Stress Prevention in 6 Steps

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1 Stress Prevention in 6 Steps S T E P 1 A S S E S S : R A I S I N G A W A R E N E S S Putting stress management FIRST instead of LAST

2 Overview Defining Stress The fight or flight response Counter-productive coping Stress signs and symptoms Introducing the 6-Steps to Stress Prevention Why you should put stress first

3 Facts & Figures 66% of Americans cited work as a significant source of stress 64% of Americans feel anxious or irritable at work 80% of workers feel stress on the job Workplace stress is as bad for the heart as smoking or high cholesterol 75-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are related to stress -APA, American Institute of Stress

4 Definition Your body s response to demands placed on it. Stress is hard to define because everyone responds to it differently Roller Coaster Ride Stress isn t so much what happens to you but how you take it. The stress response = The fight or flight response Dr. Hans Selye

5 The fight or flight response

6 Fight or Flight Response All about short-term survival: To save us from Lions and Tigers We activate it when someone cuts ahead of us in line Long-term survival mechanisms shut down Immune system Digestive system Reproductive system Acute vs. Chronic stress Set points for heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol levels gradually rise

7 Short list of Stress-Related Dis-EASE Heart disease High blood pressure Allergies Asthma Auto immune disorders Recurrent colds Gastro-intestinal problems Ulcers Colitis/irritable bowel syndrome Infertility/ED Insomnia Depression Anxiety Diabetes Migraine headaches Chronic pain

8 How do you think the average person manages their stress?

9 Counter-productive Coping Smoking Drinking Emotional Eating Spending money Recreational Drug use High risk behaviors like gambling, or minor infractions of the law like speeding

10 Why people put stress last People treat stress like it s a badge of honor People think relaxation is akin to laziness Doctor gets little or no training in stress related concerns So what does doctor do? When you mask the symptoms of stress it allows the person to pretend he has no stress

11 Connecting the dots between your symptoms and your sources of stress Pounding heart Perspiration Muscle tension Headaches Anger episodes Sadness Easily frustrated Argumentative Dry mouth Cold hands Stomach upsets Feeling anxious

12 We need a new method for PREVENTING stress at work One that prevents stress One that can be used on the job One that can be implemented at the individual and organizational level It needs to be simple and easy to understand

13 The Six Step Stress Prevention Method Step 1 Assess: Raising Awareness Step 2 Avoid: Problem Solving Step 3 Appraise: Cognitive Restructuring Step 4 Accept: Mindfulness Step 5 Activate: Resilience Step 6 Attune: Social Support

14 Step 1 Assess: Raising Awareness The more reasons you have for managing stress the more likely you are to stick with the program Connecting the dots between symptoms and sources of stress Taking the stress profiler: making your understanding of stress personal TIP: 0-10 Stress monitoring system Technique: Deep Breathing

15 Step 2 Avoid: Problem Solving Stress is a vague term that disguises the PROBLEM Journaling/keeping a log of everything that bothers you. Problem-solving Planning Organizing Time Management TIP: Shift your focus forward

16 Step 3 Appraise: Cognitive Restructuring Cognitive Restructuring : changing the way you think during a stressful situation Negative Self-talk A+B=C A+B=C The Activating event plus your Beliefs equals the Consequence Most people believe that A=C Stephen Covey: All our opportunity for personal growth lies in the small space between stimulus and response TIP tease out the space between A and C

17 Step 4 Accept: Mindfulness Present moment awareness: What s the benefit? Mindfulness vs. mindlessness Everyday mindfulness practice Eating, driving, walking, even mundane tasks Formal mindfulness practice Breath awareness, sounds, thought watching Flow: Work that is challenging but not too challenging TIP: Think about what you are doing while you are doing it.

18 Step 5 Activate: Resilience Stress is a term that was borrowed from bridge builders and engineers. So you can either lighten the load or strengthen the bridge Why exercise builds resilience Yoga: flexibility, strength, balance Why meditation builds resilience TIP: Wear a pedometer, take the stairs, standing meetings, walk at lunch, chair yoga, stand when answering the phone

19 Step 6 Attune: Social Support Emotional intelligence skills: Listen more than you talk Address people by name Make eye contact Value everyone equally Brain releases feel good chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin TIP: Connect with every single person you meet.

20 The Six Step Method in 6 Tips Step 1 Raising awareness: Self monitor using 0-10 system Step 2 Problem solving: Shift your focus forward Step 3 Appraise: Tease out the space between A-C Step 4 Accept: Think about what your doing while you are doing it Step 5 Activate: Yoga online Step 6 Attune: Connect

21 How to start managing stress now Make small changes Think about short term gains How behavior change works Try something for 1 day Make it a part of your daily routine: Build time into your daily schedule If possible, do it in the AM Attitudes follow behaviors

22 How would your life be different if peace of mind (i.e., stress management) were your highest priority?

23 Contact Information

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