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KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in


Management and Prevention

Stress
Management and
Prevention

1
Program Resource
Guide

2
KA P L A N U N I V E R S I T Y

Stress Management and Prevention


Program Resource Guide

By

Rebecca Eckstein

Kaplan University

HW410: Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

09/21/2017
Table of Contents
UNIT 1 THE NATU RE OF STRESS

Information to Remember........................................................................4
Self-Assessment Exercises.......................................................................5
Journal Writing.........................................................................................5

UNIT 2 THE PHYSIO LOGY OF STRESS

Information to Remember........................................................................7
Self-Assessment Exercises.......................................................................7
Journal Writing......................................................................................7-8

UNIT 3 PSYCHOLOGY OF STRESS

Information to Remember......................................................................11
Self-Assessment Exercises.....................................................................11
Journal Writing..................................................................................12-14

UNIT 4 PERSONAL ITY TRAITS AND THE HUM AN SPIRITUAL ITY

Information to Remember......................................................................15
Self-Assessment Exercises................................................................15-16
Journal Writing..................................................................................16-20

UNIT 5 DEAL ING WITH STRESS: COPING STRATE GIES

Information to Remember......................................................................22
Journal Writing..................................................................................23-25

UNIT 6 REL AXATIO N TECHI QUES 1 : BREATHI NG , M EDITATI ON,

AND M ENTAL IM AGE RY

Information to Remember......................................................................26
Self-Assessment Exercises.....................................................................27
Journal Writing..................................................................................27-29

UNIT 7 NUTRITI ON AND STRESS

Information to Remember......................................................................31
Self-Assessment Exercises.....................................................................32
UNIT 8 PHYSIC AL EXERCISE AND ACTIV ITY

Information to Remember......................................................................33
Self-Assessment Exercises.....................................................................34
Journal Writing..................................................................................34-37

UNIT 9 APPLYING STRESS: CRITICAL ISSUES F OR M ANAGEM EN T

AND PREVE NTIO N TO YOUR PROF ESSI ONAL L IF E

Information to Remember......................................................................38

ADDITI ONAL INF ORM ATIO N

REF EREN CES

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1
Unit

Unit 1: The Nature of Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: There are many definitions for stress because it applies to more than one aspect of

your life. Stress is wear and tear on your body, and inability to deal with problems. You are not able to

control your emotions, you have loss of inner piece, and it’s also known as a threat to all, the mind,

body, spirit, or emotions. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Mindfulness is allowing yourself to be fully aware in the moment, without filters,

and judgement. Mindfulness can help you understand what you are going through without even

knowing you are going through anything at all. It can teach you to bring peace and love to yourself.

(Stahl, 2010).

Key Learning Point: The Wellness Paradigm is Taking full responsibility for your own health, integrating

balance, and harmony of the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, posits that the

whole is greater than the sum of the parts. When you are well balanced, you are able to see more

clearly, and understand more wholly, how you actually feel, and what you are actually going through.

(Stahl, 2010).

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Self-Assessment Exercise:
Not all stress is bad stress. Being Mindful, taking one moment at a time can benefit your whole

well-being. Stress comes in different forms, acute and chronic, and can affect different aspects of one’s

life. (Seaward, 2015).

Journal Writing:
According to Author Seaward (2015), there are a few different types of stress. One being

called Eustress, which is a good stress, something you might experience when you’re feeling

“euphoria, or exhilarating.” Another type of stress is called neustress, this is a neutral kind of stress,

which would be something like a natural disaster across the world. The third type of stress is the bad

stress that is known as distress, and could be from experiencing something devastating like a loss of

someone close to you. All of these stresses can be measured by either acute which is a strong feeling

of stress for a short period of time, or chronic, which isn’t as intense but lasts longer.

“How Stressed Are You?”

Situation Start Midway End


Being a good Mom 7
Not making enough money 7
Long Distance Relationship 2
Running behind on assignments 8
Getting my daughter to eat 5
Being late 3

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References

2
Unit

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

MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Unit 2: The Physiology of Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: If there is an unresolved emotional issue, it can cause blocked energy, which can

lead to dysfunction of organs. This causes us stress without even acknowledging it, and a slow

downward spiral until we can recognize and deal with it. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Our bodies are located in our minds, not the other way around. Our minds control

our bodies, how we move, think, learn. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Immunity, stress, and disease are interrelated. Under chronic stress, the immune

system is greater compromised. We are more prone to sickness and disease. (Seaward, 2015).

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Self-Assessment Exercise:
Sometimes outside sources can cause us stress, or be our stressors. We allow

people, work, or things to affect us, or stress us out without even knowing it.

Sometimes these things can bother us, without even knowing it. Our anxieties

come from the world, come from every passing day, come from the food we put

into our bodies, and the oxygen we breath it. If we don’t have an outside source

to direct us or teach us how to cope with this life, we will never survive.

(Seaward, 2015).

Journal Writing:
How is stress or anxiety about people affecting your life?

Stress can be found anywhere within one’s life, and someone may not even realize how

stressed they are because they have stressors one after another. Sometimes the people I work

for can make me anxious, sometimes school makes me anxious, sometimes when my daughter

is crazy she makes me anxious. I don’t let a lot of outside sources bother me much. I am too

busy to worry about people that don’t mean anything to let them bother me. But the people that

are in my life, the people I do love, I am worried about their opinion of me.

How is stress or anxiety about work affecting your life?

I own a cleaning business, sometimes work is booming, other times it not. I let the stress

of having enough jobs, bother me a lot. I let the stress of worrying about income bother me,

being able to pay my bills on time, and being able to purchase the things my daughter want and

need are very important to me. So, I do let this stress me out, and cause me anxiety, Feeling

this way never really accomplishes anything, if anything it makes me antisocial, or depressed at

times.

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How is stress or anxiety about the world affecting your life?

I really try to stay away from the news because it’s depressing the moment you turn it

on. There are not many positive aspects when it comes to the news, so its determined to make

you sad. I generally just try to keep me and Callie happy and taken care of, protected and safe

more then I let the world affect my emotions. The fact that people are in that world, you already

don’t have control over the situation, so what more can you do?

How is stress or anxiety about food and eating habits affecting your life?

I have had a lot of ups and downs with my eating habits. I do great at times, and then

other times I do terrible. Nutrition is one of my passions in life, so it’s depressing when I am not

able to be 100% with my habits. I eat a pretty healthy diet, avoid things that bother me, and am

very conscious, if anything I under eat more than anything else. I worry about my weight, I

exercise almost every day at the gym, some might say I’m obsessive, but I never thought that

was a bad thing if it was something healthy.

How is stress or anxiety about sleep and sleeplessness affecting your life?

I can’t remember the last time I had a good sleeping pattern. My daughter is four years

old, I have stayed up nights with her, worked over nights so I could be with her, and have

owned my own business while attending college as a single mother. I have gotten used to not

getting a full night’s sleep, but within the last few months, I have noticed that I wake up multiple

times throughout the night, and have a hard time getting back to sleep. It’s not even like I had a

bad dream, or need to use the bathroom, I just wake up to look at the time and make sure I’m

not late for what I have to do that day. It affects my life.

How is stress or anxiety about exercise or lack of physical activity affecting your life?

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I am a 31-year-old, single mother to a 4-year-old girl. I need my physical activity, so I

can keep up with her. I need my physical activity because it helps me rid myself of some

stresses for a short period of time. Physical activity helps me feel better about myself and gives

me energy. I have a good shot of going to the gym at least 4 days a week or more, if I can’t, I

will work out at home to a video. If I am unable to work out during a day, I am generally more

stressed out then a normal day.

At the end of the day, I know I have work ahead of me, so I am able to stay healthy. It’s

very clear to me, what I have been doing isn’t working, and I am very excited learning new

techniques each week to cope with our stress. A lot of things in my life are stressors, and

making decisions is my worse culprit. Looking forward to a better day.

References

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

Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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

New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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Unit 3: Psychology of Stress

3
Unit

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Emotions; From fear to love. According to Schweitzer, “Until you extend the circle

of compassion to all living things, you will not find inner peace.” (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: As humans, we are unique to have a large array of emotions, which is a gift, but

comes with a heavy price at times. Were the only species that can become a slave to our own

emotions, which can stop us in our tracks. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: The expression of all emotions is considered healthy, because deny the ability to feel

and express any emotions suggests a serious emotional imbalance. (Seaward, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:

The more I have practiced yoga, the more peaceful I feel, the less stressed I feel, the better I am

able to handle certain situations. Meditation and Mindfulness have been very beneficial in my life, and I

will continue to practice due to the freedom it has given me in such a short time. Meditation has been

around for thousands of years and has been proven to help many people, this will be a part of any practice

I begin, teaching others how to be less stressed, and deal with the stress in other ways. (Seaward, 2015).

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Journal Writing:
Meditation is a very important practice in our lives, it helps us when we are stressed or

overwhelmed, but also helps keeps us balanced with in our lives even when everything is going

well. There are so many things good and bad that can affect our thoughts, distract us, or put us

in a dark place, so having a peaceful mind is always beneficial. Meditation has been practiced for

a long time, and has been proven to help all kinds of people, in really bad times, and the most

amazing times.

As I began the Five- Minute Mindful Breathing, I tried hard to focus on something calming

so I could truly focus, so I imagined breathing to the sound of crashing waves. Once I felt like I

had a rhythm, I was very focused on my breathing, and tried to imagine breathing healthy air in,

and pushing out all the dark and ugly. I was distracted a few times with a few things that are

going on in my life, but always came back to my breathing.

During the breathing, I felt myself wander off about a potential new job opportunity,

because I had an interview today. Again, about my daughter in general, but mostly about her

just starting school recently, which has been pretty stressful. I also caught my self-thinking

about grades for both of my classes. Like I said before, as soon as I drifted away, I was easily

able to come back. Once I was finished I did feel more relaxed, like whatever happens with any

of those thoughts that popped up, they would be taken care of.

Because this was suggested, I used the Eight Attitudes of Mindfulness while I was cooking

dinner the other night. As I sliced the red potatoes into small square bites I noticed all the

starchy wetness it left behind on my board. There is no real smell to a potato so I took a small

bite and it had a crunch to it, but again that starchy flavor came into my mouth. After I rinsed

my board and started chopping garlic I could smell the strong sent it put off. As I was doing this,

my four-year-old daughter barely stuck her head in the kitchen and asked why I was chopping

garlic, with the acknowledgement that the scent was spread through into the living room. I had

to stop and giggle, thinking I must use a lot of garlic for my daughter to know what it was before

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she even saw it. I then sliced bacon into small bits getting exciting, because it’s one of mine and

my daughters favorite tastes inside or out of a meal. It left my hands, knife and cutting board

wet with its juices and almost sliminess.

Once all of my ingredients were prepared for this small side dish I went to work on

cooking the bacon and boiling the potatoes to make them softer before I put them into the frying

pan. My daughter came into the kitchen and before she got real close to the frying pan, she

stopped and took a deep breath through her nose, and exclaimed, “I love bacon mommy.” She

has recently become a very picky eater, so I have tried to add some her favorites to dinner so

she gives me less of a headache on why she doesn’t like what she has eaten for the last 3 years.

I noticed as all of this was going on, even after everything I had been through the last

few years, my daughter and I can rely on me to always do everything I need to provide for us.

Even if it’s a struggle sometimes, there are always clean clothes to be worn, a nice comfy bed to

lay down on at night, and food on the table whenever we are hungry. It made me proud, that

although sometimes I may not see my accomplishments they are all around me, which brought

me into compassion for myself.

I have noticed lately that sometimes we need to give ourselves credit for the things we

do, no matter how little or big they are, especially if we have another human being leaning on us

to do it. When your depressed and anxious, it’s really easy to not cook or clean, but when you

have another person you have to care for, it doesn’t matter what state of mind you are in. They

still need to be cared for, and if that doesn’t give one meaning in their life, what will?

I really enjoyed these practices, because for once, I wasn’t giving myself a hard time, for

once I was in the moment enjoying the scents and smells that were coming from the pan. The

enjoyment my daughter and I received from the scents. Being able to take a few minutes to

myself to clear my mind, meditate and be able to think clearer, or even just categorize all of the

chaos in my head, made it a little easier to bare, made me less anxious, and more present with

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my daughter. That’s all I really want for my life right now, especially why my daughter is so

young.

References

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

Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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

New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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Unit 4: Personality Traits and the Human

4
Unit

Spirituality
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Personality is thought to be a fixed entity, not subject to significant changes;

however. The most likely part of personality to change is behavior. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Self-esteem is a crucial cornerstone of personality. Low self-esteem attracts stress;

high self-esteem chases it away. Self-esteem consists of four components: connectedness, uniqueness,

power (control), and models. The strength or weakness of these components is highly correlated with

level of self-esteem. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Spirituality has proved elusive to define because its essence seems to permeate

everything. Harmony with self, others, earth, and a higher power is often considered a description of

this concept. Spirituality and religion are related, but separate, concepts. (Seaward, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
Isn’t it funny how sometimes we feel as though we should go through or feel emotions. All of do,

and it’s okay, I’m learned that in such a short period of time. You may at times feel frustrated, so the best

thing you can do it acknowledge it, and move through it, address it, and conquer it. This goes for so many

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emotions we go through on a daily basis, even happy emotions should be expressed, be confident to be

happy for yourself, and know that everyone around you is probably happy for you to.

Going through these emotions along is not the answer. Being able to identify your emotions is key

into the way you are feeling, and how to handle it. I found myself struggling with more emotions that I

even knew about, but had have learning that, I am more able to notice when things aren’t right, and then I

right them. (Seaward, 2015).

Journal Writing:
FEAR: apprehension, anxiety, distress, edginess, jumpiness,

nervousness, panic, tenseness, uneasiness, worry, fright,

feeling overwhelmed.

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When I thought about these emotions as I read them, the biggest ones that stood out to me in

this category was anxiety, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. These are often emotions I can

relate to, generally on a regular basis. Since this class has begun, and I have been reading more and

more about myself, meditation, and even my personality, it has been much easier to relate to these

emotions.

As mentioned in the book, it is true that we are taught to suppress our emotions or feelings or

to not allow them to be identified, especially if they are unpleasant ones. It’s okay to laugh and smile,

but being angry and crying are looked at as negative. It makes much more sense to me why I have a

hard time identifying the anxiety and stress, or where its coming from.

As I have come to notice, through my personality, I am always on the go. I always need

to multitask, and sometimes when I’m running behind I grow weary, and feel anxiety. The issue

is I don’t like letting people down, and feel like I am doing so when running late, or not being

finished when I thought I would be. I also have a full schedule with my daughter and school on

top of everything else, so it makes me anxious I won’t finish everything when it needs to be

done. I think being able to acknowledge this emotion is almost more important than fixing it.

CONFUSION: bewildered, uncertain, puzzled, mystified, perplexed,

chaotic, foggy, or unaware.

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When I think about the category of confusion, I often feel the emotions chaotic, and maybe a

little foggy. When I go through my day, trying to accomplish everything, sometimes my life feels

chaotic, like I almost have no control over it. The funny thing is I control my life, I have no structure,

and this is why my life is chaotic. I own a business where I have complete control over what happens,

yet I let the control slip through my hands each and every day because I have so much going on.

Because of this I feel foggy.

Foggy is a sensation I get when I think over my day and what I accomplished. Sometimes

I feel unaccomplished because half of my day is a blur. Thankfully as suggested I have started

carrying my planner around more often. This helps me to try and stay more focused, check off

my list, and look over what I actually did throughout the day. This creates a little less chaos

through my day, which is very much welcomed.

ANGER: aggravation, agitation, annoyance, destructiveness,

disgust, envy, frustration, irritation, grouchiness,

grumpiness, rage.

Anger isn’t something that I thought that I never felt. Not because I don’t get angry from

time to time, who doesn’t? Once I looked at the list associated with anger, I realized I do in a

general way feel some of these emotions daily, more often than not. Frustration comes to me

throughout my days do to much of the other emotions I have. It comes from feeling

unaccomplished, or running behind. Learning to cope with these emotions is what is necessary

for me so that I can feel less frustration, and more accomplished.

Irritation can literally come from driving on a busy road, dealing with a cranky baby, or

even going into the grocery store. I often feel impatient waiting, or when people drive like idiots,

because I always have so much going on, and if I won’t allow myself to be late on my own

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standards, why do I have to allow the people around me make me late. Planning is usually

something I am good at, even if it is down to the T, so allowing for others to take over my

schedule is frustrating.

SADNESS: alienation, anguish, despair, disappointment, gloom,

grief, hopelessness, insecurity, loneliness, misery,

unhappiness, rejection.

Sadness is a tough one for me, especially to have the time to acknowledge it. I have the

emotions of insecurities and loneliness quite a bit. My insecurities come from my lack of really

knowing who I am, and what exactly I am doing. I have grown in the last several years in

knowing more about myself, but there’s always more to learn, and I always feel like I will never

fully know. Loneliness is something I struggle with because of the lack of championship.

Especially when my daughter is not with me.

I stay busy when I don’t have my daughter, because I try to have a clearer schedule

when she is home. She is only 4 years old, and I don’t want her to have to feel lonely when I’m

right next to her. Staying busy with my job and school seem to keep my head where it needs to

be, but that split moment you have, to sit back in your office chair and think of the things you

could be doing with your friends, or if you had a boyfriend happen every so often.

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SHAME: guilt, embarrassment, humiliation, invalidation, regret,

remorse, mortification.

The emotions of shame happen when I say something or do something I am not proud of.

Like being frustrated at the driver in front of me, and having pent up feelings about a person I

don’t even know. Allowing someone I don’t know to control my emotions is unhealthy, and

makes me unhappy. Guilt is something I go through do to certain emotion I have, or maybe

doing something else when I should be doing something productive. Very rarely do I have time

to get away from my schedule, even going out to lunch can put me behind.

I wouldn’t say that embarrassment is something I deal with a lot, but I feel this emotion

from time to time. I think there’s several different kinds of embarrassment you can experience.

If my daughter acts out in public, I not only feel embarrassed because I know I taught her

better, but that the people around me believe that I haven’t. Embarrassment can come from

your mother trying to make you go red in front of a friend or new boyfriend when she shows old

pictures or tells silly stories about you.

LOVE: affection, arousal, attraction, caring, compassion, desire,

fondness, infatuation, kindness, liking, longing, warmth,

sympathy, sentimentality.

Love is a pretty emotion that I like to feel, and often allow myself to acknowledge this

one a little more than the others. The feeling of love is lovely, but honestly not all of the time. I

have the emotion caring, especially when it comes to my daughter, my family or a couple close

friends. I care about the work I put out in regards of my job, and school. Even the things I do to

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help others is showing care for them, but also my performance. I have compassion for others,

and often can feel the emotions with in them whether it’s good or bad. I try to be kind to others,

even if they don’t return the favor.

JOY: amusement, bliss, contentment, eagerness, elation,

enjoyment, enthusiasm, excitement, exhilaration, hope,

optimism, pleasure, satisfaction.

Joy in my life comes from contentment. Although through all of the other emotions I

described feeling, I have contentment in my life. It’s getting through my days that are tough,

but enjoying where I am, what I do, how I do it. I have a very smart 4-year-old who loves

school, loves people and enjoys her life. I have the ability to make or break my schedule when

necessary, even if it does make me feel a little anxious at times. I have hope for my future, I

have hope for my daughter’s future, and a better life for the both of us.

Although I feel many emotions on a regular basis, I often ignore them. Going through

them one by one has made me understand some of the things I’m feeling throughout the day

when I don’t allow myself to stop and think about it. Taking a few moments from time to time is

now my prerogative so I can allow my life to be more focused, and enjoy my days a little better.

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References

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

Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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

New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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Unit 5: Dealing with Stress: Coping Strategies

5
Unit

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Cognitive restructuring means changing a perception from a negative interpretation

to a neutral or positive one, making it less stressful. This process is also called reappraisal, relabeling,

reframing, and attitude adjustment. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Humor is a very complex phenomenon. There are many types of humor, including

parody, satire, slap-stick, absurd/nonsense, black, irony, dry, and sarcasm. Self-parody is thought to be

the best type of humor to reduce stress, whereas sarcasm is the worst. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: There are several road blocks to effective time management, which impede

productivity and, in essence, rob is of valuable time. They include Type A personality, workaholism,

time juggling, procrastination and lifestyle behavior trapping. (Seaward, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The mindfulness that is attached to all of these practices is a pretty powerful

thing. Just giving your time to relax. To breath. To clear your mind. It’s an

amazing thing, and can do wonders for your brain. I find that any time I have a

moment, I close my eyes and listen to my breathing, once I hear it, I am able to

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direct it to deeper and deeper breaths. That alone helps me feel calmer, even if I

have thoughts or stress flowing through my head, I feel more put together when I

am intentionally breathing. It’s so crazy, that something we have to do to live can

be so powerful, in so many different ways. (Seaward, 2015).

Journal Writing:
After going through and participating in both meditations, I decided to write about my

experience with the Mindful Self-Inquiry for Stress and Anxiety. I have noticed each and every

time I give my body the experience to be thoughtless, to allow my body peace for even just a

moment, I catch my breath, and I can feel more balanced almost instantly. This is something I

have struggled with for the better part of this year substantially, but internally even longer.

Sometimes just learning how to breath is enough, sometimes being able to feel and see

your breaths can help enough to give you hope and to allow you to continue the process, for me

this is true. As soon as I start breathing, it’s so easy to push out all of the issues and thoughts

going on in my life, to not allow them to take over my mind, invade. When I closed my eyes, and

just focused on my breaths, I heard the air passing through my body, inflating and deflating my

stomach, felt it going down my throat and into my esophagus, and noticed how my back

straightened as I was doing so.

As I continued with my deep breaths and started focusing going through the process of

my whole body one part at a time, noticing and feeling, acknowledging feelings etc., I noticed a

lot. Starting at my toes, the feeling of my shoes on my feet, the soreness that is in my left knee,

the tightness of my thighs. I also noticed some aching throughout my back, up my spine and

into my neck. My hair that falls on to my shoulders, my left shoulder began to twitch, my

fingertips rested upon my leg. I then began down my left side, and noticed the ache from

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sciatica running down my right leg, the soreness left in my ankle after spraining it, just noticing,

acknowledging, accepting.

Once this practice was over, I started to listen to my breath again, in and out listing to

the air in my body to refocus my mind. I started to allow my emotions to come in and out,

thoughts to roll by, as I allowed them to, I tried not to focus on any individual thought or let

them overwhelm me. I tried to look at all the situations as an outsider.

There are the normal things of life that I let bother me, like being a good mom, giving my

daughter all she needs to thrive in life, building a better future for us. Things like paying bills on

time, having enough jobs to assure I can pay all the bills, and not worry about endless calls from

creditors. Putting my all into work, so I am able to succeed with building my business, which in

turn will help me with the prior issues, and of course finishing assignments perfectly, on time,

and correctly.

All of these issues above give me small anxiety’s, that can build up to larger one’s if I put

too much pressure on myself. Like I read, sometimes we get anxiety about our anxiety, this is

true for me. I noticed yesterday as I was getting my daughter and I ready for church, I began to

get anxious because I was rushing around finishing all the little odds and ends. Things like

getting my daughters juice, and a snack just in case, making sure I had everything we needed

for church, not locking myself out of the house, again. I caught my self-getting anxious, and I

sat down and started breathing. So, what if I’m late, my church doesn’t care, why do I so much?

I let my mind sink deeper into the many issues I have allowed to take me over the last

few years. The hurt and pain I’ve been through, and have aloud to hover over my life. Times

when I’ve felt so lost, I didn’t know which way to turn, or when it was hard to take a deep

breath. All of these things are true in my life, but just because I once felt them, does not mean I

need to continue to, continue to remind myself daily about them, give up on my future because

my past has had a few bumps. I can’t even begin to explain how I’m thankful for all of the ugly

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in my life, because it has brought me to where I am now, and although that place may not be

perfect, its where it needs to be.

I have learned a lot through my troubles, and began to realize in the middle of my

meditation that it’s okay to be hurt, It’s okay to have learning lessons in our lives. It teaches us

about who we are, what we need in our lives, and the determination we have to get through it

all. I am a better person now then I was before I went through the pain, and I can be thankful

about that.

References

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

Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

26
Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA:

New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

6
Unit

Unit 6: Relaxation Techniques 1: Breathing,


Meditation, and Mental Imagery
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Breathing is thought to be paramount to relaxation in nearly every culture, especially

Asian cultures, where breath is thought to give the body energy. Diaphragmatic breathing is

incorporated into nearly every relaxation technique. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: The practice of meditation can lead to an altered state of consciousness, where

sensory perceptions are different from those of normal walking state of consciousness. Perceptual

changes include time distortion, ineffability, present-centeredness, perception distortion, enhanced

receptivity, and elf-transcendence. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Mental imagery describes the ability of the unconscious mind in generate images

that have a calming, healing effect on the body. Visualization is one aspect of mental imagery,

wherein there is conscious direction of self-generated images. Guided mental imagery is a variation

wherein images are suggested by another person (Seaward, 2015).

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Self-Assessment Exercise:
Learning how you speak to yourself, the thoughts that cross your mind daily

about yourself is a great practice to apply to your life. As most people, you

probably don’t even notice some of the thoughts that tend to creep through your

mind, on a good or bad day, you can be saying some pretty negative things to

yourself. When you speak positive things, and learn how to care about yourself,

things begin to change. Being kind and loving yourself, will soon teach you how to

be kind and love those around you better than you ever have before. (Seaward,

2015).

Journal Writing:
Mindful of how you interact with yourself?

I very often send myself unkind messages throughout the day, and for a long time I wasn’t

even aware of it. As time went on I realized it, but I had no idea it was affecting me. When I’m down,

it’s even worse. I tell myself I’m fat any time I look in the mirror or try on a pair of jeans that used to

fit me, I call myself a bad mom when I can’t do more for my daughter, and I call myself a bad

daughter when I can’t do more for my parents. I get frustrated when I can’t figure out a school

assignment on my own, and call myself useless when I hand a paper in late.

I would never talk to someone I know like the way I talk to myself, not a friend, an enemy, or

an acquaintance. The worse part of all of this is that I would never want my daughter to speak to

herself like I do, but how is she supposed to learn something different when this is what she hears

from me? It’s funny, anytime I’ve criticized myself in front of people, and they would comment such

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as “compare yourself to..” I would always comment back that I am not comparing myself to so and

so, I’m comparing myself to me.

I always felt we needed to be tougher on ourselves, self-motivation so to speak. But all too

often we may be a little tougher then we should be. I have noticed when I’m having a bad day, when

nothing I am doing is working out the way it should, I talk worse to myself. As the day goes on, I

often feel more stressed, anxious, achy, tired, and sometimes have more side effects. I now know that

the stress in my life causes me headaches, and these could all be related to the lack of loving self-talk.

Seeds of suffering?

I know what you speak, you can learn or even convince yourself of whatever it is your saying.

That being said, I surly think I would feel much better if I stopped doing this to myself. I recently

have tried to be more aware of what I am thinking and speaking to myself, and it’s no wonder I have

low self-esteem. This is something I have been trying to be more conscious about, so I can improve

the way I see myself, not only for me, but for my beautiful daughter.

Day-to-day life feelings of resentment?

It is hard to look past when people are going out of their way to push your buttons. Sometimes

it feels impossible to stay calm and collected. It’s true that everyone is going through something,

which can affect them differently than anyone else. Even anxiety from good things is still anxiety. You

better believe that others have a dark part of their life just like you, and we don’t all the time know we

have frustrations until we are forced to recognize them. It’s hard for us to practice love and kindness

to someone else when we can’t to ourselves.

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Reflection on writing?

Through this class, and through all of the reading, I believe I finally know where I am. I may

not know all the details, but I am getting better with dealing with issues, being less stressed, going

with the flow even when it can be frustrating. My life has improved mentally the most, my daughter

and I are benefitting from this a lot, and I am so thankful.

I have full intentions of continuing all of these meditation practices because it has put my past

all of my stress and anxiety about the past, people who have hurt me, hang ups that I wasn’t able to

move past for quite a while. What an amazing feeling it is to finally get back to me, or close to it. I

have been growing through this class more than any other class personally, and I cannot wait to put all

of these fantastic exercises to work for my clients.

30
References

7
Unit

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

MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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

Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Unit 7: Nutrition and Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Physical Exercise is classified as either anaerobic (fight) or aerobic (flight).

Anaerobic (without oxygen) is short, intense, and powerful activity, whereas aerobic exercise (with

oxygen) is moderately intense activity for a prolonged period of time. Aerobic exercise is the better

type to promote relaxation. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: The body adapts, either negatively or positively, to the stress placed upon it. Proper

physical exercise will cause many adaptions that in the long term are through to be effective in

reducing the deleterious effects of stress by returning the body to a profound state of homeostasis.

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Physical exercise allows the body to use stress hormones for their intended purpose, detoxifying the

body of stress hormones by utilizing them constructively. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Because of the global condition of soil depletion, even a healthy diet is considered

deficient in the essential vitamins and minerals so that supplementation is encouraged. It’s a scary

thought that living off the earth isn’t enough anymore, especially when supplementation is just that, a

man-made substance that we will need to rely on, until when; we run out of the ingredients to make

them? (Seaward, 2015).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
Nutrition can be an amazing asset to your body. Learning how to care for

yourself through the food you put in your body, be able to acknowledge what is

good and bad for you, what you need on a daily basis. Food is energy if you use it

the right way, but if you do not, it can be more poison introduced to your body,

which in turn can lead to the same results as if you are to smoke. Finding a

balance is key, or it can turn into a stressful situation, which brings us back to

everything else in life. Food can be fun, healthy and delishes, it can help you

balance things with in your body, and move you to the next stages of your life if

you use it to work for you. (Seaward, 2015).

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Unit 8: Physical Exercise and Activity

8
Unit

Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: Hatha yoga is known to decrease episodes of chronic pain, particularly lower-back

pain. This is such a good thing with all of the sitting Americans do, the inactivity can cause problems,

and make you more prone to pain. Practicing yoga rather than taking pain medication can revert this

drug epidemic. (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: The Chinese believe that poor health is a result of blockages and congestion in the

flow of internal energy, which is turn lower’s one physical resistance and makes one vulnerable to

various pathogens. If it isn’t bad enough that we fill our bodies with voids, and that the world around

us is full of gasses that only make our situation worse. One step at a time, one day at a time we need

to make our internal energy flow freely, so we are able to live a longer healthier life. (Seaward,

2015).

Key Learning Point: 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. Whether stress come from work, or your

significant other, your children, or other items in your life, we are prone to fill our bodies with feel

good items, which in turn make us feel worse. It’s a cycle that never gets better until we acknowledge

and take care of it. (Seaward, 2015).

33
Self-Assessment Exercises:
Learning our personalities and traits, where we’ve acquired them from, and

how they either benefit us, or hurt us is important. There are things we can

change, like our attitudes if we find them to be negative. We tend to think that we

or someone else is just stuck in their ways, but this isn’t true, and before you give

up on yourself you have to change your outlook. Giving up before you start,

stressing over something that hasn’t happened yet, these are things that

everyone of us go through, but as mentioned above acknowledging these feelings,

and learning from them are so important. (Seaward, 2015).

Journal Writing:
As I was reading through the journal, I read all of the qualities one should learn to obtain

regardless of their upbringing. I also read about how your personality may be directly related to

your upbringing, your relationship with your parents etc. Also acknowledging that we are able to

change them if we so wish to. I find this very interesting, and it caught my eye immediately.

When I began the practice, I was genuinely picturing people I am very close with, best

friends, family, and I see myself carrying all these traits for them. But, I can have a harder outer

shell to a stranger, someone I’m not formilliar with. I am a very nice person to everyone, doesn’t

matter color shape or appearance, I give every person an equal opportunity. But sharing these

personal traits with strangers, putting myself out there like that vulnerable, easy access. I’m not

good with it.

OPENNESS:

As mentioned above, thinking of a best friend whom I discuss everything with, a family

member I’m really close with and do not need to explain myself to, I am very open. I think about

34
telling them my deepest darkest secrets, and them coming back to me with the same kind of

juicy drama. I don’t do to well with actual drama, which is why I may not be as open to a

stranger. I will give them the same courtesy as a friend, they just won’t have an open

conversation with me.

EMPATHY:

Empathy is something I am strong in. I can relate to just about anyone at this

point in my life, and I actually can appreciate it more as I get older. Just today, a lady I work for

was telling me a story about her daughter, and I’m the one who actually brought it up. I’m not

very close with her, but she is someone I have worked for, for close to a year. I knew her

daughter was going through some medical procedures, and through it all, I have been asking her

how she’s been doing. She had explained some of the difficulties that happened during and after

the surgery, and I really just felt like I could place myself in her situation.

COMPASSION:

I believe I share Compassion for anyone who is willing to share a story. Using the same

example as above, I felt anxiety after her sharing her story about the surgery her daughter had

endured. I wanted to take the pain away, or share it with her so she didn’t have to go through it

by herself. I haven’t been through anything like it, but I felt I had after I heard about it, I could

totally relate the disappointment she was carrying.

LOVING-KINDNESS:

35
As far as Loving Kindness goes, I never wish anyone an ounce of harm, not my worst

enemy. I guess that has a lot to do with the empathy and compassion I carry for and with

people. I hate seeing people suffer, especially my friends. But the way some of society has

turned out, I believe there are people who need to go through problems before they can get out

of situations. That doesn’t make me not want to carry some of their burdens through it all, I just

know rick bottom sometimes can help a situation and sometimes can’t.

SYMPATHETIC JOY:

I love seeing people happy. I’m quite capable in rejoicing in someone’s happiness and

joy, maybe better then in rejoicing in my own. I want to get my degree so I can furthers

understanding of nutrition and fitness and health and wellness so they can further my voice, and

teach others. Getting my degree is only half the battle, the rest lies in the hands of others. So, if

these people are benefitting and spreading the word I’m also rejoicing in my own

accomplishments. It’s not about a pay check, but about helping people lead the happiest

healthiest life they can.

EQUANIMITY:

I feel as though I give every person I run into daily an equal opportunity to be treated

with kindness and love. I will be the last person in the world to judge and make you feel

uncomfortable. But, I say that with a slight edge. Life is different than it was 20, 30, 40 or more

years ago, people are different, and the first chance you test me, is the first-time things will be

changed. I have built up a lot of boundaries around myself. That being said, equanimity changes

when someone treats another bad, or expects handouts, or are putting out things they don’t

want to produce. I have been through this cycle too many times to not see the red flags.

36
Summary

The thing is, I am a very compassionate person, but as soon as you cross me, I

will be quick to rid you of my life. Its more for my own sanity, and I feel as though I’m okay with

it. I feel like people come and go in your life, and it’s a good learning experience regardless of

the outcome. I have a daughter, and her life means more to me then someone who has issues

and a drama filled life. Otherwise I am quite receptive to feel and love others as they were my

own.

References

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

Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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

New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

37
9
Unit

Unit 9: Applying Stress: Critical Issues for


Management and Prevention to your
Professional Life
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: No one strategy works for all people in all situations to cope effectively with the

cause of stress. In many cases, several coping techniques should be used together. There are so many

techniques to be used, by waist them?

Key Learning Point: When people bond together in friendship in times of trouble, they are better able to

cope with problems at hand. There is mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual strength in numbers.

Social-support groups provide coping that individuals cannot generate themselves. This goes without

saying having a friend to talk to during any moment in your life, good bad, or indifferent it makes

your experience that much better. Why not use what’s right in from of you? (Seaward, 2015).

Key Learning Point: Prayer, the original chat room, is one of the oldest coping techniques known to

human kind. Just like talking to a friend, sharing through the good and the bad, talking about

38
situations acknowledging what you are going through and being thankful for it. Such a beautiful

coping mechanism. (Seaward, 2015).

Additional Information
Place additional information here important to your resource manual. This can come from the
Discussion Boards, Internet or the current curriculum. List at least one book, article, two websites,
video, PowerPoint Seminar presentation, Reading, or other material you want to include in your
resource guide. Identify your sources as primary or secondary sources.
Total Points = 5

39
References

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.

40