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Keys to Stress Management

Welcome to the module on stress management. This module is designed to teach you about stress, help you learn how to recognize the signs that you’re stressed, and identify effective ways to manage and cope with stress.

Megan Guinn

on 23 September 2015

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Transcript of Keys to Stress Management

What is STRESS?
, or
response to events that causes bodily or mental
Comes from a
situation or thought
that makes you feel
frustrated, anxious, or angry
Can be a good thing
Can also be harmful
Resources & References
Diaphragmatic Breathing
Utilizing the diaphragm to create strong breaths which activates the parasympathetic nervous system (AKA the relaxation system of the body)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Assess your stress
Ways to Manage Stress
Keys to Stress Management
Thank you!
Another key to effective stress management:
Yerkes-Dodson Law
Signs of Stress
Take this brief stress survey to guage your stress levels:
To a certain extent,
stress increases performance
, by increasing focus, attention, and motivation.
But when


overwhelms our ability to cope
problems develop and

performance decreases
How do you know when you're stressed?
Take a moment to reflect.
first step
in effectively managing stress is to
recognize it.
The following are relaxation techniques that are meant to be practiced and routine.
What does stress look like?
Try a Relaxation Technique
Listen to a recorded guided relaxation
Imagine a relaxing scene
Practice progressive muscle relaxation
Practice diaphragmatic breathing
Skip ahead to our how-to section to learn more about these techniques!
Don't know what these are?
Try a Relaxing
What calms and soothes you?
Relax in a bath, shower, or pool
Take a nap
Look at pleasant art
Listen to your favorite music
Try aromatherapy
Get a massage
Enjoy a cool, refreshing drink
Spend time with pets
Take time to be alone
Relax outside
Treat yourself to a delicious meal
Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee
Be Physically Active
Stretch or do calisthenics
Go for a walk or jog
Practice yoga
Play frisbee
Go paddle boating
Work out
Go for a bike ride
Learn a new skill (diving, juggling, rollerblading, etc.)
Swim or float at a pool
Take Care of Your Body
Improve your nutrition
Reduce chemical intake
Practice safe sex
Improve your sleep habits
Go to the doctor
Get with Nature.
Visit a special place you enjoy
Take yourself on a vacation
Go for a bike ride or country drive
Play with a pet
Have a picnic in a beautiful setting
Watch the sunrise or sunset
Star gaze
Watch the clouds
Visit a park or forest
Find a great patio
go outside.
Talk to friends, family, or a counselor
Help a friend or volunteer
Ask a friend for a hug
Express gratitude
Call someone
Take time to listen
Work on your communication skills
Ask for what you need
Practice forgiveness
Change Your Thinking
Write in a journal
Pray/Develop a spiritual practice
Practice positive thinking
Reflect on an enjoyable memory
Reflect on what you are thankful for
Prioritize and make a to-do list
Find and seek balance (self/others, work/play, emotional/rational/spiritual, escaping/addresing)
Practice meditation
Read, talk, learn about your issues
Reflect on your values
Simplify your schedule and/or space
Reward yourself
Problem solve
Attend an athletic event
Read a book or magazine
Visit a museum
Watch a good TV show
Listen to music
Go see a movie or concert
Go window shopping
Express Yourself Creatively
Play music, sing, hum, whistle
Draw or paint
Take pictures
Create with clay, plaster, wood, found objects
Make yourself something nice
Learn a new artistic skill or hobby
Prepare a special meal or dessert
Write a poem or a song
Rearrange your furniture
Stress Management
Skill Building
Benefits of Diaphragmatic Breathing
Relieves physical muscle tension
Allows the mental function to slow and relax
Body and mind connection
Calms and centers
Activates parasympathetic nervous system
Releases natural wastes, such as carbon dioxide
Increases the oxygen to all cells
Strengthens the lungs
Slows your heart rate
Lowers your blood pressure
Increases blood flow to muscles
Improves concentration
Reduces anger and frustration
1. Breathe in through your nose and fill up your belly like a balloon
2. Fill the rib cage; feel each and every space in-between the ribs become wider
3. Finish by filling up the upper chest

1. Release through your nose from your chest
2. Feel the rib cage become tighter and the spaces in-between the ribs become smaller
3. Use your abdominal muscles to push out the stagnant air
at the bottom of your belly
Adapted from Sangha Yoga Teacher Training Manual (2008)
Follow these
a guide.
a guide.
Be mindful of injuries.
Select your surroundings.
Make yourself comfortable.
Pay attention to your body. If you have an injury or experience pain, consult with your doctor.
Minimize distractions to your senses. Turn off the TV, use soft lighting.
Use a chair that comfortably seats your body, including your head. Wear loose clothing. Take off your shoes.
General Procedure
Slow down your breathing, and give yourself permission to relax.
When you are ready to begin,
tense the muscle group
described. Feel the tension, but not so much that you feel a great deal of pain. Keep the muscle tensed for
approximately 5 seconds
Relax the muscles
and keep it relaxed for
approximately 10 seconds.
Practicing PMR can lead to...
Decreased muscle tension
Increased awareness of muscle tension/stress
Decreased stress
Decreased health problems
PMR consists of a series of exercises that involve contracting a muscle group, holding the contraction, then relaxing.
Contraction = teaches awareness of muscle tension
Relaxation = teaches the absence of tension and how it can be voluntarily induced
If you want more information about managing stress or want to get connected to our services:
Come in person to either of our locations:
Monroe Park Campus
University Student Commons, Room 238
907 Floyd Avenue
(804) 828-6200
MCV Campus
Grant House, B011
1008 East Clay Street
(804) 828-3964
After Hours Emergency - Call VCU Police dispatcher:
(804) 828-1234 and ask to speak to a counselor.
Skills adapted from Sangha Yoga Teacher Training Manual (2008) and Centre for Clinical Interventions (www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/about/index.cfm)
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