Stress Management. Agenda CAUSES OF STRESS STRESS SYMPTOMS THE ART OF RESILIENCY MINDSET AND ATTITUDES HABITS AND ACTIONS

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1 Stress Management 1 Stress Management Agenda CAUSES OF STRESS STRESS SYMPTOMS THE ART OF RESILIENCY MINDSET AND ATTITUDES HABITS AND ACTIONS CONNECTIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS

2 Stress Management 2 How Would You Define Stress? WHAT WOULD YOU IDENTIFY AS YOUR TWO GREATEST STRESSORS? Be specific! What these stressors have in common include: they re all normal aspects of life, they can be both negative and positive, they may not be equally stressful to everyone, etc. The fact is that stress itself has no value; it is neutral. However, we most often think about stress as being a negative, don t we? Some common myths reinforce this belief, such as: Only unpleasant situations are stressful. A stress-free life is possible and preferable. Stress is bad-avoid it at all cost. STRESS IS A NORMAL, INEVITABLE PART OF BEING ALIVE. Stress is your reaction to life s events. It is called your STRESS SIGNATURE. Stress management is your ability to integrate what you perceive as stressful into normal healthy living. CAUSES OF STRESS: Stress is often associated with: High responsibility/low control Doing more with less Toxic culture Conflict Intimidation Perfectionism Unrealistic expectations from others Overload EXTERNAL STRESS FACTORS: The state of the world Unpredictable events The environment in which we live and work Work itself Family INTERNAL STRESS FACTORS Negative mind set and attitudes Poor health habits WHAT ARE THE THINGS/ISSUES THAT CAUSE YOU STRESS. List at least two.

3 Stress Management 3 Recognizing Stress Symptoms The following are stress symptoms that have been linked directly to the stress of daily life. What are your signs of stress? Check those that apply! PHYSICAL Tight neck and shoulders Chest pain High blood pressure Fatigue Gastrointestinal distress Teeth grinding Decreased immune system Headaches Upset stomach Excessive perspiration Impotence Weight loss/gain BEHAVIORAL Overeating Increased smoking/drinking Change in sleep habits Moody and irritable Increased errors on the job Withdrawal from friends and activities Drug use Crying Poor concentration Lack of enthusiasm EMOTIONAL Depression Irritability Impatience Suspiciousness/paranoia Anger Apathy/hopelessness Worry Dislike of self, poor self esteem When these symptoms persist, you are at risk for serious health problems because stress can exhaust your immune system. Research demonstrates that 90% of illness is stress-related.

4 Stress Management 4 Bouncebackability Learning the Art of Bouncebackability (Resiliency) Some people are more stress proof than others. Have you ever wondered why? The difference is that instead of viewing stress as something that imposes itself upon them, the stress proof folks realize that stress is a reaction to a situation. So we (they) choose how to interpret and how to respond to any given situation. The following behaviors contribute to our ability to be RESILIENT! MAKE THE BEST OF IT! Don t wait for the right time, place or person. Be happy with what you have and make the best of life no matter what the circumstances. KEEP LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE! Don t catastrophize! Worry is a waste of time. If you take care of what you control, everything else will come together. If it doesn t, you will know that you did everything within your power to make things turn out as hoped. REALIZE THAT NOBODY S PERFECT! Perfection isn t possible and perfectionism isn t healthy! Stop blaming others! PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Change doesn t happen overnight.

5 Stress Management 5 By adjusting your mindset and attitudes By adjusting your habits and actions Be Proactive By valuing your connections and relationships ADJUST YOUR MINDSET AND ATTITUDES BY: WATCHING YOUR THOUGHTS! You can regulate your thoughts. Change your thoughts and you can alter your mood, energy level and probability of success. (Pick a time during the day and listen to your inner voice and what it s saying about you, others and your environment.) BE PRESENT! The past and the future only exist in our minds. Pay attention to the details of your life today. FIND THE MEANING! Identify the meaningful elements of your work and personal life. For example, 1. The things I find most meaningful about my job are? 2. The things I find most meaningful about my personal life are? USE POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS: The greatest power we have is our ability to point out the goodness and beauty we see in others and ourselves. Take a moment to make a list of positive affirmations that you might make about yourself. Using I statements write 5 positive affirmative statements about yourself. Example: I am a strong and resilient person

6 Stress Management 6 PROACTIVE DECISIONS FOR SUCCESS 1. THE BUCK STOPS HERE! -I will accept responsibility for my PAST -I will not let history control my destiny. -I will change where I am by changing my thinking. -My life will not be an apology but a statement. -Instead of Why Me? I ask, Why Not Me? -Adversity is preparation for greatness. 2. I will seek wisdom. I will be a SERVANT to others. -I will align myself with associates whom I admire. -A wise man cultivates a servant s spirit. -As I humbly serve others, their wisdom will be freely shared with me. -I will not expect others to open doors for me. I will look to open doors for others. -I will choose my friends with care. 3. I have a decided heart! miles begins with one step. The power to control the direction of my life belongs to me. -I am passionate about my vision for the future. -Others see the belief in my eyes and will follow. -I sleep happily exhausted because daily I do my best. -I do not procrastinate. I am a person of action. 4. I am a person of action. -I seize this moment for what it is. -I am energetic with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. -Leading is doing. I have the ability to encourage and inspire others to greatness. I fear mediocrity. -Failure exists only for the person who quits. 5. Today I will choose to be happy. -Happiness is a choice. -Enthusiasm is the fuel that moves the world. -My smile is my calling card. -Smiles forge bonds, break ice, calm storms, defeat despair and frustration. -I have a grateful spirit. -Ask for more but always say thanks. 6. I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit. -Forgiveness dissipates anger and resentment. (A rock in my shoe.) -I will forgive even those who do not ask for forgiveness. -To live life based on the opinions of others is to be a slave. -Often my greatest enemy is myself. I must forgive myself. 7. I will persist without exception. -I will go forward with eyes on the outcome-a life well lived. -I am a person of great faith. (Hope in things unseen) -I expect miracles. I believe in the future. The Traveler s Gift by Andy Andrews

7 Stress Management 7 TO BE PROACTIVE, MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE! When you know what matters to you, it s easier to adapt and thrive through life s curveballs. Know what your LIFE PHILOSOPHY IS! Complete the following statements: I care most about My primary purpose in life is to I find the greatest meaning in I find the greatest joy in I feel most at peace when I believe most strongly in TO BE PROACTIVE, DEVELOP HEALTHY RITUALS! Find those activities that help you relax and rejuvenate and practice them often. Generate your own list of rejuvenating activities: Play or watch sports Sit on the couch with your dog/cat Exercise Hang out with friends Go for a walk Pursue hobbies Garden Breathe deeply Play a musical instrument Eat dinner with your family Call or a friend Sleep Ride your bike Cook Do Yoga Meditate or pray Read MY LIST: Activities I do regularly to relax or rejuvenate: Activities I would like to add to my list: 3. 4.

8 Stress Management 8 FINALLY, TO BE PROACTIVE, BUILD A NETWORK OF STRONG RELATIONSHIPS! Characteristics of healthy support people: Put a name by each of these qualities as they pertain to someone you know and cherish. They are real and present. They listen more than they talk. They are comforting. They have a sense of humor. They accept you as is. They are there for you, not them. They are wise. ACTION PLAN! 1. To improve my mindset and attitude, I will: 2. Some new healthy habits and actions I will take are: 3. I will increase and/or strengthen my support network by:

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