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What it is and how to cope

A definition of stress

A combination of thoughts and worries that have negative affect on the bodys responses What do you think when you are stressed? What do you feel when you are stressed?

Phases of Stress

Alarm: sudden response to danger

Adrenaline rush followed by quick decrease when danger passes

Vigilance: stay alert, response level does not go down immediately

Free cortisol: hormone secreted by body in stress

When vigilant, builds up in your bodys fluids

Predictors of Stress

Negative situations

Positive situations
Personalitysome are less able to adapt to stress

Introverts do not habituate well Less reactive people can handle stress

Hasslesregular demands or inconveniences Secondhand stress

People surrounding you are stressed Women are more affected by this than menwomen express, men withdraw

Negative Signs of Stress

Emotional signs


People are low information processorsmax out on info processing when stressed b/c constantly thinking of things More information makes you angry, see everything as serious

Sadness, depression Apathy Anxiety

Free-floating anxiety: constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop Forget things, what you meant to do

Mental fatigue

Overcompensate or live in denial by taking on extra work

Negative Signs of Stress



Other people stimulate us, so we stay away Might this be good? How can this be bad?
What do you do too much of when stressed?

Do things to extremes

Cause oneself administrative, legal problems Rushing leads to accidents

How could this affect your family?

Negative Signs of Stress


Sleep too much, too little Weight issues Headaches, migraines Digestive problems Aches and pains Get sick more because immune system is low Over self-medicate Injuries Physical exhaustioncannot get enough sleep

Coping with Stress

Time and situation management

Gather feedback about how you spend time How can you measure how you spend your time? PRIORITIZE

What has the least consequence if you dont do it? What do you do now that you could stop doing?

Coping with Stress

Physiological and Behavior Strategies

Keep fit and avoid sickness

How does exercise help?

Activity makes us tiredsleep better Eat well (more good for you foods) to metabolize better Get rid of germs with healthy habits

Flu shots Wash hands Gargle with salt water

Relaxation techniques

Coping with Stress

Cognitive methodschange how you think

Replace irrational beliefs with reasonable thoughts

i.e., Perfectionism or total self-relianceacceptance of fallibility and asking others for help

Take a problem-solving approachdont just wallow in self-pity Learn to say No and be assertive

Use ERA statements

Empathy Rationale Action

Communication Attributes of Less Stressed People

Self-disclose appropriately to a friend Use positive self-statements and surround selves with positive people 4 Cs

Commitment: what you do is important In Control: internal locus of control, make choice to reduce stress Challenge: view potential stressors as challenges, not problems Conscientiousness: stay on task early on, get over stress early

Practicing Stress Management

Write for 15 minutes about things that stressed you recently and how they made you feel Relaxation Response

Progressive Muscle Relaxation