Stress can be defined as our mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to any perceived demands or threats



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Stress can be defined as our mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to any perceived demands or threats.

  • Stress can be defined as our mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions to any perceived demands or threats.



When situations seem threatening to us, our bodies react quickly to supply protection by preparing to take action. This physiological reaction is known as the "fight or flight" response.

  • When situations seem threatening to us, our bodies react quickly to supply protection by preparing to take action. This physiological reaction is known as the "fight or flight" response.



Situations that have strong demands

  • Situations that have strong demands

  • Situations that are imminent

  • Life transitions

  • Timing (e.g., deviation from the “norm”)

  • Ambiguity

  • Desirability

  • Controllability



Distress is a continuous experience of feeling overwhelmed, oppressed, and behind in our responsibilities. It is the all encompassing sense of being imposed upon by difficulties with no light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Distress is a continuous experience of feeling overwhelmed, oppressed, and behind in our responsibilities. It is the all encompassing sense of being imposed upon by difficulties with no light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Examples of distress include financial difficulties, conflicts in relationships, excessive obligations, managing a chronic illness, or experiencing a trauma.
  • Eustress is the other form of stress that is positive and beneficial. We may feel challenged, but the sources of the stress are opportunities that are meaningful to us. Eustress helps provide us with energy and motivation to meet our responsibilities and achieve our goals.

    • Examples of eustress include graduating from college, getting married, receiving a promotion, or changing jobs.


A good example of a stressful situation for many people is taking a test. If you find testing to be stressful, you might notice certain physical, behavioral, mental, and emotional responses.

  • A good example of a stressful situation for many people is taking a test. If you find testing to be stressful, you might notice certain physical, behavioral, mental, and emotional responses.

    • Physical Response?
    • Behavioral Response?
    • Mental Response?
    • Emotional Response?


Some people are more vulnerable to stress than others. Determine your level of vulnerability to stress by completing the following worksheet: Vulnerability to Stress

  • Some people are more vulnerable to stress than others. Determine your level of vulnerability to stress by completing the following worksheet: Vulnerability to Stress

  • Email the completed

  • worksheet (as an attachment)

  • to jtrump@mansfield.edu





For two major reasons:

  • For two major reasons:

    • We perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful.
    • We don't believe we have the resources to cope.


What are your "red flags," or warning signs, that stress is creeping into your life? If we keep pushing ourselves, eventually something inside of use will send "red flags," or warning signs that stress is becoming a problem.

  • What are your "red flags," or warning signs, that stress is creeping into your life? If we keep pushing ourselves, eventually something inside of use will send "red flags," or warning signs that stress is becoming a problem.



Complete the worksheet below by checking off all of your own stress warning signals: WARNING SIGNALS

  • Complete the worksheet below by checking off all of your own stress warning signals: WARNING SIGNALS

  • Email your completed worksheet (as an attachment)to jtrump@mansfield.edu



1. Find a support system. Find someone to talk to about your feelings and experiences.

  • 1. Find a support system. Find someone to talk to about your feelings and experiences.



2. Change your attitude. Find other ways to think about stressful situations.

  • 2. Change your attitude. Find other ways to think about stressful situations.

    • "Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we react to it."


3. Be realistic. Set practical goals for dealing with situations and solving problems.

  • 3. Be realistic. Set practical goals for dealing with situations and solving problems.

    • Develop realistic expectations of yourself and others.


4. Get organized and take charge. Being unorganized or engaging in poor planning often leads to frustration or crisis situations, which most always leads to feeling stressed.

  • 4. Get organized and take charge. Being unorganized or engaging in poor planning often leads to frustration or crisis situations, which most always leads to feeling stressed.

    • Plan your time, make a schedule, establish your priorities.


5. Take breaks, give yourself "me time." Learn that taking time to yourself for rejuvenation and relaxation is just as important as giving time to other activities.

  • 5. Take breaks, give yourself "me time." Learn that taking time to yourself for rejuvenation and relaxation is just as important as giving time to other activities.

    • At minimum, take short breaks during your busy day.


6. Take good care of yourself. Eat properly, get regular rest, keep a routine. Allow yourself to do something you enjoy each day.

  • 6. Take good care of yourself. Eat properly, get regular rest, keep a routine. Allow yourself to do something you enjoy each day.

    • Paradoxically, the time we need to take care of ourselves the most, when we are stressed, is the time we do it the least.


7. Learn to say "no." Learn to pick and choose which things you will say "yes" to and which things you will not.

  • 7. Learn to say "no." Learn to pick and choose which things you will say "yes" to and which things you will not.

    • Protect yourself by not allowing yourself to take on every request or opportunity that comes your way.


8. Get regular exercise. Exercising regularly can help relieve some symptoms of depression and stress, and help us to maintain our health.

  • 8. Get regular exercise. Exercising regularly can help relieve some symptoms of depression and stress, and help us to maintain our health.



9. Get a hobby, do something different. For a balanced lifestyle, play is as important as work.

  • 9. Get a hobby, do something different. For a balanced lifestyle, play is as important as work.



10. Slow down. Know your limits and cut down on the number of things you try to do each day, particularly if you do not have enough time for them or for yourself.

  • 10. Slow down. Know your limits and cut down on the number of things you try to do each day, particularly if you do not have enough time for them or for yourself.



11. Laugh, use humor. Do something fun and enjoyable such as seeing a funny movie, laughing with friends, reading a humorous book, or going to a comedy show.

  • 11. Laugh, use humor. Do something fun and enjoyable such as seeing a funny movie, laughing with friends, reading a humorous book, or going to a comedy show.



12. Learn to relax. Develop a regular relaxation routine.

  • 12. Learn to relax. Develop a regular relaxation routine.

    • Try yoga, meditation, or some simple quiet time.


Many different kinds, but some are:

  • Many different kinds, but some are:

    • Deep Breathing
    • Visualization: Visualization is a nice way of giving our minds and bodies a "mini vacation.“
    • Muscle Relaxation


Complete one of the relaxation exercises:

  • Complete one of the relaxation exercises:

    • Visualization and Relaxation Techniques
  • Think about the exercise and how it made you feel. Email your feedback and thoughts to jtrump@mansfield.edu.



Think about a situation (or situations) that is particularly stressful to you.

  • Think about a situation (or situations) that is particularly stressful to you.

  • Come up with a plan for handling this situation (using the information that you have gained from this presentation).

  • Use the Stress Management Worksheet as a guide.



Try to change the way you appraise a situation to make it less stressful

  • Try to change the way you appraise a situation to make it less stressful

  • Remember stress is normal but watch out for symptoms of stress

  • Use coping skills/ways to reduce stress

  • Practice relaxation techniques

  • Contact TRiO advisor for counseling at 662-4365








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