CAN YOU HANDLE
What is Stress?
Stress is a reaction of your body and mind to
threatening or challenging events in your life.
You can experience stress when situations, events, or
people make demands on your body and mind.
What Causes Stress?
The causes of stress are called stressors.
Major life changes - These events are stressful because they
threaten the person’s sense of security or self-esteem. Examples:
Divorce, Pregnancy, or death of a loved one.
Everyday problems - “hassles” – minor, but frequent,
everyday events that cause you stress. Examples: Misplacing
something, concerns about appearance, too many things to do.
Physical Surrounding – Conditions in your immediate
surroundings affect your level of stress each day. Examples:
Other stressors – Conditions that cause conflict –
disagreements with family members, friends, and others.
Another source of stress is special events – dates, tryouts, job
Types of Stress
There are 2 types of stress:
1. Eustress – Positive stress. Stress is positive when it
promotes growth and accomplishment.
Stress at moderate levels can actually improve your
ability to concentrate and perform at your best.
Example: Big game next week – Feelings of stress
might assure that you practice during the week.
2. Distress – Negative stress. Stress that is detrimental.
Stress beyond moderate levels, begins to take a negative toll on
Example: On game day - Nervousness might be overwhelming
and you lose ability to concentrate.
How Stress Affects the Body
As soon as you perceive something to be stressor,
your body springs into action. Your body’s reaction
is automatic; it is not under your control.
The body’s response to stress occurs in three stages -
1. Alarm stage,
2. Resistance stage,
3. Exhaustion stage.
With the introduction of a stressor, your
body’s homeostasis is disturbed and you
entered the first stage of stress, the alarm
All of these changes occur in a few seconds, but once
they occur, you are ready to react. You can react in one
of two ways: you can stand and fight, or you can run.
The immediate reaction of the body to stress is called
the fight or flight response
Fight or Flight Response
If the stressor continues, you enter the resistance
stage of stress, the second stage of the stress
During this stage the body tries to recover from the alarm of
the first stage. Because the stressor still remains, the body and
The body continues to run at a higher than normal level, using
up a lot of energy in the resistance stage.
As a result you become tired, irritable, and less able to handle
The third stage of the stress response. If the stressor
continues, the body is worn down and no longer has
enough energy to fight off the stressor.
As your bodies balance remains disturbed, you become more
susceptible to illness.
Your ability to make judgments and to interact with others is
Exhaustion stage does not occur with each stress response. If
it did, your body would wear out.
Exhaustion only occurs if a stressor continues for along time –
usually weeks, months, or even years.
Recognizing Signs of Stress
Stress and Illness
Psychosomatic disorders are physical disorders that
result from stress or other emotional causes. These disorders
are brought on or made worse by stress.
These illnesses are evidence of the ways in which the mind
affects the body.
Lowered resistance – prolonged stress can prevent the immune
system from functioning properly. You may experience minor illnesses
more frequently, like colds and flu.
Ulcers – An ulcer is an open sore in the lining of the stomach or other
part of the digestive system. Stress causes an increase in production of
Asthma – Stress can trigger an asthma attack, making it difficult to
High blood pressure and heart disease – Heart works harder
under stress, prolonged stress can damage the heart muscle.
We each have unique personalities. We also react to
stressful situations in different ways.
There are 2 personality types: Type A and Type B
1. Type A
Tend to be rushed and competitive
Try to accomplish their goals in a shortened amount of time
Set high standards for themselves
Become angry and frustrated if they don’t achieve their goals
2. Type B
Calmer, less competitive, not concerned about
Less likely to feel stressed for not meeting standards or goals
Less likely to suffer stress related illness
May have trouble facing challenges resulting in missed
*MOST PEOPLE ARE A COMBINATION OF
TYPE A & TYPE B.**
A perfectionist is a person who accepts nothing less
than excellence of him or herself, placing a high
amount of stress on themselves.
It is important to take pride in your work, but
perfectionists take things too far.
Never feel satisfied
Try harder, still aren’t satisfied, try even harder
Trouble making deadlines and taking risks
** to avoid this type of stress, accept that no one can be perfect
and take pride in what you CAN do well.
Negative thoughts accompany stressful situations.
“I’ll never be able to do this.” – “Everyone will laugh
With negative thoughts running through a person’s
mind, it becomes almost impossible to succeed.
A way to avoid negative thinking is to “coach”
yourself through an upcoming stressful event
An ability to resist the effect of stress, and to avoid
becoming ill as a result.
Hardy individuals possess 3 characteristics.
View stressful events as challenges or opportunities rather
Committed to whatever they are doing.
Have a sense of control over what they are doing.
Although stress is a part of life, it does not have to
control your life.
Managing stress helps to restore balance in your life-
it prevents stressors from taking control and making
There are a variety of stress management techniques
Confronting the Problem
Before a change or improvement can be made, you
must first recognize and confront the problem.
Not all stressors are within our control. It is
important to direct energy towards those that are in
our power to change.
Poor time management is one of the biggest
contributors of stress
A good time manager completes daily tasks, works
towards long term goals, and still finds time to relax.
It is important to prioritize:
1. list your goals- list all things you want to accomplish in
order of importance
2. outline your tasks- for each goal, list the activities you need
to do before it is accomplished
3. outline overall plan- assign specific and realistic deadlines
4. make a daily schedule- list daily tasks you need to stick to
5. Prioritize your tasks- Do important tasks first and less
meaningful tasks later if there is time
6. Monitor your progress- throughout the day, look back at
your plan and see if it is still working towards your goal
By doing something physically active, you provide
your body with a healthy outlet for built up energy.
Select activities that you enjoy and feel good doing.
Try to incorporate activity into your daily routine to
combat daily stressors
Relaxation is defined as a state in which your mind
and body are resting.
When you are relaxed, you may be awake and alert, but you are
not responding actively to stressors
There are many ways to help you relax:
Listening to music
In mental rehearsal, you practice the entire event in
your mind, imagining yourself performing your best
Mental rehearsal develops confidence that you can
perform as imagined.