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Stress Management

Stress Management

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Stress Management

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  1. Stress Management How to reduce, prevent, and cope with stress

  2. What Is STRESS? • Stress is a conditioned experienced when a person perceives that “demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize” • In other words what we feel when we think we’ve lost control of events

  3. How To Manage Your Stress • The simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management • Managing stress is all about taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems • The ultimate goal is a “balanced life”. Time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun!

  4. How To Manage Your Stress • Step #1: Identify sources of stress in your life • Not always obvious • For example, you may be worried about project deadlines, when maybe procrastination is the source of your stress • How to identify sources of stress: • Do you explain your stress as being temporary? • “I just have a million things going on right now” • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life? • “ I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all” • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events? • Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside of your control

  5. How To Manage Your Stress • Step 2: Look at how you currently cope with stress • Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? • Unhealthy ways of coping: • Smoking • Drinking too much • Overeating/ undereating • Watching T.V. for hours • Sleeping too much • Using pills/drugs to relax • Procrastinating • Taking your stress out on others

  6. How To Manage Your Stress • There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change • You can either change the situation or change your reaction • The Four A’s: • Change the situation: • Avoid the stressor • Alter the stressor • Change your reaction: • Adapt to the stressor • Accept the stressor

  7. #1 Avoid the Stressor • Learn how to say “no” • Don’t take on more than you can handle • Avoid people who stress you out • Limit the amount of time you spend with them, or end the relationship entirely • Take control of your environment • For example, If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the T.V off • Avoid hot button topics • Religion and politics • Pare down your to-do list • Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely

  8. #2 Alter the Stressor What can you do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future? • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up • Communicate your concerns in a open and respectful way • Be willing to compromise • Be more assertive • For example you have an exam to study and your roommate wants to talk • Manage your time better

  9. #3 Adapt to the Stressor If you can’t change the stressor change yourself Reframe problems View stressful situations from a more positive perspective Look at the big picture How important will it be in the long run? Adjust your standards Don’t demand perfection Focus on the positive Take the time to reflect on all the things you appreciate in life

  10. #4 Accept the Stressor Some sources of stress are unavoidable. For example a death of a loved one. Don’t try and control the uncontrollable Focus on the things you can control Look for the upside “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” Share your feelings Talk to a trusted friend or therapist Learn to forgive Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on

  11. Make Time for Fun and Relaxation Healthy ways to recharge: Go for a walk Spend time in nature Call a good friend Workout Write in a journal Take a long bath Play with a pet Curl up with a good book Listen to music Watch a comedy movie

  12. Physical Health You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health • Exercise regularly • Plays a role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress • Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, 3 times per week • Eat a healthy diet • Don’t forget to eat breakfast • Eat nutritious meals throughout the day • Reduce caffeine and sugar • Reduce the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet. You will feel more relaxed and sleep better. • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs • Relief is only temporary • Deal with your problems head on. Don’t avoid the issue at hand • Get enough sleep • Sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body