Reducing Stress

What is stress? How can we reduce it?

“When reality doesn’t match our expectations, we are sometimes disappointed.
When we are disappointed, we may experience stress.
Reduce stress by checking reality before setting expectations.”

When we need some time to get over stress,
there are all sorts of activities that will help…

Use your five senses:
– colour a picture
– bake bread
– exercise
– play a musical instrument
– listen to uplifting music
– have a bath or shower
– eat something healthy
– enjoy a craft
– work in the garden or shovel snow
– sleep

Imagine:
– read a book
– write a story
– memorize a poem
– make up a song
– create a new recipe
– draw a picture

Be kind:
– smile
– remember that I’m of value
– hold the door open for someone
– help someone without being asked
– volunteer somewhere
– think of all I’m grateful for
– remind myself that difficult circumstances aren’t always my fault

Think objectively:
– This seems impossible, but I’ll survive.
– Other people have problems; I can help but I can’t fix.
– Will this make a difference to me tomorrow, next week, next year?
– Should I reassess my priorities in life?
– I need to set some boundaries and not accept everyone else’s demands.


Getting angry doesn’t reduce stress hormones in the body;
it increases them. So why do people get angry?

When a students or teachers become angry, stop and think.

  1. Ask yourself, “Are they angry with me or with others around me?”
  2. Ask yourself, “What are their underlying fears?”

What students are irritated with you in class, stop and think.

  1. Ask yourself, “Are you taking away their time to work?”
  2. Ask yourself, “Are you taking away items – pencils or pens – that they might need later?”
  3. Ask yourself, “Are you taking away their ability to concentrate?”
  4. Ask yourself, “Are they afraid they won’t get enough attention for themselves?”
  5. Ask yourself, “What do they fear?”  And then be helpful, if you can.

When teachers are irritated with you in class, stop and think.

  1. Ask yourself, “Are they afraid they won’t have enough time to finish teaching a lesson?”
  2. Ask yourself, “Are they afraid I won’t get my work done but will complain later about my poor grades?”
  3. Ask yourself, “Are they afraid I am taking attention away from others who deserve some attention?”
  4. Ask yourself, “Are they afraid I will stop others from getting good grades?”
  5. Ask yourself, “What do they fear?”  And then be helpful, if you can.

This page may be copied for use with students if the following credit is provided:
©2012 Sophie Rosen.

 

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