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Learning About Stress

Stress PoemA definition, friends, of stress:Your own reaction to a messStresses may be large or smallSometimes they're not perceived at allExamples: Say a lack of cash;A just-avoided freeway crash;An allergen that's in the air;The barber says you're losing hair;Fifty on a spavined horse;Attorney's letter re divorce;Wetness, dryness, heat or cold;Callow youth or getting oldStress from pains to pleasures rangeThe common element is changeAdapt or die, and that's a factAnd so our bodies must react:The heart speeds up, the gut slows downFacial muscles snarl or frownBronchial tubes expand and thenThe blood absorbs more oxygenWidened pupils search the voidAdrenal glands secrete steroidSerum glucose starts to climbMore insulin works overtimeStressed physically or mentallyMuscles tense to fight or fleeThe midbrain boils with rage and fearWhile cortex plans to save your rearThe point is, stress is not uniqueIt doesn't mean you're dumb or weakA part of mankind's constitutionBequeathed to us by evolutionCommon both to man and beastIt proves you're still alive, at least. By William Goldsmith, MD

Stress Quote“In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.”Lee Lacocca

Damaging Effects of Stress:(Toronto Star April 2004)Stress damages the brain and can impair memory function Stress raises blood pressure and stimulates the production of inflammatory hormones which contribute to the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Stress can trigger pain, gas and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It also aggravates stomach ulcers. Stress can aggravate painful joints. Stress destroys relationships at home, at work and at play

Teenage Stress Factors academic pressure and career decisions pressure to wear certain types of clothing or hairstyles pressure to try drugs, alcohol or sex pressure to fit in with peer groups and measure up to others adaptation to bodily changes family and peer conflicts taking on too many activities at one time

Teenage "Stress Overload" Signs: increased physical illness (headaches, stomachaches, muscle pains, chronic fatigue) "shutting down" and withdrawal from people and activities increased anger or irritable lashing out at others increased tearfulness and feelings of hopelessness chronic feelings of worry and nervousness difficulty sleeping and eating difficulty concentrating

Stress Management Skills for Teens Taking deep breaths accompanied by thoughts of being in control ("I can handle this") Progressive muscle relaxation, (repeatedly tensing and relaxing large muscles of the body) Setting small goals and breaking tasks into smaller manageable chunks Exercising and eating regular meals, and avoiding excessive caffeine Focusing on things you can control and letting go of things you cannot control Rehearsing and practicing feared situations (e.g., practicing public speaking or asking someone out on a date) Talking about problems with others, including parents, older adults and friends Lowering unrealistic expectations Scheduling breaks and enjoyable activities, such as music, art, sports, socializing Accepting yourself as you are and identifying unique strengths and building on them, but realizing no one is perfect! Source: This article was originally published in Rhode Island Family Guide.Stress resources:Stress management tips A relaxation technique Survival guide: Life's Difficult Changes More about stress Back

Teen Stress Statistics

Music and Stress

What can humor and laughter do?Glad you asked...1. It cuts stress in half by reducing cortisol ( The stress hormone)2. Lower blood pressure3. Increase your energy4. Promote happiness and joy5. Stimulate the immune system6. Promote healing (physical and emotional)7. Positive humor fosters a positive attitude 8. Promote social flexibility 9. Increase endorphins ( feel good chemicals)10. Humor has been called SOCIAL GLUE because it bonds us to one another and reduces social conflict.It is the most overlooked and underprescribed therapy goingAND THE MOST INEXPENSIVE


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