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Stress Management
Part I
How I Look on
the Outside
How I Look on
the Outside
How I Feel
on the Inside
101 5
How stressed are you?
101 5
Cool as a cucumber
101 5
A shaking Chihuahua
Respondents to our survey reported feeling
moderately or highly stressed.
Americans who report feeling moderate or high
levels of stress.
Stress can be big and scary.
Stress =
The beast within!
Science of Stress
What does stress
mean for you?
STRESS:
a state of mental
tension
Fight Flight
Our response is usually:
Or
We Need a Little Stress
Stress helps us respond quickly
in situations such as heavy traffic.
Dr. Hans Selye first identified the
biological differences between
good stress (eustress) and bad stress
(distress).
Eustress
DistressEustress
60%
Stress is the basic cause of 60% of
all human illness and disease.
Americans experience
“EXTREME STRESS”
STRESS SHRINKS
THE BRAIN
$300 Billion
The cost of stress-related
ailments every year.
What does stress
cost you?
Awareness
What are your
triggers?
Work
Time
Management
Colleagues
Technology
Money
Health
Family
Busy
Schedule
“We stay so busy that the truth of our lives
can’t catch up.” - Brené Brown
Being Busy is Glorified
“It’s not stress that kills us,
it’s our reaction to it.” - Hans Seyle
How does stress
look on you?
Stay tuned for
stress management
tips in Part 2!

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Stress Management - Part 1

Editor's Notes

  1. Welcome to Stress Management! I’m Rachel Heisten, and I’m happy to be leading this class today Live Class Notes: So I’m a little stressed out that we have so many people in the room who are stressed, but we tried to make things as calming as possible- music, pictures, etc. If you’re wondering about the pictures you’ve been seeing on the side screens, those are all pictures gathered from my teammates that represent a stress-free moment, or their “happy place.” We thought you would enjoy that! Housekeeping whiteboards, Kleenex, markers- onsite class only. Worksheet-= fill in as we go along.
  2. How many of you can relate to this? Now, Alissa knows me really well, so she’s very aware that this second picture is actually the real me sometimes. But what most of you don’t know is that I juggle quite a few balls on any given day. I’m married to a great guy with a very busy job, I’ve got a very busy job, we both taught college courses on the side this past semester, I’ve got an 18 month old daughter who has 3 different caretakers each week, lots of house remodeling projects underway or in the queue, a close-knit family that requires LOTS of family time, AND I’m expecting twins in August. It just never stops. But I want to make the point that I’m not teaching this class because I have all the answers on managing stress- quite the opposite! I’m just like most people- some days I’ve got it together, but other days, it’s a mess! It’s also important to state that managing stress isn’t really something that we can ever completely master- our stress and our reactions to it ebb and flow over time, as do our circumstances in life. It’s just part of the human condition, and a natural part of life. BUT- that doesn’t mean we can’t figure out ways to minimize stress, and more importantly, manage it better! And that’s what we’re going to do today.
  3. Let’s get started with a question. At this very moment, how stressed are you?
  4. Or are you a 10- a shaking, hairless chihuahua? Ask- And is that just special to today, or would you say that’s a pretty accurate description of how stressed you feel on a daily basis?
  5. Or are you a 10- a shaking, hairless chihuahua? Ask- And is that just special to today, or would you say that’s a pretty accurate description of how stressed you feel on a daily basis?
  6. You’ll remember filling out a survey after you registered, and according to the results- 85% of those who answered the survey said that you feel moderate or high stress daily. (117 employees answered this survey 73 of those said they experience moderate stress and 26 said they experience high stress regularly.)
  7. That’s actually a little alarming! That’s 20% higher than the national average- only 64% of Americans are suffering from moderate to high stress daily. And it’s on the rise- 44% of Americans report that their stress levels have increased over the past 5 years. So what this tells me is that at Leggett, we’re stressed out! So let’s jump in to what we’re going to discuss today.
  8. First, we’re going to talk about the science of stress- what is it, really, and how does it affect our bodies and minds?
  9. When we were preparing for today’s class, we knew we needed a big, scary thing to personify stress. Something that if not controlled, could eat us alive. In other words- the beast within us. What came to mind was a lion. So for today’s class, think of your stress as this lion, roaring and tearing through your life if he’s not tamed.
  10. So let’s get down to studying this stress thing- what is it and why does it affect us the way it does?
  11. To start- Get our your whiteboards/in the notes section, and in one or two words, what does stress mean to you? How would you define it very simply? Read answers from audience. Point out that the different answers are good= stress means different things to different people. Likely to be mostly negative responses- point this out, too.
  12. Webster defines stress as a state of mental tension. Qualified by words such as worry, problems in life, strong feelings of worry or anxiety, pressure.
  13. That’s how we think of stress, and most of those definitions had something to do with how it made us feel or react. But at a more basic or scientific level, why do we as human beings experience stress? Stress is our body’s natural reaction to harmful things. When we feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in our bodies that allows us to act in a way to prevent injury. This is known as the “fight or flight” stress response.
  14. So we actually NEED a little stress in our lives. And it’s not just to protect ourselves from harm. Why else could a little stress be a good thing? - Take answers from audience- Stress can be a good motivating force, too. How many of you actually get more done and get it done better when you’re under just a little stress or pressure?
  15. Hans Selye (prounounced Sell- Yee) was a 20th century endocrinologist and was the first person to really study stress. He’s considered to be the first person to identify biological stress- in other words- how stress affects our physical selves. Hans identified the biological differences between good stress and bad stress, and he coined the term Eustress, or “Good stress”.
  16. Hans Selye (prounounced Sell- Yee) was a 20th century endocrinologist and was the first person to really study stress. He’s considered to be the first person to identify biological stress- in other words- how stress affects our physical selves. Hans identified the biological differences between good stress and bad stress, and he coined the term Eustress, or “Good stress”.
  17. If you think of stress on a spectrum, Eustress, or good stress, is at one end. This type of stress is infrequent and exists to get us out of trouble or motivate us. We usually handle it just fine because we may not even notice it, and our bodies are equipped to deal with it.
  18. But we are NOT equipped to handle long-term, chronic stress without consequences. If you’re having to slam on your brakes every single day, your mind and body goes into overdrive, and can’t ease itself off the stress response. That’s aptly called Distress. And that’s the kind of stress we are primarily talking about today. Daily, chronic stress that we can’t escape, isn’t temporary, and we think about all the time. That kind of stress is extremely harmful, and you’re about to see just HOW harmful it can be.
  19. Think about this: 60% of all human illness and disease is caused primarily by stress.
  20. 1 in 5 Americans report experiencing “extreme stress” on a regular basis. That’s the kind of stress that causes shaking, heart palpitations, and depression. That means that 20% of us on the phone today have regular extreme stress.
  21. Stress also literally shrinks your brain. “Extreme” stress events (i.e. divorce, job loss) reduce grey matter in regions tied to emotion and physiological functions which can lead to future psychiatric problems like anxiety and depression.
  22. Think about this- stress related ailments cost the United States $300 Billion per year.
  23. So that’s the financial cost. What about YOU- How much do you think your stress costs you? Relationships, behavior, lost productivity, mental health issues, etc.
  24. We know now that stress can be really harmful, so why is there so much stress? Let’s take a look and become more aware of what’s making us so stressed out- in other words, your triggers.
  25. What are your stress triggers?? As we talk about this, write down your top triggers on your worksheet.
  26. That’s Leggett and Platt- but what about everybody else? Americans are the most stressed out people in the world. But globally, and particularly in developed countries, stress is a major problem. There have been many studies done recently on why around the world, people are so stressed out. And while various conclusions have been made, just about every culture has a few things in common regarding the rapid rise of stress. Those things tend to revolve around PACE and drastic changes to our cultures. It’s no secret that the world moves faster than it ever has before, and the speed of life has increased dramatically in the last few decades- and that has impacted our stress level.
  27. So what is it, exactly? What’s causing us to be so stressed out? Well, we’re stressed about our jobs. (Briefcase) We might be overworked, constantly feeling like we don’t have enough time in the day to get things done.
  28. (Clock icon) How many of you feel this way at least 2-3 days each week? How many of you frequently take work home with you, work late, or check emails through the evening and early morning? In the past 20 years, there’s been a 60% increase in productivity at work. People are just working longer and harder than ever before. Wages, however, have remained largely stagnant, meaning people are working harder for less, contributing to stress.
  29. Org chart icon- Maybe we aren’t overworked at work- maybe it’s our boss or colleagues stressing us out. (reference survey if compelling…) Sometimes the personal issues at work can be even more stressful than the workload issues.
  30. Computer icon- We’re stressed because of the rate of technological change and connectivity. We can never be connected enough, caught up enough, and we know WAY too much about what’s going on in the world- I don’t know about you, but not being able to get away from the news is stressful!
  31. Money icon- We’re stressed because of money- not enough, not organized, and not a way to get more. that’s one that’s been around forever, and it’s probably not going anywhere. But for some of us, it can be a daily stressor.
  32. Stethoscope icon- We’re stressed because of our health or the health of a family member. We don’t eat right, most people don’t get enough exercise, we’re worried about the health of our kids and our parents.
  33. We’re stressed because of our relationships. Reference survey if compelling. We have conflict with our spouses, we have fit throwing toddlers and sulky teenagers, we have aging parents and friends with drama.
  34. Calendar icon- And finally, we’re stressed because we are busy. Most of us are far, far too busy, and I want to talk a little about this one.
  35. Brene Brown- scholar and public speaker. Read quote, discuss what it means. We are just too darn busy. When someone used to ask you how you were doing- you’d say “fine” or “good” Now we say busy, Crazy busy. And it’s definitely true of myself and most people I know. We’re over-scheduled and overbooked at work and at home. We take on work obligations and schedule weekends down to the half hour to be with family, friends, our church, a wedding, a birthday party, a baby shower, a sporting event. It affects everyone and I don’t need to convince you that it exists, but I’ll instead ask you a question- WHY? Why are we so busy? There are several reasons, but I think the biggest reason is that in our culture, being busy is Glorified.
  36. Let’s be honest- when you say to someone- I’m so crazy busy! You are basically boasting but disguising it as a complaint. Because again, let’s be honest- being too busy is largely self-imposed. We take on more at work, we overschedule our days, we volunteer to do stuff on weekends, we encourage our children to be involved in everything under the sun. And let’s also be honest- is there a small part of us that enjoys complaining about being busy- does it make us feel self-important, like we can do more than you, or that our lives in some way have more purpose? Could it also be that we do this to ourselves because we fear what’s left in the absence of busyness? I’m quite guilty of being too busy myself, and for feeling guilty when I’m not always contributing or accomplishing something. But I do know that being too busy isn’t an inevitable condition of life- it’s something we’ve chosen and continue to choose as long as we go along with it. My point here is that until we realize that busyness is just another choice, and that we have control of it, it will continue to be just another layer of stress in our lives. We will talk more about how to minimize busyness a little later.
  37. You might be wondering- ok, I know my triggers and I want to minimize stress- let’s get to it! But there’s one more piece we need to identify. We need to identify our reactions to stress. Consider this quote by our friend Hans. (read it) Our triggers aren’t making us sick, they aren’t causing relationship problems, and they aren’t causing problems at work. It’s our reactions to those triggers that cause the real problems, and those reactions are what truly need to be managed. I think what Hans was getting at was that we can’t eliminate stress. We might be able to minimize it, but it’s just a reality of life. Hans also knew that the effects of stress are GOING TO COME OUT sometime. No matter what you do, all these stressors will trigger some kind of reaction. It’s that reaction that causes the actual harm, not the trigger itself.
  38. When I used to do a lot of interviews with candidates thinking about working for Leggett, I used to always ask- “What does stress look like for you? How can people tell if you’re stressed” Of course I almost always got very benign answers, but occasionally, I would get a glimpse into how stress affects this person and how they act when stressed. So what DOES it look like on you? How do you respond to stress?
  39. When I used to do a lot of interviews with candidates thinking about working for Leggett, I used to always ask- “What does stress look like for you? How can people tell if you’re stressed” Of course I almost always got very benign answers, but occasionally, I would get a glimpse into how stress affects this person and how they act when stressed. So what DOES it look like on you? How do you respond to stress?