You are on page 1of 20

Coping Strategies/Stress Management

Group Counseling

Dr.Fidaa Almomani

Stress management techniques

Autogenic training
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Physical exercise
Mediation ??!!!
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Stress ball

Stress management/coping
Stress management encompasses
techniques intended to equip a person
with effective coping mechanisms for
dealing with:
psychological stress,
with stress defined as a person's physiological
response to an internal or external stimulus
that triggers the fight-or-flight response.

Autogenic training
Autogenic training is a relaxation technique.
The technique involves the daily practice of
sessions that last around 15 minutes, usually in
the morning, at lunch time, and in the evening.
During each session, the practitioner will repeat
a set of visualisations that induce a state of
Each session can be practiced in a position
chosen amongst a set of recommended
postures (e.g. lying down, sitting meditation,
sitting like a rag doll, etc.).

Example of an autogenic training


sit in the meditative posture and scan the

"my left arm is heavy and warm" (repeat
3 times)
"my arms and legs are heavy and warm"
(repeat 3 times)
"my heartbeat is calm and regular"
(repeat 3 times)

Effects of autogenic training

Autogenic Training restores the balance
between the activity of the sympathetic (flight or
fight) and the parasympathetic (rest and digest)
branches of the autonomic nervous system.
This has important health benefits, as the
parasympathetic activity promotes digestion and
bowel movements, lowers the blood pressure,
slows the heart rate, promotes the functions of
the immune system.

Autogenic Training is counter-indicated, or
needs to be adapted, for a series of
conditions including:
heart problems such as myocardial infarction,
psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia,
alcohol or drug abuse,

Physical exercise
Physical exercise is the performance of
some activity in order to develop or
maintain physical fitness and overall
Frequent and regular physical exercise is
an important component in the prevention
of some of the diseases of affluence such
as heart disease, cardiovascular disease,
Type 2 diabetes and obesity

Types of exercise
Flexibility exercises such as stretching
improves the range of motion of muscles
and joints.
Aerobic exercises such as cycling, walking
and running focus on increasing
cardiovascular endurance.
Anaerobic exercises such as weight
training and functional training that
increases short-term muscle strength

Exercise benefits
Physical exercise is important for maintaining physical fitness and
can contribute positively to maintaining a healthy weight; building
and maintaining healthy bone density, muscle strength, and joint
mobility; promoting physiological well-being; reducing surgical risks;
and strengthening the immune system.
Frequent and regular aerobic exercise has been shown to help
prevent or treat serious and life-threatening chronic conditions such
as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes,
insomnia, and depression. Strength training appears to have
continuous energy-burning effects that persist for about 24 hours
after the training, though they do not offer the same cardio vascular
benefits of aerobic exercises. Exercise can also increase energy
and raise one's threshold for pain.

Exercise benefits
There is conflicting evidence as to whether vigorous exercise (more
than 70% of VO2 Max) is more or less beneficial than moderate
exercise (40 to 70% of VO2 Max). Some studies have shown that
vigorous exercise executed by healthy individuals can effectively
increase opioid peptides (aka endorphins, a naturally occurring
opiate that in conjunction with other neurotransmitters is responsible
for exercise induced euphoria and has been shown to be addictive),
positively influence hormone production (i.e., increase testosterone
and growth hormone), and help prevent neuromuscular diseases,[6]
benefits that are not as fully realised with moderate exercise.
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise also work to increase the
mechanical efficiency of the heart by increasing cardiac volume
(aerobic exercise), or myocardial thickness (strength training, see
Organ hypertrophy).

Exercise and brain function

increasing the blood and oxygen flow to
the brain
increasing growth factors that help create
new nerve cells
increasing chemicals in the brain that help

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique
of stress management developed by American
physician Edmund Jacobson in the early 1920s.
Jacobson argued that since muscular tension
accompanies anxiety, one can reduce anxiety by
learning how to relax the muscular tension.
Jacobson trained his patients to voluntarily relax
certain muscles in their body in order to reduce
anxiety symptoms.
He also found that relaxation procedure effective
with ulcers, insomnia, and hypertension.

Relaxation steps

Sit in a comfortable chair reclining arm chairs are ideal. Bed is okay too.
Get as comfortable as possible no tight clothes or shoes and don't cross
your legs. Take a deep breath; let it out slowly. Again. What you'll be doing
is alternately tensing and relaxing specific groups of muscles. After tension,
a muscle will be more relaxed than prior to the tensing. Concentrate on the
feel of the muscles, specifically the contrast between tension and relaxation.
In time, you will recognize tension in any specific muscle and be able to
reduce that tension.
Don't tense muscles other than the specific group at each step.
Don't hold your breath, grit your teeth.
Breath slowly and evenly and think only about the tension-relaxation
contrast. Each tensing is for 10 seconds; each relaxing is for 10 or 15
seconds. Count "1,000 2,000..." until you have a feel for the time span.
Do the entire sequence once a day until you feel you are able to control
your muscle tensions.
Contra-indications: problems with pulled muscles, broken bones, or any
medical contraindication for physical activities.

1. Hands. The fists are tensed; relaxed. The fingers are extended;
2. Biceps and triceps. The biceps are tensed (make a muscle but
shake your hands to make sure not tensing them into a fist); relaxed
(drop your arm to the chair). The triceps are tensed (try to bend your
arms the wrong way); relaxed (drop them).
3. Shoulders. Pull them back (careful with this one); relax them.
Push the shoulders forward (hunch); relax.
4. Neck (lateral). With the shoulders straight and relaxed, the head
is turned slowly to the right, as far as you can; relax. Turn to the left;
5. Neck (forward). Dig your chin into your chest; relax. (bringing the
head back is not recommended you could break your neck).

6. Mouth. The mouth is opened as far as possible; relaxed. The lips

are brought together or pursed as tightly as possible; relaxed.
7. Tongue (extended and retracted). With mouth open, extend the
tongue as far as possible; relax (let it sit in the bottom of your
mouth). Bring it back in your throat as far as possible; relax.
8. Tongue (roof and floor). Dig your tongue into the roof of your
mouth; relax. Dig it into the bottom of your mouth; relax.
9. Eyes. Open them as wide as possible (furrow your brow); relax.
Close your eyes tightly (squint); relax. Make sure you completely
relax the eyes, forehead, and nose after each of the tensings.
10. Breathing. Take as deep a breath as possible and then take a
little more; let it out and breathe normally for 15 seconds. Let all the
breath in your lungs out and then a little more; inhale and breathe
normally for 15 seconds.

11. Back. With shoulders resting on the back of the chair, push your
body forward so that your back is arched; relax. Be very careful with
this one, or don't do it at all.
12. Butt. Tense the butt tightly and raise pelvis slightly off chair;
relax. Dig buttocks into chair; relax.
13. Thighs. Extend legs and raise them about 6in. off the floor or
the foot rest but don't tense the stomach' relax. Dig your feet (heels)
into the floor or foot rest; relax.
14. Stomach. Pull in the stomach as far as possible; relax
completely. Push out the stomach or tense it as if you were
preparing for a punch in the gut; relax.
15. Calves and feet. Point the toes (without raising the legs); relax.
Point the feet up as far as possible (beware of cramps if you get
them or feel them coming on, shake them loose); relax.

16. Toes. With legs relaxed, dig your toes

into the floor; relax. Bend the toes up as
far as possible; relax.

Stress ball
Stress balls are often utilized after using a computer for extended
periods of time
A stress ball is a malleable toy, usually not more than 7cm in
diameter. It is squeezed in the hand and manipulated by the fingers.
There are many types of stress balls. Many are a closed-cell foam
rubber. Others contain gel of different densities, especially those
used in physical therapy. Another type uses a thin rubber membrane
surrounding a fine powder. The latter type can be made at home by
filling a balloon with baking soda. Some balls, similar to a footbag
are marketed and used as stress balls.
Despite the name, many stress balls are not spherical. Many stress
toys are molded in amusing shapes and printed with corporate
They are presented to employees and clients as gifts and marketing