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  • 1. Stress and Wellness Management I saw a woman in the aisle of a grocery store pushing a cart, which held a screaming toddler. In a very calm, quiet voice she was saying, “Don’t scream, Jessica. Don’t yell Jessica. Be calm.” I had to admire the way she handled the stress of that moment. I went over to her and told her how wonderfully I thought she dealt with her baby. She replied, . …“I am Jessica.” -Rabbi Bernard Cohen
  • 2. Stress and Wellness Management
    • Stress: The mind and body’s response to a perceived threat or challenge.
      • Note that stress is not a thing rather than a reaction to a thing (stressor)
    • Stressor: The event or perception that causes the mind/body to elicit a stress response.
  • 3. Distress
    • Note the relationship between distress and disease. ( dis-ease )
    • Distress or more commonly called “stress” can initiate the stress response sometimes called the “flight/fight response.
    • Mobilizes the body to fight for its life. It’s a self-preservation adaptation.
  • 4. Stress Response/Fast Response
    • When a threat is perceived the fight/flight response takes place.
    • Energy is instantly mobilized and several hormones released. Their common name is adrenaline.
    • Blood pressure, breathing rate and heart rate go up, digestion and other bodily functions are suppressed to allow all available energy to save your life.
  • 5. Stress Response/Slow response
    • After the adrenaline is released a second hormone is manufactured in the body called cortisol.
    • Cortisol’s job is to release additional stores of energy that replace the energy used up to fight or run away.
    • Cortisol has several drawbacks if distress is chronic and constant (more on this later.)
  • 6. Not all Stress is Bad
    • Stress can be motivational!
    • Eustress: From the word Euphoria
    • Pleasant and Curative Stress
    • Comes from elation and perceived events that are exciting
    • Can give us the “Rush”
    • Competitive edge
  • 7. Most of today’s stressors are not life threatening, yet their cumulative effect can be.
    • Consider the typical things that “stress” you out today.
    • Examples?
    • Not all people perceive all of these as stressful.
    • How many of the stressors we listed are actually benefited by the stress response?
      • Many of these stressors are classified as chronic psychological stress.
  • 8. Chronic Psychological & Societal Stress
  • 9. Chronic Societal Stress
    • This is the stress that can cause dis-ease.
    • This is the stress associated with emotional outbursts, frustration, fatigue and illness. This stress can also lead people to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
    • Elevated cortisol levels result in:
      • Suppressed immune function
      • Suppressed digestion (ulcers)
      • Shuts down growth and repair
        • Both mental and physical
      • Over time can cause weight gain
  • 10. Why don’t Zebras Get Ulcers?
  • 11. Why don’t Zebras Get Ulcers?
    • Their stress is not psychological.
      • They don’t worry about their job responsibilities, blind dates, ozone depletion, global warming, taxes or living on a fixed income.
    • Their stress response does what it evolved to do.
    • Hormones cycle quickly and return to base level.
  • 12. So why don’t some people seem stressed?
    • Remember stress is the mind and body’s reaction to a perceived threat or challenge.
    • Past experiences and genetics may determine our perception of threats & challenges and brain chemistry.
    • Relative health, age, social situation and fatigue can change our perceptions of what is stressful.
    • Some people manage their stress in healthy ways.
  • 13. So what’s a stressed person to do?
    • Stress/Wellness Management
      • A lifestyle priority
      • A plan that works for you.
        • You have a variety of options
        • These options give you a sense of control-There is hope.
  • 14. The Relaxation Response
  • 15. The Relaxation Response
    • Dr. Herbert Benson/ Harvard Cardiologist founder of the Benson/Henry institute for mind and body.
    • Western Medicine meets eastern philosophy.
    • 1975 he describes the relaxation response
    • Meditation elicits a strong mind/body experience.
    • Long term benefits
  • 16. What does Meditation do?
    • The relaxation response: Lowers heart, respiration rate and B.P.
    • Increases feel-good chemicals in the brain
    • Helps to cycle cortisol
    • Brings on feelings of wellbeing
      • After 4-5 weeks of regular meditation the person’s response to chronic stress is greatly suppressed.
      • Acts like a alpha/beta blocking drug for the heart.
  • 17. The Relaxation Response
    • Do this first thing in the morning.
    • Sit in a comfortable chair in a quiet environment
    • Close your eyes and relax your body.
    • Focus on a word/phrase/thought that keeps you in the moment. Examples: calm, relax, smooth, warm, peace.
    • You may use a relaxation cd to aid you. There are many types.
    • Do this everyday for 15-20 minutes or two 10 minute sessions.
  • 18. Other Wellness/Stress management techniques
    • Diet & Exercise
    • Sleep
    • Vacations/planned fun.
    • Hobbies/avocations
  • 19. What does exercise do?
    • Ever feel really good after a good workout?
    • Endorphin release
    • Dopamine production
    • Balances cortisol
    • Energizes the body and mind
  • 20. Study of College Students
    • Meditation reduced binge drinking 30%
    • Exercise reduced binge drinking 30%
    • Both meditation and exercise reduced binge drinking in students by up to 60%
    • Why?
    • Students claimed they didn’t feel “the need”
  • 21. Sleep, you can’t live without it.
    • Rat study/teamsters study.
    • Sleep cycle requires long sessions of uninterrupted sleep to get maximum REM.
    • Average adult needs approx. 8 full hours of sleep to feel fully refreshed.
  • 22. What does sleep do for us?
    • Balances stress hormones/cortisol.
    • Scrubs receptors in our brain.
    • Replenishes ATP to all cells
    • Allow neurons to grow & consolidate memories
    • Allows body to remove and repair damage from the toxic effects of free radicals in the environment.
    • Increases physical, mental and emotional performances during periods of wakefulness.
  • 23. Prioritize
    • Guilt is a wasted emotion.
    • You are so important to many people but you are also important to yourself.
    • You can’t help others when you are sick.
    • Are 19 hours of stressful wakefulness better than 16 hours of when you are at your best?
    • How can you gain control?
  • 24. Other Techniques for Stress management
    • Listening to music.
    • Volunteering to help others.
    • Planning then doing a “fun” event with others.
      • Vacation, party, concert, play.
    • Reading, sleeping, dancing and more!
    • Reduce sugar and processed food intake.
  • 25. Side Effects Associated with Stress Reduction
    • Health
    • Happiness
    • A Feeling of Radiant well-being
    • Memories that can last a lifetime