Session Objectives • • • To understand what stress is and how the body responds To recognise some of the signs and symptoms To learn about and practice some simple coping strategies What is Stress? ‘The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other demands placed upon them. It arises when they worry they can not cope’. (HSE 2000) Normal Stress Cycle Stressor Prepare body for action Body back to normal Feeling calmer Speeds up sympathetic system Digestive system slows Promote digestion Fight /flight response Circulation to critical organs increased Shallow + quick respiration Pump adrenalin Sweating, hairs on end, pallor Crying Normal recovery cycle Repair + restore Body begins to relax Parasympathetic system kicks in 21st Century Stress Stress response– continual activation Relaxation phase – seldom entered Ex - Identification of Stress a) b) c) d) Cognitive Emotional Behavioural Physical Stress Bingo How many look familiar? • Frequent colds, sore throat • Reoccurring mouth ulcers, cold sores • Unexplained aches + pains • Eating, walking, talking quicker • Always in a hurry • Wide awake 2/3/4 am • Skin conditions • • • • • • • • • Stomach disorders Cold sweats Worrying more Teeth grinding Clenched fists Reduced social contact Checking rituals Poor memory Low self-esteem / paranoia Human Performance Curve (Based on Dodsons’ theories of stimulation & performance 1908) Danger point Performance Ill health Peak Performance Healthy tension Minimal arousal could cause breakdown Demands Breakdown / burn out Physical coping skills • Healthy diet – stress busting foods, reduced caffeine + alcohol • Regular exercise • Hobbies / fun/ energy boosters + bliss • Diaphragmatic breathing • Massage + relaxation Mental coping skills • • • • • • Be self-aware Open up + talk about it Accept what you cannot change Set personal limits + boundaries Challenge your thinking Find the humour in a situation Stop Banging your Head! Stress Reduction Kit Hit head Bang Head here! HERE Warning: May cause headaches Directions: 1) Place kit on firm surface 2) Follow directions 3) Repeat step 2 if required Action Planning • What have I learnt about myself ? • How can I help myself deal more effectively with stress ? • What do elves learn in school? • The Elf-abet! • What's the most popular wine at Christmas? • "I don't like sprouts" ! • Why was Santa's little helper depressed? • Because he had low elf esteem.