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About stress

Every person deals with stress on a daily basis. To be more specific about the stress I deal with daily, not everything is negative there are some positive ones.

1. EUSTRESS

Firstly I will start off with the posItive stresses I experience. Positive stresses are also called Eustress.

This type of stress does the following :

focuses my energy towards the right places.

Motivates me

It is usually short term

It is easier to cope with

it feels exciting and it improves my performance.

I specifically deal with the following positive stresses:

Receiving good marks in school

going on a vacation

holiday seasons

moving into a new home

learning a new hobby

preparing for a dance competition

completing a challenge

the excitement of winning a race

2.DISTRESS

In contrast, negative stress or otherwise called Distress causes:

anxiety or concern

it may be long term or short term

it is outside of our coping abilities

it feels unpleasant

it decreases your performance

it can lead to mental and physical problems.

Examples of my personal negative stressors

losing contact with loved ones

dealing with grief

sleeping problems

conflict in interpersonal relationships

assignments.

WHAT MAKES MY STRESS BETTER OR WORSE

Things that make my stress worse:

I drink coffee it usually makes me more nervous and a lot more tired

When I am fightIng with my mom I become more stressed

when I don’t get enough sleep my stress increases

moving into a new house

dealing with grief

prelims and cycle tests coming up

my emotional problems

living up to academic standars

Having a healthy balance in my life

These points add unnecessary stress to my life and it puts more pressure on me.

Things that make my stress better:

spending time with family

spending time socially with my friends

speaking to someone that offers good advice

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implementing healthy coping skills

I take care of my physical health

slowing my schedule down

stretching and relaxing my muscles

taking a break.

MY BEHAVIOUR WHEN STRESSED

Everybody responds differently to stress. My behaviour definitely changes when I am stressed. Here are a the main examples behavioural fluctuations

INSOMNIA

My stress causes insomnia by making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, as well as affecting the quality of my sleep. Stress has a huge impact on my brain. When the lights are off stress causes my thoughts to spiral out of control.

2. WITHDRAWAL

When I am stressed I withdraw myself from social events and my self esteem and confidence takes a hit. I start to struggle to believe in my ability to deal with the stressful situations and that leads me to become distant. I distance myself from my family members and people that are close to me.

3. ANXIETY

This is my most common response to stress and it could be mild or get out of hand depending in the certain situation.

4. BAD DECISIONS

It is better not to make important decisions when I am stressed because I might anticipate something good turning out and underestimate the negative effects of the decision.

5.ACTING IRRITABLE

I behave irritable around the people I am surrounded with because I am stressed, I tend to take it out on the people around me.

6. I HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME ACHIEVING MY GOALS

As I become stressful I normally fall back into old patterns instead of changing my behaviour to achieve specific goals

7.DIFFICULTY AVOIDING JUNKFOOD

I turn to comfort food to make myself feel better when I anxious.

8. MORE FORGETFUL

When I am stressed for an exam I tend to forget my work even more. I struggle to remain calm and my mind thinks about multiple tings at the same time.

WAYS TO DECREASE STRESS LEVELS

TAKE PART IN physical activity- Exercising physically can be a replacement to metabolise an overload of stress hormones and enables you to renew your being and you will become more relaxed. Stressful experiences multiply the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in your body. Your muscles will decreasingly become less tense and because exercise increases the blood flow in the body it may help you to think more clearly.

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Relax – A straightforward method is to concentrate on a specific word such as “ love “ this will help you to focus on one thing at a time and still remain calm. When you get tense you can just repeat the exercise. You can try to use a stress relieving method each day and then find out which ones work better for you. The next thing you can try is deep breathing or guided imagery. By doing this you will achieve self regulation. And this will lead to a positive impact on your mind on a daily basis.

OBTAIN A stress diary-The stress dairy will help me to identify my personal main stressors that I deal with on a daily basis. In this diary I will note down my stress levels and how I feel throughout the day.Keeping a record of the events that create stress, as well as my reactions to them, will help me to pinpoint the biggest stressors in my life. I will follow the guidelines to make my diary as effective as possible.

SPEAK to someone- expressing your emotions can be helpful and it will release some of the stress you are experiencing as it would lift a weight off of your shoulders.

If I had to choose a method to decrease my stress level I would have to choose more than one method. These two methods would go hand in hand for me and it would work much better for me than using one method.

I would use method one and method 3- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY & KEEPING A STRESS DIARY.

The reason why I chose these two methods is because I feel they would work better using them together. Although they are different they would help me to relieve my stress.

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Keep track of time of day. Include the time of day that you experience a feeling of stress. Rate your stress from 1 which could be very little stress to 10 which could be extreme stress .

What was the situation? Identify the certain situation that caused you stress. You have to be precise about the circumstances. What is the comment that your friend passed on that made you stress or that made think.

What was the preceding event ? Maybe you have woken up late, or forgot about a test, gave in an assignment late. Sometimes this event could be your breaking point.

Attempt to identify the thoughts you experienced throughout the preceding event.

What were your symptoms? Was your heart racing, did you struggle to breathe , or perhaps you got a headache? These could be physical symptoms. Some psychological or emotional symptoms could be difficulty concentrating, feeling negative about things or you might feel more anxious and fearful. How did you react to? You also have to be more specific about this guideline. For example, did you react to the annoying comment your friend made or did you use the situation to practise your breathing exercises

How constructive was your response? You cause the rating here. Rate your response from 1-10. This could help you decide whether to improve your reaction or not.

Rate your mood now. It is important to rate your mood in any stressful situation immediately after your response to it. 1 being “not a good mood at all” to 10 “a very good mood

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