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The Wear and Tear our bodies experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment - Condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize - Can HELP or HINDER depending on how we react to it

Can we eliminate stress from our lives?

We need to find the optimal level of stress which will individually motivate but not overwhelm us.

Managing Stress
1. Become aware of your stressors and 2. 3. 4.

5. 6.

your emotional and physical reactions. Recognize what you can change. Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress. Learn to moderate your physical reactions to stress. Build your physical reserves. Maintain your emotional reserves.

1. Become aware of your stressors and your emotional and physical reactions. Notice your distress. Don't ignore it. Don't gloss over your problems. Determine what events distress you. What are you telling yourself about meaning of these events? Determine how your body responds to the stress. Do you become nervous or physically upset? If so, in what specific ways?

2. Recognize what you can change. Can you change your stressors by avoiding or eliminating them completely? Can you reduce their intensity (manage them over a period of time instead of on a daily or weekly basis)? Can you shorten your exposure to stress (take a break, leave the physical premises)? Can you devote the time and energy necessary to making a change (goal setting, time management techniques, and delayed gratification strategies may be helpful here)?

3. Reduce the intensity of your emotional reactions to stress. The stress reaction is triggered by your perception of danger...physical danger and/or emotional danger. Are you viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms and/or taking a difficult situation and making it a disaster? Are you expecting to please everyone? Are you overreacting and viewing things as absolutely critical and urgent? Do you feel you must always prevail in every situation? Work at adopting more moderate views; try to see the stress as something you can cope with rather than something that overpowers you. Try to temper your excess emotions. Put the situation in perspective. Do not labor on the negative aspects and the "what if's."

4. Learn to moderate your physical reactions to stress. Slow, deep breathing will bring your heart rate and respiration back to normal. Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension. Electronic biofeedback can help you gain voluntary control over such things as muscle tension, heart reate, and blood pressure. Medications, when prescribed by a physician, can help in the short term in moderating your physical reactions. However, they alone are not the answer. Learning to moderate these reactions on your own is a preferable long-term solution.

5. Build your physical reserves. Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week (moderate, prolonged rhythmic exercise is best, such as walking, swimming, cycling, or jogging). Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. Maintain your ideal weight. Avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine, and other stimulants. Mix leisure with work. Take breaks and get away when you can. Get enough sleep. Be as consistent with your sleep schedule as possible.

6. Maintain your emotional reserves. Develop some mutually supportive friendships/relationships. Pursue realistic goals which are meaningful to you, rather than goals others have for you that you do not share. Expect some frustrations, failures, and sorrows. Always be kind and gentle with yourself -be a friend to yourself.


Types of Instinctive Stress Response: 1. Fight or Flight Mechanism short term - basic survival instinct 2. General Adaptation Syndrome long term - effect of exposure to stress 3. Mental Responses : Emerges from the way that we think and interpret the situations in which we find ourselves

The Fight and Flight Mechanism

Sympathetic Nervous system Increased heart rate, increased BP, sweating urination, dryness of mouth (decrease salivation) - Increased Epinephrine/Adrenaline

- Power but little control

We become excitable, anxious, jumpy reduced ability to work effectively and make good decisions.

The General Adaptation Syndrome - when pushed to extremes, animals react in 3

stages 1. Alarm Phase react to stressor 2. Resistance Phase the resistance was developed and increased as the stressor increased Adaptation ---- Coping --- Fatigue 3. Exhaustion Phase resistance declines - leads to BURNOUT - FATIGUE sets in

Mental Responses Tackle the stress at the source. Change the interpretation of the situation Look at it the other way. Look at The other side of the mirror.

Effects of Stress the BURN OUT

Behavioral effects - drinking, smoking (chemical relief) - No exercise, no proper sleep, no proper eating habits 2. Stress and heart diseases - fight & flight mechanism : increased HR increased BP Hypertension ----- STROKE 3. Stress and Health - anxiety, depression - negative thinking - headaches, irritable bowel syndrome - Cancer ????

4. Stress and Performance Negative effects ---- see previous Ultimately results to BURN OUT. Positive Effects: adds anticipation & excitement to life competitions, deadlines, confrontations Motivates us to pursue and be effective.

Pressure & Performance The Inverted U

Factors affecting the Inverted U Relationship

1. Negative thoughts

- occurs when demands exceeds the personal and social resources - these thoughts compete with performance of the task for our complete attentional capacity - stress reduces peoples ability to deal with large amounts of information - impairs decision making and creativity

2. Entering a State of FLOW - when operating on the area of best performance you enter a state of flow - complete involvement and focus on the activity being done - intensively creative, efficient and satisfying state of mind BEST PERFORMANCE

Managing STRESS
Three Approaches: 1. Action oriented - confront the problem causing the stress; change the environment/situation 2. Emotionally oriented change the interpretation of the situation 3. Acceptance oriented focus on surviving the stress

Action Oriented 1. Cope with stress of work overload 2. Survive the stress of problem jobs 3. Deal with problem people 4. Manage environmental stress 5. Manage performance stress 6. Avoid burn out

Emotionally oriented approaches Subtle but effective. - Reduce stress with RATIONAL Thinking
Acceptance Oriented - use when theres no valid alternative - Relaxation techniques

STRESS is a matter of judgment.

Take Stress seriously.

Change your interpretation of the stressful situation- reduce the perception of threat. There is a need for a calm, rational controlled and sensitive approach.