Spotlightblog 2

There are many different ways that people and young adults can deal with stress. Some times people do things such as take drugs, go on walks, and other daily activities that help keep their mind of stress. Something very interesting that I learned about stress and good ways to handle it is too stay busy. Lots of times when people are stressed about something and keep thinking about their problem they think about it most when they are not busy like at night time. During the day however there is so much activity going on and it distracts us from our problems. It is very important to try to stay stress free because there are so many things that can go wrong with your health if you are stressed all the time. For example, people who are stressed all the time or think about it constantly have very high blood pressure. Much higher than someone who has very minimal stress or can control it very well. There are certain types of stress that are good for people such as an athlete having stress or a student with an test the next day. This type of  stress is good for people because it gives them something to work for and something to think about.


Spotlight Blog 2: Option 2

I’m at a point in life where I am surrounded by stress. In order to function, I need to be able to manage that stress in healthy ways. I chose to find stress management tips for 3 groups of people; college students, athletes, and people in the workplace. I am currently a college student and an athlete. Both can be extremely stressful at times and I want to know how to deal with it better. In the future, I plan on joining the workforce so I will need to know how to manage stress in that aspect too. For advice on managing stress as a college student, I found an article by everydayhealth.com with 10 tips for managing stress in college. The first tip they give is to get enough sleep. This is important because the body needs its rest. The article says to get from 7 to 9 hours of sleep. According to the information from class, you ideally want 7 and a half OR 9 hours of sleep. If your wake up in-between these two times, you could wake up in a deep sleep cycle and feel crappy. Their second tip is to eat well. They claim that eating junk food lowers your energy level which leads to you having less ability to deal with stress. I can agree with this from personal experience. When I eat a lot of junk food, all I feel like doing is laying in bed. Next, Everyday Health says to exercise. Exercise releases endorphins. These help you feel better especially when you are dealing with stressful times. They advise students to avoid unnatural energy boosters and relaxing with alcohol. We learned in class that things like the unnatural energy boosters can just be placebos sometimes. They are bad for your body and usually leave you in a worse place then you were to start. As for using alcohol; abuse of this substance can lead to addiction. If someone uses alcohol to cope with stress, there is a good chance of them becoming an alcoholic. They stress finding emotional support. Taking to friends, family, or school psychologists can help you reduce stress through a process called self-disclosure.  Another piece of advice Everyday Health gives is to not overload yourself and not give up on your passions. You need time to relax and if you overload yourself, the chance will never come. Also, doing something you love can reduce stress. For me, playing baseball makes all the stressful things I face go away. I can’t really imagine what I would do if I gave up on that and that seems like it applies to everyone. Finally, Everyday Health says to breathe and get a massage. We never really spoke about either in class, but they have always been talked about in connection to relaxation.

As I mentioned before, playing baseball makes all my stress go away. Unfortunately, there are a lot of stressful factors that go into actually being able to play. Everyday practices after class, weightlifting, keeping a healthy diet, preparing for games, and balancing your time leads to a lot of stress. Because of this, I looked to find tips on how to manage stress as a athlete. I found an article by Nova 3 Labs on stress tips for athletes. Their first three tips were also included on the list of stress tips for college students. First, they advised athletes to get enough rest. Just like in the Everyday Health article, they said to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep. This is starting to look like a common misconception and they should watch out for this. The other three tips that Nova 3 Labs shared with Everyday health were engaging in fun activities, managing your time, and getting support. They again stress the important of having time to relax and doing things you love, and confiding in others to lower stress. The final tip is to check your attitude. This is sort of a form of mindfulness-based stress reduction. Staying positive and staying in the present will allow you to not focus or stress over things like a bad performance in the past or a challenge that lies ahead.

Once I graduate college, the stress will not stop. There are a lot of stressors around the workplace, including meeting deadlines and dealing with your bosses. I found an article from the American Psychological Association (APA) with tips to deal with stress in the workplace. Their first tip is to track your stressors. It’s important to know what your stressors are and how they work so you know how to handle them. They then say to develop healthy responses. Examples of this that they gave were exercise, get enough sleep, or do something you love; all things that the previous two articles touched on. The next tip is to establish boundaries and take time to relax. They suggest having set times where you are not doing anything work-related. This can go with the “leave time to relax” aspect that the previous articles talked about. It’s important to have this in your life because without it, there is no healthy escape from stress. After that, the APA says to learn how to relax. They support doing meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction activities. Both of which we know are healthy stress reduction activities. Just like the other two articles, the APA suggests finding support. Finally, they suggest talking to your supervisor. Supervisors want their employees to perform to the best of their abilities. This happens when everyone is healthy so if there is a problem, he or she will do what they can to help.

People always need ways to deal with stress. With the exception of sleep tips, I think that these three articles all give good, accurate advice and I will keep them in mind the next time I am dealing with stress.

 

https://www.everydayhealth.com/college-health/college-life-10-ways-to-reduce-stress.aspx

https://nova3labs.com/five-stress-management-tips-athletes/

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/work-stress.aspx


Spotlight Blog 2

Stress is inevitable in life, so it is important that people find the right stress management mechanisms for them to prevent any health problems caused by stress.  The first stress management website I looked at was targeted for college students. The website’s first tip was to get enough sleep. I agree with this tip; sleep is a very big part of staying healthy. Lack of sleep can cause a weaker immune system. The website states that lack of sleep can put someone at risk of serious illnesses like diabetes, obesity or depression. Lack of sleep on top of being exposed to stress could make people more susceptible to depression. Another tip the website had was to eat well. It states that unhealthy eating habits can lead to a higher susceptibility to stress. They also suggest exercising when you’re stressed. They say that physical activity can reduce stress levels. Exercise was discussed in lecture when we were learning about stress. I think the most important tip that this website gave their readers was to have emotional support. Having someone to vent to about your problems and stressors can be really helpful, at least from my perspective. Eating healthy and getting sleep is great but having someone to talk to was the best tip from this website. In class, we also talked about how support groups could help with stress which lead to religion being a great stress reliever.

The next stress management website I found was for athletes. It says that a certain amount of stress is good for an athlete. Which is true but the stress that you have can affect you positively or negatively depending on the person. It says not to train too hard at the sport that you are playing, the website suggests to have another hobby that isn’t your sport. Sometimes the sport that one plays becomes a stressor because they’re so serious about it, which is my problem. So having another hobby that is fun can help relieve stress. Athletic competitions such as a swim meet or a basketball game could be very stressful. A really good tip they had for athletes was to set reachable goals for yourself. Once you start to succeed and reach those goals, you will feel more confident and become less stressed. A not very helpful tip they suggested was to cut out other stressors in other parts of your life. Most of the time people aren’t searching around for stressors. Stress is inevitable and most stressors can’t just be cut out of your life, even though that would be great if all stressors could just disappear.

The last website I found was directed towards young adults. This was the most helpful stress management website out of the three websites I found. It says to identify all the stressors you have in your life and where it is coming from. It’s impossible to try to fix a problem if one doesn’t know where it is coming from. Once the stressors are identified, try to adapt or make changes. It suggests to keep a journal to write the date, time, location and activity you were doing when you became stressed. It then proceeds to say to try to avoid the stressor, if that isn’t possible, try to alter it. For example, maybe a particular class in your stressor, try to plan better and have better time management so you can take your time doing the assignment. Stress comes when you’re trying to finish a paper last minute, so try to manage your time wisely. My favorite tip from this website was to just accept what your stressor is. Life happens, stress is inevitable, just try to stay positive and do the best you can do with whatever you are doing. This tip reminded me of mindfulness based stress reduction where you just focus on being in the moment, not in the past or future. I will definitely be using tips that were directed toward young adults, I thought it was the most helpful and realistic coping mechanisms for stress.

https://www.everydayhealth.com/college-health/college-life-10-ways-to-reduce-stress.aspx

http://www.oksportsandfitness.com/StressedAthlete.php

http://www.pamf.org/youngadults/emotions/stress/stress_coping.html

 


November Spotlight Post

https://www.everydayhealth.com/college-health/college-life-10-ways-to-reduce-stress.aspx

This website lists stress management tips for college students. These tips are “Get enough sleep,” “Eat well,” “Exercise,” “Avoid unnatural energy boosters,” “Get emotional support,” “Don’t give up your passions,” “Try not to overload yourself,” “Avoid relaxing with alcohol,” “Breathe,” and “Get a massage.” In general, these tips are helpful and attainable. However, certain strategies, such as getting enough sleep and avoiding overloading, may be difficult for college students to manage. The additions of emotional support and remembering to breathe are valuable tips. Stress can cause physical and emotional maladies, and stopping to breathe and talking to others can aide in clearing the mind and distancing students from stressors.

https://www.theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/8-stress-management-tips-for-writers/

This website lists stress management tips for writers. These tips are “Set realistic expectations,” “Eat nutrients that increase energy,” “Move your body,” “Write in a different genre,” “Visualize the finished manuscript, article, or book proposal,” “Free your mind,” “Organize your desk, computer files, and house,” and “Write for someone who loves you dearly.” These tips are exceptionally helpful for writers. Writing in different genres can relieve stress caused by writers’ block. Organizing other materials  can distract one from the task at hand and be relaxing. Visualizing finished projects is motivational and relieves growing pressure.

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/managing-stress.aspx

This website lists stress management tips for families. These tips are “Evaluate your lifestyle,” “Talk about it,” “Create a healthy environment,” “Focus on yourself,” and “Change one habit at a time.” These tips are helpful for families struggling to destress together. Though they are somewhat generic, following these strategies can create a comfortable environment within the family. Family members can communicate individual concerns and work together to change stressful aspects of family life.


To Stress or not to Stress?

We all know we can easily get stressed out when it comes to school, work, or our love lives, and so forth, or a combination of everything altogether. However, some deal with this stress far better than others, and it definitely with the help of specific techniques that most can de-stress. This blog post with examine three different websites that provide stress management tips. These three websites will all have a different audience in mind, so there’s something for everyone!

  1. https://stressfreekids.com/13654/reducing-stress-in-kids/

This website is specifically aimed at children who experience stress for various reasons whether it be school, friends, or home life. This website gives advice like, “Be aware that change, be it positive or negative, creates stress for most kids. Make time to relax and schedule downtime for your children. Do not over-schedule. Show your child how to maintain a positive outlook, stop the chatter and lists in their heads, and take their mind off of their worries.”  It goes on to provide techniques to do so. They say to make visualizations and help them tap into their own happy places or to use their imaginations to create stories. They offer A Boy and a Turtle as a story that introduces visualizing. This is one technique we learned about in class to calm down for a few minutes and to center ourselves. It only takes a few minutes to do and is free, and actually works! They also suggest the use of practicing controlled breathing. Taking slow deep breaths can help lower a child’s anxiety and anger. All children can benefit from this important powerful stress and anger management technique. Children with special needs; Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, SPD, PTSD can learn to bring their energy level down a notch and feel in charge of themselves. Children can use breathing when they feel over-stimulated or on a verge of a temper tantrum. Remind your child to use their breathing tool. Breathe in 2,3,4 and out 2,3,4. In 2,3,4 and out 2,3,4. For added fun encourage your child to show one of their dolls or stuffed animals this technique. They suggest Sea Otter Cove as a story that introduces breathing techniques. This is a very useful technique for anyone who feels they are worked up or angry or getting to that point. It effectively calms our nervous system and stops the release of adrenalin and norepinepherin.

2. https://www.umh.org/assisted-independent-living-blog/bid/306253/6-stress-management-tips-for-seniors

This website and tips are specifically for seniors and the elderly who live in a senior care facility. Even though retirement is supposed to be relaxing and stress-free, it can be for many people. Along with aging comes new concerns, such as managing your health, how to fund retirement, and a general sense of “loss.” These new challenges can be worrisome and keep you up at night. This website offers tips on how to live a healthy life. They suggest meditation and being thankful first. They say to start with choosing a comfortable area and try practicing some deep breathing. Eliminate distractions around you and take several deep breaths until you find yourself becoming calm; it’s easier to do when you think about things in your life you are most thankful for. Allow yourself to relax and find a quiet inner place of peace, where you can feel content and at rest. We know from class that meditation and mindfulness have serious calming effects. We know from the previous website that controlled breathing works. Controlled breathing and meditation usually go hand in hand, so it’s no wonder why this works. They also suggest playing with a pet. Even though it doesn’t deal with source of the stress directly, it can help take you mind off of the situation and to feel better. Therapy or service pets are a great tool for people with various health concerns; they can create a warmer and happier environment, warn them about an upcoming episode, and bring them company. Overall, the techniques listed here are great for seniors and everyone actually although most of them don’t deal with the stressor, just the stress itself.

3. https://www.everydayhealth.com/college-health/college-life-10-ways-to-reduce-stress.aspx

It’s no secret that college students face some of the highest stress levels among populations. There are financial, social, existential, and academic worries and concerns at all times and it’s easy to let everything overcome you, but this website provides useful tips for students. They suggest getting the recommended 7.5 or 9 hours of sleep because it is also a fact that many teens and young adults do not get the correct amount of sleep. Too little or too much sleep can be detrimental to your health and mental stability as we learned in class. Many executive functions can be compromised if we’re continually lacking sleep. Our brain needs REM and the four sleep cycles in order to repair our brain and help keep us healthy so if we’re pulling all nighters or depriving our brains of sleep, it’s much easier to get stressed out. Another tip they give is to exercise frequently. Exercising releases endorphins into our body and helps keep our mood in check and also keep our bodies healthy. If you’re overweight then it’s much easier to fall into cycles of depression and anxiety. Exercising 20-30 minutes a day can reduce anxiety levels almost immediately. Although they say to do something you love, and not to force yourself to run or do something you hate, that can give you the opposite effects.

 

Overall, everything mentioned in these articles are good tips for reducing stress in our lives. Nearly every tip they gave was something we had covered in part or in full during our classes so they all seem to be very successful. Of course though your success at de-stressing depends on you and everyone is different. Not every tip will work for everyone, but regardless, they all have real effects in the brain.


Spotlight 2

Doctor Erlanger Turner explores and provides tips in handling the stresses of parenting in his post on Psychology Today. His first advice for coping with the stresses of being a parent is to seek professional help from a psychologist. As we know counseling psychologists can help an individual cope with challenges and crises to improve their social and personal functioning. This tip proves to be a good one, as help may even point you towards ways to improve your child’s behavior and make the role of a parent a little easier. Another thing he suggests is spending more time together as a family. It is posed that quality time may strengthen the parent-child relationship. We know how important attachment is and for one to feel an emotional bond towards their caregiver. Many children seek comfort and soothing from a parental figure and making sure your child has secure attachment is important. Participating in a family game night or something your child enjoys may have them further associate you with joy. Time for yourself as Turner points out is also vital. Self-Indulgence as we learned is doing something pleasant to compensate for stress, but it has limited usefulness and can backfire. This type of emotion-focused coping only addresses the feelings resulting from the stressor and not the problem itself. However, it may prove to be helpful, but only for a little while as it is not a permanent solution. Lastly, he makes a point to mention that a parent should use their support systems, he is right to include this tip. Social support is an immense part of helping one cope. Support provides hope and resources for an individual to turn to. Giving someone the belief that there is a potential for something to change is very powerful.

Sam Malik looks in on ways students can manage their stresses. He mentions that managing time, academic life, and not procrastination can reduce school stresses. I agree with him that being on top of things largely create less panic. Writing down the things you need to complete for the week in advance and checking them off as you go along is very beneficial and helps you stay organized. You can look at all you have accomplished and all you still need to do so you don’t fall to far behind. Having a sense of control over our lives and what we are doing helps to reduce stress. He further clues in to exercise being a key tip. Exercise has proven to increase energy, calm anxiety, and boost mood. We also know that participating in exercise orders up the neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and the endorphins. Exercise therefore can help to relieve stresses and foster neurogenesis. His next suggestion is to stay positive and optimistic. As we learned of mindful based stress reduction it is important to stay in the moment. Not to remember the pains of the past or rehearse the pains of future but to be in the present. It is said our problems come from the way we observe life so if we look at life positively and with open minds good will come. This is what I believe Malik was trying to express when he wrote this tip. He also mentions spending time with friends to release stresses and to have someone to talk to. Self-disclose as we learned in class can work to a point depending on whom exactly we are talking to. Sometimes however, talking things out can help you or a friend find a solution to the problem and ease your stresses about it. It’s important to feel that you’re not alone when under immense loads of stress. Water therapy was another tip Malik threw out there that I have never heard of before. It involves treating yourself to lots of water or hot baths. I can however see how this can be effective. It reminds me of the technique of a stress shower in wish you imagine washing all your worries or stresses away. Lastly, he suggests doing something you love, again this only focuses on removing the emotions of the stressor and not the stressor itself, but it does help for a little bit of time. Self-indulgencing can distract you from the thing stressing you out but is only temporary you will have to face it eventually.

Christie Morton wrote an article for Live Strong on how athletes can cope with stresses. She suggests that athletes should meet with a clinical psychologist who can assess and treat the athletes undergoing stressful tasks. Her first tip is to have guided relaxation. To focus on relaxing muscles and diaphragmic breathing techniques Morton says will decrease stress. We know from our learnings that simple relaxation produces many results of biofeedback. Relaxing procedures are proven to alleviate headaches, hypertension, anxiety, and insomnia. Mindfulness meditation is another relaxing technique I believe athletes could benefit from where people attend to current experiences in a nonjudgmental and accepting manor. Visualization was another tip that she mentioned that I believe can do wonders. Seeing yourself accomplish something in your mind can build confidence in a person. Imagery can help you to go on a mental vacation and picture yourself in a place that you feel most calm. Putting yourself in a position imagining how it feels and cluing in to your senses is really relaxing. This however is emotion focused and only deals with the emotions of the stress and not what is causing the stressor. This safe space meditation can be very beneficial to athletes to help them stay calm and imagine how a race or situation will turn out positively. Cognitive restructuring was the last topic she mentioned in which you turn a negative into a balanced response and make plans for future improvement. It is important to evaluate and look at things you can do differently or better, as well as what you did good. Planning for the future and having control or input reduces stress as well as excepting you’re not perfect. This method helps to reduce the pain of the past and forget about it however the individual still is rehearsing the pain of the future and may have stresses about what hasn’t happened yet.

Links to websites:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-race-good-health/201306/4-tips-managing-parenting-stress
https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2016/02/03/stress-management-tips-for-students/
https://www.livestrong.com/article/371195-stress-management-techniques-for-sports/


Spotlight Blog 2 Prompts

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to use the tag “Spotlight” on your post. Also include the tag listed for the option you choose below. The spotlight post is due by the beginning of class on Friday, 11/10.

Option 1 – Use the tag “Intelligence”

There has been a lot of controversy around the way our educational system works to improve learning outcomes for our children. For this post, you are going to investigate one of these issues and present your conclusions based on the evidence you review. You may select either year-round education (i.e., whether or not there should be a long summer break) or single-gender education (i.e., should boys and girls have separate classrooms). You will need to find two sources arguing for year-round education/single-gender education and two sources arguing against it, review the evidence in each source, and present your conclusion on the issue. Make sure to cite your sources.

Option 2 – Use the tag “Stress”

We’ve discussed a number of different stress management approaches in class, and now I want you to evaluate online resources for stress management. Specifically, I want you to identify three websites that provide stress management tips and discuss how likely you think the strategies they provide are to be successful. Make sure to explain your rationale using what we’ve learned in class and your textbook. Each of the three websites need to be targeted at a different audience but you may select the audiences you want to use (e.g., college students, athletes, parents, artists). Make sure to include links to the websites as part of your post.

Option 3 – Use the tag “Drugs”

One of the largest campaigns to prevent drug use among children was the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. This federal program sought to provide kids with information about the dangers of using drugs, using things like the slogan “Just say no!” While people had high hopes for the program, it ended up being very controversial largely because of how it ended up impacting the rates of drug abuse among children exposed to the program. Research what the data say about the DARE program and argue whether or not it was a successful program. Then take what we learned from DARE and argue whether or not you think similar abstinence-based programs (e.g., sexual education programs) should be used in schools. Make sure to cite your sources.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Thomas Hawk
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Stress

Stress is something that everyone experiences from work, school and family. Since in college I have been more stressed because of papers and studying for that big exam coming up. One way that I cope for that is to take a deep breath and take a break from what I am doing and watch TV. Usually after 15 minutes you are more calm and can proceed back to work. Another way is, I take a break and play a couple video games for a hour. This helps me to relax and realize everything is going to be okay. Overall I mostly get away from what is stressing me out and then go back to it with a different mindset. I am not sure if these really work well but hopefully I can find more ways to cope with stress in my psychology class.


Stress? What Do I Look Like, a College Student?

Stress is something that I have been dealing with for a long portion of my life. As both a procrastinator and a perfectionist, I find myself stressing about multiple things throughout my day that other people would not find very stressful. In order to cope with this stress, I have adapted three different tactics to use in order to try to calm myself down.

The first tactic I use, which I probably use the most often, is watching videos. It is a common action for me to take a break from doing multiple assignments or writing a paper in order to watch one or two videos on YouTube from some of my favorite content creators. The videos that I usually watch will make me laugh and smile a lot, distracting me from the stress that I was feeling earlier.

Although watching videos does successfully help me feel less stressed for a certain amount of time, the stress ultimately comes back when I begin that task I took a break from again. In fact, my stress level may rise by the time I am done watching videos, as one to two videos can turn into multiple, causing me to procrastinate on the work that I need to be getting done.

The second tactic I use to cope with stress is listening to music. Similar to watching videos, when I listen to music I am able to get distracted by the lyrics and beats, allowing me to forget about the stress I was feeling earlier. However, just as ignoring the problem and watching videos can sometimes lead to more stress later on, listening to music can sometimes carry on too long, causing me to complete my work at later times than I should be.

The last tactic I use to cope with stress is writing. I keep a specific journal that I write in every day, which has a positive quote on one page, a few blank lines on the other page, and four check boxes that have different emotions for what I may be feeling that day. Writing in this journal helps me cope a lot as I can get the multiple thoughts that swirl around in my head when I am stressed out and onto paper. By doing this, I seem to somewhat clear my head of all my overwhelming thoughts, making me feel less stressed and more level-headed. This is probably my most successful tactic in dealing with stress, as I also tend to do this writing right before I go to sleep, meaning that it would not cause me to procrastinate on any assignments I need to get done.

As for other stress management activities that I should be doing, realistically, I should be trying to fit more sleep and exercise into my daily routines. If I got more sleep and exercise, I would likely be more alert and release more endorphins, which would help me feel more productive and efficient in doing school assignments, rather than tired and stressed.


Option 1

Stress is a regular part of my life. Over time, I have learned to manage and handle stress. I am consistently improving my strategies for this. To de-stress, I often take a break from homework and spend time with my friends. Watching movies and taking walks are helpful ways to relieve stress. I also draw, knit, and watch TV to decompress. Knitting is particularly relaxing for me. I walk around campus multiple times a day. I am able to clear my mind during walks and other types of exercise. These methods of de-stressing have greatly improved my mentality. I become stressed very easily. Until I discovered the aforementioned methods, I was unable to properly de-stress, relax, and clear my mind. I believe I am currently able to manage my stress effectively. I do not need to add other stress management activities to my routine. My methods of decompressing are successful and regularly allow me to de-stress.