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How to Live the Zen Life: The Negative Effects of Stress and How to Get Rid of it How to Live the Zen Life: The Negative Effects of Stress and How to Get Rid of it Presentation Transcript

  • How to Live the Zen Life The Negative Effects of Stress and How to Get Rid of It By Delilah Gail Hinman
  • most of us are stressed Everyday people are affected by stress, both physically and emotionally, whether because of work related issues, school, family, or life in general. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), one-third of Americans feel they are living under extreme stress and fifty-four percent say they are concerned about the level stress in their daily lives. Oftentimes our society is constantly on the go with deadlines, meetings, and appointments. Most of us don’t take enough time to stop and enjoy life; instead we spend it working during the week and doing chores on the weekends. “For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price” (Smith).
  • most of us are stressed Everyday people are affected by stress, both physically and emotionally, whether because of work related issues, school, family, or life in general. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), one-third of Americans feel they are living under extreme stress and fifty-four percent say they are concerned about the level stress in their daily lives. Oftentimes our society is constantly on the go with deadlines, meetings, and appointments. Most of us don’t take enough time to stop and enjoy life; instead we spend it working during the week and doing chores on the weekends. “For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price” (Smith). What exactly is stress, and what is causing it? What are the ramifications of such a busy life? Let’s find out.
  • What is stress? Stress is a biological reaction of quickened heartbeat and heightened awareness when faced with adversity or demanding circumstances. It is also a mental or emotional state when you feel tension, pressure, or inability to complete a task or responsibility.
  • What is stress? Stress is a biological reaction of quickened heartbeat and heightened awareness when faced with adversity or demanding circumstances. It is also a mental or emotional state when you feel tension, pressure, or inability to complete a task or responsibility. What can you do about stress? Popular medical website WebMD suggests: Find out what is causing stress in your life. Look for ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Learn healthy ways to relieve stress or reduce its harmful effects.
  • Causes of Stress Personal issues Illness — If you or a family member has a chronic illness, this can cause a severe amount of stress in a person’s life. Caring for a loved one is a big responsibility. Relationships — Either lacking quality friendships or having trouble with them is an area of stress. Family members can sometimes put a strain on the relationship. Major life changes — Getting married, having a child, changing or losing a job, and moving or buying a new home all have a stressful impact on a person’s life.
  • Causes of Stress External tension Work — Many Americans worry about job security, financial stability, and other work related pressures. Of those surveyed, 62% said work has a serious affect on their stress levels (APA). School — Both teenagers and adults can be stressed out by school, with big projects, due dates, and homework. This is especially true if you have other commitments such as a job and a family. Home — The looming chores waiting for you at home after work cause stress as well. It’s all of the small things like dishes and laundry that built upon an already stressed person.
  • Effects of Stress Decrease in sleep — This can low your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. Studies have shown “state of mind affects one's state of health” (APA). A healthy, stress free mind typically means a healthy, stress free body. Lowering of immune system — This warning sign and effect of stress will often lead to greater susceptibility to frequent sickness, headaches, nausea, and increased heart rate. Stress has been shown to contribute to heart disease, the number one killer in United States (WebMD).
  • Effects of stress Lack of time or focus — Most likely you will be giving up time with your family and friends, and will be unable to focus on the project at hand because you are balancing too many responsibilities. You may become impatient and find it difficult to maintain concentration. Negative attitude — You can become overly irritable and lose your temper. Constant worry and dissatisfaction may also occur. Many people overly criticize themselves or other around them. Depression may set in when under severe stress. Increase or decrease in appetite — Often your appetite will be affected, either consuming more or less than normal. Eating too many “comfort foods” can be unhealthy, leading to weight gain, higher cholesterol, and lack of stamina.
  • Effects of stress Lack of time or focus — Most likely you will be giving up time with your family and friends, and will be unable to focus on the project at hand because you are balancing too many responsibilities. You may become impatient and find it difficult to maintain concentration. Negative attitude — You can become overly irritable and lose your temper. Constant worry and dissatisfaction may also occur. Many people overly criticize themselves or other around them. Depression may set in when under severe stress. Increase or decrease in appetite — Often your appetite will be affected, either consuming more or less than normal. Eating too many “comfort foods” can be unhealthy, leading to weight gain, higher cholesterol, and lack of stamina. Psychologist Nialla Bolgar says it is “become increasingly apparent that minor, everyday stressors influence health and psychological well-being.”
  • Coping with Stress Negative strategies Becoming overly emotional or anxious — This often leads to frequent crying or getting angry and taking it out on those close to you. It may also include criticizing yourself. Excessive drug consumption — You should avoid too much coffee and alcoholic drinking, cigarette smoking, and drug use (don’t abuse the aspirin). Overeating — Especially of unhealthy, “comfort foods” or fast food, which only make your body feel worse. Bottling up your emotions or holding it in, not expressing yourself — This can lead to an explosion of emotion later on, which is Procrastination or avoidance — Doing this unhealthy. While you shouldn’t yell at doesn’t solve the problem or make your someone, you also shouldn’t keep it all in. responsibilities go away.
  • Coping with Stress Positive strategies Make a to-do list — Often writing out each task you need to accomplish helps us focus on one thing at a time. At the top of the list write down your biggest priorities. Reevaluate the items near the bottom of the list: do they really need to be accomplished (right now)? Make sure to set a realistic timeline and goals. Cross off each task when it’s completed. This will give you a small sense of accomplishment. Keep a stress journal — Keeping a journal to document your daily stress can help you cope. Record what has caused the stress and how you feel about it. This will help to relieve some of the tension you may be feeling. Later on you can look back and see what you have overcome.
  • Coping with stress Positive strategies Meditating or praying — Relaxing your body and clearing your mind will help you cope with some of the stress. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focusing your thoughts and praying also helps to get out some of the stress (ZenHabits). Talk through your stress — Discussing your situation with your partner, a family member, or friend will often help relieve some of the tension. Having a supportive ear is one of the best ways to express your frustration and feel more relieved.
  • REducing stress Set goals — Setting goal a short- and long- term goals helps to reduce stress. Make a plan and set a realistic goal, marking achievements along the way and stay focused. This way you know where you’re going and what you’ve already accomplished (WebMD). Just say “No!” — Oftentimes we offer to help or agree to do something when we really don’t mean it or have the time for it. Be honest with the person and yourself: do you have enough time and energy for another project? If you have some limited time, offer to help with a specific aspect, such as helping bake cookies but not necessarily helping sell them. See a therapist — Talking with a counselor will definitely help reduce the tension in your life. You can explain how you’re feeling and they can guide you to become a more emotionally stable person
  • RElieving stress Exercise — The absolute number one best ways to manage stress is exercise, whether it be going to the gym, yoga, or just going for a daily walk with your pet. Stretching and being active helps relieve tension in your body. You get a better night sleep and overall feel healthier. You can work out your frustration while working on your body. “A fitter person is better equipped to handle stress” (Zen Habits).
  • Relieving stress Make time for yourself — Making some me Do something creative — Do some leisurely time is also important. Get a pedicure, listening painting. It doesn’t matter how it turns out as to some music, take a bubble bath or long long as you are enjoying yourself. Writing can shower. You could also take up a hobby if you alleviate stress as well. Keep a journal (perhaps have time available—something you can do in different from your stress journal), write a your spare time, like photography, doing a letter to a friend, or start a blog as an outlet to puzzle, or gardening. Reading can also help express your thoughts and emotions. your mind and body slow down and concentrate on something else for awhile. Spend time with family or friends — Don’t seclude yourself from other people. Getting Sleep — Getting more rest has been proven to together, even for something quick like lunch boost productivity and generally makes for a (you have to eat anyway!), relieves tension and happier person. It lets your mind and body usually puts you in a better mood. Go out to a relax and rejuvenate. Cutting back on sleep movie or do shopping with a friend, or play a definitely has negative affects. If you’re really board game with your family. Spending even a pressed for time, even just a quick cat nap or small amount of time with others allows you to lying down and closing your eyes for a few focus on someone and something else for a minutes helps. little while.
  • Relieving stress Make time for yourself — Making some me Do something creative — Do some leisurely time is also important. Get a pedicure, listening painting. It doesn’t matter how it turns out as to some music, take a bubble bath or long long as you are enjoying yourself. Writing can shower. You could also take up a hobby if you alleviate stress as well. Keep a journal (perhaps have time available—something you can do in different from your stress journal), write a your spare time, like photography, doing a letter to a friend, or start a blog as an outlet to puzzle, or gardening. Reading can also help express your thoughts and emotions. your mind and body slow down and concentrate on something else for awhile. Spend time with family or friends — Don’t seclude yourself from other people. Getting Sleep — Getting more rest has been proven to together, even for something quick like lunch boost productivity and generally makes for a (you have to eat anyway!), relieves tension and happier person. It lets your mind and body usually puts you in a better mood. Go out to a relax and rejuvenate. Cutting back on sleep movie or do shopping with a friend, or play a definitely has negative affects. If you’re really board game with your family. Spending even a pressed for time, even just a quick cat nap or small amount of time with others allows you to lying down and closing your eyes for a few focus on someone and something else for a minutes helps. little while. “...Effective stress relievers are essential in restoring inner peace and physical health.” — Elizabeth Scott, M.S.
  • Advice from a counselor Pastor Matt Manning, marriage counselor Matt works at Crossroads Church as assistant pastor and marriage counselor, with his Masters of Divinity from Southern Seminary. He is also is happily married and has a fourteen-month-old son named Theo. Me: What is your approach to counseling? Matt: My approach to counseling is pretty simple. I try to take people where they are and help them discover there is a better way. We can always handle money better, relationships better, stress better, and God speaks to a lot of those issues. It is when people realize what they should/could do then act on it.
  • Advice from a counselor Me: What would you say is the largest contributor to stress for those you counsel? Matt: In the people I see there are usually three main stresses: Other people—people are always worried about others; money; and lack of communication. Lack of communication is a big cause of stress in any relationship. Stress tends to blow things out of proportion...In marriage, 80% of the time it is not being able to communicate with your spouse. When people talk about things, it relieves a lot of what they are dealing with. Me: What stresses you out the most, and how do you deal with it? Matt: I feel the negative side [of stress] when I start to forget things, which in turn frustrates me, and then I am an irritable person. In short I get moody and short with people. My personal way of handling stress is to be organized. It is also the advice I give to others. If I control what I can, then I everything else just happens. For example, I know how much money comes in every month so I just plan for it. I know how much time is expected for me at home and work so I make that time happen. At the end of the day we can only control what we can.
  • A nursing student’s Advice Bekah Nichols, nursing student Bekah is a nursing student at CU Denver who is planning to go into hospice care when she graduates. Right now she is taking some time off from school to raise her seven-month-old daughter Hannah. Me: What do you feel is the biggest cause of stress? Bekah: Stress can cause a lot of health Me: How do you know when you’re problems. People who are long-termed stressed? What do you do about it? stressed typically live short lives. People need to learn how to maintain a better schedule, to Bekah: When I’m stressed I often don’t even balance between priorities. realize I am stressed about something, that is, until I start snapping at other people or Bekah: Go for a walk or light a scented avoiding my responsibilities. But in the end, I candle. to help you relax. On a side note: take a bubble bath and everything works holding a baby usually makes you happier!” itself out.
  • From my point of view Delilah Hinman, student and freelancer I am an English Writing major with an emphasis in Teaching ESL, and am hoping to finally graduate by spring of next year after six years of college. I work part-time as a web administrator at a local non-profit and also run a freelance web design studio on the side. I wanted to research this topic because I can be a rather stressed person. Most of my stress tends to come from my perfectionist, type A personality, whether from work or school. Sometimes I judge myself too harshly and can be quite serious. To combat this self-critical nature I enjoy writing in my journal, listening to acoustic guitar music, and experimenting in the kitchen (http://eatables.org).
  • Survey insights I conducted a survey asking respondents about the stress in their daily lives (all responses are anonymous). Here is what some of the respondents had to say: “The times that I do feel less stressed are when I am organized. Everything seems pile up and unmanageable, but if and when I make a list, stick to a schedule, along with healthy foods and exercise, it works. If I make excuses to not exercise or eat healthy, I feel the stress almost immediately.” “I’m always working at staying present in the moment. It’s tough, but it helps a great deal.” “I force myself to go out with friends, or even just hang with them to grab a meal. When I’m there I force myself to not think of anything outside this immediate situation, and think of my friends instead of myself. This used to be hard, but now it’s so refreshing and relaxing to know that when I’m with my friends, it’s their time, and it’s about them, and then I have a great time!” “I handle problems one step at a time. I enjoy living and remind myself that living happy is more important than living with stress. I live modestly—things don’t make be happy. I must make myself happy without the need for materials.” “When I feel I can’t take it anymore, I talk to God about it and vent my frustrations, and ask Him for His help. Then I’m soothed by this peace which is so euphoric it’s hard to describe. It’s not that I forget about my responsibilities, it’s just that they’re put into perspective. I remember that God is so much bigger than any of these things; He can handle it. I do my best and He does the rest!”
  • Survey Graph Average amount of daily stress Thirty-four percent of respondents feel moderately to extremely stressed on a daily basis, 4% 9% with work and life in 8% general being the number one stressors. 25% Extremely stressed Moderately stressed 54% Mildy stressed Hardly stressed Minimal to no stress
  • my challenge to you While most of the facts and tips offered in this documentary are well-known, it’s really a matter of actually taking them to heart. My challenge to you is to set a goal, a goal of becoming a less stressed, happier, healthier individual, whether that means just going for a daily walk, eating better, or reducing responsibilities so you can spend more quality time with your family and friends, so you can stop and enjoy your life.
  • my challenge to you While most of the facts and tips offered in this documentary are well-known, it’s really a matter of actually taking them to heart. My challenge to you is to set a goal, a goal of becoming a less stressed, happier, healthier individual, whether that means just going for a daily walk, eating better, or reducing responsibilities so you can spend more quality time with your family and friends, so you can stop and enjoy your life. “Life is not the amounts of breaths you take, its the moments that take your breath away.” — Will Smith in the movie Hitch
  • resource Zen Habits: Simple Productivity — http://zenhabits.net Zen Habits is a weblog maintained by Leo Babauta, author of the best-selling book “The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essentials...in Work and Life.” He offers up daily tips and articles about working smarter, not harder, and how to reduce the amount of stress in our daily lives. Some particular articles of interest: 20 Ways to Eliminate Stress from your Life The Mindfulness Guide for the Super Busy: How to Live Life to the Fullest Simple Living Simplified: 10 Things You Can do Today to Simply Your Life
  • References Bolger, Niall, et al. “Effectives of Daily Stress on Negative Mood.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 57.5 (1989) : 808-818. “Facts & Statistics.” American Psychological Association. 2007. 03 July 2009 <http://www.apahelpcenter.org/articles/topic.php?id=6>. Hitch. Dir. Andy Tennant. Perf. Will Smith. Columbia Pictures, 2005. Manning, Matt. Personal communication. 08 July 2009. Nichols, Bekah. Personal communication. 07 July 2009. Scott, Elizabeth. “Stress Relievers: 25 Ways to Reduce Stress.” About.com. 12 May 2009. 08 July 2009 <http:// stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/stressrelievers.htm>.
  • References Smith, Melinda. “Understanding Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Effects.” HelpGuide.org. July 2009. 04 July 2009 <http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm>. “Stress.” American Psychological Association. 2009. 03 July 2009. <http://www.apa.org/topics/topicstress.html> “Stress Resources.” Insight Journal. 09 July 2008. 04 July 2009. <http://www.anxiety-and-depression-solutions.com/main/stress.php> “Stress Management Health Center.” WebMD. 2009. 02 July 2009. <http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/default.htm> Music by Pot Hocket. “Daydreaming Again.” OverClocked ReMix. 2009. <http://ocremix.org>
  • References: images Audibert, Fernando. Jaque. 17 Dec. 2007. Stock.Xchng <http://www.sxc.hu/photo/922636>. Bramwell, Alex. Meditation. 17 Dec. 2008. Stock.Xchng <http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1121962>. Conner, Margo. Day 79 - f o c u s. 31 October 2007. Yahoo! Inc. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/margolove/1810357551/>. Johnson, Carolita. “Free Stress Test” Cartoon. New Yorker 23 June 2006. Prieto, Leo. Dana hace Yoga en la Playa. 11 Aug. 2004. Yahoo! Inc. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/leoprieto/2487291/>. Sexton, Koka. My to do list. 29 Oct. 2008. Yahoo! Inc. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/ikoka/2984516280/>. Van Holten, Marinka. Down. 5 Apr. 2006. Stock.Xchng <http://www.sxc.hu/photo/501203>. Walls, Martin. Depression. 29 Jan. 2006. Stock.Xchng <http://www.sxc.hu/photo/456960>. Zweettooth. Stress v.2. 12 February 2008. Stock.Xchng <http://www.sxc.hu/photo/951860>.