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Stress Management



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  • 1. Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques Lunch and Learn Student Success
  • 2. College Students and Stress• Stress: • Stress is a physical and psychological reaction to issues and events emanating from ones environment• Stress can be caused by: • Perceived obstacles to goal achievement • Environmental change • Life challenges • Periods of significant transition• All of us experience stress on a regular basis • Most of this stress is actually positive- serving to motivate us• Like most things in excess, too much stress is negative • Excessive stress usually develops over a period of time and often goes unnoticed by the individual until a physical or emotional toll has been exacted.
  • 3. Negative Stress vs. Positive Stress Negative stress = perceiving challenges as dangerous, difficult, unfair; thinking you lack the resources to cope with it HOWEVER-Stress can be positive too! For example: Getting married brings both stress and excitement Stress management = finding the right types and amounts of stress (based on each individual) so you can maximize your performance and satisfaction
  • 4. A Wellness Lifestyle Approach•Stress is a part of life, but the healthier you are, thebetter able you are to manage stress when it happens •Chronic stress can impact your immune system, which increases your chances of getting sick•Approaching stress management from a wellnesslifestyle approach can: •Prevent stress • Give you the energy you need to handle stress when it happens
  • 5. A Wellness Lifestyle Approach•Healthy Eating•Eating well will: • Increase your stamina • Boost your immune system • Help maintain a healthy weight•Physical ActivityJust 20-30 minutes of exercise a day can: •Give you more energy •Improve your sleep •Sharpen your mental productivity•Sleep•Consistent sleep is critical for a healthy life. •We all need varying amounts of sleep • If we do not get enough sleep, it effects every aspect of our lives
  • 6. Stress Reduction•Healthy Relationships •Support from friends/family •Avoid social isolation •Communication•Time Management •Reduces stress •Increases productivity •Makes life more enjoyable•Money Management •Plan out a budget and stick to it •Know what your school expenses are and how you will cover them•Spirituality •Finding personal meaning in your life
  • 7. Refuting Irrational Ideas Negative ideas and negative self- talk can skew a person’s beliefs about themselves and the world around them A person’s thoughts influence his/her feelings, physical sensations, and behaviors Surrounding yourself with negative ideas = unhappiness and stress
  • 8. Steps to Refuting Irrational Ideas… Pick a situation that consistently generates stress within you:  Write the facts of the event  Include only objective facts  Write down your self talk  State all subjective value judgments  Focus on your emotional response  (ex: “angry,” “worthless,” “depressed,” “afraid,” etc.)  Dispute and change the irrational self talk  Is there any rational support for this idea?  Substitute alternative self talk  Engage in rational thinking
  • 9. Warning Signs Too much stress can cause problems and affect our health, productivity and relationships.Warning Signs of Too Much Stress Changes in sleep patterns Changes in eating patterns Frequent headaches Shorter temper Recurring colds and minor illness Muscle ache and/or tightness Increased Disorganization Increased difficulty in task completion A sense of persistent time pressure Increased frustration and anger
  • 10. Proactive Stress ManagementIt is no secret that psychological stress and physical illness are related.Maintaining a balance between your intellectual, social, and personaldevelopment is the key to a well adjusted college experience.  Add a physical workout to your schedule at least every other day Jog Power walk Swim, etc.  Set both long term (this semester or this year) and short term (this day or this week) goals.  Manage your time Make a schedule  Follow the schedule
  • 11. More on Proactive Stress Management•Each day find twenty minutes of “alone time” to relax•Always ask yourself if the issue at hand is worth gettingupset about •Humor and positive thinking are important tools in stress management. •Communicate: Talk to a person you trust
  • 12. Websites Online Relaxation Exercises (most of these you can download!)Arizona State University Washington University (free IPOD downloads) Southern University and William Smith Colleges State College (click on topics & tools) University (“Other Resources”) – Chapel Hill of Missouri of Texas: MindBody Lab of Texas: Diaphragmatic Breathing of Texas: Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  • 13. Relax Your Mind and Body