Stress Management


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Powerpoint that gives an introduction to the sources and kinds of stress, and some recommendations and suggestions for reducing one's stress.

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Stress Management

  1. 2. <ul><li>Physical, chemical or emotional factors … </li></ul><ul><li>that cause physical or mental tension, and … </li></ul><ul><li>are quite possibly responsible for between 70 and 80 percent of all diseases and illnesses </li></ul><ul><li>Harmful physical and emotional responses that happen when we have to deal with something that we don’t have the capabilities or resources necessary to deal with at that time </li></ul><ul><li>“ Job stress” is the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. </li></ul>
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  3. 4. <ul><li>Christmas/major holiday </li></ul><ul><li>Birth of a new baby </li></ul><ul><li>Illness </li></ul><ul><li>Winning the lottery </li></ul><ul><li>New job duties </li></ul><ul><li>Loan for a new car </li></ul><ul><li>New neighbors </li></ul><ul><li>Moving </li></ul><ul><li>Graduation of son/daughter </li></ul><ul><li>Divorce </li></ul><ul><li>Retirement </li></ul><ul><li>Vacation </li></ul><ul><li>Visiting in-laws </li></ul><ul><li>Speeding ticket </li></ul><ul><li>New girlfriend/boyfriend </li></ul><ul><li>Riding a roller coaster </li></ul><ul><li>Was it easy to identify each of these as one or the other? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think you would agree with someone else’s choice of each one? </li></ul><ul><li>What would account for the difference? </li></ul>
  4. 5. Hans Selye (SELL - yuh), a Swiss researcher, proposed that when we face stress, our bodies go through three stages. In the Alarm stage, our bodies use up available energy and produce protective stress hormones (such as adrenaline) to help us cope with the stress (short term). If the stress continues longer, we go into the Resistance stage, during which our body continues to supply high levels of those same hormones to help us cope with the stressor. This can go on for days, weeks, or even much longer until the stressor is gone, or … if it continues … we move into the third stage, Exhaustion, in which we can experience serious danger to our health. This is because we cannot physically function permanently at the Resistance stage – it’s just too much for our body to continue functioning endlessly at that high level of energy and resource consumption required in Resistance. During Resistance, our immune system is weakened as well, which leads to an increased likelihood of illness and disease. Selye did his work primarily on animals, so of course us humans have some emotional and mental factors that have some saving grace for us, but this model is helpful in showing us the dangers of ongoing stress, especially when we don’t recognize it and try to find ways to productively deal with it. Level of normal resistance Alarm stage Exhaustion stage
  5. 6. <ul><li>Breathing rate quickens, becomes shallower (meaning not as much oxygen intake) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased heart rate/ heart palpitations </li></ul><ul><li>Muscles tense </li></ul><ul><li>Decreased bloodflow to extremities (which is why your hands become clammy and cold) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased output of adrenaline (explaining why you would feel “wired” and your hands may shake) </li></ul><ul><li>Tightness in the chest; chest pains </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of sexual desire/energy </li></ul><ul><li>Immune system becomes less effective (which is why people who undergo prolonged stress may get colds, flu, infections, and allergies more often than others) </li></ul><ul><li>Intestinal and digestive problems </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep disturbances, fatigue </li></ul><ul><li>Headaches, backaches, neck pain </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Difficulty concentrating, having trouble making decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety, depression </li></ul><ul><li>Forgetfulness, mental lapses in judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Confusion, inability to make decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Distractibility, irritability, impatience </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking disturbances (repeated thoughts may intrude, or avoidance of certain thoughts) </li></ul><ul><li>Mood swings, emotional “meltdown”, panic attacks, feeling “out of control” </li></ul><ul><li>Inability to manage emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Weight management difficulties (over/under eating) </li></ul><ul><li>Feelings of being out of control, fear, panic </li></ul><ul><li>Irritability, anger, restlessness </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawal from network of friends/family </li></ul><ul><li>Clenched fists, gritting teeth, or other out of character behavior </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Inability to concentrate on tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Watching the clock </li></ul><ul><li>Not dealing well with change </li></ul><ul><li>Finding reasons to take sick leave </li></ul><ul><li>Having the “weekend dreads” (spending much of Saturday and Sunday dreading Monday) </li></ul><ul><li>Tired during the day </li></ul>
  8. 9. You may have heard that ‘the only thing that doesn’t change is that things keep changing.” If you think about all those examples of distressors and eustressors we looked at back on slide # 4 (use your back arrow  to page back if you want to see them again, and your forward arrow  to come back here), you can understand why Kurt Lewin (leh - VEEN), a psychological researcher, said that all stress has to do with some kind of change, whether it’s change in the weather (hurricane, flood), change in some relationship (divorce, marriage, death, birth), change in your financial or social situation, and on and on. Dr. Lewin described three states; the Present state, The Transition state (which is the Change Event), and the New state. During that Transition, we of course have thoughts and emotions about the change, and then behavioral reactions. He went on to suggest that although we have no control over the Change Event, we do have control over our thoughts, which in turn can affect our emotions and behavior about that Change. So our behavioral reaction then is affected by our perspective (which is, of course, what really determines what kind of thoughts and emotions we have about that Change. Let’s take a closer look at perspective.
  9. 10. <ul><li>It’s a beautiful Friday morning in the middle of May in central North Dakota, but off to the west are some clouds. And as it happens, the clouds roll in, and by noon it’s raining. Now with that in mind, what is the perspective of this situation from each of the following people? </li></ul><ul><li>The fifth grade teacher of a class that was scheduled for a field trip and picnic that afternoon </li></ul><ul><li>A retired couple who had just put in their entire garden a few days ago </li></ul><ul><li>Three friends who were planning on leaving for Montana on a motorcycle trip </li></ul><ul><li>A stockbroker in Atlanta </li></ul><ul><li>It’s Monday evening. Jerry, Tanya, and Bryce each are making an important presentation at staff meeting tomorrow that could affect who gets that promotion. While finishing up his PowerPoint, a freak power surge fries his computer, and he loses everything, including his flash drive that had his backup copy. He calls the boss in panic, but the meeting can’t be postponed. What’s the perspective from: </li></ul><ul><li>The boss’s point of view? </li></ul><ul><li>Tanya’s? Bryce’s? </li></ul><ul><li>Jerry’s? </li></ul><ul><li>The company that makes the laptops? </li></ul><ul><li>Jerry’s family? </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>So we can begin to understand why change is so closely related to stress… </li></ul><ul><li>Even when the Present state is less than desirable, at least it’s predictable, and sometimes that feels a lot safer than the unknown. Examples could include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a job we don’t really like, but at least we have financial security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>neighbors that we’re not crazy about, but moving would be expensive, and a general hassle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I could exercise in the mornings, but I like to watch those M.A.S.H. reruns until 11:30, and I am too tired to get up earlier </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Change is even more difficult if we are already stressed </li></ul><ul><li>Change (the Transition state or Change event) creates thoughts and emotions, and they are not always pleasant ones (fear, uncertainty, anxiety) </li></ul>Here’s the process of change, in a nutshell:
  11. 12. <ul><li>There are a few main principles to the successful management of stress. What are they? First, it’s important to </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a positive attitude (another way of saying to check your perspective!) </li></ul><ul><li>Take a close look at your time management skills. Any strategies you can use to save time will certainly be a stress reducer. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s also an excellent idea to increase your physical activity , especially if you have a job where you are less physically active. And it doesn’t have to be expensive; studies have shown that walking is one of the best low impact ways to exercise. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers. </li></ul><ul><li>Find (make!) time for true relaxation regularly; an active diversion that is pleasing and fun for you (such as a hobby, learning something new, etc.), that can take your mind and spirit on “mini-vacations.” (We said active, because TV doesn’t count – most of us watch too much of it anyway!) </li></ul><ul><li>It will also be beneficial to learn what your stressors are , how you react to them, and how best to manage them. </li></ul><ul><li>Good sleep habits . You probably have a good idea of how much sleep you need at night. Get it. It’s also interesting to note that researchers say that it’s not only important to get enough sleep, but also to keep the same time schedule for going to bed and getting up. Our bodies do much better on a regular cycle. </li></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><li>Re-evaluate your diet, as well as your eating habits . Grandma was right; fruit and vegetables are good for you. Limit your intake of fats, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. And “grazing” (eating a number of small meals throughout the day) may be better for us. Nutritionist Antony Haynes says that “grazing was the way our body was designed to eat. Large meals burden the digestive system.” </li></ul><ul><li>It should be obvious to limit or avoid smoking and drug use . Liquor and drugs reduce the perception of stress, but they do not reduce stress. </li></ul><ul><li>None of us is an island. We all need others who are positive and supportive. Cultivate those friendships that make you feel good about yourself and the world. People who have a good support system live longer and happier than those who don’t. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a sense of humor ; it really helps with the perspective thing! </li></ul><ul><li>If you have a hard time saying “no,” learn to do so respectfully and firmly. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to be still. That means paying attention to your spirit. Do yoga, prayer, meditation, or centering; whatever you call it, it’s critical to your health. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, establish what your priorities and goals are , and then do your best to live by them. Speaking of this point, you might enjoy the story on the next two pages… </li></ul>
  13. 14. A college professor instructing a class full of high-powered, driven, MBA candidates decided to make a point to this group of overachievers. He announced to the class, “It’s time for a quiz.” There was shuffling in the room as the students pulled out pen and paper and prepared themselves to expound on some esoteric principle of macroeconomics. To their surprise, the professor produced a large, wide-mouthed glass jar from behind his desk. As the class looked on, the professor placed a series of fist-sized rocks into the jar until the rocks reached the top of the jar. “Is the jar full,” he queried the class? One particularly eager student raised her hand, but could not even wait to be called on. She proclaimed, “Yes, professor, the jar is full.” “Are you sure,” asked the professor, patiently? He produced a jar filled with small pebbles and began to pour them into the first jar until they filled all the space between the larger rocks. When he’d finished he asked again, “Is the jar full?” Skeptical, from being burned the first time, someone said, “Probably not.” Smiling, the professor pulled out a jar of sand and poured it into the first jar. The sand seeped into the crevices between the pebbles and filled the space. As the sand reached the top, the professor had one of the students come to the front of the room and pat the sand down and smooth it so that it was even with the top of the jar. “Now is the jar full?”
  14. 15. A few people were now ready to guess again that the jar was full. The professor pulled out a bottle of water and began pouring it into the jar. The water was absorbed by the sand. When he had poured as much water as the jar could hold, the professor asked one more time if the jar was full. The class sat there, a bit unsure. Finally, the professor confirmed that the jar was now full. “If we apply this example to our lives,” the professor asked, “what is the lesson?” One student raised his hand and said, “That if we really, really try we can always fit one more thing into our lives?” “ No,” responded the professor, satisfied that they had taken the bait, “The lesson is that …” <ul><li>What is the lesson that the professor was trying to communicate? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the Big Rocks in your life? </li></ul><ul><li>What things represent the gravel, sand and water? </li></ul>
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  16. 17. Finally, let’s take a couple of minutes and give you a chance to develop your basic stress reduction plan. It’s simple – all you need to do is grab a pen and a sheet of paper, and write down these 5 statements, and then, after you’ve finished this program and signed out, answer them. Easy!! <ul><li>One of my stress – related problems is … </li></ul><ul><li>This is what I am doing that needs to be changed … </li></ul><ul><li>This is what I will do instead … </li></ul><ul><li>This is how my plan will work: what is it? where will I do it? How often? </li></ul><ul><li>This is how I will evaluate my progress … </li></ul>
  17. 18. Choose the best answer for the following five questions. (Yes, we have the answers later!) <ul><li>1. Stress … </li></ul>Is mostly bad, but kind of good Is mostly good Is always bad Can be good or bad, depending on your perspective Both good and bad
  18. 19. <ul><li>2. Which of the following was not one of our definitions of stress: </li></ul>Harmful physical and emotional responses that happen when we don’t have the resources to deal with something Physical, chemical, or emotional factors that cause mental or physical tension and increase the chance of becoming sick Mental, spiritual, emotional or physical participation in an activity that requires our attention and concentration Being expected to do things at work that bring on damaging emotional responses due to a poor match between one’s responsibilities and their skills, needs and available resources
  19. 20. <ul><li>3. The two kinds of stress that Hans Selye theorized are </li></ul>Minusstress and Plusstress Distress and Plusstress Distress and Eustress Prostress and Constress
  20. 21. <ul><li>4. The General Adaptation Syndrome model has three stages. They are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>Alarm, Resistance, Exhaustion Normal, Pre-exhaustion, Exhaustion Alarm, Pre-resistance, Resistance Alarm, Exhaustion, Death Normal, Exhaustion, Death
  21. 22. <ul><li>5. A common factor in virtually all varieties of stress is: </li></ul>Money Lack of sleep Change Lack of a support system (relationships) Poor nutrition and inconsistent sleep habits
  22. 23. 1. Stress … d. can be good or bad, depending on your perspective 2. Which of the following was not one of our definitions of stress: c. mental, spiritual, emotional or physical participation in an activity that requires our attention and concentration 3. The two kinds of stress that Hans Selye theorized are c. Distress and Eustress 4. The General Adaptation Syndrome model has three stages. They are: a. Alarm, Resistance, Exhaustion 5. A common factor in virtually all varieties of stress is: c. Change
  23. 24. Developed by Lee Lundberg - Human Resource Management Services.