Interventions by ewghwehws


            Stress Model
• Intervention: any activity designed
  to block the harmful effects of a
• Cognitive Appraisal: how each
  person interprets the situation.
  – Public speaking is a perfect example of
    this. Some folks view public speaking
    as a threat and it becomes a debilitating
    situation. If I felt that way I should
    have picked a different profession
    because teaching usually involves public
                Stress Model
• If a situation is perceived as stressful
  an emotional response occurs.
• The physiological responses quickly
  follow and the body is then prepared
  to fight-or-flight.
• Illness or adaptation are two options
  that occur at the end of the stress
  DQ 2: What is more important: reality or our perception?
Stress Model
             Stress Model
• It is important to realize that the
  model does not always follow linearly.
  – When you have an emotional response of
    anger and then take that out on someone
    else you may have just encountered a
    new life situation prior to finishing the
    previous one.
  – Similarly, one complete model may lead
    directly into a new round of going
    through the model. A disease may be a
    consequence of the 1st stress model and
    lead you directly to a new life situation
    starting a new round.
• Roadblocks are any activity that you
  employ to short-circuit the stress
• You can employ roadblocks at any
  point during the stress model. The
  earlier in the model you can employ
  a roadblock the better off you‟ll be.
• If you can strive to find a positive in
  each situation, or to place a lower
  value on an event, you will stop the
  model at the cognitive appraisal.
• Roadblocks do not remove all stress
  from a situation. If you think of
  stress in terms of a quantity, the
  residual amount goes on to the next
  step in the stress model.
• That realization has led to the term
  Comprehensive Stress Management
  – CSM: being able to employ a variety of
    roadblocks at each level along the
Stress Model as a Roadway
• Stress that results in positive
• Involves change that requires
• Allows personal growth and is
  beneficial to the person.
Yerkes-Dodson Curve
              Taking Control
• Managing stress means exercising
  control rather than giving up control.
• One can decide to control or not
  control the stress response
  (assuming responsibility).
• Practicing specific techniques is a
  means of taking control and
  assuming responsibility.

   DQ 3: How much control do we have over our stress levels?
    Making a Commitment
• Start right now.
  – Don‟t wait until the Fall semester begins again.
    CSM does not always take the 1st time, so
    waiting to begin until you believe you will be
    experiencing stress at a higher level is not the
    best option.
• Complete a contract.
  – Many folks find writing things down and thus
    having a reminder assists them in their CSM
• Plan rewards for reaching
  – Giving yourself a reward can increase your
    motivation to keep working on your CSM plan.
    Making a Commitment
• Plan punishments for not fulfilling
  – These get tricky in a hurry! Remember
    you are trying to lower your stress level
    so you can‟t select a punishment that
    will increase your stress level.
• Keep goals realistic.
  – Do not try to eliminate all stress.
    Always think about your life and your
    reality. What works for someone else
    may not work for you at all.
Life Situation
• Intrapersonal: issues that are within
  yourself, not involving others.
• Our goal is to cut off stress at the
  earliest situations and that will stop
  the stress model from continuing
  down its normal path.

DQ 4: Give an example of an intrapersonal stress you experience.
• College students generally enjoy
  going out to parties / bars etc.
  There is nothing wrong with that.
  However, at the end of the night you
  may find that you are presented with
  multiple life situations that have
  great potential to increase your
  stress levels. What do you do…?
• Why do most of the negative life
  situations occur later in the evening?
  – More alcohol / drugs consumed.
  – Folks are more tired at 2a than at 11p.
  – Noise and lights may become annoying
    at 1a when they were cool at 11p.
  – Folks more inebriated than you are now
    seem dumb and an annoyance whereas
    at 11p they were funny.
• So the question becomes do you realize
  those occurrences and what do you do?
• If you find that the „bad‟ parts of your
  night out usually occur between 1a-2a
  why stay that late? Just because you
  went out and the bar is still open doesn‟t
  mean you have to remain at the bar.
  Usually it is better to go out have all the
  fun you can and remove yourself from the
  situation prior to being put in a life
  situation that has such great potential to
  turn negative in a hurry.
• Certain food substances produce a stress-
  like response physiologically. These are
  called pseudostressors or
  – These substances mimic sympathetic nervous
    system stimulation.
     • Caffeine
     • Nicotine
• There is a relationship between stress,
  self-esteem, and poor nutritional habits.
  – Anorexia nervosa & Bulimia are two extreme
• Cortisol production requires the use
  of vitamins. Cortisol is one of the
  major hormones released as a stress
• B complex & C vitamins are most
  heavily affected.
  – Anxiety.
  – Depression.
  – Insomnia.
  – Muscular weakness.
  – Stomach upset.
• Calcium absorption is affected
  negatively while calcium excretion is
• Potassium, Zinc, Copper, & Magnesium:
  excretion increased due to stress.
• Hypoglycemia = low blood sugar.
  – Symptoms:
    • Anxiety, headache, dizziness, trembling, and
      – Stress response becomes more intense.
• Noise can raise blood pressure, heart
  rate and lead to muscle tension.
• Noise is related to job dissatisfaction
  and results in irritation and anxiety.
• Noise results in sleep disturbance,
  headaches, and hypertension.
• 85 decibels usually result in a stress
  response. 90 is the beginning of
  hearing damage.
• Noise can also be relaxing.
• “White noise” is noise / sounds used
  to drown out more obnoxious noises.
• Trouble sleeping due to crickets or
  other folks walking around? Turn
  your fan on. Many folks find the
  noise of a fan just enough to aid in
  relaxation and sleeping.
Noise Levels
            Hassels & Uplifts
• Hassels: daily events that are typically
  – Shoe lace breaks.
  – Drop your toast on the floor.
  – Forget your lunch.
• Uplifts: daily events that are typically
  –   “You look nice today.”
  –   “Job well done.”
  –   “Thanks for…”
  –   Playing with your puppy or children.
         Hassels & Health
• Hassels predictive of psychological
  distress, dynamics of stress and aging,
  and related to poorer mental and physical
• Your response to the hassle is key!
  Breaking your shoe lace means you may
  have to change your shoes. It doesn‟t
  mean you will now have a bad day, week,
  or that you are cursed. Just because a
  hassle occurs doesn‟t mean you have to
  allow it to become a stress potential life
• Interpersonal: situations that involve
• Saying “No” is difficult for many
  people. You don‟t want to disappoint
  a friend or you may realize you may
  want a return favor later.
• However, protecting your own time is
  invaluable and everyone needs to
  learn how to say “No”.
       Asserting Yourself
• Assertive Behavior: expressing
  yourself and fulfilling your own
  – Friend: “What movie do you want to see
  – You: “I really want to see that new Will
    Ferrell movie.”
  – Often times the response to the
    question is I don‟t know, I don‟t care,
    Whatever you want. Those are the
    opposite of asserting yourself.
       Asserting Yourself
• Nonassertive behavior: sacrificing
  your needs to satisfy someone else‟s.
  – Husband: “Where do you want to go to
    dinner tonight?”
  – Wife: “Whatever you want is fine with
  – Husband: “Sweet. I have really been
    wanting to try out the new Sports Bar
    with an all you can eat BBQ while we
    watch the Cubs game.”
       Asserting Yourself
• Aggressive behavior: seeking to
  dominate or to get your own way at
  the expense of others.
  – Wife: “I was really hoping to go see the
    high school play this weekend.”
  – Husband: “That isn‟t an option. You
    know I hate those things and then I
    won‟t have fun and then we‟ll get into a
    fight and you won‟t have fun either. We
    should just stay home.”
       Asserting Yourself
• Asserting yourself can be a difficult
  skill to master.
• Stress comes when you repeatedly
  deny your own needs and put others
  before yourself.
• The trick is to be understanding,
  courteous, and respectful when
  asserting yourself.
  Nonverbal Assertiveness
• Words need to match actions to
  show maximum assertiveness.
• Good upright posture, facing the
  people you are talking to, speak
  clearly and loud enough for folks to
  hear easily, and speak with
  confidence and without hesitation.
Verbal Assertiveness: DESC
• Describe: use clear and distinct words
  to give detail on the situation.
  – “When you sit around all day watching
• Express: relate your feelings.
  – “…I have to cook, clean, and take care of
    the dogs.”
• Specify: identify at least 1 way you
  would like the situation to change.
  – “I want you to take the dogs for a walk
    before you sit to watch the game.”
Verbal Assertiveness: DESC
• Consequence: tell the other person
  what will happen if s/he does not
  abide by your request.
  – “I will not cook until after you take the
    dogs for a walk.”
• Remember to use assertive body
  language when you utilize the DESC
  pattern for forming your comments.
      Conflict Resolution
• Conflict is often a major source of
  stress potential life situations.
• The more frequent and longer
  duration of your conflicts the more
  stress you experience.
• The more stress you experience the
  more likely you are to get into a
• Rinse and repeat! 
        Conflict Resolution
• Major problems w/ communicating in
  – Lack of listening.
  – Attempts to „win‟.
  – Inability to demonstrate an understanding
    of the other person‟s point of view /
  – A refusal to consider or accept solutions
    you didn‟t think of or propose.
       Time Management
• Time is always used and not ever saved.
• The goal is to limit the amount of time
  wasted. However, that is not to say that
  time spent “unproductively” was wasted.
• Watching a movie or playing a video game
  are not necessarily wastes of time. They
  can be great stress relievers.
• Be very careful if you choose to make a
  comment about how someone else uses
  his/her time. Not everyone has the same
   Time Management: Tips
• Setting goals: daily, weekly, monthly,
  yearly, and longer allow you to
  organize your time by priority.
  Without goals you do not have a clear
  way to prioritize your time.
• Prioritizing: simply putting your goals
  in a list that is rank ordered. Not all
  of your goals will have the same level
  of importance to you.
   Time Management: Tips
• Schedule: this is taking your prioritized
  goals and making them realistic by
  actually putting them into your day.
• Maximizing your rewards: this is about
  taking the time to enjoy what you are
  doing. When you are doing an activity for
  fun, get the most fun out of it you can.
  When doing an activity for productivity, do
  quality work so that when you are done
  you feel a high level of satisfaction and
  can move onto the next activity w/o
  looking back.
   Time Management: Tips
• Saying No: No matter how hard we
  try there are still only 24 hours in a
  day. Time is a zero-sum game.
  That means that if you tell a friend
  you can give him/her a ride into
  town and it takes you 1 hour; you
  then have to take that 1 hour from
  something else.
   Time Management: Tips
• Delegating: this is not saying to force
  others to do your work. But if you
  are in a position where you need
  help it is ok to ask and receive help.
• Evaluating tasks once: smaller tasks
  that can be done in one sitting
  should be. When you get an email
  you know you have to respond to,
  don‟t let it sit in your inbox. Answer
  the email when you get it.
       Time Management: Tips
 • Using the garbage: Not every piece
   of mail or email needs to actually be
 • Investing time: time on the front end
   spent organizing your time and
   putting together a plan will pay
   dividends on the back end.

DQ 5: Give an example where you have been successful at investing your time.
   Time Management: Tips
• Limiting interruptions: Everyone has
  voicemail now. Use it. It is ok to
  turn off the ringer. Also, you
  probably don‟t need to check your
  cell phone every 20 minutes! Same
  goes for email. If each check takes
  1 min. & you check 20 X each day.
  That 20 minutes could be used to
  walk 2 miles and burn 200 calories.
  In about 3 weeks you could lose 1
         Social Support
• Social support may be our best ally
  in combating stress potential life
• Folks experiencing a great deal of
  stress potential life situations that
  had multiple friends / family
  members to rely upon experienced
  comparable stress levels to someone
  that did not experience a similar
   Social Support: 3 Types
• Tangible support: your car breaks
  and your friend lets you use her car
  so you can go to work.
• Emotional support: having a friend
  listen to you while you vent about
  work or school.
• Informational support: asking a
  friend for advice and trusting that
  s/he has your best interest at heart.
   Social Support: 2 Ways
• Informational support may be to
  such a high quality that it prevents
  you from putting yourself in a stress
  potential life situation. That advice
  then had a direct effect on your own
  personal stress model.
• Stress buffering theory is when some
  form of social support stops the
  stress model before it gets to
  negative consequences.
• Perceptions does not always equal
• Perceptions are not always equal
  across people.
• I view an unmade bed as comfy and
  ready to be slept in!
• My wife views the same unmade bed
  as messy, annoying, and a reminder
  that she has one more thing to do.
     Selective Awareness
• We are constantly bombarded by
  sensory experiences. What we
  choose to pay attention to is usually
  under our own control.
• Every situation has good and bad.
  Sometimes it is difficult to find both,
  but they are always there. You have
  to select how you view the situation.
     Selective Awareness
• You could perceive this Power Point
  as terribly boring and that this class
  is not what you wanted.
• You could perceive this class as
  being very practical and take
  whatever lessons you can and use
  them in your life to make your stress
  load a little lighter.
• As I sit here I have a concert of
  crickets blasting away. While a part
  of me certainly wishes their
  instruments would all suddenly go
  quiet, the majority of me realizes I
  am fortunate enough to be sitting in
  the yard of the home I own and that
  is my orchestra of crickets blasting
• It can be very difficult to find enjoyment
  in many activities. However difficult the
  challenge is, the reward is almost certainly
• It has been said happiness is the secret to
  life. If you accept that and happiness is
  the absence of distress. Then finding ways
  to limit your distress will allow you to
  experience happiness.
• Everyone is a better husband, wife, friend,
  neighbor, etc. when they are happy.
     Attitude of Gratitude
• This is simply appreciating what you
• All of us have many things to be
  grateful for. We just have to take
  the time and put forth the mental
  energy to realize all of the things we
• This concept can quickly turn to
  religion but it does not have to. You
  can thank your wife for her social
  support and be grateful that she
  gives it to you so easily.
• Humor has been shown to be an effective
  means of dealing with stress.
• It has a primary use of defusing stressful
• Think of the Star Wars movies. At some
  point during the most tense moments in
  the movie, the camera will shift to C-3PO
  and R2-D2 for comic relief. That humor
  lowers the tension and thus allows it to be
  ratcheted up again later.
• 14 yr. olds: laugh every 4 minutes.
• Adults: laugh only 15 X / day!
• Humor has been shown to:
  – Improve immune system function.
  – Increase tolerance of pain.
  – Decrease the stress response.
• Patch Adams, the movie with Robin
  Williams, was based on a real
• Self-esteem: how highly you regard
• All of the techniques we have
  discussed thus far require a base
  level of self-esteem for them to be
• Without self-esteem you won‟t trust
  your own opinions and decisions and
  that will cause many stress potential
  life situations.
        Locus of Control
• External: you feel you have little
  control over your life, decisions, or
• Internal: you feel you have the
  control to alter your situations,
  thoughts, and feelings.
• There are 2 ways to develop your ILC:
  – Autonomy: being independent and being
    able to stand on your own two feet with
  – Assertiveness: speaking out to ensure
    your needs are met.
     Anxiety Management
• Trait anxiety: a general sense of
  anxiety not specific to a particular
• State anxiety: either temporary or
  specific to a certain stimulus.
• A type of state anxiety is phobias.
  There are a variety of phobias that
  vary in intensity and duration.
    DQ 6: Give an example of both types of anxiety.
   Albert Ellis and his ABCs
• A: Activating agent.
• B: Belief system.
• C: Consequences.
• D: Dispute irrational beliefs.
• E: Effect.
   Albert Ellis and his ABCs
• The concept presented by Ellis is that
  A is not what causes our stress. It is
  our B that causes stress. If we can
  lower the value we place on a
  situation, or alter our perception of
  the positive, then our ABC model
  stops at A. That is to say something
  happened but we did not perceive it
  as a stress potential life situation so
  there can‟t be any negative
  consequences associated with it.
 Hardiness: 3 Components
• Commitment: sticking with whatever
  it is you are doing until the end.
• Control: having the ability to
  influence your situation.
• Challenge: life will not always be
  easy and challenges afford us the
  opportunities to succeed and grow.

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