--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog
Website 1: Athletes – https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/perfect-method-reduces-athlete-stress
The first website provides stress management tips for athletes using the “P.E.R.F.E.C.T.” acronym. This method os stress management targets building one’s self-esteem and managing the pressure athletes may feel from their coaches or selves. The P.E.R.F.E.C.T. acronym is as follows: positive self talk, embracing adversity, reverse engineering, focusing on the now, evolve, chill out, and talk it out. Positive self talks and embracing adversity are important because each can affect secondary appraisal, if athletes build up their confidence towards handling stress and having the belief they are capable of reaching their goals, stress will diminish. Secondary appraisal is key in combating stress because the belief in oneself to overcome stress has a key impact in how stress plays a role in everyday life. Those with low secondary appraisal will not manage their stress as people will high secondary appraisal because they will feel incapable, hopeless, and weak. Reverse engineering could also manage stress, this tip is a problem-approach to stress meaning it logically tackles the root the problem and finds different solutions to the stressors. While the problem based technique works psychologists highlight the importance of tackling the emotional repercussions of stress. This emotion based stress management is incorporated through the “chill out” and “talk it out.” These techniques are helpful for when athletes may get in their head and rather than tackling the stressor logically, may need emotional support to help them cope. It is known that self-disclosure to trusted peers and mentors is important in stress reduction. Additionally, everybody has a different way of dealing with stress, so the website also suggest evolving, trying new hobbies. By doing so, the website states having different endeavors can help diversify your life, i.e. get away from stressors, and allow athletes to grow. While finding something one is passionate about and enjoys may aid in stress management, it could also add to the stress if the athlete is continually ignoring the stressors and simply substituting it for different activities; thus, they would not fix the stressor itself. A majority of these strategies are both cognitive and behavioral; all are adaptive as they do not add in complications or stressors.
Website 2: Children/Parents – https://psychcentral.com/lib/7-tips-for-helping-your-child-manage-stress/
PsychCentral presents 7 tips to reduce stress in children. These tips highlight problem-focused coping to teach children how to problem-solve and approach stressors in a healthy manner versus maladaptive coping strategies like food, drugs, alcohol, or self-harm. By doing so, children can learn primary appraisal, how to quantify and understand the stressor. These tips are problem-focused coping because it effects the stressor at its source; the website suggests avoiding over scheduling children and allowing them time to play. The emotion-focused coping suggested includes talking to children and ensuring they know mistakes are not setbacks. This could increase secondary appraisal, and foster kid’s belief in themselves to cope with stress and overcome stressors. An additional tip is just for parents recommending they show as little stress around their children as possible to prevent both lashing out, unhealthy self-disclosure, and observational learning. If children see their parents coping with stress in unhealthy ways, observational learning will take place and children will mimic the parent’s ways. Finally, the website suggests reminding children to assess how they are feeling. It is important to remember the physiological and biological consequences of stress especially because of its correlation with future health status.
Website 3: Students – https://campusmindworks.org/help-yourself/self-care/managing-stress/
The University of Michigan has a website page dedicated to stress management and coping. Again they offer mostly problem-focused coping strategies and while problem solving is important in coping with stress, usually a mixture of both problem and emotional strategies are necessary. The webpage does include self-disclosure, or “venting” to friends and family. They incorporate optimism into many of their strategies, which is a good tip. Optimism has shown to be a quality of those with better quality of life and longer lives. The webpage also highlights to avoid pushing yourself too hard, this is important when considering general adaptation syndrome. When the body is exposed to stressors for too long, it reaches exhaustion since its resistance has been depleted. Another coping strategy the webpage includes is meditation, breathing exercises, and visual imagery. Visual imagery has its benefits; because the brain is so easily influenced, imagining relaxing sceneries and engaging your senses with those relaxing environment can help in temporarily reducing stress. This type of stress coping strategy is part of the mindfulness based stress reduction technique. While the strategies suggested are all good, they mostly focus on problem-solving tactics and do not highlight the importance of regular exercise and social support.