Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 35

KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

HW410 Stress: Critical Issues in Management and


Prevention

Stress Management and


Prevention Program
Resource Guide
1
KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

Stress Management and Prevention


Program Resource Guide

By

Tomisha Laird

Kaplan University

HW410: Stress: Critical Issues in Management and Prevention

May 1, 2017
Table of Contents
U N I T 1 T H E N A T U R E O F S T R E S S

Information to Remember ..................................................................................................................... 3


Self-Assessment Exercises ...................................................................................................................... 3
Journal Writing ......................................................................................................................................... 4

U N I T 2 T H E P H Y S I O L O G Y O F S T R E S S

Information to Remember ..................................................................................................................... 5


Self-Assessment Exercises ...................................................................................................................... 5
Journal Writing ......................................................................................................................................... 6

U N I T 3 P S Y C H O L O G Y O F S T R E S S

Information to Remember ..................................................................................................................... 9


Self-Assessment Exercises ...................................................................................................................... 9
Journal Writing ....................................................................................................................................... 10

U N I T 4 P E R S O N A L I T Y T R A I T S A N D T H E H U M A N S P I R I T U A L I T Y

Information to Remember ................................................................................................................... 12


Self-Assessment Exercises .................................................................................................................... 12
Journal Writing ....................................................................................................................................... 13

U N I T 5 D E A L I N G W I T H S T R E S S : C O P I N G S T R A T E G I E S

Information to Remember ................................................................................................................... 17


Journal Writing ....................................................................................................................................... 17

U N I T 6 R E L A X A T I O N T E C H I Q U E S 1 : B R E A T H I N G , M E D I T A T I O N , A N D M E N T A L

I M A G E R Y

Information to Remember ................................................................................................................... 20


Self-Assessment Exercises .................................................................................................................... 20
Journal Writing ....................................................................................................................................... 21

U N I T 7 N U T R I T I O N A N D S T R E S S

Information to Remember ................................................................................................................... 24


Self-Assessment Exercises .................................................................................................................... 24
U N I T 8 P H Y S I C A L E X E R C I S E A N D A C T I V I T Y

Information to Remember ................................................................................................................... 27


Self-Assessment Exercises .................................................................................................................... 27
Journal Writing ....................................................................................................................................... 28

U N I T 9 A P P L Y I N G S T R E S S : C R I T I C A L I S S U E S F O R M A N A G E M E N T A N D

P R E V E N T I O N T O Y O U R P R O F E S S I O N A L L I F E

Information to Remember ................................................................................................................... 30

A D D I T I O N A L I N F O R M A T I O N 31

R E F E R E N C E S 3 2

(This page intentionally left blank)


1
Unit

Unit 1: The Nature of Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: I learned that I have more stressors in my life than I originally believed. I

thought that these things were normal occurrences that most individuals experience, not

realizing that each is unique to the person.

Key Learning Point: I learned that I was not effectively coping with my day-to-day stressors.

This was leading to repetitive anxiety and depression.

Key Learning Point: Taking the time to properly evaluate what is happening in our lives is just

as important as continuing our daily rituals. If we do not find a healthy balance, we will

continue to practice an unhealthy mental lifestyle.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The purpose of this assessment was to gauge the stressors in our lives. We were to list situations

that could be causing stress and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. Throughout the course, we were

to go back to this exercise to see how we rated. Hopefully, finding a way to decrease our stress

levels as we learned more about effective coping strategies and mechanisms. Know that the

practices you will learn here have been a great gift to many people in dealing with stress, pain,

3
and illness; often we discover our greatest strengths while working with these difficulties in life

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

Journal Writing:

Situation Start Midway End


When my coworkers question me on my work 6 6 5
Continuously being available for my group fitness classes 7 5 3
Being able to support my childrens extracurricular activities 7 6 5
Completing schoolwork on time 5 5 5
Completing each semester of school 6 5 4
Having time to get my house together and completely unpacked 7 7 6
Having time to complete extracurricular activities for myself 6 6 4
Juggling other family members problems/issues 4 4 3
Being able to pay all of our bills on time 8 7 7

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010)

4
2
Unit

Unit 2: The Physiology of Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: I learned that even though I felt as if people outside my family did not

impact my judgment, which was indeed false. It was important that I realize that I could not

live my life for others outside of my family when time with my family was so limited.

Key Learning Point: I learned that I could be stubborn in my ways when it comes to diet and

exercise. Though I try to watch my intake and my nutrition, I have an I can have it if I

want it mentality. Ultimately, this habit is taking me in circles in regard to my fitness

regimen.

Key Learning Point: Most importantly I learned that my inability to effectively manage my

time is creating unnecessary stress. This stress leads to anxiety, which in turn affects my

attitude, my work ethic, my eating habits and my lack of sleep.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The purpose of this exercise was to find some time to answer questions that would help us

reflect on our thoughts, feelings and sensations. Examples of these questions were: how is stress

and anxiety about people affecting your life, how is stress and anxiety about the world affecting

your life and how is stress or anxiety about exercise or lack of physical activity affecting your

5
life? After completing this exercise we should be more aware of our situation and be closer to

defining a greater well-being (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

Journal Writing:
How is stress or anxiety about people affecting your life?

Stress about people is affecting my life in the way that I make my short-term decisions. I

have been considering cancelling my group fitness class however, I constantly think of how this

would affect the people who rely on me to help them with their fitness journey.

How is stress or anxiety about work affecting your life?

I often have anxiety at work because of the day-to-day impact it has on my choices.

Though I like my job and am learning a lot it is high stress and high paced. Ultimately, I also

face a bit of stress when contemplating whether or not I would like to stay in the career field I am

in or work to be a fitness professional full time.

How is stress or anxiety about the world affecting your life?

I can honestly say that I do not believe stress from the world is affecting my life. I have

strong faith that the things in this world happen for a reason. I believe that God has a plan so I

attempt to constantly put my faith and trust in him. In my day-to-day life, I believe it is a

delicate balancing act because I know the good Lord has a plan; it is just sometimes hard to see

when we are the ones put in certain situations and positions.

How is stress or anxiety about food and eating habits affecting your life?

Stress or anxiety about my eating habits, I guess I have never looked at it from that point

of view. I love to eat and I love certain sweets as well. Typically if I choose to eat something it

is with a clear conscience. I do balance my carb intake and try to eat healthy especially since I

6
participate in fitness activities. It is better for me to lead by example when it comes to my

participants although; everyones journey is different.

How is stress or anxiety about sleep and sleeplessness affecting your life?

Sleeplessness has always played a huge role in my life. I have always had insomnia

however; when I was younger it did not matter as much. Now that I am older, the fatigue is

definitely weighing on me. I feel like I look older than I am due to lack of rest. I have mood

swings and am often tired and sluggish. I know that I can contribute a lot of this to stress and

anxiety through lack of sleep. Stress is considered one of the primary factors associated with

insomnia; good sleep hygiene consists of behaviors that help promote a good nights sleep rather

than detract from it, including decreased caffeine consumption, consistent bedtimes, and a host

of effective relaxation techniques that enhance sleep quality (Seaward, 2015).

How is stress or anxiety about exercise or lack of physical activity affecting your life?

The anxiety I have about exercise and physical activity relates back to my fitness classes.

Though I love what I do I find myself wanting to have more time to participate in physical

activities that will benefit me more. Attempting to find the time to get in strength training and

flexibility training becomes hard with all that I do. I would imagine that if I were working as

fulltime fitness professional, I would have that extra time at the fitness facility.

Ultimately, I feel as if the cause of most of my stress and anxiety stems from a lack of

ability to effectively juggle all that I take on. That with a lack of sleep and sometimes a lack of

support adds greatly to my anxiety. A feeling of being rushed or overwhelmed may follow you

into your household tasks, relationships, and even recreation, so that no matter What youre

doing, part of your mind is thinking about other things you need to do or rehashing what has

7
occurred; by choosing to become mindful throughout the day, you can bring greater focus and

appreciation to whatever situation you find yourself in (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

8
3
Unit

Unit 3: Psychology of Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: I believe what I most took away from this exercise was my inability to

focus. Attempting to clear my mind of stressors and thoughts was nearly impossible.

Key Learning Point: I learned how important it is to take time to ourselves. Not that self-

reflection is always needed however a chance to clear our minds is needed. Without this,

we will continue down a path of stress, anxiety and depression.

Key Learning Point: I realized how many things were causing me stress. The same problems

over and over again. Around this time is when I knew I had to make a change. I could not

keep living life with blinders on and I had to start thinking of ways to eliminate certain

issues in my life.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
The purpose of this formal practice was to start practicing mindful breathing. We were to

acknowledge our stressors and what causes us anxiety, an attempt to stay away from it. We

were to find a relaxing environment and practice meditating. After doing so, we were to

annotate what came into our minds mentally, emotionally and physically.

9
Journal Writing:
Upon completing this practice for the first time, the first thing that came to mind during

this exercise was my inability to focus. I spent the first few seconds wondering if it were

possible for me to clear my mind to start this breathing exercise. As I am not a person who gets

a lot of quiet time, I found myself struggling to complete this portion of the assignment. This

week was comprised of telling myself I will get to it as soon as I can. Eventually I did however,

I could not help but to be a slight bit anxious in doing so. It has been said that in our

contemporary age of sensory fulfillment, seldom if ever are we in the presence of silence for any

length of time; there is hardly an uninterrupted moment of mental calmness; as a result, the

human mind becomes supersaturated with sensory stimulation (Seaward, 2015).

The second place I found my mind wandering was to my husband and the certain issues

and achievements we face. As these are trying times I often wonder what the outcome of certain

situations will be. Like any couple we have our good times and bad times though in the thick of

it all, I know he is there for me and is my best friend. My attempts to silent the thoughts of my

husband are not all that effective. I then started to breathe again to see if I could refocus.

Third, I found myself thinking to work and what I need to adjust in my life. Attempting

to figure out what would make me happier in my career. I do not have a passion for what I am

doing now. Though I am thankful for a job and for this position being a firm way to support my

family, this is not what makes me happy. Often times, I find myself drifting into thoughts of

focusing on my group fitness career. This is where I feel I would be the happiest however, trying

to find that balance of stability and risk seems nearly impossible.

Fourth, I think about my family and how I am thankful for all of the things that make me

happier in my life. I always find joy in my sons smiling faces. I never take them for granted and

10
as I see this school year wrapping up with my oldest son graduating, I so not want to let him go.

My happiness is comprised of them and who they are, most importantly who they will become.

Every day I face stress and anxiety about leaving my kids. I know that our faith protects them

but having that never ending fear of not being there for them gets more real every day.

No matter what my mood, my thoughts always come back to my family; to be more

specific, to my children. This was the same when attempting to accomplish this exercise. Yes,

my mind wandered however I felt like it brought me back to a place of peace. That place is

anywhere my children are. When we practice mindfulness, is it not the point to come back

around to a place where we feel okay, a place where we are safe and secure, a place without self-

doubt. For me, that place is the thought of my children. I am mindful of the things that surround

them and myself. In practicing mindfulness, the mind will inevitably wander; as you start to

look closely at the workings of your own mind, youre likely to see firsthand how often youre

lost in thoughts of the future or memories of the past (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

11
4
Unit

Unit 4: Personality Traits and the Human


Spirituality
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: This assessment helped me to learn my strengths more than my

weaknesses. And while I am aware of things I may falter on, knowing that I have some

positive attributes makes me feel just strong enough o know I can deal with the negatives.

Key Learning Point: This activity caused me to see how stress was affecting me mentally.

Ultimately, the cloudiness or fogginess I experience can go hand in hand with depression

and anxiety. This also can be a result of lack of sleep due to my mind constantly wandering.

Key Learning Point: I also learned that if I let the outside world impact me negatively, there are

chances that I will carry that negativity. Always seeming strong on the outside does not

always mean we are strong on the inside.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
In this assessment, we were to identify emotions of the body. This meant we had to engage

emotions that were both comfortable and uncomfortable to broaden our emotional vocabulary

and bring awareness to our emotions. Noticing where emotions reside in the body may not

12
come naturally; you will become more sensitive to physical sensations and how they relate to

your emotions (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

Journal Writing:
FEAR: apprehension, anxiety, distress, edginess, jumpiness, nervousness, panic, tenseness,

uneasiness, worry, fright, feeling overwhelmed.

I have not often thought of my anxiety as fear. Upon engaging in this course, I am

quickly realizing that fear could potentially be what I am feeling. I have fear in regards to what

will happen with my children and also with my future. I have a tendency to panic because of

this. My panic attacks are more under control now however, before it was under control, there

were times when I felt I was going to be sick or pass out due to these attacks. My worry, I

believe, goes hand-in hand with my anxiety. Even though I know that most things I worry about

may never happen, it still has such an overwhelming affect on me. I tend to feel overwhelmed or

certain things are beyond my control. There are two primary emotions especially associated with

the stress response: anger, which produces the urge to fight, and fear, which promotes the urge to

run and hide; each of these emotions has many shades and layers, which often overlap each other

and allow them to coexist in the same situation (Seaward, 2015).

CONFUSION: bewildered, uncertain, puzzled, mystified, perplexed, chaotic, foggy, or unaware.

A lot of my confusion is based on my day-to day activities. Being uncertain of what the

plan for my life is makes me anxious sometimes. My life is a big ball of chaos and some how, it

is all working out for us. I also find myself forgetting what I came into the room for or

forgetting what I was going to say or do. Stress won't disappear from your life; and stress

13
management isn't an overnight cure. But with ongoing practice and incorporation of resiliency

into your lifestyle, you can learn to manage your stress level and increase your ability to cope

with life's challenges (MC, 2014).

ANGER: aggravation, agitation, annoyance, destructiveness, disgust, envy, frustration, irritation,

grouchiness, grumpiness, rage.

I would like to say that anger does not play a prominent role in my life however, I find

myself becoming more and more aggravated day by day. I find myself being annoyed by

random people. The way that small things did not bother me then, definitely do now. I would

say this mostly occurs at work. Being grouchy or grumpy tends to form throughout the day and

as I grow more and more aggravated. The expression of anger must change the behavior of the

provoker or provide insight to create personal resolution (Seaward, 2015).

SADNESS: alienation, anguish, despair, disappointment, gloom, grief, hopelessness, insecurity,

loneliness, misery, unhappiness, rejection.

I am unhappy in my job though I am truly thankful for it. I am learning new things which

I am thankful for however, I know that working where I currently work is not what is going to

fulfill me. I have no problem admitting that there is an unhappiness that fills me when I head to

work each day. I know I have a purpose and I believe that at this moment, I am meant to be right

where I am.

SHAME: guilt, embarrassment, humiliation, invalidation, regret, remorse, mortification.

The only guilt I feel is based on what more I can continue to do for my children. I would

give them the world if I could but I know that things do not always work out that way. For me,

14
there is guilt in not knowing whether or not there was more I could have done with them or for

them. As I grow older, I realize that I have to balance their happiness with mine and that feeling

guilty because of it is unwarranted. There is great comfort in the familiar, and there can be

tremendous apprehension of and intimidation by the unknown (Seaward, 2015).

LOVE: affection, arousal, attraction, caring, compassion, desire, fondness, infatuation, kindness,

liking, longing, warmth, sympathy, sentimentality.

I identify with love the most. The affection, compassion and warmth I often feel is

exuded from my family on a regular basis. I know that when they are around I can have no bad

days. They are an instant reminder of all that is good in my life and why I keep pushing harder

day by day to get where we need to be.

JOY: amusement, bliss, contentment, eagerness, elation, enjoyment, enthusiasm, excitement,

exhilaration, hope, optimism, pleasure, satisfaction.

I am eager to see where life continues to take my children and me. I know that by

instilling solid values and beliefs within them, they have the potential to do anything. I flutter in

and out when it comes to optimism in regards to my own choices. I hope that one day I will be

able to leave my desk job behind and continue on a path more focused on what I would like my

career choice to be.

It is interesting to see how these emotions affect on us. I know that if I allow myself to

feel down, I am going to be down. I know that if I allow others to impose their views on me,

then my reaction will be that of anger or sadness. The body has its own wisdom, and if you

listen, it can communicate where physical tension, thoughts, and emotions lie within your body

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010). I have been able to distance myself from negativity by being mindful

15
of who I am and whom the people are that I surround myself with. I choose to keep positive

people around me, which in turn, leads to more positivity in my life. I surround myself with

people focused on joy instead of those focused on the most hardened options of these emotions.

If I continue to do that I know that the more positive affirmations in my life with continue to

flourish.

16
5
Unit

Unit 5: Dealing with Stress: Coping


Strategies
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: This exercise definitely put me more in tune with my body. Though I do

exercise a lot, I know that the aches and pains are also due to my mental health.

Key Learning Point: Again, I reflected on how to take a breath and be at ease. I was learning

how to acknowledge and cope with my stress in regards to mindfulness.

Key Learning Point: I learned that it is important to discern clearly the difference between

reacting with unawareness and responding with mindfulness (Mindful, 2016). Too often I

would leap before I looked, this would cause unnecessary conflict when if I only took a

moment, I could have viewed the situation from anothers eyes.

Journal Writing:
After completing the Mindful Self-Inquiry for Stress and Anxiety exercise, I found

myself to be a little more in tune with my thoughts. I felt a little more clarity and a bit more

refreshed. Initially, I believed that I might find a secure peace of mind when in actuality, I find

myself thinking more and more with every meditation practice I do. The best results occur when

an individual tries to favorably alter one behavior at a time until it becomes part of his or her

17
regular routine, if several behaviors are targeted at once, the person often feels overwhelmed and

within a short time reverts back to old habits (Seaward, 2015). . Reflecting on my mental,

physical and emotional self has a tendency to be exhausting. My willingness to complete this

task has made me more grateful about what I receive from others and what they risk for me.

I find my body aching from the different activities I take part in. The constant running

around has made me feel like my body is not going to hold up for much longer. Finally coming

to a resting point to where I do not feel so weak or uptight was exactly what I was looking

forward too. I felt just about every portion of myself that I have bumped, bruised or overworked

within the last few months. I specifically completed this practice because I wanted to be still. I

did not want to be in movement as I always find myself on the go. It is important to remember

that no coping technique will work as a defense against all perceived stress; this is why it is

important to have as wide an assortment to choose from as possible; it will make the path of

resolution easier to travel (Seaward, 2015).

As I tried to calm my inner being, in an attempt to achieve a sense of mindfulness, I

found myself more able to detach myself from my everyday stressors and focus on my own

thoughts. When you react in ways that arent mindful, they can gradually grow into habits that

are detrimental to your health and well-being; consequently, these patterns of reactivity further

your suffering or distress; this is why its so important to discern clearly the difference between

reacting with unawareness and responding with mindfulness (Mindful, 2016). I enjoyed being

able to separate myself from the high paced life I constantly feel obliged to maintain and explore

a calmness I have not seen in myself for quite some time. As I continued my journey into self-

reflection, I actually lost track of time. I carved out 30 minutes, expecting this to be more than

enough time to be able to complete a session of reflection; however, at just over an hour, the kids

18
started search for me and I had to end my discovery journey more abruptly than I would have

liked. I have decided I would like to incorporate meditations like this more often. I plan to

continue this into my weekly wellness routine. I feel as though this might be the missing piece

of the puzzle of my spiritual wellness tier. Having more time to calm myself will result in

having more focus overall and a renewed sense of balance.

Toward the end of the meditation, I started to focus more on my breathing. I quickly

came to the point of where I understood where I was going. Attempting to fight off the things I

know are inevitable I realized they might not mean so much. I realized no matter the stressor, I

still make the conscious decision to keep myself strong. Turning into difficult emotions and

facing stress, anxiety or pain isnt an easy path; it may seem unsafe, and you may have to

overcome a feeling of unwillingness (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

19
6
Unit

Unit 6: Relaxation Techniques 1: Breathing,


Meditation, and Mental Imagery
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: This was yet another exercise where I knew my strengths. I know that

there are things that I want to improve on in life but these things did not come with self-

loathing.

Key Learning Point: Although I could not directly relate with some of the elements in this

exercise, it did make me see how others can view themselves. It seems that so many times,

a kind word or a small could potentially put someone in a different mood. If we were

constantly evaluating ourselves, how would we have time to help others?

Key Learning Point: I learned that focusing on the things that make us the happiest can get us

through some of the most negative and darkest times. Having that certain someone or

persons there to make our day better really does count for so much.

Self-Assessment Exercise:
In our Is Your Body-Mind Happy self assessment, we had to explore the way we thought of

ourselves and the way that we may talk down or even discourage ourselves. This process was to

identify the stress we can put on ourselves and how we may handle conflict with others.

20
Additionally, we had to learn how to turn our own negative emotions into positive thoughts and

compassion.

Journal Writing:
Mindful of how you interact with yourself?

If anything, I tell myself how tired I am. I can honestly say that I do not beat myself

down in that way. I choose to relay confidence in all that I do though sometimes my path is a bit

blurry. I do not feel like I am useless, hopeless or worthless. I often think of how I could be

doing something more like pursuing my fitness, health and wellness goals. Attempting to

formulate a plan to set these things in motion can sometimes be frustrating and I do begin to feel

a bit defeated. However, I know that there is a path that is being laid for me so all of that distress

I feel at the moment quickly disappears once I start to focus on other tasks. You may not want to

admit just how little compassion you have, and you may find it especially difficult to extend

compassion to yourself (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010). I know that if I focus on my children and

what they need, I quickly snap out of my lulls as well. I know that what I do, I do for them.

Seeds of suffering?

Maybe if I focus harder on my goals or budget better, I could find a way to pursue the

things I want to pursue. My poor time management and willingness to focus on other

distractions more than likely keeps me in the stand still I am in. Constantly reminding myself

that I am working towards a goal is also helpful. When I feel down about how this process is

moving or about how I deal with day to day issues such as where I work now and the people

surrounding what I do, I listen to music or attempt to contact a close relative to sort out my

thoughts. Ultimately though, I do feel like I am suffering. Mainly just suffering in a job to

21
where I am not satisfied. I am thankful but I feel like my calling is elsewhere. Just today I found

myself saying, I cannot do this anymore. Trapped behind a computer screen eight hours a day. I

feel as if I was chosen to do something greater. I want to continue to help people however I

would like to do it under my own circumstances.

Day-to-day life feelings of resentment?

I am rather fortunate that I do not come into contact with people who may have the

potential to be ugly towards me. I do however have a customer service job that deals in

servicing the customer at a high paced rate. I try to keep in mind that my story is not the only

story that is being played. When in the situation, it is hard to remind ourselves that others may

be going through difficult times. Eventually taking a step back and looking at the issue from a

more relaxed point of view will generally lead to a calmness or understanding of the situation. I

do seem to encounter the coworker who feels like they have knowledge of things all the time.

Most days this does not bother me but days when I am already aggravated, I really have to be

choosey about what I say which is completely different from how I used to be. I sometimes

choose to listen to music to combat the chattiness or to just keep to myself. This helps to keep

me calm and relaxed. Additionally, it just gives me an all out break from the world surrounding

me. The use of relaxing music as a sedative has also been shown to be effective in reducing

stress and muscular tension (Seaward 2015).

Reflection on writing?

All in all, I have to find a way to tune in to what I want to do. In my family life, I know

that it is important for me to maintain a good job, which is stable and provides for all of us.

Stepping out on a limb to pursue a new career field is one I know will be challenging but I will

22
be looking forward to it. I know that there is a reason I decided to pursue this passion and I

intend to make it happen. As I reflect on what I wrote, I realize more than ever that I have to

step out on faith. All of the signs are telling me that I need to make a change.

23
7
Unit

Unit 7: Nutrition and Stress


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: This was one of my favorite exercises. For years I told myself to try yoga

as a way to work on my flexibility and strengthening however this exercise taught me that it

is a practice in mindfulness as well.

Key Learning Point: Through Mindful Lying Yoga, I was able to find a bit of clarity in my

jumbled world. If only for a brief moment, I was able to relax, breathe and take in some

peace and quiet.

Key Learning Point: This exercise allowed me to understand how helpful it is to add an

exercise to my fitness regimen that would center me in mind, body and spirit. Not only is

yoga an excellent way to bring mindfulness to the body in movement, its also a

rejuvenating practice that offers many other health benefits, such as keeping aging bones,

joints, muscles, nerves, and organs healthy, supple, and flexible (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

Self-Assessment Exercise:
I chose to complete the Mindful Lying Yoga formal practice. While completing this

exercise, I found it to be extremely familiar. This exercise is one that I enjoyed the most because

it reminds me of the flexibility class I take once a week. At some point, I have completed each

24
one of the lying yoga poses outside of what I have completed for this class within the last four

months.

My experience with this exercise started out like the others. I found my mind wandering

and not being able to focus on clearing my mind. Eventually, I found myself experiencing these

poses with an open mind. Mentally, emotionally and physically, this exercise has opened my

mind and given me tremendous insight. Not only is yoga an excellent way to bring mindfulness

to the body in movement, its also a rejuvenating practice that offers many other health benefits,

such as keeping aging bones, joints, muscles, nerves, and organs healthy, supple, and flexible

(Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

Immediately following this practice, I made up my mind to cancel the group fitness class

I offer twice a week. Although I had been considering it for some time, this was the final and

most determining factor for my thought process. Upon reevaluating the things that are the most

precious to me, my classes certainly took a back seat. I realized that once I was no longer

excited and was not giving my full effort, it was not fair to my faithful participants or to my

family. If I was not going to focus my attention on the things that mattered the most, then I

needed to make some much-needed changes.

Physically, I find myself constantly aching, sore or tired. I work out four to five times a

week and due to the fact that each activity is so different, I find myself working multiple muscles

that leave me sore within the next couple of days. This practice helped me to stretch and really

truly helped to relax my muscles. Physical exercise not only utilizes the stress hormones for

their intended purpose, but the cathartic release of stress is nearly unbeatable; remember, though,

there is a reason why exercise is called work; yet even work can have its rewards, and the health

benefits of physical exercise and activity are worth their weight in gold (Seaward, 2015). I have

25
experienced high blood pressure, ulcers and difficulty walking from place to place without

breathing heavy. I stay physical because I know that it was so hard on my body.

Emotionally, I am drained. With so much going on it is hard to see the light at the end of

the road. I would love to spend more time with my family and still be able to juggle a full time

job, fitness classes, school, the kids activities and the things I like to do to stay healthy and

whole. My overall well-being has been compromised for quite some time now. I have had my

bouts with depression, anxiety and chronic stress. I am continuously evolving in order to combat

those issues in my life. Different people may feel stress in different ways; or example, some

people experience mainly digestive symptoms, while others may have headaches, sleeplessness,

sadness, anger or irritability (NIMH, 2017).

I know that ultimately I should focus on quieting the mind however; I was able to sort out

things that have been affecting me mentally and emotionally. I definitely utilized this exercise as

a way to relax and breath. I used it as a way to have a little bit of comfort and me time and at the

end of it. Lastly and more importantly, I was able to solve a few of the stressors that have

plagued me for quite some time now. According to the newest research, not only does physical

exercise and activity enhance your health and longevity, it appears to increase brain cell tissue

associated with memory, multitasking, and attention span (Seaward, 2015).

26
8
Unit

Unit 8: Physical Exercise and Activity


Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: In the most simplest of terms, this exercise helped me to understand how

selfish I can be. I spend a lot of time pointing fingers when I should focus a bit more on

evaluating myself.

Key Learning Point: This exercise opened me up to the term loving-kindness. Although I

knew the premise, I did not know the words that went a long with this act. Showing

kindness to others, especially in their time of need is one of the most rewarding things to

experience.

Key Learning Point: Equanimity, not a word we use often. I believe this is an act that we

practice more than what we know the term as. I do know people who will choose not to see

or may not see life through others eyes. I, have made many attempts to do this as I believe it

helps to break barriers and prevent conflict.

Self-Assessment Exercises:
In our creating connection exercise, we had to imagine a person that we care about and describe

and connect them to a series of words that can significantly improve a relationship by bringing

interpersonal mindfulness to the situation (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010). In doing so, we were able

27
to look at an alternative point of view being that of the person that we care about and not our

own.

Journal Writing:
OPENNESS:

When I think of my husband, I think of when we met. When we met, the openness as I

was willing to convey was a complete look into my life, past, present and future. Not only did I

set my expectations on the table, I also let my guard down. Never did I realize considering

openness to be seeing and being open to another persons perspective. I imagine that if I look at

it that way, he would probably see me more a bit more selfish than he is.

EMPATHY:

The first thing that came to mind was my husbands struggle with not being able to see

his daughters after his first marriage. I empathized with how he was feeling. I too had children

prior to meeting my husband and I could never imagine living life not being able to see my

children on a daily basis. This was an ongoing issue that affected our family as a whole.

COMPASSION:

One of the best things I get to witness is the compassion my husband has towards others.

As a medical professional he goes out of his way on a daily basis to ensure others are

comfortable. In doing so, he is able to empathize and show his thoughtfulness.

LOVING-KINDNESS:

It seems as though loving-kindness would be one of the hardest to express. Most days,

others do not show kindness to others families and most have turned a blind eye to values or

happiness within their own families. I believe that if living-kindness could be expressed, maybe

it would make us more empathetic and understanding of others problems or situations.

28
SYMPATHETIC JOY:

Sympathetic joy is something I feel we have down to an art form. There is nothing that

makes me happier than to hear others stories of doing well or accomplishing a task they thought

they could never complete. In my profession, so many want to give up on exceling at their

fitness regimen. When they push through and succeed, the feeling is overwhelming.

EQUANIMITY:

We often wrestle with the idea of standing in others shoes. We try to take into

consideration why that person may act or react a certain way. I believe its easy to point the

finger or get angry with someone. We do this as a way to look past our own faults. Taking a

step back and attempting to walk in anothers shoes is the best way to try to see life through their

eyes. This is one thing we as a couple struggle with.

Ultimately, adding these things in our day to day lives would help to improve upon how

we are and increase our progression towards mindfulness. One of the things I believe matters

most is when accomplishing these things we can help to brighten someone elses day. Holding

these six interpersonal qualities in mind reflecting on them and cultivating them according to

your best understanding will nourish, support, and strengthen your connections with other

people (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010).

29
9
Unit

Unit 9: Applying Stress: Critical Issues for


Management and Prevention to your
Professional Life
Information to Remember:
Key Learning Point: In unit 1 discussion I was able to describe how important the wellness

paradigm is in our daily lives. It is extremely important to manage these elements in a

balance that leads to a whole.

Key Learning Point: Integrating a balance of harmony of mental, physical, emotional, and

spiritual well-being through taking responsibility for ones own health is one of the most

important things we can do. Accountability is so important in this realm. Being aware of

our surrounding and practicing mindfulness not only affects ourselves but it affects the ones

around us as well.

Key Learning Point: A key learning point for me that is extremely important is that I am

connecting the dots on all that I have learned while achieving my degree. Being able to

apply what I learn in my classes in my daily life and utilize what I learn from one semester

to the next has lead me to believe that I can incorporate what I want to do in my career into

my lifestyle.

30
Additional Information
MentalHealth.gov. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.mentalhealth.gov/

MentalHealth.gov is a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Their focus is to educate and guide the general public, policy makers, school systems and others

on mental health disorders. Recognizing the warning signs of mental health disorders, assuring

people know that help is available and letting them know that people care are additional

concentrations. They offer resources on combating eating disorders, suicide prevention, veterans

counseling, coping with trauma, support groups and information on how to receive assistance for

a variety of mental health issues.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH). (2016). Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/

The NIH is a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Through funded medical research, the NIH seeks to enhance health, lengthen life and reduce

illness and disability. They participate in research and contribute to the nations medical

research agenda. Some of the research NIH supports is chronic diseases, infectious diseases,

personalized medicine and technologies, and health at all ages.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). (2016). Retrieved from

http://www.hhs.gov/. The HHS focuses on enhancing and protecting the health of all Americans

by providing health and human services. They help to make advances in medicine, public health,

and social services. They incorporate social services and public health service programs such as

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Head Start and the Food and Drug

Administration (FDA). They also focus on health care prevention and wellness by offering

resources to help learn how to eat right, exercise, and receive vaccinations and health screenings.

31
They help communities to stay informed by posting the latest news releases in regards to various

health and wellness issues.

32
References

Mindful. (2016, August 23). Calming the rush of panic in your body. Retrieved from

http://www.mindful.org/calming-rush-panic-body/

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being (8th

ed.). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Stahl, B. & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA:

New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

The Mayo Clinic (MC). (2014, April 8). Stress relief. Retrieved from

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/basics/stress-relief/hlv-

20049495

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (2017). 5 things you should know about stress.

Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml

33