What is stress?
It’s the spice of life or the kiss of death
depending on how we cope with it. Stress
gives us the means to express our talents
and energies and pursue happiness; it
can also cause exhaustion and illness,
nervous breakdowns, heart attacks,
accidents. Strictly speaking, stress is
simply the body’s non-specific response to
any demand made on it, and is not
necessarily synonymous with nervous
tension or anxiety….
Anxiety or tension is a feeling of
apprehension or fear that lingers. The
source for this uneasiness is not always
known or recognized which adds to the
distress: "Everything stresses me out.“ "I
am always worried."
Fundamentally, it is not the quality or
intensity of the events that counts. What
matters is not what happens to us, but the
way we take it.
Judge how you are taking the stress in
your life at any particular moment; if there
are too many signs of distress in your
feelings or behavior, there are various
little tricks to minimize these
6. Tips to Reduce Stress
Take a break
¨ Breath deeply
¨ Sit back and
¨ Do something you
¨ Read a good book
¨ Change your
¨ Learn to Play
Organize your life:
¨ Manage your time
¨ Make to do lists
¨ Plan ahead
¨ Set mini goals
¨ Learn to Plan
¨ Express your
¨ Talk to a friend
¨ Eliminate negative
¨ Deep Breathing
¨ Get a Massage
¨ Take a Bath
¨ Try saying the Serenity Prayer
¨ Stand up and reach
¨ Neck stretch: roll
your head in a half circle,
starting at one
side, then dropping
your chin to your
chest, then to the
¨ Watch a cat stretch
and do the same
8. Other stress management tips:
¨ Learn to live one day at a time
¨ Improve your appearance
¨ Do something for someone else (volunteer
¨ Allow yourself private time everyday
¨ Learn to forgive and forget
¨ Watch a good movie
¨ Listen too your favorite music
¨ Eat well
¨ Be a positive person
¨ Avoid unnecessary competition
9. Your personal reactions to anxiety:
For one full week, record moments when you feel anxiety.
Where were you (in class, at work), what was the situation
(were you being called on in class, ice breaker during an
extracurricular activity, at work), why did you feel anxious,
how did you react physically (did your stomach hurt, did you
shake, palms sweat)? How does anxiety influence your
attitude or behavior? (do you get angry with yourself; do you
have an attitude with other people?) What are some
techniques for dealing with each situation?
Then plan to use some relaxation technique the next time you
encounter these situations. With a little planning you will be
able to anticipate and, therefore, better manage your anxiety.
These two questions should help you get started:
1. I usually feel anxious when:
2. I notice when I am anxious I see these changes in myself:
10. Better Sleep Guide
We all have too much to do, recharge
yourself by getting a good night’s
sleep. The quality and quantity of your
sleep can make all the difference in
how productive you’ll be the next day.
13. Tips to get a good sleep
1. Give yourself “permission” to go to bed. As hard as it may be to put away
your “to do” list, make sleep a “priority,” You’ll thank yourself in the
2. Unwind early in the evening. Try to deal with worries and distractions
several hours before bedtime.
3. Develop a sleep ritual. Doing the same things each night just before bed
signals your body to settle down for the night.
4. Keep regular hours. Keep your biological clock in check by going to bed
around the same time each morning – even on weekends.
5. Make your bedroom a Sleep Haven. Create a restful place to sleep. Sleep
in a moderate (temperature not too hot or too cold), dark room that is free
from noises that may disturb your sleep. Make sure the mattress and
foundation meet your needs for both comfort and support.
6. Sleep on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation. It’s difficult to
sleep on a bed that’s too small, too soft, too hard, or too old.
7. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help relieve daily tension and
stress – but don’t exercise too close to bedtime or you may have trouble
14. Tips to get a good sleep
8. Cut down on stimulants. Consuming stimulants, such as caffeine, in
the evening can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
9. Don’t smoke. Smokers take longer to fall asleep and wake up more
often during the night.
10. Reduce alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol shortly before bedtime
interrupts and fragments sleep.
11. Exercise. Sometimes exercise an hour or two before bed can relieve
you from the stress gained throughout the day. It not only is healthy for
you, but can help you rest better.
12. Journal. Keep a journal of the day’s activities, highlighting challenging
moments of the day and developing strategies on how to handle such
situations in the future. Also discuss the lessons learned from both
positive and negative interactions with other people, noting blessings
13. Herbal tea. There are several brands of non-caffeine herbal teas
available in your local grocers that are natural sleep aids.
16. Relaxation Techniques
The information below briefly describes several relaxation
techniques. To learn more about these relaxation
techniques, please visit the LAC Blackboard website, which
has links to various websites.
1.Meditation: this technique involves focusing on something
unchanging (such as a spot on the wall) or something
repetitive (such as repeating a word – a mantra). Then you
realize your mind has wandered, merely return to repeating
2. Imagery: Imagery can be guided or unguided. When
guided, someone else determines which image you should
keep in mind when trying to relax. When unguided, you
decide what image would be relaxing. If possible, it is best to
choose your own image since you have a better idea of what
you find relaxing than does someone else. Some images
people generally find relaxing are sunshine warming the
body, a day at the beach, a rippling lake, a walk in the
woods, the surf rolling on the shore, birds flying through the
air, a carpeted room warmed by a fire, and a sailboat floating
on the water.
17. Relaxation Techniques
3. Autogenic Training: Autogenic training requires you to imagine
your arms and legs feel heavy, warm and tingly. By doing this,
blood flow increases to these body parts due to a dilation
(widening) of blood vessels in the arms and legs. This is part of
the relaxation response. After the body is relaxed this way, the
mind is calmed by adding images of relaxing scenes. Imagery that
is part of autogenic training is called autogenic mediation.
4. Progressive Relaxation: Progressive relaxation teaches the
sensation of muscular contraction by focusing attention on the
feeling of the muscles as they are tensed throughout the body. It
then teaches the sensation to your more tense parts. The relaxed
sensation can be imagined to be a warm ball that travels to
various bodily locations warming and relaxing them.
5. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Relaxed breathing occurs as a result of
the diaphragm expanding, as opposed to stressful breathing that
is a function of the chest expanding. Relaxed breathing is called
Diaphragmatic Breathing. To try Diaphragmatic Breathing, lie on
your back and place your hands on your abdomen. As you
breathe you should feel your abdomen riseand your chest remain
18. Relaxation Techniques
6. Quieting Reflex: With practice, this technique is said to relax a
person in just six seconds. The Quieting Reflex is done as follows:
o Think about something that makes you afraid or anxious.
o Smile inside. This breaks up the anxious facial muscle
o Tell yourself, “I can keep a calm body in an alert mind.”
o Let your jaw go loose as you exhale, keeping your lower
and upper teeth slightly apart.
o Imagine heaviness and warmth moving throughout your
body, from head to toe.