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Transcript of Stress Management
Health Benefits of PLAY
Play can inspire you to think differently
Play can bring greater joy into your life
Play is known to reduce stress
Play on a regular basis can increase longevity
Play can reduce struggle, conflict, and worry
Play can stimulate the imagination, curiosity, and creativity
Play reduces the risk of hypertension and decreases depression
Play can provide you with an opportunity to take risks
Play can increase your sense of lightness
Play can greatly enhance your energy levels
Play can increase our
, allowing us to interact
more easily with other people.
Sharing laughter and enjoyment with others
enhances our sense of community
and helps us to
develop trusting, compassionate relationships.
Many believe that play can be a powerful
antidote to violence
, and it is known to
and emotional wounds.
Play teaches us enjoyment, fun and love of life.
It helps us to manage and transform negative emotions into something more positive.
Play provides an antidote to feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression, by triggering endorphins in the brain.
Play can help to
, which can prevent the development of physical complaints.
What is STRESS?
It's difficult to define!
How does stress present itself in YOUR life?
The actual definition: Stress is what you experience when you believe you cannot cope effectively with a threatening situation.
The "other" definition: Stress is created when your mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some idiot who desperately deserves it.
The following are patterns of thinking that are common in people feeling STRESS.
Are any familiar to you?
Source: LaRoche, p. 15-17
Always use extremes
No shades of gray and no middle ground
Example: You're driving on the highway and merge into a slower lane. You think "I NEVER pick the right one!"
Rejecting the Positive
You can't accept when good things happen to you
You give a great performance in a piano recital and think, "Oh, I made a mistake in the third measure."
You get a compliment on a job well done and think, "Anyone could have done it."
You obsess over one negative thing and see it as evidence of a pattern of negativity.
Example: You get a lower grade than you hoped for on an exam and think "I am terrible at math and will never understand it."
You're always looking at other people to discern the ways in which they're better than you
No matter what the set-back, you think it proves you can never have a decent life.
Example: I missed the shuttle! Things like this always happen to me! Nothing ever goes my way.
You label yourself negatively at the drop of a hat.
Example: You spill your drink on your shirt and think, "Ugh I am such a slob!"
"Shoulding" on Yourself
You think that the outcome of any situation is going to be negative, so why bother?
Example: I'm never going to be hired as an RA, so why should I go to the trouble of applying?
No matter what the situation, you can always think about what you SHOULD have done or said instead of what really happened.
A B C
ABC Model for Understanding Stress
event or potentially stressful situation.
, thoughts, or perceptions of A.
is the emotional
or stress that results from holding these beliefs.
A potentially stressful situation your perceptions your stress level
By Psychologist Albert Ellis
Example: Waiting. Waiting is part "A" in equation. Whether you experience stress, part "C," depends on how you look at the situation (your beliefs and attitudes, or part "B").
Change your "A" = Modify your environment
Change your "B" = Change the way you perceive events that trigger stress
Change your "C" = Master other skills
You can learn how to relax your body and quiet your mind. Learn the secrets of becoming calm and how to turn off your stress.
Change the way you view the world. Much of your stress is self-induced. Try to train yourself to see things differently.
If possible, change your environment. You hate traffic? Leave earlier. You hate deadlines? Finish your project earlier. If you can't change your environment, work on changing YOU.
Find the Balance
Too much stress:
Can become a negative force.
Can rob you of the fun in life.
Too little stress:
You are missing out.
Taking too few risks.
Playing it too safe.
“If you think the worst and get the worst, you suffer twice. If you think the best and get the worst, you only suffer once” (LaRoche, p. 75).
Source: Elkin, p. 29-30
Source: Elkin, p. 28-29
Source: Elkin, p. 24
Laugh Your Way to Better Days
Using Play & Humor to De-Stress
Play is the answer to the question.
How does anything new ever come about? –Jean Piaget
5 Ways to Relieve Stress
Online Stress Test:
“Every time you take a walk, realize that you have incredible powers to move forward. When you sit around, you simply magnify your ability to stay stuck” (LaRoche, p. 316).
Take Walks, Get Outside, Exercise!
Eat, Laugh, and be with Friends!
“A sense of humor gives us the ability to shift perspective and be flexible. And flexibility is the ability to not get bent out of shape” (LaRoche, p. 229).
“Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can, and laugh at the rest” (LaRoche, p. 220).
Help Others Around You
Take Time for Play and Relaxation
“If you’re waiting for someone important to give you “permission” to have fun… forget it. They’re not coming. They’re out having a good time” (LaRoche, p. 95).
Start a Meditation Practice
“When you go to bed at night, count your blessings, not your e-mails. It will give your mind the message: ‘I have what I need. Don’t worry; all is well’” (LaRoche, p. 80).
1. Activates your immune system
2. Decrease the harmful effects of stress
3. Aerobically exercises your heart and lungs
4. Relaxes muscle tension
5. Improves digestion
6. Relieves depression
7. Rests your brain
8. Stimulates both sides of the brain
9. Improves alertness and mental processing
10. Increases attention span
It is common knowledge among humor professionals that children laugh approximately 400 times a day. Adults? Only 15 times!
Humor & Laughter
11. Helps you absorb information faster
12. Improves problem-solving
13. Reduces mistakes
14. Stabilizes mood swings
15. Inspires creativity
16. Improves communication
17. Improves your general outlook on life
18. Leads to a better sense of humor
19. Enhances romance
20. Reduce allergy symptoms
21. Can cause a cleansing of the lungs
Adapted from www.danmonroe.com/thelaughacademy/benefit.html
21 Benefits of Laughter
Simple Sources of Humor: Babies & Kids!
Ho-Ho, Ha-Ha Laughter. Start a “ho-ho, ha-ha” laugh with your mouth half open and your hands slightly raised and bent at the elbows, making sure the sound comes from the navel. Swing your body in rhythm and clap if you want. Slowly increase the tempo of the laughter until you burst into loud laughter, while throwing your arms up toward the sky. Continue laughing for 10 to 15 seconds or more.
Silent Laughter With Mouth Wide Open. Open your mouth as wide as possible and laugh, without making any sound! Make funny gestures to your fellow participants. (One word of caution: Don’t overexert yourself on this one, since “holding in” laughter can increase intra-abdominal pressure.)
Humming Laughter With Lips Closed. With lips closed, laugh making a little humming sound. This is excellent for engaging the lungs and abdominal muscles.
Lion Laughter. Keeping your eyes open and hands poised like the paws of a lion, extend your tongue by opening the mouth wide. Now laugh while keeping this position!
Musical Laughter. Pick a tune and instead of singing along, laugh it! Go ahead and dance while you’re at it!
Gradient Laughter. This is best done in a group. One person starts by just smiling. The next person adds a giggle to the smile, the next adds a slightly larger laugh, and so on. Slowly increase the intensity until it becomes contagious and everyone is laughing a big, hearty laugh.
Wait, some of us hate the idea of exercise...
So engage in an ACTIVITY! Find something that is readily available and easily integrated into your lifestyle and work style.
Personal Examples of the ABC Model?
Bounce ideas and thoughts off of your friends for new and healthy perspectives.
Laugh! Positive, happy people are more resilient to the effects of stress.
Expressions of love and caring release endorphins in the brain, causing pleasant, rewarding, and relaxing feelings of well-being to surge!
Source: 5 Ways to Relieve and Reduce Stress
Thank you for attending!
Questions or Comments?
1. Take Walks, Get Outside, Exercise
2. Eat, Laugh & be with Friends
3. Help Others Around You
4. Take Time for Play & Relaxation
5. Start a Meditation Practice
How Can You Apply the 5 Steps as an RA?
Work together to devise a plan!
Helping others, giving to those in need and volunteering...
Immediately lift your mood
Promote you to think positively and optimistically
Create a sense of meaning and connection to something larger
Helping OTHERS will likely evoke feelings of compassion, caring, empathy, laughter, peace, and spiritual meaning (causing stress to DISAPPEAR!)
Play? Fun? Relaxation? Who has TIME for those!?
Despite thinking you are wasting valuable time you need to get everything done, PLAY will ENERGIZE you, help you WORK FASTER & help you gain FOCUS.
Start your day with PLAY
(or at least build it right into your schedule!)
Elkin, A. (1999). Stress management for dummies: A reference for the rest of us. Foster City, CA: IDG Books Worldwide, Inc.
LaRoche, L. (2003). Life is short—wear your party pants: Ten simple truths that lead to an amazing life. United States: Hay House, Inc.
LaRoche, L. (2006). Squeeze the day: 365 ways to bring joy and juice into your life. United States: Hay House, Inc.
Myers-Smith, C. (2002). Laugh yourself fit. Retrieved August 13, 2012:http://www.ideafit.com/fitness
Petvin, C. (2010). Reduce stress by taking time to play. Retrieved August 13, 2012:
St. Clair, M. (Unknown). Inspiration: The benefits of play. Retrieved August 13, 2012:
5 Ways to Relieve and Reduce Stress: https://mindlev.com/5-ways-to-relieve-and-reduce-stress
Some humor before you go...
Meditation = your body's natural relaxation response = interupts and effectively shuts down stress.
Stress shuts down parts of your brain that are used in decision-making and emotional control
Lie on your back, close your eyes.
Feel your feet. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and sink into the bed. Start with your toes and progress to your ankles.
Feel your knees. Sense their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed.
Feel your upper legs and thighs. Feel their weight. Consciously relax them and feel them sink into the bed.
What??? #22?? Am I not funny? I think I laugh a lot! I am OFFENDED by this survey!