An Invitation to Health Personal Stress Management

An Invitation to Health Personal Stress Management Slideshow developed by: Richard C. Krejci, Ph.D. Professor of Public Health Columbia College 9....
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An Invitation to Health

Personal Stress Management

Slideshow developed by: Richard C. Krejci, Ph.D. Professor of Public Health

Columbia College


Chapter Objectives Define stress and stressors and describe how the body responds to stress according to the general adaptation syndrome theory. Identify the physical changes associated with frequent or severe stress and discuss how stress can affect the cardiovascular, immune, and digestive systems. Describe some personal causes of stress, especially those experienced by students, and discuss how their effects can be prevented or minimized.

Chapter Objectives Describe some techniques to help manage stress.

Explain how stressful events can affect psychological health and describe the factors contributing to posttraumatic stress disorder. Identify ways of managing time more efficiently.

List the main causes of stress in your life, and list a strategy for managing each of them.

Stress Hans Selye ‘The Father of Stress Research’ “the nonspecific response of the human organism to any demand placed upon it.”

Distress Negative Stress

Eustress Positive Stress

Categories of Stress Acute Time-Limited Stressors Distant Stressors

Chronic Stressors

Brief Naturalistic Stressors

Stressful Event Sequences

Resistance: If the stressor continues, the body mobilizes to with stand the stress and return to normal.

General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)

Alarm: The body initially responds to a stressor with changes that lower resistance.

Stressor: The stressor may be threatening or exhilarating.

Exhaustion: Ongoing, extreme stressors eventually deplete the body’s resources so we function at less than normal.

Homeostasis: The body systems maintain a stable and consistent (balanced) state.

Illness and Death: The body’s resources are not replenished and/or additional stressors occur; the body suffers breakdowns.

Return to homeostasis Illness

Death Fig. 3-1, p. 59

Brain becomes more alert. • Stress hormones can effect memory and cause neurons to atrophy and die. • Headaches, anxiety, and depression • Disrupted sleep Digestive system slows down. • Mouth ulcers or cold sores

Adrenal glands produce stress hormones. • Cortisol and other stress hormones can increase central or abdominal fat. • Cortisol increases glucose production in the liver, causing renal hypertension. Skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis

The Effects of Stress on the Body Heart rate increases and blood pressure rises. • Persistently elevated blood pressure and heart rate can increase potential for blood clotting and risk of stroke or heart attack. • Weakening of the heart muscles and symptoms that mimic a heart attack = Immediate response to stress = Effects of chronic or prolonged stress = Other possible effects of chronic stress

Breathing quickens. • Increased susceptibility to colds and respiratory infections

Immune system is depressed. • Increased susceptibility to infection • Slower healing

Reproductive system • Menstrual disorders in women • Impotence and premature ejaculation in men

= Immediate response to stress = Effects of chronic or prolonged stress = Other possible effects of chronic stress

The Effects of Stress on the Body Digestive system slows down. • Upset stomach

Muscles tense. • Muscular twitches or nervous tics

What are Four Common Ways That We Respond to Stress? •





Stress and the Heart Personality Types

High levels of distress

Type A Aggressive Hard Driven Impatient

Type B Easy Going Laid-Back Patient

Low levels of distress

Stress and the Immune System •

Powerful chemicals triggered by stress dampen or suppress the immune system making the body more susceptible to infection and illness.

Stress interferes with the body’s ability to heal.

Stress may play a role in the progression of breast cancer.

The older you are the more stress effects the immune system.

Stress and the Digestive System What are the Methods for Soothing a StressedOut Stomach? •

Consume carbohydrates, especially those rich in fiber.

Drink plenty of fluids.

Eat regular meals.

Avoid overeating.

Limit the consumption of caffeine and sugar.

What are Some of the Most Common Stressors in the Daily Lives of College Students?

Plan Ahead Be Positive

Be Satisfied

Defusing Test Stress

Take Regular

With Doing

Your Best

Talk to Other Students

Breaks Practice Tests

Other Personal Stressors •

Anger • •

Job Stress • •

“Road rage” Time, technology, and tension. Workaholics: 24/7/365 Burnout Desk Rage

Illness and Disability

Societal Stressors • •

Violent crime Terrorism

Discrimination •

Increased intolerance among young people.

Controlling Anger •

What are Some of the Ways to Effectively Resolve Conflict?

Become an impartial observer Stay calm Refuse to engage Find something to agree upon

• • •

Job Related Stress • • • •

Excess weekly hours Psychological demands – lack of control Competition (workaholics) Burnout • •

Highest rates in the 30 – 40 groups Higher rates in single individuals

What are Some of the Effective Ways to Survive Stress? Deep Refocusing Exercise Breathing Serenity Breaks


Journaling Spiritual Coping Rx: Stress Laughter Inoculation

Stress Signals Reality Checks

What Can Help Me Relax? Progressive Muscle Relaxation Description • A method of reducing muscle tension by contracting then relaxing certain areas of the body. Benefits • Relaxing the muscles can quiet the mind and restore internal balance.

What Can Help Me Relax? Visualization (Guided Imagery)

Description •

An approach to stress control, self-healing, or motivating life changes by means of guided, or directed, imagery.

Requires practice and, in some cases, instruction by qualified health professionals.

What Can Help Me Relax? Meditation Description •

A group of approaches that use quiet sitting, breathing techniques, and/or chanting to relax, improve concentration, and become attuned to one’s inner self.

Additional Benefits •

Individuals that meditate show a marked decrease in the thickness of their artery walls and a reduction in blood pressure both of which can reduce the risk of major coronary events.

What Can Help Me Relax? Mindfulness

Description •

A method of stress reduction that involves experiencing the physical and mental sensations of the present moment.

Mindfulness keeps you in the here and now, thinking about what is rather than about what if or if only.

What Can Help Me to Relax? Biofeedback Description •

A technique of becoming aware, with the aid of external monitoring devices, of internal physiological activities in order to develop the capability of altering them.

Benefits •

Biofeedback Mechanism

Allows individuals to gain some control over body temperature, heart rate, muscle tension, and brain waves.

Stress and Psychological Health Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) The repeated reliving of a trauma through nightmares or recollection.

Triggers for PTSD

Fires and floods, car accidents, and childhood abuse – physical, sexual or emotional

Treatment for PTSD Behavioral, cognitive, and psychodynamic therapy

Resilience: Thriving in the Face of Adversity An Optimistic Attitude Self-Efficacy Stress Inoculation Secure Personal Relationships Spirituality or Religiosity

How Can I Better Management My Time? •

Schedule your time.

Develop a game plan.

Identify time robbers.

Make the most of classes.

Develop an efficient study style.

Focus on the task at hand.

Turn “elephants into hors d’oeuvres”.

Keep your workspace in order.

Five Steps to Time Management 1.

Find out how you spend time each day


Set long-range and short-range goals


Identify immediate goals and prioritize


Use a daily planner to organize


Take 10 minutes each day to evaluate

Common Time Robbers •

Watching TV


Listening to radio/music



Drop-in visitors



Confusion (unclear goals)




• • •

Shopping socializing/parties Recreation

Talking on the telephone

In excess, these things can lead to great stress in ones life!

Time Management Skills 


Learn to respectfully say “no”

Protect against boredom

Plan ahead for disruptions

Get it done

Eliminate distractions

Set aside overtimes

Reward yourself

De-stress Your Life



Reconstructing Stressful Situations

The End This slideshow was developed by: Richard C. Krejci, Ph.D. Professor of Public Health Columbia College All Rights Reserved