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STRESS

Coping responses

Major stresses

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Pressure-cooker living (sermon)

 

Put the glass down

Stress & Laughter

Stress overload symptoms

Stress remedies

 

Stresss score

 

 

 

Stress humor - oneliners:

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT'S YOUR STRESS SCORE?

Score yourself on the Life Change Test

If any of these life events have happened to you in the last 12 months,

please check the “Happened” column and enter the Value in “Your Score” column.

 

ITEM         ITEM       EVENT                 YOUR

No.              Value           Happened                   Score                 Life Event

     I              100            __________          ______          Death of spouse

2              73               __________         ______           Divorce

3              65               __________         ______           Marital separation

4              63               __________         ______           Jail term

5              63               __________         ______           Death of close family member

6              53               __________         ______           Personal injury or illness

7              50               __________         ______           Marriage

8              47               __________         ______           Fired at work

9              45               __________         ______           Marital reconciliation

10               45               __________         ______           Retirement

11               44               __________         ______           Change in health of family member

12               40               __________         ______           Pregnancy

13               39               __________         ______           Sex difficulties

14               39               __________         ______           Gain of new family members

15               39               __________         ______           Business readjustment

16               38               __________         ______           Change in financial state

17               37               __________         ______           Death of close friend

18               36               __________         ______           Change to different line of work

19               35               __________         ______          Change in no.of arguments w/spouse

20               31               __________         ______           Mortgage over $30,000

21               30               __________         ______           Foreclosure of mortgage of loan

22               29               __________         ______           Change in responsibilities at work

23               29               __________         ______           Son or daughter leaving home

24               29               __________         ______           Troubles with in-laws

25               28               __________         ______           Outstanding personal achievement

26               26               __________         ______           Wife begins or stops work

27               26               __________         ______           Begin or end school

28               25               __________         ______           Change in living conditions

29               24               __________         ______           Revision of personal habits

30               23               __________         ______           Trouble with boss

31               20               __________         ______           Change in work hours or conditions

32               20               __________         ______           Change in residence

33               20               __________         ______           Change in schools

34               19               __________         ______           Change in recreation

35               19               __________         ______           Change in church activities

36               18               __________         ______           Change in school activities

37               17               __________         ______           Mortgage or loan less than $30,000

38               16               __________         ______           Change in sleeping habits

39               15               __________         ______           Change in number of family get-togethers

40               15               __________         ______           Change in eating habits

41               13               __________         ______           Vacation

42               12               __________         ______           Christmas

   43               11               __________         ______           Minor violations of the law

 

TOTAL SCORE FOR 12 MONTHS               ________

 

DR. THOMAS HOLME’S STRESS TEST INTERPRETATION

 

          The more change you have, the more stress you'll experience. Too much stress becomes distress, which increases your chances of becoming ill. Of the people with scores over 300 (major stress), almost 80% will get sick in the next two years; with 200-299 (moderate stress) about 50% will become sick in the future; with 50-199 (mild stress) about 30% will have a tendency to become ill and less than 50 (low stress) have a low probability of illness. How you cope with your stress is a major factor in how it will affect you. Learn to recognize the sources of your stress and work to minimize them. A positive attitude and healthy body are your two best defenses against distress.

          Dr. Thomas Holme designed this test originally in the early 70’s to measure stress.  This edition was revised to accomodate the stress levels of people in the 90’s.  Naturally, he had to upgrade the levels of stress and their numerical values for we High Stress 90’s people.  How much more stress do you think we’re perceiving in the New Millennium?

 

 

A LESSON IN STRESS MANAGEMENT

 

Put the Glass Down


A lecturer was giving a lecture to his students on stress management.
He raised a glass of water and asked the audience, "How heavy do you think this glass of water is?"
The students' answers ranged from 20g to 500gm.
"It does not matter on the absolute weight. It depends on how long you hold it

If I hold it for a minute, it is OK.

If I hold it for an hour, I will have an ache in my right arm.

If I hold it for a day, you will have to call an ambulance. 

It is the exact same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
"If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, we will not be able to carry on, the burden becoming increasingly heavier."
"What you have to do is to put the glass down, rest for a while before holding it up again."
We have to put down the burden periodically, so that we can be refreshed and are able to carry on.
So before you return home from work tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it back home. You can pick it up tomorrow.
Whatever burdens you are having now on your shoulders, let it down for a moment if you can.
Pick it up again later when you have rested...
Rest and relax.
Life is short, enjoy it!!

 

MAJOR STRESSES

THAT CAN LEAD TO CONFLICT AND VIOLENCE

 

The 18 major sources of stress that may lead to conflict and violence are:

 

1.     Troubles with the boss.

2.    Troubles with other people at work.

3.    Laid off or fired from work.

4.    Arrested or convicted on some serious charge.

5.    Death of someone close.

6.    Foreclosure of mortgage or loan.

7.    Pregnancy or childbirth.

8.    Serious illness or injury.

9.    Serious problem with health or behavior of a family member.

10.   Sexual difficulties.

11.   In-Law troubles.

12.   Much worse off financially.

13.   Separated or divorced.

14.   Big increase in number of arguments with spouse or partner.

15.   Big increase in hours of work or job responsibility.

16.   Moving to a different neighborhood or town.

17.   Child kicked out of school or suspended.

18.   Child caught doing something illegal.

 

The average person interviewed reported two stressful events during the last year.

 

Can you name your stressors that "push your buttons?”

 

1.____________________________________________________________

 

2.____________________________________________________________

 

3.____________________________________________________________

 

4.______________________________________________________

 

 

COPING RESPONSES TO STRESS

The following are some examples of coping responses. The list is not exhaustive and none of the responses are particularly bad or good. Each one could work for you at any given point in time.

 

1.     REAPPRAISE THE SITUATION

Change your perception of interpretation of the situation. You can do this by decreasing the importance of the situation, modifying your expectations of self and others. See the threat as a challenge or a non-threat. Try to find something humorous in the situation.

 

2.    COGNITIVE REHEARSAL

Use self-talk or imagery to talk or think yourself through the situation.

 

3.    DELAY ACTIVITY (goals)

Sometimes it can be to our advantage to procrastinate until we are better able to make a decision. Putting off tasks that could cause overload is not bad and sometimes you need to wait for more information and consider other alternatives before making decisions.

 

4.    SET LIMITS

Learn to say no.

 

5.    EXPRESS YOUR EMOTIONS

Ventilate your emotions with the persons involved. Discuss both negative and positive feelings; sometimes just getting your feelings out in the open releases the tension valve. You can use discretion here - in that sometimes you need to wait to express your emotions when you feel more in control.

 

6.    PLAN

Plan ways to avoid stressful situations by considering the alternatives before you embark on a course of action or accept another job. Also plan time for relaxation and enjoyment. Remember to take time for yourself.

 

7.    DIVERSION

Do something different. Do something for fun. Be creative, go to a movie, read, etc. Break your old cycle.

 

 

8.    SELF-STATEMENTS

POSITIVE SELF-TALK

 

9.    FANTASIZE

Create new alternatives; use your imagination to create new ways of coping.

 

10.    VENTILATE WITH OTHERS

Talk with friends or peers. Discuss your concerns with others who can look at the situation objectively and do not be upset by their suggestions.

 

11.    MAXIMIZE YOUR POTENTIAL FOR COPING

Make friends and create social supports. Make sources of information available to you by collecting information and working through mentally several options.

 

 

 

Letter From God

Dear One:

Just remember. . .

 

You are not responsible for all things, for all people,  in all circumstances! 

 

That’s My Job!

 

All My Love,

Almighty God

P.S. Please resign immediately as Master of the Universe. That’s My Job, Too!

 

 

Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA - 724-981-5683

 

 

 

 

STRESS AND LAUGHTER

 

          A continuously expanding body of medical research now confirms that laughter is a powerful medicine in alleviating the impact that stressful events have on our lives and in actually preventing accidents and reversing disease. 

Grief work involves allowing yourself to feel your feelings: ALL feelings are OK. You are allowed to enjoy a moment of laughter without being disrespectful to the memory of the person you are grieving.  In some instances, the loved one you have lost to death enjoyed humor themselves.  Allowing yourself to laugh at what they found humorous can actually facilitate the grieving experience.

Laughter is a happy and pleasant experience. It temporarily diverts our attention and dissipates feelings of fear, isolation, anger, and physical pain.  Laughter can be the doorway to purging harmful emotions and resolving mental tension. It is a form of therapy that encourages us to release the painful emotions of anger, fear, and boredom.

Laughter enables the processing of information in a new way. New perceptions can lead to different and healthier solutions. William Fry, M.D., psychiatrist and professor emeritus at StanfordUniversity, documented physiological changes from laughter similar to intense aerobic exercise.  He stated ”One hundred laughs is equal to ten minutes of aerobic exercise.”

Laughter can also help the immune system.  Research at the Department of Clinical Immunology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine has demonstrated that the experience of laughter lowers the level of certain stress hormones and stimulates the immune systems by increasing the number of activated T-cells and activated T-helper cells.

In addition, mirthful laughter enhances the activity of natural killer cells that play a crucial role in preventing disease. To create more smiles and laughter, try any or all of these humor strategies:
1)  Cultivate a playful attitude.
2)  Find humor in daily life.
3)  Learn to belly laugh and tell jokes.
4)  Learn to laugh at yourself.
5)  Hang out with people who are fun to be with, who make you laugh.

 

 

 

Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA - 724-981-5683

Phil Roland, Grief Counselor

 

 

STRESS OVERLOAD SYMPTOMS

1. Mild to Moderate Depression / Malaise

2. Blue Feeling

3. Lack or Absence of Motivation

4. Low or Missing Sexual Drive

5. Self Pity

6. Chronic Guilt Feelings

7. Insomnia

8. Loss of or Increase in Appetite

9. Change of Bowel Habit

10. Apathy

11. Listlessness

12. Indifference to Others

13. Sleeping Too Much

14. Obsessional Thinking

15. Fleeting Suicidal Thoughts.

16. Problems Managing Anger

17. Panic Attacks

18. Negative Thinking

 Six or more of the above indicators reveals a serious tendency toward “Stress Overload." Anti-Depressants, personal therapy and an active spiritual life are recommended for healing and restoration.

 

Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA

pastor Phil Roland

 

 

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS

 

 

          Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD) is the normal emotional and psychological response to trauma.  Any painful, shocking experience that is too painful at the time for the mind to cope with can result in a PTSD problem.  The trauma can be grief-loss, warfare experience, sexual abuse/incest (loss of innocence and childhood), an automobile accident resulting in death or serious injury, witnessing some act of physical or sexual violence, etc.

 

PEELING THE ONION

 

          The long-term memory represses and stores the visual memories of the trauma.  The traumatic event(s) are repressed by a covering of "forgetfulness" covering the event, and it is stored in the victim's long-term memory.  The event and how the victim feels about it, unwinds with flashbacks and "body-memories."  With each incident of recall, the victims feel great emotion before, during and after the memory. The Process of Healing and Recovery involves reattaching memories of what has happened with appropriate feelings.   I call the incidental, individual process, "peeling the onion."  The onion is peeled, a layer of pain (repressed memories) is exposed, tears are shed, strong feelings are released, and the process is repeated.  In the situation of sexual abuse in childhood victims when the abuse sometimes stretches out over the entire childhood, the layers of pain are deeper that can be comprehended.  So, recovery is thought of more as a process than a single event.

 

SYMPTOMS OF POST TRAUMATIC stress

        Victims of PTSD may experience some of the following symptoms:

 

          1.  RECURRENT MEMORIES OR FLASHBACKS

          2.  NIGHTMARES AND INSOMNIA

          3.  DEPRESSION

          4.  LACK OF INTEREST IN LIFE

          5.  SURVIVOR GUILT (Involving mass tragedy) 

          6.  OVERWHELMING EMOTIONS

          7.  IRRITABILITY OR JUMPINESS

          8.  CONFLICTS WITH PEOPLE

          9.  ABUSE OF ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUGS

        10.  ISOLATE THEMSELVES.

 

STAGES OF RECOVERY

 

        Survivors go through anticipated stages as they move toward healing and restoration.

 

          1.  FEAR AND SADNESS

 

          2.  DENIAL

 

          3.  WORKING THROUGH FEARS

 

          4. GROWTH

 

        Relapses happen often and plateaus are reached in the journey toward wholeness.  A relapse may make the victim/survivor feel as though they are making no progress.  One way to measure progress is to note how quickly the survivor bounces back after a relapse.  When the abuse victim reaches a plateau in the healing process, they may wrongly think they are finished with the healing.  Caregivers and therapists will have to be encouraging, supportive and available if the survivor begins spontaneously to peel another layer of the onion.

 

 

COURTESY OF PASTOR PHIL ROLAND, SHEEPFOLD MINISTRIES, SHARON, PA

 

 

 
 

STRESS REMEDIES


ACTIVITIES THAT CAN RELIEVE MY STRESS
 

Watch a sunset

Go to the beach

Be positive

Sing a song

Pet a dog

Tell a joke

Listen to music

Blow bubbles

Take a nap

Dance a jig

Take a walk

Write a letter

Have a cup of tea

Ask for help

Smile Take a break

Do it now!

Stretch

Get up early

 

Meditate

Do Tai Chi

Play a drum

Prioritize

Give a hug

Throw a ball

Play with a child

See a movie

Plant a flower

Say "No"

Set Limits

Eat a snack

Read a book

Practice kindness

Light a candle

Laugh out loud

Lie in the sun


Keep a journal

Hum a tune

Practice patience

Walk in the rain

Run in the park

Talk to a friend

Take a bubble bath

Avoid negative people

Take a deep breath

Ask for what you need

Go to bed on time

Walk a labyrinth

Give a compliment

Clean a closet

Go barefoot Give a blessing

Watch a sunrise

Say a prayer