Welcome to our free online stress management course. We shall be publishing this training over the next 6-days.
Stress Management Course Outline
This is going to be the first of a series of articles on this topic:
- Day 1 – Introduction.
- Day 2 – The Causes of Stress.
- Day 3 – The Symptoms and Effects of Stress.
- Day 4 – How to Relieve Stress (Stress Management Quick Tips).
- Day 5 – Stress Management Strategies.
- Day 6 – Advanced Stress Management Strategies.
I’ve seen all this before. Just breathe deeply and count to 10, right?
No. It’s much more than that……..
Start with the right mindset
If it was as simple as just taking a few deep breaths and counting to 10, we would simply post up a 60-second video on yoga-breathing and that would be it. We are going to look at the ‘whole problem’ and treat it with a ‘whole solution’.
Lots of people who suffer with stress ‘claim’ to have read the answers ‘somewhere before’…. Yet they are still suffering from it ?
People frequently feel ‘a bit stressed’, so decide to do some research (like answer a few multiple choice questions they’ve found in a magazine). They might even stumble upon a stress related video on YouTube and follow the instructions………….
…..And then they leave it – Thinking that the ‘jobs done’.
Intellectually knowing something vs Actually knowing it (through taking action) are two totally different things.
If you are suffering with on-going stress, then you need to take a much more serious approach than just reading a few articles (even if they’re our articles !!).
We shall return to the subject of mind-set at the beginning of DAY 5.
What is stress management?
Stress management is a system whereby you:
- Understand stress.
- Appreciate what causes it.
- Are quick to spot the symptoms.
- Can implement quick fixes – for immediate relief.
- Make on-going life-style changes.
We are going to guide you through this stress management training step-by-step. You will learn about this issue a bit differently than how it might have been presented to you in other stress management presentations, programs, classes, or seminars before.
Stress management course objectives
We are going to take a holistic approach to this training. On days 1, 2 and 3, we will be covering the following areas:
- Understanding stress.
- Recognizing stress.
- Accepting that you might be suffering with unacceptable levels of stress.
We consider these to be the top 3 problems relating to stress. It’s these parts of the ‘stress-solution’ which are sadly overlooked by many people. Only once these elements are absorbed can we then:
- Get to grips with those intense ‘boiling points’.
- Introduce systems to ensure that stress becomes less of a problem in the future.
It’s important to hi-light that quick fixes alone might not help you in the long run. We need to get to the bottom of these stressful situations (no matter how extreme and no matter who else is involved).
With that in mind, and the fact that no ‘one’ solution will fit everyone, we shall provide a number of stress management skills that you can take away and implement. There will also be a number of stress management tips and activities for you to try. Please don’t overlook these as they have been designed to help you.
This course will also fit nicely with the free time management course that we are currently preparing.
Stress in the 21st century
It is concerning in today’s society that stress has become such a ‘way of life’ that people regularly ask themselves, “Am I suffering from Stress ?”. If you have ever thought that question, then it’s a fair chance that you are stressed. Meanwhile, others say, “Heck, I’m stressed out”. If you live in a city, you’ll rarely go a week without hearing someone say that.
Unfortunately, more and more people are suffering with excessive stress, leading to burn-out and breakdowns. This is very much a 21st century disease which is often covered up or ignored completely.
Here’s an excellent short introduction to stress, with the BBC interviewing Neil Shah from The Stress Management Society.
So, if we’re all suffering with stress, what’s the big deal?
Many of us are living in a fast-paced, competitive world – which is perhaps unavoidable. However, reducing stress should be a goal for everyone.
Stress and stress-related illness shouldn’t be something that we ‘just put up with’. It might not only affect you, but your stress could end up affecting others. Stress can lead to:
- Unacceptable social behavior.
- stress at work – leading to: Poor performance, disciplinary, or even dismissal.
- Marriage break-ups.
And in extreme circumstances, stress can result in:
- Heart attacks.
- or even murders.
It is therefore far better that we get to grips with any stress-related problems as soon as possible.
Types of Stress
If you do any research on stress, you will soon find all number of answers to the amount of ‘stress types’ there are (we’ve seen as few as 3 and as many as 7 mentioned).
We want to keep this stress course simple (and therefore engaging and actionable). Therefore, we’re not going to go into too much detail about the types of stress – we all just want solutions, right ? Having said that, it’s worth understanding a bit more about what we are dealing with.
Good and bad stress
Most of us are showing some signs of stress. In fact, a total stress-free live is unavoidable. It’s just a case of our stress being healthy, controllable, or unhealthy.
Eustress = Good, positive or healthy stress
- Controlled psychological or emotional stress can keep us alert and prevent us from getting bored (which is a stressor in itself). It also helps us avoid dangerous situations (like stepping back from the road when a car is coming).
- Controlled physical stress (i.e. exercise). This can help by keeping us fit and improving our athletic performance.
Distress = Bad, negative or unhealthy stress
- Uncontrolled psychological or emotional stress can cause a number of emotional problems (see Day 3). This can lead to ailments, illness, and disease.
- Uncontrolled physical stress can lead to issues such as backache, neck ache, repetitive strain injuries and accidents.
We shall mainly be focusing on the bad types of stress in this 5-day course.
Dr. Karl Albrecht
Albrecht identified 4 types of stress:
- Time stress – Worrying about the lack of time you have, or how quickly time seems to be passing you by.
- Anticipatory stress – Concern about an upcoming event (like a wedding or birth of a child, both of which usually have a long lead-in time).
- Situational stress – Worry or fear over an emergency, conflict or other unexpected ‘situation’.
- Encounter stress – Worry or concern regarding an ‘encounter’ with others. (e.g. You’ve got to make an awkward phone-call; you’re going on a first date; or you have a job interview).
Elson Haas, MD
Hass identified 7 types of stress:
- Physical stress – brought on by high intensity exertion such as extreme exercising or manual labor; or a lack of sleep.
- Psychological stress – bought on by the use of drugs and other stimulants, such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. And in more extreme cases, pollutants from the environment like pesticides and even chemicals found in household cleaning products.
- Mental stress – working long hours (burn-out); striving for perfection all the time; or taking on tasks beyond your knowledge, education, or capabilities.
- Emotional stress – The feelings of fear and anger. Or personal stressors like: guilt, sadness, or loneliness.
- Nutritional stress – Brought about by deficiencies in vitamins or minerals, or being allergic to certain foods (e.g. a nut allergy can bring physical stresses on the body).
- Traumatic stress – brought about by injuries, illness, and infections. Also by surgery, or extremes in temperature (both hot and cold can have a stressful effect on the body).
- Psycho-spiritual stress – Problems in attaining your life goals. Pressures with your career or finances. Relationship issues.
The Medical Profession
The medical profession typically identify 3 types of stress:
- Acute stress:
- Relates to a specific event.
- Usually lasts for just a short period of time (i.e. not on-going stress).
- Typical events: a short-term work deadline that you have to meet.
- Episodic acute stress:
- Can relate to a re-occurring ‘same event’ stress, or a number of stress events which follow on from each other (e.g. You have a break-up of a relationship, then miss deadlines, then have problems in your career, then get ill as a result).
- People who suffer from episodic acute stress need to look at their ‘whole life’. Better time-management or goal-setting can often help reduce the effects of re-occurring episodic stress.
- People who worry a lot can often bring this type of stress on themselves. They are almost ‘expecting’ something bad to happen.
- Chronic stress:
- As its name suggests, this is the most serious type of stress.
- It is likely to be an on-going series of stressors, with seemingly no end in sight.
- It often has a serious effect on life – both on the person suffering from it and those close to them.
- People with Chronic stress can become unreasonable and very difficult to work or live with. If they are not ‘exploding’ on a regular basis, then the person can be bottling up the issues – leading to an even bigger problem.
For anyone concerned about stress, there is a sequence they should follow, which will help identify if they are actually suffering from stress.
The key thing you must do is identify which of the above stress types are causing your stress. As a starting point, begin thinking about these and how they might relate to you.
During this training we shall introduce a number of stress management exercises. For example, we shall encourage you to write down your stress situations and categorize them using the above lists (we’ll talk more about this in future lessons). This simple process will start to take the pressure off any on-going stress situations.
What’s next in our free stress management course
Below is a short syllabus description of what we have in future modules of this training. The links to subsequent days of the course will appear at the bottom of each page (i.e. the link to Day 2 is at the bottom of THIS page).
Day 2: The causes of stress
We must make ourselves aware of the potential causes of stress. On Day 2 we look at:
- The change in human life during the 20th and 21st centuries.
- What stress is.
- The ‘breaking point’ in the engineering world and how this relates to human stress.
- Stress and stress management at work.
- Stress at home.
- How your stress could be ‘silently’ affecting your children.
- Why modern gadgets have made life even more stressful.
Being aware of the causes of stress can help focus the mind on the potential solutions. We have lists of the typical day-to-day causes of stress, plus the problems brought on by common ‘life events’.
Day 3: The Symptoms and Effects of Stress
We start this module with an excellent documentary from National Geographic about the effects of stress. It’s a REAL eye-opener that you won’t want to miss.
We move on to investigate the symptoms of stress and in particular:
- An explanation of ‘fight or flight’.
- Symptoms of fight or flight.
- The physical symptoms of stress.
- A checklist which might reveal your hidden stress.
We have videos to explain some of these concepts in more detail.
Day 4: Stress Management Tips
This is where we start to tackle those ‘points of rage’ that are very unhealthy. These are the ‘quick wins’.
There are lots of things that can be done to immediately reduce our levels of stress. Some of them might appear to be ‘obvious’. However they really DO WORK to take the heat out of the moment.
We have simple tips that anyone can introduce into their daily lives with immediate effect. The more you introduce, the better your defense against stress.
Day 5: Stress Management Strategies
This module looks as some key lifestyle Changes and stress management techniques for permanent relief. This will help to prevent the ‘creeping death’, which is a slow, gradual, build-up of stress over a long period of time. The ideas provided on this day can also guard against ‘hidden stressors’ you might not even be aware of.
We are going to introduce some tactics, that we use in the personal development world, to eliminate stress. Once again, we shall back this up with informative and entertaining videos.
Day 6: Advanced Stress Management Strategies
How can personal development help stress?
In many cases, people find themselves in stressful situations because one (or more) areas of their lives are not living up to expectations.
Personal development seeks to overcome obstacles that cause parts of our lives to fall down. Personal development also helps propel our lives forward, resulting in much more satisfaction and contentment – making stress less likely and much more manageable.
We would go as far as to say that the lack of personal development is a contributory factor to suffering from a stressful life. And we’re not just talking about undertaking a goal-setting or time management course either. Although, mastery of these two skills is a key component of any stress management regime.
But isn’t personal development just ‘more work’?
Many people are put off by self-improvement, because they believe it to be ‘additional work’. The last thing an over-worked person wants to do is to take on more training and education….. Or is it?
Of course, personal growth may require an element of training, or learning to do something differently. However, in the long run, you will see greater rewards and a much better quality of life. Both of which will reduce your levels of stress.
But all of that is for another day………
If you think that you might be suffering from stress, then knowledge is the first step to managing it.
Of course, we at www.successfulpersonalgrowth.com are not doctors. We do not prescribe pills or medications (nor would we want to). We specialize in personal development programs. Therefore, if you are in any doubt about stress, or believe that you are suffering from chronic stress then you should refer to a qualified medical professional or councilor.
We hope that you enjoyed the first part of our free online stress management course. If you have friends who might benefit from this information, then please share Day 1 of this course, by using on the social media links below.
IMAGE CREDITS: Man stressed at desk(imagerymajestic)/Woman with headache(stockimages)/Man with watch(Chaiwat)/Man stressed on phone(stockimages)/Woman in pain(David Castillo Dominici)/Therapist(Ambro) all at www.freedigitalphotos.net