“the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed on them”

Is it all that bad?

In actual fact, No!! Most people think so but it is vital to human functioning as it is the key to the processes that allows me and you to adapt to surroundings, situations and grow.
Stress is different for all, one may stress over one thing and others may think it’s not that bigger deal. Whatever it is that bothers you, your mind goes into a state of ‘fight or flight’ mode, which means that it is deciding whether or not to cope with the stress. If we don’t cope with the various stresses well then the effects can be harmful.

There are different stresses and types of stress. Here are some examples:

• Bills/money worries
• Work/pressures of daily life
• Stress on the body during exercise

There are many more examples…………the list is endless!

The trick is to stop and think ‘is this stressing me out?’ and ‘how stressed have I been today?’ Recognising the stress sooner rather than later prevents it from becoming a prolonged stress and is better for you in the long run so that you are be able to deal with it, whether it is a good stress or a bad one. You need to know how to measure your stress levels and keep an eye them. Stress can be measured using heart rates, blood pressures and so on, but as people are not all the same and have different rates and pressures it is therefore a ‘personal stress’. So, ask yourself ‘am I 100% happy and myself today?’ if not, then something is out of balance, so you need to recognise it and address it before it becomes a prolonged stress.

If you allow prolonged stress to take over you can end up with a huge resume of bad health traits, such as:

• Increased blood sugar, volume and pressure – leading to diabetes and being on tablets, etc
• Inhibited synthesis of proteins – meaning you cant absorb it properly and so you wont be able to recover or repair efficiently
• Retention of sodium and water by the kidneys – meaning you will store excess salt and this can be extremely dangerous
• Proteins and fats broken down for energy – meaning you will get thin, weak and lose muscle (check this point makes sense, remove it if not)

and so on…………………………

Here is a questionnaire for you to ask yourself on a regular basis.

Use page 247 in the folder and also pages 19-21 in the small 5min stress book (look at 24 and 25) ask more questions and put in a different order. Put the scores they can check against.

Methods to reduce stress:

• Say No! If you don’t want to do something, no thinking, just say no
• Delegate your workload
• Go out and make new friends or socialise with old ones
• Eat well – following a balanced and nutritious diet
• Do at least 30mins exercise (bike or skating) it doesn’t have to be the same boring routine
• Set goals everywhere and anywhere – keep them realistic though
• Don’t jump the gun all the time – so you may actually be wrong and others right for once, so stop yourself arguing
• Cut out caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes
• Slow yourself down once in a while and relax by listening to music, sitting down or reading, have a bubble bath with your rubber ducky (although for the men, best replace the ducky with a manly battleship, etc) – keep it a regular thing
• Plan a big holiday or a few little weekend breaks so you have something that breaks up your usual daily living
• Squeeze a soft spongy ball to help relieve tension

Try to do these things in your daily life and slowly implement them rather than all at once.

Task: Get a pen and paper and do the following 4 things:

1. List a few things that really annoy you and get you down. How can you prevent them from happening?
2. Write some realistic goals down to stick to each day or week and tick them off when they’re done
3. List things you do in a day and if it’s too much, tick the things that you would be prepared to let go – like driving, you could have someone drive you for a change or you could walk, etc. Certain things can’t be changed so be realistic and reasonable and only if there’s an alternative
4. List the things that are good in your life that makes you happy and that brings you joy. Then at the other side, put the things that are really energy consuming, pointless and worthless in your life.

Put these answers somewhere safe and get them out every so often to do the same thing again and compare the two, after applying the ‘stress reducing techniques’ that you will have hopefully taken up.

In conclusion:

Stress is a part of being human and being you, so whether you love it or hate it, just remember, recognise it, embrace it and sort it!!

Need pictures of stress ball, guy pulling hair out, funky looking money, exercise, rubber duck/battleship, guy carrying the world on his shoulders or lots of workload stuff.

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