Stress Management Strategies

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ ( Publisher's URL )
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Material Information

Title:
Stress Management Strategies
Physical Description:
Fact sheet
Creator:
Smith, Suzanna
Publisher:
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Notes

Acquisition:
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status:
Published
General Note:
"published 11/91,"
General Note:
"HE-2089"

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID:
IR00004583:00001


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FactSheetHE-2089 November1991StressManagementStrategies1 SuzannaSmithandJoePergola2WHATISSTRESS?Stress!Whatdoesitmeantoyou?Trafficjams, deadlines,eatingontherun,billstopay,jobchanges, endlesschoresanderrands,anddemands,demands, demands. Stressisthebody'sresponsetoanydemandor pressure.Thesedemandsarecalledstressors. Stressorsincludemajorlifeevents,suchasadivorce orthebirthofachild.Theyalsoincludechronic strainsthatlastoveraperiodoftime,suchasliving onunemployment.Andstressorsincludedailyor occasionalstrains,liketakingcareofasickchild. Whateverthestressoris,itrequiresthebodyto makephysicalandchemicaladjustmentsinorderto maintainthenecessaryphysiologicalbalancefor survival.Aracingheart,aburstofenergy,and muscletensionarethebody'sphysicalresponsesto demands.Whenfacedwithdanger,someofthefirst stressreactionsareariseinbloodpressure,quicker breathingandheartbeat,anddilatedpupils.Sight andhearingbecomemorealert. Thisreactionisaninstinctiveresponsethat protectsusfromthreatstosurvival.Physiological changesarepartofthe"fightorflight"response, whichpreparesandenergizesapersontoconfrontor fleefromdanger.Afterthethreathaspassedora changetakesplace,the"alarm"signsdisappear.The bodyisstillarousedbutisadaptingtothechange. However,ifhighlevelsofstresscontinue,theenergy toadaptrunsout.Exhaustionoccurs,causing damagetotheperson'sphysicalandemotionalwellbeing.Entirefamiliesmayexperiencedistressfrom tensionsandpressuresonthefamilytochange. Surprisingasitseems,somestresshaspositive outcomes."Goodstress"cangiveanathletethe energytoexcelinphysicalcompetition.Itcan stimulateascientist'sthinkingoracomposer's creativeenergy.Itcangivemanypeopletheenergy tosolveproblemsandtofinishhardwork. Often,however,ourlivesarefilledwithmany demandsthatcontinueoveralongperiodoftime. Demandssuchasworkoverloadmayresultin negativestress,whichiscalleddistress. Unrelievedstresscantakeanemotionalaswellas physicaltoll,intheformofanxietyordepression,or highbloodpressureandheartdisease.Ifunattended, stresscanseriouslydamagephysicalhealth; psychologicalwell-being;andrelationshipswith friends,family,andcoworkers. 1.Thisdocument,FactSheetHE-2089,waspublished11/91,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService.Formoreinformation,contactyourcounty CooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. 2.AssistantProfessor,HumanDevelopment,HomeEconomicsDepartment;andMulti-CountyFamilyLifeandChildDevelopmentSpecialist, HillsboroughCountyExtensionOffice,respectively,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences(IFAS), UniversityofFlorida,Gainesville,Florida. TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/JohnT.Woeste,Dean

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StressManagementStrategies Page2AMIUNDERSTRESS?Majorproblemscanbeavoidedifsymptomsof stressareidentifiedearly.Someofthesignsof seriousproblemswithstressare:persistent,intense depression;chronicsleepingandeating;inabilityto concentrate;outburstsofviolence;persistentfamily conflict;andexcessivedrinkingordruguse. Simplechecklists(SeeTable1)willgiveyoua clueastowhetherornotyouareunderstress.You probablyknowsomeofthesymptomsofstressfrom experience--headache,tensemuscles,knotted stomach,sweatypalms.Symptomsmayalsobe psychologicalandinterpersonal,suchasfeelingsof insecurity,orargumentswithaspouseorchild. Thinkaboutastressor youhaveexperiencedin thelastweekorso.Takealookatthechartbelow andcheckoffhowyou usuallyreacttostressors. Lookoverthestresssymptomsyou'vechecked. Circlethosethatoccurfrequently.Whichofthese concernyouthemost?Whatideasdoyouhave abouthowtostopthesestresssymptomsfrom happening? Onceyouknowsomeofyoursymptomsofstress andareawareofwhenstressoccurs,youcanbeginto usestressmanagementstrategiestodealwithstress. Infact,manystressexpertsbelievethathowaperson dealswithstressmaybemoreimportantthanthe numberortypeofdemandsheorshefaces.Ideas forwaystopreventandtocopewithstressarefound inthefactsheetstitled,PreventingStressThrougha HealthyLifestyle (HE-2090)andStressand Communication (HE-2091).Table1. StressChecklist PHYSICAL EMOTIONAL MENTAL SOCIAL Headaches Anxiety Forgetfulness Isolation Teethgrinding Frustration Poorconcentration Loneliness Fatigue Nervousness Lowproductivity Lashingout Insomnia Depression Negativeattitude Clammingup Backaches Worrying Confusion Loweredsexdrive Stomachproblems Tension Nonewideas Nagging Colds Moodswings Lethargy Fewercontactswithfriends Neckaches Easilydiscouraged Boredom Usingpeople Shoulderpains Cryingspells Increaseduseofdrugs Irritability