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Unit 9 Final Project

Ciera Stuewe

Kaplan University

HW410: Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

July 10, 2015


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Unit 9 Final Project

Table of Contents

UNIT 1: THE NATURE OF STRESS


Information to Remember4
Self-Assessment Exercises4
Journal Writing4-5
UNIT 2: THE PHYSIOLOGY OF STRESS
Information to Remember..6
Self-Assessment Exercise6
Journal Writing.6-7
UNIT 3: PSYCHOLOGY OF STRESS
Information to Remember..8
Self-Assessment Exercise..8
Journal Writing..8-9
UNIT 4: PERSONALITY TRAITS AND THE HUMAN SPIRITUALITY
Information to Remember..10
Self-Assessment Exercise...10
Journal Writing10-13
UNIT 5: DEALING WITH STRESS: COPING STRATEGIES
Information to Remember.14
Journal Writing.14
UNIT 6: RELAXATION TECHNIQUES 1: BREATHING, MEDITATION AND
MENTAL IMAGERY
Information to Remember.....15
Self-Assessment Exercises15
Journal Writing.15-16
UNIT 7: NUTRITION AND STRESS
Information to Remember..17
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Self-Assessment Exercise..17.
UNIT 8: PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND ACTIVITY
Information to Remember..18
Self-Assessment Exercises.18
Journal Writing...18-19
UNIT 9: APPLYING STRESS: CRITICAL ISSUES FOR MANAGEMENT AND
PREVENTION TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE
Information to Remember20
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UNIT 1: THE NATURE OF STRESS

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Points: In 1914 Harvard physiologist Walter Cannon first coined the
term fight-or-flight response to describe the dynamics involved in the bodys physiological
arousal to survive a threat (Seaward, p. 6, 2015). The flight or fight response is very important in
the survival of animals, as well as humans, which in turn activates the stress response.
Key Learning Points: Stressors are any real or imagined situation, circumstance, or
stimulus that is perceived to be a threat (Seaward, p. 10, 2015). Some stressors are caused by
social influences, and even a change in the weather. We also have general adaptation syndrome,
which are three distinct physiological phases in reaction to chronic stress. These include the
alarm phase, the resistance phase, and the exhaustion phase (Seward, p. 14, 2015).
Key Learning Points: Medical science is slowly experiencing a paradigm shift, which
is the change from one perspective of reality to another (Seaward, p. 19, 2015). What was once
thought to be a physical response, and then referred to as a mind-body phenomenon, is now
suggested to be a complex, multifaceted, or holistic phenomenon involving the mental, physical,
emotional, and spiritual components of well-being (Seaward, p. 19, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
During this exercise, I learned about the impacts that stress has not only mentally, but physically.
I was also able to understand the mandala chart, which is a circle cut into 4 quarters that talked
about spiritual well-being, emotional well-being, mental well-being, and physical well-being.
The effects of stress were shown how each section is affected. (Seaward, 2015).

Unit 2: The Physiology of Stress

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Points: Stress has a number of influences. Its not just the changes we
encounter that affect our stress levels, but also how we engage with these new changes (Seaward,
p. 29, 2015). Things like smartphones and Facebook are a big part of stressors due to social
influences, both positive and negative.
Key Learning Points: Stress has also been manifested within race and gender. This is
what helped create anti-bullying programs within schools nationwide to help raise awareness.
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Cyber bullying has become a new form of bullying that involves our ever popular electronics. It
has also become a main concern.
Key Learning Points: Psychophysiology is a field of study based on the principle that
the mind and body are one, where thoughts and perceptions affects potentially all aspects of
physiology (Seaward, p. 47, 2015). Stress has had dramatic effects on the central nervous
system, as well as the limbic system and the autonomic nervous system.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
Due to stress having the ability to affect the nervous system, it can greatly impact a
persons health. Things like tension headaches, migraines, and irritable bowel syndrome are
problems that can occur in an over stressed body. Stress is forever changing and it is up to us to
learn how to deal with them in order to prevent illness from occurring. (Seaward, 2015).

Journal Writing:
How is stress or anxiety about people affecting your life?
Stress and anxiety about people does not affect my life as much as it would someone else,
because I am around people all the time. I do find that some people should pay a bit more
attention, as well as have a clearer focus. For example, there are a select few people at work who
tend to not smile and act happy, but instead have a very sour look and a bad attitude. It can be
very discouraging, especially if you are having a rough day to start with.
How is stress or anxiety about work affecting your life?
As mentioned above, work can get a bit hectic. Fortunately, I do enjoy my job. I just wish
that some of my co-workers would look as if they enjoyed their job, especially since I work in a
prison and it is a high stress job already.
How is stress or anxiety about the world affecting your life?
This one is very complex in my life. I feel stressed about the overdose issues that seem to
be happening more frequently, as well as the amount of food that is being disposed of and
wasted, and how things have changed. There seems to be more violence in the world, in which I
am constantly making sure that I am always aware of my surroundings and those who are around
me. It can be difficult to live in a world like this.
How is stress or anxiety about food and eating habits affecting your life?
I really try my best to eat as healthy as I can. I have maintained a good balance so far,
but it is not always cheap to do so. I really hope that the food market switches priorities in their
price ranges so that more people can afford the better food.
How is stress or anxiety about sleep and sleeplessness affecting your life?
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For the most part, I do sleep fairly well. I do have moments where I wake up throughout
the night. One of my favorite is when I wake up a half an hour before my alarm is set to go off
and I cannot fall back to sleep. It drives me nuts sometimes. If I do have a lack of sleep, it can
have a minor effect on my work, as well as cause me to become quite irritable.
How is stress or anxiety about exercise or lack of physical activity affecting your life?
This one is one of the best areas that I do work on. I work out doing Yoga as well as
some light to HIIT cardio workouts. I also am sighing up for the gym again soon and I plan to
invest in resistance bands and more dumbbells.

Unit 3: Phycology of Stress

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Points: The Dalai Lama was involved in the Tibetan lamas in which
they viewed through the perspective mind. They believe suffering to be a consequence of desires
with strong attachments (Seaward, p. 120, 2015).
Key Learning Points: In its most basic form, anger is a survival emotion common to
all animals (Seaward, p. 127, 2015). Darwin has proved humans to be the only creatures to
process anger into delayed revenge and behave aggressively for seemingly inexplicable reasons
(Seaward, p. 127, 2015).
Key Learning Points: Face to face communication is a very important concept that
many of us lack due to higher usage of electronic devices such as computers, smartphones and
social media. Much of this is due to at least half of our stressors being caused by co-workers,
friends and family. Many of this is miscommunications using our electronic and cellular devices.
This is why the practice of good communication skills is so important to help minimize and
resolve misunderstandings (Seaward, p, 318, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
This self-assessment exercise allowed me to view different ways of coping with stress, as
well as the things that may cause stress, such as fear and anxiety. Stress can also affect the ability
to communicate effectively. There are things that a person can look out for to help enhance the
effectiveness of communication, such as being a good listener, watching stress levels and paying
attention to non-verbal body language. (Seaward, 2015); (Effective Communication, 2015).

Journal Writing:
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When doing this practice for the first time, I had a lot of emotional responses. It just really
brought to mind what stressed me out the most, but at the same time it really calmed me down. I
was able to think of a new perspective of what really is causing emotional distress in my life.
Mentally, I was able to relax and focus on way to cope and manage my stress levels. Physically,
I was able to become less tense as the time passed. I was able to focus on my breathing and
mindfully come up with solutions to my problems, as well as provide myself with new strategies
to either fix them, or prevent them from being an even bigger cause of stress. This practice really
enhanced my mind, allowed for me to be calm, and I clearly thought about the situations and
occurrences that are present in my life, and thought of new strategies that could fix them or
enhance progress towards fixing them.
I would love to apply this more into my life. Just be able to stop and think about what
really is going on in my life, and if I am unable to fix what is going on right now, think of new
solutions that could possible help ease the tension. Stress reduction is something that I am really
passionate about because I feel that it will make the pieces come together in a positive way, a
way in which will help me think clearer and perform tasks at high capacity.
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Unit 4: Personality Traits and Human Spirituality

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Points: Self-esteem plays a very important role in stress management
because if you have low self-esteem, you are more likely to have greater stress factors. Low self-
esteem is the common denominator in stress-prone personalities, as can be seen in Type A,
codependent, and helpless-hopeless types (Seaward, p. 162, 2015).
Key Learning Points: Human spirituality can be defined operationally as the
maturation process of higher consciousness as developed through the integration of three facets:
an insightful, nurturing relationship with oneself and others; the development of a strong
personal value system; and a meaningful purpose in life (Seaward, p. 205, 2015).
Key Learning Points: Values are what helps with meaning in each individuals life.
Each value is different, yet they have the same goals. Values are abstract constructs we adopt
early in life by emulating figures of authority, including our parents, grandparents, and older
brothers and sisters, as well as schoolteachers and other influential people from whom we seek
love and acceptance (Seaward, p. 234, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
This exercise allowed for me to get a better understanding of values and how stress can
impact a persons daily tasks, values and overall well-being. The Prochaskas Stages of Change
model helped me understand the process of doing an important life-style accomplishment, like
quit smoking for example. It showed the stages of change and discussed them how important of a
role they played in a persons journey to success.

Journal Writing:
FEAR:
Fear is in all of us. It can come when you are least expecting it, which can be a heart stopper.
One fear that I have as of right now is when I apply for this college to do my Doctor degree in
Chiropractics, I am thinking about how I will attend a physical school, but will also need to
attend work so that I can continue to have finances for the bills of a place to stay, food to eat,
electric and more. It is not so much that, as it is the fear of just absolutely burning myself out,
and also not being able to spend as much quality time with my daughter as I would like.

CONFUSION:
Life is confusing. That is about all I can say.
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ANGER:
Anger should be addressed cautiously. Many people tend to have anger flares that come out of
nowhere. Fortunately, it take quite a bit to push my anger button. As of now, I have no anger in
me.
SADNESS:
I feel sadness when I think about my mom. Her health is not all that well, she found lumps in her
breast and we are waiting for results. I also feel sadness knowing that family is so far apart and
that it is difficult to get all of us together for the holidays. But, phone calls are still nice.
SHAME:
I do have some shame about my behaviors in my life. As of now, I have worked on them and
grown exponentially.
LOVE:
I have so much love for my dogs, my daughter, my mother, my father and all of those who are
closest to me.

JOY:
I find myself having so much joy playing with my dogs, and especially playing with my
daughter. We love playing games and coloring and going on walks, and swimming and just
hanging out. She is my best friend!
All of these emotions are what I experience just about every day. The bad ones you have
to learn to just cope with. The good ones I hang on to and enjoy them. Learning to cope with my
emotions is a daily task that I strive to learn. New strategies are being applied as I pass through
school and learn. I have notices that I do need to learn to control the bad ones more than I have
been doing. They can really affect not only the ones around me, but they can affect me. Taking
care of myself is very important if I am do be successful at taking care of others, especially in the
medical field. I will be applying what I have learned and using it to my daily life to help cope
with stress, anxiety, loneliness and all the other emotions that affect me. I am excited to see what
the future holds and I am ready to apply my knowledge in making myself and those who I love
and cherish around me take proper care and live fulfilling lives.
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Unit 5: Dealing With Stress: Coping Strategies

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Points: Low self-esteem has been linked to a persons way of thinking,
especially the negative thoughts. There are many influences that pertain to negative thoughts,
such as media portraying world problems, disaster, and crimes (Seaward, p. 220, 2015).
Key Learning Points: Greeks advocated humor therapy more than 2,000 years ago, as
did ancient Africans, American Indians, and medieval European kings and queens. However,
laughter was declared by the Puritans to be the work of the devil, and to laugh or smile was
considered a sin (Seaward, p. 294, 2015).
Key Learning Points: Time management is defined as the ability to prioritize,
schedule, and execute responsibilities to personal satisfaction. Time-management skills are now
taught to people to help them gain a sense of control over personal responsibilities (Seaward, p.
346, 2015).

Journal Writing:
I decided to participate in the Mindful Self-Inquiry for stress and Anxiety. When
performing this exercise, I was able to relax and free my mind. However, my mind is very
unsettled and it does not last long. Mentally, I started thinking about my life. I thought about the
negatives, the positives, and what is yet to come. Emotionally, this upset me, but I was able to
refocus myself, and turn back to a positive field. Physically, I was relaxed, became tense, then
relaxed again once I focused on a more positive note. It really did help me establish a clearer
mind by allowing me to intensely focus on the both positive and negative. I was able to shortly
generate my emotions from positive to negative, and then back to positive where it relaxed and
calmed me in a manner I only get when I am home alone for a few hours.
I greatly advise anyone to do this activity. I will continue to do it. It has a great way of
freeing your mind, but still giving it a push. It opened my thoughts so that I can freely explore,
both positive and negative. It was great, and again, I will continue to do this and use this.
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Unit 6: Relaxation Techniques 1: Breathing, Meditation


and Mental Imagery

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Points: Imagery and visualization are great ways to help ease a
troubled, wandering, and restless mind. Throughout the day, there are many activities and tasks
that take place that can put us in a stressful disposition. It is good to come home and unwind to
meditation that provides imagery and visualization.
Key Learning Points: Meditation is thought to be the oldest form of relaxation. In
simple terms, it is a mind-cleansing or emptying process. At a deeper level, meditation is focused
concentration and increased awareness of ones being. When the mind has been emptied of
conscious thought, unconscious thoughts can enter the conscious realm to bring enlightenment to
our lives (Seaward, p. 396, 2015).
Key Learning Points: Certain criteria contribute to profound experiences with mental
imagery: a quiet environment, a comfortable position, and a passive attitude (Seaward, p. 432,
2015). Having a quiet environment allows for the best results when doing mental imagery.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
While doing this exercise, I learned how to perform Diaphragmatic Breathing. This
assessment also taught about the importance of mental imagery and meditation and how it affects
the body in a positive way, such as reducing stress and tension in the body, which in turn can
help relieve some of the worst chronic pain and headaches.

Journal Writing:
Mindful of how you interact with yourself?
I enjoy interacting with myself. I can be quite comical and amusing. I find time to just
allow myself to breath and do my yoga and mindful meditation. It allows me to focus on the
energy in my body and where I feel it the most.

Seeds of suffering?

Day-to-day life feelings of resentment?


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Reflection on writing?
I reflect on the person that I am today. There have been many occurrences in my life that
had made me into the driven young woman I am today. I have so much passion, so much love
and caring, so much life. I also reflect on the negative that has been in my life as well and take
them as a learning experience. It has taught me what not to do, and what can have drastic,
negative effects. I embrace who I am and try to be the best person for the ones I love. I have a
big heart, and I am very caring and would give the world to the ones I love if I could. I want the
best not only for me, but for my family, my fianc and my daughter. They have given me the
strength to overcome my past and the challenges that I have faced, and they are preparing me for
the road ahead, and I look forward to it with an open mind, an open heart, and open arms.
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Unit 7: Nutrition and Stress

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Points: Physical exercise is a form of stress: the enactment of all the
physiological systems that the fight-or-flight response triggers for physical survival (Seaward, p.
539, 2015). Physical exercise is very beneficial and can have a tremendous positive result on
overall health.
Key Learning Points: Although the primary purpose of food is as a source of
nutrients, many people use food as a means to fill an emotional void created by stress (Seaward,
p. 540, 2015). This is how many people have become obese. Past occurrences in a persons life
can have damaging effects on their future.
Key Learning Points: Eating a well-balanced diet is a great way to improve health
and keep motor functions running well. An unbalanced diet leads to poor physical performance.
At a young age it can retard the physical growth process (Seaward, p. 538, 2015). Even at a
young age having an unbalanced diet can have harmful future effects.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
This self-assessment allowed for us to perform yoga and get a better understanding of
how it works. Yoga has often been used to help with mental imagery, to ease tension, increase
flexibility and help build on muscles for a better support on the body. It is also a great way to
reduce the amount of pain a person may have and experience by limbering the body where it is
needed. Over stressing causes added tension that is not very good for the body.
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Unit 8: Physical Exercise and Activity

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Points: Hatha yoga is a great way to increase flexibility and decrease
chances of injury. It has been known to decrease episodes of chronic pain, particularly lower-
back pain (Seaward, p. 415, 2015).
Key Learning Points: Tai Chi is represented by Yin and Yang, which is the balance
of opposites. The philosophical concepts of Taoism are embroidered with metaphorical
imagerylight with darkness, good with evil, life with deathall of which express the concept
of stillness in motion (Seaward, p. 476, 2015).
Key Learning Points: Stress has a big effect on proper nutrition. However, certain
foods also have a big impact on proper nutrition for the body. Some foods have toxins, in which
the body stores them and it can compromise the immune system, leading to health-related
problems (Seaward, p, 528, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The purpose of this assignment was to work with a partner and come up with a rationale
for why a company or employer should consider the introducing their employees to perform
physical activity and exercise. For this assignment I chose for employees to go to a yoga studio.
The benefits of yoga on the body will help decrease the amount of employee call outs, as well as
reduce the chance of injury in the workplace. My partner had also suggested a great idea that
mostly focused on the men, especially in construction, to participate in Tia Chi. The benefits of
Tia Chi are similar to the benefits of yoga, only it still gives men their manliness, by providing
self-defense classes.

Journal Writing:
OPENNESS:

EMPATHY:
COMPASSION:
LOVING-KINDNESS:
SYMPATHETIC JOY:
EQUANIMITY:
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Summary
Being in touch with emotions of not only ourselves but others can help you better understand
how to make judgments. It will help you become a better person, while helping others see the
good in themselves and others around. Having an open mind increases your openness towards
others, which increases empathy, compassion, loving-kindness, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.
It really does go a long way.
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Unit 9: Applying Stress: Critical Issues for


Management and Prevention to your Professional
Life

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Points: Information seeking has been found to be an essential skill
following diagnosis of terminal illness, in the recovery process of alcoholics and drug abusers,
during pregnancy, and for any other stressor that makes an unpredictable change in your life,
however big or small (Seaward, p. 349, 2015). This has led to people misdiagnosing themselves
by looking up conditions that are similar to what they possess, which in turn can really stress
them out. They want to know the unknown.
Key Learning Points: Social contact can help reduce stress and anxiety. With social
support, emotional burdens seems to be shared, which makes it more bearable, and is
consequently not as heavy a load as a solo attempt at working against the odds (Seaward, p. 352,
2015).
Key Learning Points:
Every stressor generated by anger that results in feelings of victimization is a prime
candidate for forgiveness (Seaward, p. 354, 2015). It can be very difficult for someone one to act
upon forgiveness due to many believing it to be an act of weakness. However, forgiving is the
best thing you can for yourself. It will in turn allow you to relieve stress, and lower anxiety
levels, allowing you to move on from a bad experience.
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Additional Information
- Dream therapy has an effect on a person, both mentally and physically. Calling dreams
the royal road to the unconscious, Freud became convinced that they act to disguise sexual
desires and thought (Seaward, p. 355, 2015).
- Atmospheric scientists continue to monitor levels of greenhouse gases and to form hypotheses
regarding the ultimate effect of such activities as deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels (Science
Clarified, 2008).
- As the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle called the human spirit are assembled, it becomes increasingly
obvious that despite subtle nuances and obvious differences, there are common denominators that tie and
bind the integrity of the human spirit (Seaward, p. 173, 2015).
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References
Effective Communication. (2015). Retrieved June 1, 2015, from

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships/effective-communication.htm

Science Clarified. (2008). Ecology and Ecological Stress. Retrieved July 10, 2015 from

http://www.scienceclarified.com/everyday/Real-Life-Earth-Science-Vol-3/Ecology-and-

Ecological-Stress.html

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being (8th

ed.). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Stahl, B. & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA:

New Harbinger Publications, Inc.