Thursday, December 10, 2009

Build your resources to manage stress

"If you cannot do great things yourself, remember that you may do small things in a great way."-- Swamy Chinmayananda
Resources empower individuals to cope more effectively with the stress. Many people enter into the dangerous situation without proper understanding, knowledge and skills to handle their stressful life events. Research evidence has shown that personal resources are key determinant in one’s appraisal of the events and coping.
Some of the personal resources are,
Health and energy
Physical characteristics
Sense of control
Sense of humor
Supportive family and friends
Money, job security
Social status
Some of the facts are,
1.      People with greater personal resources are less vulnerable to stress.
2.      People with weak resources are least successful under high stressful conditions.
3.      People approach a situation and appraises as challenges are depends on the amount of personal resources they have.
4.      People who have more personal resources are likely to experience more positive outcomes after stressful encounter.
5.      Resource loss is more stressful than the gaining resources. In order to prevent resource loss one must invest time and effort etc. to gain more resources.
6.      When we fail to have or gain resources may lead to stress.
7.      Personal resources that can be cultivated and acquired
8.      So, we should strive to obtain, retain, protect and foster our personal resources that assure progress and quality of functioning.

Friday, November 13, 2009

No Pain, No Gain-A new research findings

No Pain, No Gain: Mastering A Skill Makes Us Stressed In The Moment, Happy Long Term
No pain, no gain applies to happiness, too, according to new research. People who work hard at improving a skill or ability may experience stress in the moment, but experience greater happiness on a daily basis and longer term, the study suggests. 
"No pain, no gain is the rule when it comes to gaining happiness from increasing our competence at something," said Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University. "People often give up their goals because they are stressful, but we found that there is benefit at the end of the day from learning to do something well. And what's striking is that you don't have to reach your goal to see the benefits to your happiness and well-being."
Contrary to previous research, the study found that people who engage in behaviors that increase competency, for example at work, school or the gym, experience decreased happiness in the moment, lower levels of enjoyment and higher levels of momentary stress. Despite the negative effects felt on an hourly basis, participants reported that these same activities made them feel happy and satisfied when they looked back on their day as a whole. This surprising find suggests that in the process of becoming proficient at something, individuals may need to endure temporary stress to reap the happiness benefits associated with increased competency.
The study examined whether people who spend time on activities that fulfill certain psychological needs, believed to be necessary for growth and well-being, experience greater happiness. In addition to the need to be competent, the study focused on the need to feel connected to others and to be autonomous or self-directed, and it examined how fulfilling these three needs affects a person's happiness moment by moment within a day.
For two days, participants reported how they spent each hour, the enjoyment and stress experienced in that hour, and whether the activity met their need for competency, connectedness to others or autonomy. A second group of participants completed a similar survey, but reported on the day as a whole.
While behaviors that increase competency were associated with decreased happiness in the moment, people who spent time on activities that met the need for autonomy or feeling connected to others experienced increased happiness both an hourly and daily basis. The greatest increase in momentary happiness was experienced by participants who engaged in something that met their need for autonomy -- any behavior that a person feels they have chosen, rather than ought to do, and that helps them further their interests and goals.
The authors suggest that shifting the balance of needs met in a day could help people find ways to cope with short term stress in the workplace. "Our results suggest that you can decrease the momentary stress associated with improving your skill or ability by ensuring you are also meeting the need for autonomy and connectedness, for example performing the activity alongside other people or making sure it is something you have chosen to do and is true to who you are," Howell said.
Relating these momentary gains in happiness to people's long term life satisfaction, the study found that those who are already satisfied with their life in the long term stand to gain most from the momentary happiness that is derived from feeling connected to others and a sense of autonomy.
"Like a wine connoisseur whose experience means they can appreciate a fine wine more than a novice, people who are already satisfied with their life may have learned how to glean the satisfaction of these needs from their daily activities," Howell said.
Adapted from materials provided by San Francisco State University.
Journal reference:
Howell et al. Momentary Happiness: The Role of Psychological Need Satisfaction. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2009; DOI: 10.1007/s10902-009-9166-1
ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 14, 2009, from /releases/2009/10/091029120900.htm

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Coping statements

“All that a man achieve and all that he fails to achieve is the result of his own thought – James Allen”
The ability to create coping statements (self talk) is a very useful mind skill for managing stress. You are free to choose your thoughts. But the choice you make today will determine your future.
We need to cope with
      -Our negative emotions such as anger, fear, worry and guilt
      -failure, loss, 
      -life events such as illness, death 
The goals of coping statements are,
      Calming you
      Motivating you
      Restoring your self-worth

Coping statements are effective if
      It is specific
      It is practical
      It is realistic
      It is personal
      It is brief
Coping statements are not effective if
      It is rigid
      Create any side effects
      Criticizing you/others/situations badly
      Blaming you/others/situations
      Judging you/others/ situations irrationally
      When it is comparison or suspicious 
Some of the powerful coping statements
Calming you
      I am in control
      They are just thoughts/ feelings
      It will pass
      Letting go
      I don’t engage my negative mood/thoughts
Motivating you
      I take responsibility for..
      I have more time/people/resource
     Nothing stops me
     It is not failure it is a feedback
Restoring your self- worth
     I trust myself
     I am just good
     It is ok to make a mistake
     I can learn something out of it
Believe you ability
     I can do it
     I can handle this/manage 
     I am confident
     I acknowledge and remember my strength
Hope for the best
     It is possible
     Let’s look what is positive in it
     I do my best
     Today is my day
     I accept myself/others/situation 
     I forgive me/other
     I don’t take it personally
     I can tolerate
Are you ready to create your own coping statements?
     Understand your problems
     Create appropriate coping statements
     Believe it this will work
     Repeat this process if it is necessary

Friday, October 16, 2009

Coping - what you need to know

“Whatever is flexible and flowing will tend to grow whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die”
                                                                                                                                  -Tao te ching

1. We have no control over some of our life events. They are probably going to happen whether we like it or not.

2. Coping is made up of the responses (thoughts, feelings and actions) that an individual uses to deal with problematic situations that are encountered in everyday life and in particular circumstances.

3. Coping has two major functions; dealing with the problem that is causing the distress and regulating our own emotion.

4. Coping may not be capable of terminating the stress, but often mange it which includes tolerating or accepting the stress and distress.

5. Personality, situational demand and socio cultural factors can influence your coping strategies.

6. No single method is effective; a combination of approaches is generally most effective.

7. What works for one person does not necessarily work for someone else.

8. Problems may arises from collective sources thus effective coping require collective action.

9. Many of our response to stress is involuntary for example intrusive thoughts. Many of our responses are an automatic for example withdrawal from others.

10. Daily hassles were more important factor in negative health outcomes than major life events.

11. Many people believe that certain emotional responses to stress such as anger are innate and unchangeable, but the fact is we can change our emotional reactions.

12. Coping process are conscious, intentional, learned and associated with normal adjustment.

13. There may be no universally good or bad coping processes though some might be better or worse than others.

14. Coping choice may be less important than how well you execute that choice.

15. Coping strategies may have multiple functions and their meaning and efficacy may change according to circumstances.

16. Coping is related to physical and mental health.

17. Coping strategies may not directly affect physiology but indirectly affect health related behaviour.

18. Coping effectiveness depends on the individuals, their problem and with their emotions.

19. Many chronic stressors are not readily noticed, yet often require special coping efforts. 

20. Younger children have fewer resources to cope than older adults do.

21. Coping with traumatic events may last for a longer time than coping with everyday problems.

22. Some of the productive coping strategies are Seeking Social Support, Focus on Solving the Problem, Physical Recreation, Seek Relaxing Diversion, Investing in Close Friends, Seek to Belong, Work Hard and Achieve, Focus on the Positive.

23. Some of the non-productive Coping strategies are Worry, Wishful Thinking, and Not Cope, Ignore the Problem, Tension Reduction, Keep to Self, Self-blame.

24. Coping skills help us to appraise our situation more realistically, utilize resources more effectively and thus we can get better outcome from our coping strategies.

25. The first prerequisite for conscious development of coping skills is self-awareness, the second is motivation to change and the third prerequisite consists of the skills necessary to achieve the desired.

26. Acquisition of coping skills can be enhanced through educational or therapeutic intervention. Teaching coping skills to children and adolescents presents a potentially significant method of preventing and/or modifying dysfunctional or maladaptive behaviors.

27. Coping is not simply solving or managing problems, it is a means for human development and transformation.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Problem solving-essential for stress management

Problem solving involves finding our way towards a goal. The object of problem solving is usually a solution, answer or conclusion. The capacity to solve problems successfully in the real world is a crucial component for one's well-being. Learning these skills helps us to improve our ability to cope with stress. Problem solving,
• Forms part of thinking.
• Most complex of all intellectual functions
• Higher-order cognitive process
• Fundamental skills

Common steps in problem solving
1. Problem orientation
2. Problem definition and formulation
3. Generation of solutions
4. Decision-making
5. Solution implementation and verification.

But the traditional information- processing model defined problem solving as a series of cognitive skills in problem identification, goal setting, finding suitable solutions and evaluating problem-solving outcomes, but largely ignored the motivational, affective and behavioural aspects of problem solving.
Ineffective problem solving and hasty decision making are more likely leads to emotional distress and stressful pay off. We need to develop systematic approach when we are dealing with complex real life problems.
Why some problems are complex
1. Conflicting motives
2. Uncertain, ambiguous situation
3. Risk involved
4. Different perspectives/ point of views
5. Many people involved
6. Different solution

1. Lack of knowledge / skills
2. Personal / social factors- values, attitudes, emotion, expectation, pressure
3. Cognitive errors –rigid, impulsive thinking pattern
4. Poor emotional regulation –mood swing, aggression
5. Lack of social perception
6. Lack of motivation
7. Poor self regulation

Social Problems
Any situation that brings forth feelings of discomfort such as conflict, stress, anxiety etc. resulting from interaction or relationships with others. Social Problems including,
Impersonal problems such as-financial problems
Personal problems such as – emotional, behavioural problems
Interpersonal problems such as – marital, family conflict,
Social problems such as – violence, racial discrimination 
Social problem solving
The self-directed cognitive-behavioural-affective processes by which a person attempts to identify or discover effective or adaptive solutions for specific problems encountered in everyday living.
The interpersonal cognitive problem-solving
Ability to generate a number of alternative solutions to a conflict
Ability to choose and implement an appropriate solution to a conflict
Understanding and consideration of the social consequences of one’s actions for oneself and others.

The ways we approach our problems
Social problem solving becomes ineffective when it is dominated by a negative attitude towards problem solving, impulsiveness and acting out behaviour, or extreme delay and avoidance.
(1) Positive Problem Orientation - an optimistic attitude to tackling problems;
(2) Negative Problem Orientation -a pessimistic attitude to solving problems
(3) Rational Problem Solving -a systematic approach to solving problems, including problem definition, problem analysis, and generation of alternative solutions
(4) Impulsive/Careless Style -an ill-thought-out and hurried approach to solving problems
(5) Avoidance Style -a tendency to procrastinate, blame others, or depend on others to solve one’s problems.
Problem-solving therapy 
Training individuals to become better problem solvers in order to facilitate their ability to cope with stressful situations has been referred to in the psychotherapy and counseling literature as social problem solving therapy in order to highlight the social and interpersonal context in which real-life problem solving occurs. Teaching social problem solving skills has become a common feature of programs designed to prevent and remediate discipline problems. Therapy concentrates on counteracting impulsivity, defining problems, generating solutions, encouraging consequential thinking and developing means–end action planning.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Type of stress-sign and symptoms

It is important to learn how your body responds to different types of stress: acute stress, episodic acutestress, chronic stress, and traumatic stress. Here is a summary of the symptoms for each type of stress (APA). Recognizing the early signs of distress, and doing something about them, can make an important difference in the quality of your life. Take a look at the list below and identify any signs that you are under stress.

1.Acute Stress-happens to everyone and tends to be manageable such deadline of something
Symptoms of Acute Stress:
• Emotional distress: worry, anger, irritability,anxiety, frustration, impatience
• Physical problems: fatigue, headache, back pain, jaw pain, trembling, cold hands and feet,
and muscular stiffness that can lead to pulled muscles, tendons, and ligaments
• Digestive problems: heartburn, acid stomach, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome
• Vital-Sign disturbances: rise in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain
• Mental disturbances: confusion, inability to concentrate, indecisiveness, mind racing, mindlessness, or blankness

2.Episodic Acute Stress-intense reaction to everything such as an excessive competitive drive (Type A personality)
Symptoms of Episodic Acute Stress (In addition to symptoms of acute stress):
• Persistent headaches
• Hypertension
• Asthma
• Chest pain
• Heart disease

3.Chronic Stress-long-standing stress such as poverty, illness, dysfunctional families.
Symptoms of Chronic Stress:
• Loss of appetite, or overeating
• Feeling of insecurity & inadequacy
• Weakened immune system
• Heart disease
• Chronic pain in joints, back, jaw, or shoulders
• Pessimism
• Resentment
• Extreme or chronic anger
• Inability to concentrate
• Peptic ulcers
• Diminished coping ability
• Depression
• Chronic fatigue
• Migraine headaches
• Persistent anxiety
• Reclusiveness
• Constant irritability
• Cynicism
• Low performance levels
• Digestive Disorders

4.Traumatic Stress-traumatic experience such as being in an accident,witnessing a terrible crime, losing a job.
Symptoms of Traumatic Stress:
• Feelings: unpredictable, intense mood swings; anxiety; nervousness; depression
• Thoughts: flashbacks; vivid memory of event; inability to concentrate
• Physical reactions: rapid heartbeat;sweating; headache, nausea, chest pain, general pain, and digestive problems
• Relationship problems: strained, frequent arguments with family members and/or coworkers; withdrawal and isolation from group activity

Friday, May 8, 2009

Assessing stress -checklist for you

Handling stress is not always easy, hence there is a complex interrelated issues involved in it. We must pay attention to the following areas of individual to help them more effectively. Otherwise, you may handle only superficial problems. 
I. General factors 
 1. Physical – health, nutrition, specific symptom etc..
 2. Psychological – coping style, self-esteem, personal characteristics etc..
 3. Social - family, interpersonal, conflict, separation, attachment etc.
 4. Academic – failure, demand, unfamiliar environment etc..
 5. Work related – overload, harassment, conflict etc.
 6. Environmental – violence, unfair policy, culture etc..
II. Specific personal factors
 1. Cognition – distortion, rigidity, negative attribution etc.
 2. Emotion – depression, anxiety, anger etc.
 3. Behaviour – substance abuse, risk taking, withdrawal/isolation 
III. Temporal factors 
 1. Duration
 2. Frequency
 3. Perceived or real problem
 4. Perceived controllability
 5. Perceived efficacy believe
 6. Perceived social support
 7. Predictable outcome – hope
IV. Other important factors 
 1. Need for medical treatment – life-threatening illness
 2. Major life decision - separation, leaving job, school or college
 3. Suicide ideation – unspoken area 

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Relaxation and stress

Relaxation methods help us to deal with many kinds of stress. Since we respond to stress in a different way, we need to find our own way to relax. Stress create tension, arousal and distress, relaxation involves just the opposite, reducing tension, arousal and distress.

Relaxation involves
-increase awareness of muscle tension
-ability to control that tension
-control autonomic activity such as breathing, heart rate etc..
-ability to control cognitive activity

Relaxation training – An overview

1. Progressive or deep muscle relaxation
Helps you to let go of unnecessary muscle tension
2. Stretching or yoga
Helps your body to become more flexible and relax
3. Breathing exercises
Helps to quiet your mind and relax your body
4. Autogenic training
Focus on suggestion or image that may directed towards relaxation
5. Guided imagery
Entertain a fantasy may evokes positive feelings and relaxation
6. Meditation and mindfulness
With certain type of awareness, we fully attend our thoughts, feelings without judgment
All the above methods are very effective and require training
7. Other common methods – may not require training
Sleeping – perhaps the simplest and natural way to relax you
Having sex – refresh you
Listen to music, songs etc..
Reading, watching T.V, go for a walk
Talk to someone, socialization
Take a warm bath or shower etc..
Enjoy nature

Negative way of relaxation

You may think the following methods relaxing you but it creates opposite of relaxation and has their own negative consequences. Be aware of it!
-Alcohol, drugs etc
-Pornography, engage in sexual talk etc..
-coffee or some of the soft drinks

Relaxation techniques will be effective if

-Taught by trained professionals
-suitable to your needs and capability
-when practice become our part of everyday routine

Now find out your suitable method and relax yourself!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Useful web resources

The 10 tools to Live Your Life Well, this website designed to help you cope better with stress and create more of the life you want. This site may help you, please follow the link to see this website

PTSD resources, information and helpful links, please follow the link below, good blog

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

chronic stress and burnout

“In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel "burnout" setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.” -Dalai Lama
Excessive stress generally leads to burnout. Chronic stress and burnout are more common nowadays. Be aware, unrecognized stress trap a lot of your energy.

Common causes of chronic stress (APA)
• Poverty and financial worries
• Dysfunctional families
• Caring for a chronically ill family members
• Feeling trapped in unhealthy relationship or career choices
• Long – term unemployment
• Personal belief systems (exp-perfectionism)
• Traumatic experiences

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation.
Phases of burnout (Freudenberger and Gail)
• a compulsion to prove oneself
• working harder
• neglecting one's own needs
• displacement of conflicts
• revision of values
• denial of emerging problems
• withdrawal
• behavioral changes become obvious to others
• inner emptiness
• depression
• burnout syndrome

Learning how to manage stress can help you regain your balance. Steps to handle your excessive stress are,
1) Know more about cause, signs and symptoms of stress and burnout
2) Confronting denial, false hopes, cynicism or helplessness
3) Reevaluate your values goals and priorities
4) Acquiring and applying skills and knowledge
5) Getting proper and sufficient social support

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mind set for coping with stress

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” - Stephen Covey

Coping with stress not merely depends on the events or persons ability but also a matter of mind set. The following mind set will be helpful to dealing with stress. I hope this will help you.

1. Self- confidence
Person with good feelings about oneself tend to cope better and view their situations as challenge rather than threat.
2. Personal responsibility
Events may be external but how we interpret, appraise and handle with them purely within our hand. Assuming personal responsibility increases control believe which enhance our coping ability.
3. Think positively, have faith
Cultivate a positive attitude to life and its challenges and replace negative or irrational thoughts with realistic positive affirmations routes and have motivation to face your problems.
4. Clear goal and plan
Our goal need to be well defined, realistic and must re-evaluate often otherwise leads to failure or disappointment. It is wise to plan for each day be flexible and make change if necessary.
5. Effective communication
The ways we communicate improve our relationship. If you are overwhelmed with your feelings such as anger you can not think of an appropriate expression or communication. Improve your communication skills which will help you to clearly state what you feel and want.
6. Be creative and courage
Present world repeatedly challenge us with new complex problems. We need to be creative and courage to deal with them. Successful coping may increase our self-confident, improve our relationship and help us to learn new skills.
7. Taking care of physical health
Good physical health helps you to meet life’s challenges. We need to gain knowledge about health related issues and get adequate sleep, exercise, sleep and leisure time for yourself.
8. Mutual help
Healthy relationships are very important in helping us to cope with stress. We need to learn to give and receive help from others. Learn to respond to the feeling and needs of others, communicate effectively, cultivate positive attitude towards others. Adaptive social skills will improve our quality of life.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Emotional Intelligence - Key To Stress Management

emotional intelligence is every ones need for our personal, social effectiveness, I hope this pps will help you.

please follow th link below

click here

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stress? – learn to give receive help

"What really matters for success, character, happiness and life long achievements is a definite set of emotional skills - your EQ - not just purely cognitive abilities that are measured by conventional IQ tests." --Daniel Goleman, 

Interpersonal relationship is an important factor for the interpersonal stress process. Everyday stress involving frustration, conflict and demand may be more likely to produce physical or psychological fatigue. Daily interpersonal stressors that persist over several days without resolution may lead to increasing mood disturbance. Interpersonal relationship directly affects the help seeking behaviour. Pleasant social relationships increases the likelihood of seek help and decreases loneliness, whereas unpleasant social relationships reduces likelihood of get help and increased loneliness. Both the quality of social support and willingness to get help is very essential for our wellbeing. For example the following stages of our life need specific support that is essential for our healthy development and wellbeing.

Child – supportive communication from parents and teachers
Adolescents – peer acceptance and family support
Adult – assurance of worth and emotional support from significant others
Employees – support from supervisor and team members
Victims – support group such as PTSD support group

Communication is a key to give and receive help. The quality of our communication depends on the following skills,
Active listening
Empathetic understanding

How many of you willing to give and receive help? Asking help is a courageous act
Be willing and learn to give and receive help. We can make this world more comfortable place to live!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Understand why your stress level is so high

“Self-actualizing individuals have "superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general.” - Abraham Maslow 

Check the followings to understand why your stress level is so high
• Your temperament- impulsive
• Your personality - type A
• Your information processing style – irrational
• Your current mood – irritation
• Your dominant emotion – anger
• Your communication style – non assertive
• Your physical condition – lake of sleep
• Your health – illness
• Your body chemistry – alcohol, drugs
• Your work load - too much to do
• Your role model – form your parent
• Your financial condition – sudden change
• Your social support – emotional support
• Your ability believe – confidence
• Your perception of the event – point of view
• Your conflict – interpersonal problems
• Your preoccupation – unresolved issues 

All the above items makes you vulnerable and rise your stress level, if it is temporary, nothing to worry, but if it exist over a period of time you need to get necessary help from appropriate person.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stress coping skills training - An overview

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world ... as in being able to remake ourselves. - Mahatma Gandhi

Be familiar with training which enhances your stress coping skills. So that you can choose according to your specific needs.

1. Psycho educational programme
Objectives – to know more about stress
To learn more about what is stress, source, sign and symptoms of stress, impact of stress on health, performance and well-being.
Training involves usually lecture, may include psychometric measures and relaxation.

2. Stress inoculation training (SIT)
Objectives – build resilience and tolerance
SIT focuses multiple coping responses to resolve current problems as well as to ‘inoculate’ the person or group against future stress. Since maladaptive coping is often related to lack of preparation and surprise. SIT exposes individuals to milder stressors as a way to enhance their ability to cope with more severe life situations.
Training involves theoretical explanation, active (variety of) skill acquisition, application in real life and follow-up.

3. Cognitive behavioural training (CBT)
Objectives – minimize faulty, distorted thinking, attitude and behaviour
There is a reciprocal relationship between thinking (cognition), feeling (affective) and action (behaviour). CBT emphasizes the importance of changing our thinking, feeling and behaviour as a way to reducing symptoms and improving functioning and our well being.
Training involves identifying and modifying biased or distorted thought process, attitude and behaviour by using self- monitoring and cognitive restructuring etc.

4. Mindfulness training
Objectives – experience new relationship with mind-body instead of same old pattern
To teach people how to manage every day stress by observes the moment by moment sensation, cognition and emotions without judging whether they are bad or good. The core principle is non-judging, patience, trust, non-striving beginners mind, acceptance and letting go.
Training involves mindful breathing, body scan, mindful walking, mindful meditation and mindfulness of everyday activities.

5. Behavioural rehearsal
Objectives – teach specific skills
Specific procedure that aims at replaces deficient or inadequate responses by efficient and effective behavioural patterns.
Training involves modeling, role-playing, etc.

6. Anger management
Objectives – reduce impulsive unwanted anger

Aims at minimize anger frequency, intensity, duration and moderate anger expressions. Training involves understand and modifying cognition (thinking), arousal (feelings), behaviour (its outcome).

7. Anxiety management
Objectives – reduces discomfort and improve performance
To minimize anxiety, unwanted physiological arousal which result of faulty perception or learning.
Training involves relaxation, guided imagery, home work assignment and real life practice.

8. Communication skills training
Objectives – improving relationship and reduce conflict
To reduce inappropriate communication, conflict and maximize effective interpersonal communication, relationships.
Training focuses listening skill, assertiveness, and empathy skill etc.

9. Relaxation training
Objectives – minimize physical, physiological impact of stress
To reduce physiological manifestation of stress by teaching the person to become aware of muscle tension and to release that tension.
Progressive muscle relaxation- for example involves tensing and releasing various muscle groups until a deep relaxation state can be accomplished.
There are number of relaxation techniques such as autogenic, stretching, biofeedback, guided imagery, and meditation etc.

10. Modifying life-style
Objectives – mind – body and work life balance
Modification is necessary, if our present life style is not balanced and stressful. For example some of the followings are essential for everyone but many of us don’t do it at all.
Getting adequate sleep
Eat balanced diet regularly
Allot time for exercise and relaxation
Manage your goal, time effectively
Delegate duties
Spend time with your family, friends often
Give time, space for yourself alone every day

Two or more of the above stress coping skill training combination will be effective. Identify your source and specific needs then select your programme accordingly.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

self-regulation and stress

"He is able who thinks he is able."-Buddha

Source of our stress whatever it may be
Our own thoughts
Other person
Our situation or condition
We have a power of choice to choose our response to it.
Our personal control and self regulation play a major role in how we handle our own stressful situation. Personal control is the perception that one has the ability, resources or opportunities to get positive outcomes or avoid negative effects through one’s own actions. Control refers to the ability to monitor and inhibit one’s own emotions, thoughts and behaviour. Perceived control is associated with emotional wellbeing, reduced physiological impact of stressors, enhanced ability to cope with stress, improved performance, less pain and a greater likelihood of making difficult behaviour changes. The self-regulation of human behavior involves setting goals, and monitoring and evaluating behavior and thoughts. An attempt is made to reduce discrepancies between standards and behavior. Ultimately self-regulation cannot succeed unless it is successful both at monitoring the state in relation to the goal and at making the changes and adjustments as desired. Goal setting is an integral component of self-regulation. Effective goal setting requires that people set a long-term goal, break it into short-term, attainable sub-goals, monitor progress and assess capabilities, adjust the strategy and goal as needed, and set a new goal when the present one is attained. This multi-step plan is a key to promoting healthier human functioning, higher motivation and perceived self-efficacy, and self-regulated learning and performance across the life span. If goals have been achieved, a person may engage in reinforcing thoughts and/or activities (self-reinforcement). Problems in the self-regulation of behavior or thoughts may result in distress. It may be that goals are set at levels that are too high or at levels that an individual does not believe he or she is capable of achieving. Set specific goal, generate more alternate ways to achieve, believe we have a choice and monitor your progress to avoid distress.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stress and suicide

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
Studies have shown that suicides are found to have experienced higher levels of stressful events in the past year than non suicidal individuals. Stressors experienced by adolescent and young adult suicides tend more often to involve negative interpersonal events, such as friction and break-ups with loved ones and problems involving work, finances, and the criminal justice system. In contrast, stressors of elderly suicides tend more often to involve medical problems and intrapsychic states such as depression. These differences by age are found both in psychological autopsy studies and in content analyses of suicide notes Suicidal ideation in college students was positively associated with self ratings of negative life events in the past year. Don’t ignore your stress get help if you cross your optimum level of stress. 
Signals to look for:
1. Withdrawn behaviour. Inability to relate to family and friends.

2. Psychiatric illness

3. Alcoholism

4. Anxiety or panic

5. Change in personality – irritability, pessimism, depression, apathy

6. Change in eating habits / sleeping habits

7. Earlier suicide attempt

8. Hating oneself, feeling guilty, worthless or ashamed

9. A recent major loss – death, divorce, separation etc

10. Family history of suicide

11. Sudden desire to tidy up one’s affairs – writing a will etc.

12. Feeling of loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness

13. Suicide notes

14. Physical ill helth

15. Repeated mention of death/ suicide

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Beating stress by preparing for it

"Pain is inevitable but suffering is our option"

Unpredictable, unexpected events are more stressful than predictable, expected events. We can reduce our stress by preparing in advance. Increase our awareness in the following areas will be helpful to you
1. Self- personal
2. Others- interpersonal
3. Your condition- life situations
4. External environment – government policies, economic situations, etc.

First identify what is changeable and unchangeable in the above four areas then focus your attention in the changeable one, which will help you to reduce the uncertainty. Remember the old sayings 

6 ‘p’ formula  

Ask four questions periodically

1. What are your upcoming challenges?
2. How you are going to (cope) handle?
3. What are all the personal resources you have?
4. What are all the social resources you have?

you are the master of your own, these four quetion appears to be simple but very powerful because it determine your action.

Workout on your own

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stress and Personal development

Patience with self is hope
Patience with others is love
Patience with god is faith

How we relate to ourselves and others is very important for our personal development. Stress may help or hinder  our development. The following basic areas remain to be checked otherwise it will be our source of stress. These three step process 
3 ‘A’ 

help you to understand where you have to focus for your personal development. 

Now you can take necessary action.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Relationship, communication and stress

Do more than exist - live
Do more than touch – feel
Do more than look – observe
Do more than read – absorb 
Do more than hear – listen
Do more than listen – understand 
                                                  - John.H.Rhoade

Relationship can be a common source of stress and also important resource for combating stress. Relationships provide us 
Reassurance of worth, 
Tangible assistance, 
Informational support and 
Emotional support. 

Building strong relationship is very essential to cope up with stress. High quality social relationships involves being aware of our thinking, feeling and then communicating those ideas. Maintain relationship involves recognizing difficulties early and dealing with our own hidden agenda, mind reading and negative assumptions etc. The ability to communicate care and concern is essential to maintain a good relationship. Effective communication in our interaction with others can be a significant way of lowering our own stress levels even in unpleasant situations; we can feel good about our own skillful responses. Learning to communicate better will get us involved with others and help us express our needs more clearly and calmly. We need to learn to understand and regulate emotions of other people to cheer them up when they are down, to engage them when we want them to listen to us.

Some tips to improve your communication and relationships

We share our inner feelings only with D
ear/ Near one, because they use their Ear (listen).
Did you notice
ear denote that
Do you know what listening means?

Learn to wait before you speak
Initiate someone to share their feelings
Silently observe 
Test your understanding by using paraphrase, reflect back
Need your acceptance and understanding but not your premature advice

Do you know the importance of empathy?

To Listen to some One Value Empathy
To Love some One Value Empathy
To Lead Others Value Empathy
To Link with some One life Value Empathy 

Empathy is nothing a pure form of love. Regardless of others fault, behaviour learn to love. This is a way to live.  Don’t be sources of stress to others; learn to give emotional support to others.  

Time Management video

  • A nice video presentation on time management

James Thomas explains why Time Management equals Stress Management, and offers helpful hints and tips for managing time effectively. 

please follow the link below

  • The Mental Help Net website exists to promote online mental health education andprovides scientifically accurate and up-to-date coverage of mental health and illness topics.

Stress Reduction and Management resource please follow the link

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Good stress or bad stress- choice Vs chance

Look back & get experience

Look forward & see hope

Look around & see reality

Look within & feel confident.- Unknown Author

I have received many mails regarding thinking, feeling and action. How our thinking, feeling and action lead to good or bad stress. Here I try to simplify a complex matter. There are three types of living as follows,
1. your life is driven by chance 
2. your life is driven by choice
3. your life is driven by confusion

          3 'C'

Now you check it how you are driven by your life in your personal interpersonal and work domain. Make a chart and work out on your own. 

useful web resources

1.More than 1500 psychology dictionary terms defined

maintained by

2. Blog I have found very useful to you.

Destressing Yourself creates success and happiness. If you take
control of your thoughts, you take control of your feelings. If you
take control of your feelings, you take control of your stress, which in turn
creates success and happiness.

3. Trans4mind is dedicated to introducing the best available personal development methods for transformation of body, mind and spirit - to free us of the shackles of the past by reawakening awareness of our true identity in the present. lots of free resources

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Tools and games for training

Team building activities & exercises
Icebreakers, warmups, & energizers
Group games for fun
Ideas for camp activities & games
Name games & get to know each other
Trust-building activities
Psychological self-awareness exercises
Environmental education games
Physical activities for groups
Multicultural, cross-cultural & intercultural
Peace education experiential activities
Indigenous games & activities
Ropes Courses (Rope Challenge Courses)

Strategies to improve your learning and performance

Excellence can be attained if you….
Care more than others think wise!
Risk more than others think safe!
Dream more than others think is practical!
Expect more than others think is possible!

                                                         - Unknown Author 

Strategies to improve your learning and performance

There is just a thin line between your performance and stress. Same task or situation can be viewed as stress or opportunity for learning. The following strategies you need to check to improve your learning and performance.
1. Avoidance
If you feel incompetent you probably seek to escape from it. Avoidance will prevent you from learning new skills. Learning require active effort, it is natural we feel incompetent before mastering any task or skills. To master a task or skill first you take it as challenge and focus your mind on the process but not the end result.
2. Believe
Success or failure mostly result of our attitude but not depends on our ability. You know we have unlimited potential. Our belief becomes our attitude, feelings and our action. Identify your self created limiting believes and challenge them.
3. Comparison
Every one is unique. Comparison creates negative impact on your learning and performance. You can compare yourself with your own progress, it will motivate you. But don’t compare yourself with others negatively.
4. Distraction 
Our worries, anxiety and external events distract us. Distraction decreases our concentration and focus. Identify your distraction and minimize it.
5. Effort 
If you are willing to spare your time and energy you can reach your goal. Set priority, keep your focus, do it with commitment and motivate yourself.
6. Feel it and Fix it
Knowing is not enough to achieve something. You must feel the importance of what you are doing, create meaning, and contemplate mindfully. Aware of your own chronic mistakes and failures find out the reason and challenge them.