John Njuguna John Njuguna Stress Relaxation Techniques TM 606-01-02 – Industrial Supervision Pittsburg State University Instructor: Dr. Vern Morton Semester: Fall 2017 Class times: Monday 4:00 PM – 6:50 PM John Njuguna Stress can be best defined as a cumulative of factors that affect the mind, body, and soul in a negative way and most times unhealthy. Stress is part and parcel of daily life and how we cope with it may determine how healthy or unhealthy our lives are. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), stress is any uncomfortable "emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological and behavioral changes”. Common everyday stressors which can be managed by practicing healthy stress management behaviors can result into serious and chronic stress if neglected. The APA further warns that chronic stress can lead to serious health conditions such as anxiety, Insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. (Baum, A. & Polsusnzy, D. (1999). "Health Psychology: Mapping Bio-behavioral Contributions to Health and Illness.") Unlike everyday stressors, which can be managed with healthy stress management behaviors, untreated chronic stress can result in serious health conditions including anxiety, insomnia, muscle pain, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. Research shows that stress can contribute to the development of major illnesses, such as heart disease, depression and obesity. Some studies have suggested that unhealthy chronic stress management practices such as over eating "comfort" foods, has contributed to the growing obesity epidemic. While stress affects us in negative ways a majority of the time, it can be a healthy occurrence in our daily lives as well. When experienced in the right levels and healthy potions, stress plays an important role in our lives as well. In an attempt by the body to overcome the stressors, positive outcomes can be achieved. Common examples of some desirable outcomes of healthy stress might include; meeting deadlines, healthy competition with peers or co-workers, better grades for students, loan repayment for borrowers, to name just a few. John Njuguna There are a lot of ways to deal with stress and stress related negative outcomes. These ways range from a personal level all the way up to and including clinical institutionalization. Simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can or may relieve common everyday stress wile more advanced methods such as psychotherapy or rehabilitation may be employed. Simple habits such as making a list of activities that one intends to do may avert potential stress experiences later. This is evidently true in the fact that being organized has a correlation to being ready, and being ready for most is assuring therefore eliminating stress. Much as stress is caused or intensified by the most dreaded chores, tasks, assignments, work and many other activities of that nature, to some doing exactly that helps combat stress. Some derive peace and calm from occupying their bodies and minds into work as a way of distracting them from would be stressors. Most of the people in this category tend to be very good at what they do and they thrive in a work environment. In yet another example of avoiding stress, getting adequate and quality rest plays an important role in everybody’s life and health. Rest gives our bodies and minds an opportunity to recover, heal, and rejuvenate vital functioning processes, which can only take place when the human body and brain is at rest. Going to bed at a consistent time every night, eliminating a noisy atmosphere, avoiding distractions in bed such as computers, television or more common; cell phones, not only aids in falling asleep faster but getting quality sleep throughout the night as well. Experts at the National Institutes of Health (NHI), recommend at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep a day for adults and eight to ten hours a day for teens. Through traditionally known remedies, experiences, learned practices, there are abundant ways of stress relaxation known to man. what differs is the application and the ultimate result in any John Njuguna single individual’s life. An example of some of these techniques and practices practiced today is meditation and yoga. Although with origins and deep roots in eastern cultures, yoga and meditation are a common stress relaxation technique in the western world. Those who partake in both or either practices attest to their effectiveness in stress relaxation, increased energy levels, improved body and mind health, and vitality. One of the most challenging situations in most people’s lives, is giving up their current lifestyle or the way in which they are used to doing things. This is no different in people suffering from chronic stress. Change is difficult for everybody but it affects the latter more profoundly than everyone else. It can be argued that fear to change the only lifestyle they know for an uncertain lifestyle they’re not sure about might be the cause for the hesitation. Regardless the cause and effects of stress, one of the most assuring facts is that there is plentiful of information and help. Research, scholarly reviews, education, information and many other resources are available to help individuals manage and cope with stress as well as identify stress relaxation techniques. John Njuguna References 1) Baum, A. (1990). "Stress, Intrusive Imagery, and Chronic Distress," Health Psychology, Vol. 6, pp. 653-675. 2) Anderson, N.B. (1998). "Levels of Analysis in Health Science: A Framework for Integrating Socio-behavioral and Biomedical Research," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 840, pp. 563-576. 3) Baum, A. & Polsusnzy, D. (1999). "Health Psychology: Mapping Biobehavioral Contributions to Health and Illness".