Stress merely means that the body is marshalling its resources to deal with a real or

perceived threat. A moderate state of stress makes your brain cells neurons crackle,

enhancing concentration and memory. Such moderate, short-term stress can actually help a

student studying for an exam or give a quick thrill to a child on a roller coaster. Years of

chronic, low-level stress from an unhappy marriage, loneliness, or depression dulls the mind

and promotes chronic diseases such as hypertension and coronary artery disease-as well as

impairing memory (Sandi, 2007).

Many people choose to cope with stress in self-destructive ways that may provide

short-term relief, but only lead to greater long-term suffering and stress. Some common

negative ways of coping with stress are through the use of drugs, alcohol, or overindulgence

in food (Chang, 2017). This is a great article and has solutions to prevent stress. The article

is 6 Stress Prevention Strategies. It is a primary Source and is a great read. The second

source is our textbook Managing Stress for Health and Well-being (Seaward, 2015).

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References

Bergland, C. (2017). How Do Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis Rewire Your Brain?

Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201702/how-do-

neuroplasticity-and-neurogenesis-rewire-your-brain

Chang, L. (2017). 6 Stress Prevention Strategies. Retrieved from:

https://www.mindfulnessmuse.com/stress-reduction/6-stress-prevention-strategies

Iliades, C. (2016). How Stress Affects Digestion. Retrieved from:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/better-digestion/how-stress-affects-digestion/

Sandi, C. (2007). Stress and Memory. Retrieved from:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1950232/

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

(8th ed.). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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

CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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