What is Stress? Class brainstorm Stress can be defined as our mental,physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to any perceived demands or threats.
Fight or Flight Physiological reaction (racing heartbeat, breathing rate increased, dilated pupils, tense muscles, and mind process information rapidly). When presented with a threat => our bodies react quickly to supply protection by "turning on the juices" and preparing to take action. This physiological reaction is known as the "fight or flight" response. Example : Caveman and tiger
Example #2: Public Speaking In groups, draw/list some examples of signs of stress in these various areas: Physical Behavioral Cognitive Emotional
Signs of stress Physical Increased heart rate Clammy or sweaty hands Physically shaking Rapid and shallow breathing Jaw tightens Light-headed Behavioral Stuttering Looking down a lot Avoid eye contact with the audience Absence on day of presentation Rushing through presentation
Signs of stress (cont’) Cognitive Your mind may go blank Your thoughts might race wildly. You might have thoughts about making a mistake or looking ridiculous in front of your peers. Emotional You might feel Very anxious Fearful Resentful/Angry Frustrated
Now let’s determine what your stressors are… Please fill out the handout “What Seems Stressful To You”. What are the different situations in your life that are causing the most stress at this time? One of the first steps to managing stress is to be able to identify what the stressors are in our lives.
Remember: Stress is a normal part of life! It can help us:
Not All Stress is "Bad”There are two types of stress: Distressis a continuous feeling of being: Overwhelmed, Oppressed, Behind in our responsibilities Examples: financial difficulties, conflicts in relationships, excessive obligations, managing a chronic illnes experiencing a trauma. Eustress is a positive and beneficial form of stress. May be challenging but sources of the stress are opportunities that are meaningful. Helps provide us with energy and motivation to meet our responsibilities and achieve our goals. Examples: graduating from college, getting married, (+) Changes in our jobs
What can lead to stress? Stress generally comes from 4 main areas:
Four main sources of stress: Environmental Factors excessive noise, bad weather or natural disasters, traffic, pollution, problems with roommates or neighbors Social Factors deadlines, financial problems, group projects, disagreements, demands on time and attention, dating, balancing work and school, loss of a loved one, conflicts with family
Four main sources of stress Physiological adolescence, illness, accidents, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, alcohol or drug use/abuse, sleep disturbances, muscle tension, headaches, upset stomach Thoughts Our perception of events, expecting too much from others, making decisions, having a pessimistic attitude, expecting problem-free living, worrying, being perfectionistic, being competitive, being self-critical, making assumptions
How can too much “stress” affect us? Affect our physical and mental well being. Interfere with our normal daily activities. Diminish our self-esteem. Impair relationships. Decrease work and academic effectiveness. Can lead to self-blame, self-doubt, feeling burned out, or becoming clinically anxious or depressed.
Some important facts about stress: 43% of adults experienced adverse health effects from stress 75-90% of visits to a physician's office are for stress-related conditions and complaints Stress has been linked to the 6 leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide In the workplace, stress may be related to lost hours due to absenteeism, reduced productivity, and worker's compensation benefits. This costs the American industry more than $300 billion annually.
How vulnerable are you to stress? Fill out ‘Vulnerability to Stress Worksheet”
Why do we “stress out”? We stress out for 2 main reasons: 1) We perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful. 2) We don't believe we have the resources to cope.
Perception and stress how we perceive an event + the meaning we give to it = level that we feel stressed or not stressed about it. (Example: reaction to test results) Irrational beliefs that we have about ourselves also impact how well we can handle stressful events in our life. Ellis’s A B C A – Activating Event B – Beliefs C – Consequences (ability to cope) Ex. Losing a job
Irrational Beliefs Do any of these sound familiar to beliefs you may have of yourself or messages you have heard in your life?
How to address irrational beliefs? Remember this will require some work and won’t happen over night. First, develop awareness of the thoughts that seem to be making you unhappy/miserable Next, evaluate the accuracy of the thoughts. Then, prepare thoughts that are incompatible with the irrational thoughts and practice saying them firmly to yourself. Finally, reward yourself with a mental pat on the back for making effective changes in your beliefs and thought patterns
Now… Let’s try to address some of our irrational beliefs…
Identifying Irrational Beliefs that blow stressors out of proportion. First let’s look at some examples (refer to the handout). Do any of these sound familiar to you? Now, turn the paper over and fold it in half (vertically). Keep the paper folded. On one side write down some irrational beliefs you feel you may have or critical messages you may tell yourself. On the other side, how are some new ways (rational alternatives) of looking at the situation that keep things in perspective?
Some stress warning signals Important to be aware of external and internal warning signs. What are your stress symptoms when you feel stressed out? Fill out the “Stress Warning Signals Worksheet”
12 Suggestions for Reducing Stress Find a support system. Change your attitude. “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it”. Be realistic.
12 Suggestions for Reducing Stress (continued) Get organized and take charge! Take breaks, give yourself “me” time. Take good care of yourself.
12 Suggestions for Reducing Stress (continued) Learn to say “no”. Get regular exercise. Get a hobby, do something different.
12 Suggestions for Reducing Stress (continued) Slow down. Laugh, use humor. Learn to relax.
2 Types of Relaxation Exercises Deep Breathing When we are stressed our breathing becomes shallow and our frequency of breaths increase. Allows us to take fuller, slower breaths that reflect a true relaxed state. Visualization Giving our minds and bodies a “mini vacation”. Using imagery to fully immerse ourselves in a pleasant scene, noticing the sights, sounds, smells, and tactile sensations
Guided Visualization Exercise An example to relaxation exercises.
Break in to pairs and discuss the following questions: Where did your visualization take you? Do you feel more calm/relaxed after going through this exercise? What did you see, hear, feel, smell during your visualization/did anything in particular stand out? What was it like throwing your burdens into the water? How does it feel to be back in the classroom? Is this technique/exercise something you might do in the future to clam down, relax and reduce your stress?
I’d like to leave you all with a song…Avenue Q’s– “For Now” PRINCETON: Why does everything have to be so hard? GARYCOLEMAN: Maybe you'll never find your purpose. CHRISTMASEVE: Lots of people don't. PRINCETON: But then- I don't know why I'm even alive! KATEMONSTER: Well, who does, really? Everyone's a little bit unsatisfied. BRIAN: Everyone goes 'round a little empty inside. GARYCOLEMAN: Take a breath, Look around,
Avenue Q – “For Now” BRIAN: Swallow your pride, KATEMONSTER: ornow... BRIAN, KATE, GARY, CHRISTMAS EVE: For now... NICKY: Nothinglasts, ROD: Life goes on, NICKY: Full of surprises. ROD: You'll be faced with problems of all shapes and sizes.
Avenue Q – “For Now” CHRISTMAS EVE: You're going to have to make a few compromises... For now... TREKKIE MONSTER: For now... ALL: But only for now! (For now) Only for now! (For now) Only for now! (For now) Only for now! LUCY: For now we're healthy. BRIAN: For now we're employed.
Avenue Q – “For Now” BAD IDEA BEARS: For now we're happy... KATE MONSTER: If not overjoyed. PRINCETON: And we'll accept the things we cannot avoid, for now... GARY COLEMAN: For now... TREKKIE MONSTER: For now... KATE MONSTER: For now...
Avenue Q – “For Now” ALL: But only for now! (For now) Only for now! (For now) Only for now! (For now) Only for now! Only for now! (For now there's life!) Only for now! (For now there's love!) Only for now! (For now there's work!) For now there's happiness! But only for now! (For now discomfort!) Only for now! (For now there's friendship!) Only for now (For now!) Only for now! Only for now! (Sex!) Is only for now! (Your hair!) Is only for now! (George Bush!) Is only for now!
Avenue Q – “For Now” Don't stress, Relax, Let life roll off your backs Except for death and paying taxes, Everything in life is only for now! NICKY: Each time you smile... ALL: ...Only for now KATEMONSTER: It'll only last a while. ALL: ...Only for now PRINCETON: Life may be scary...
Avenue Q – “For Now” ALL: ...Only for now But it's only temporary Ba-dumba-dum Ba-dumba-dum Badumba-dum Ba-dadadada ba-dada-dadada-da Ba-dumba-da, ba-dumba-da ohhhh- PRINCETON: Everything in life is only for now.
Homework Use the self-assessment and time management worksheet as a guide to fill out the study skills worksheet. Study skills worksheet will be due onWednesday, September30. Reminder: Quiz is on Sept. 30 We will be reviewing on Monday. You will also receive Part I of quiz on Monday - “Reading Focus Questions”.