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Lazarus defines stress as a
condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed
the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize. In
other words, people feel stress when they feel things are out of control.
According to the USDHHS (2011), stress has been shown to cause or exacerbate
many of the leading health problems in the U.S. today. As such, stress
management techniques attempt to improve the quality of life by increasing
effective coping methods. This produces a dynamic interaction of mind,
body, and spirit, which positively influences health and wellness.

This week you have a personal
assignment that relates to the reading on stress management.

Next, you are going to gain familiarity
with new stress relief activities by attempting two from the list below.
Please attempt each activity on different days. If you are interested in
attempting stress relief techniques that are not on this list (and are new to
you), please feel free. The purpose is to attempt new activities;
therefore, you should not choose activities you already engage in and simply
identify that they are new for stress relief purposes. Each activity
should take you a minimum of 30 minutes.

Music (listening, playing,
worship)

Nature (experiencing,
walking, hiking, being)

Words (journaling,
talking, poetry)

Cognitive behavioral
restructuring

Physical activity (gym,
running, cycling, Pilates)

Relaxation (deep
breathing, massage, progressive relaxation, tai chi, yoga)

Affirmations

Meditation
(transcendental meditation, mantras, Bible passage, positive
thought,)

Time management (setting
goals, making a plan)

Finally, you are to develop a
personal stress management plan. There are many formats, charts, and
planning techniques available; choose one that you are comfortable with, and
feel would best assist you with managing future stressors.

Prepare a written summary
that describes your stress self-assessment, your experience with new
stress reduction techniques, and your stress management plan. Your introduction should
discuss how knowledge, skill, attitude, environment, and/or culture have an
effect on stress and whether they also influence the types of stress relief
strategies commonly (or not) practiced. Distinguish any similarities
and/or differences in how these techniques could be utilized as preventative
interventions at the individual (e.g., clinical) versus population (e.g.,
community) levels.

You should discuss the results
of the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory and discuss the relevance of these
results to your own potential for stress related health risks. Describe
your experiences with the new stress relief techniques and indicate whether the new strategies you experienced were helpful in personal stress reduction.
Locate and reference at least two credible, academic sources that support
the effectiveness of one of the techniques attempted.

Discuss whether you would
utilize either of the new techniques for future stress management.
Finally, discuss the development and details of your personal stress management
plan. Explain how following this plan may help you reduce stress and
lessen risks for negative health outcomes.

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