Stress Management Series
“Understanding Stress--Study Resources” (SL#88)
by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., adapted from SkillTrack® Vol. 11 - Stress Management
1. Study Resource: Stress Warning Signals
A review abstract by Lloyd Elder from Part 4, pp. 175-285 of The Wellness Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Maintaining Health and Treating Stress-Related Illness, edited by Herbert Benson, M.D. and Eileen M. Stuart, R.N., M.S.; a Fireside Book published by Simon & Schuster; New York, 1992.
This book, resulting from 25 years of scientific research and clinical practice at the Harvard Medical School, seeks to combine the best of what you can do to enhance your health and well-being with the marvels of modern scientific health care.
Part 4, “Stress Management” (pp 175-285), is composed of six chapters: 10. Managing Stress; 11. How Thoughts Affect Health; 12. Feelings, Moods, and Attitudes; 13. Coping and Problem-Solving; 14. Communicating; and 15. Jest 'n' Joy.
Stress is part of our lives; any change is stressful because change requires us to make adaptations. What causes stress in one person can be an exciting challenge for another. This resource admits to using “stress” in the common usage as “distress”--the negative cycle of chronic or excessive stress that reduces coping and performance. However, “stress-hardiness” emphasizes the positive characteristics of stress such as control, challenge, and commitment. One psychiatrist advocates the “five L's of success,” of health and happiness: Learn, Labor, Love, Laugh, Let go.
The negative stress cycle can be avoided in the first place, but is difficult
to interrupt: stress accumulates . . . activates the “fight or flight”
response . . . causes stress symptoms either physical (e.g. muscle tension,
pain) and/or psychological (e.g. anxiety, worry) . . . in turn increases stress.
Stress warning signals may differ from one person to another, but some are common.
From p. 182 of The Wellness Book:
Do any of these stress earnings seem familiar to you?
Check the ones you experience when under stress.
Are there other stress warning signals you experience?
2. Study Resource: Symptoms of Anxiety
A study abstract prepared by Lloyd Elder from an Internet article by Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., presented on www.troubledwith.com.
Dr. Archibald reports that anxiety symptoms fall into three categories: physiological, cognitive, and emotional. If you count the following symptoms that apply to you, you may get an idea of your stress level. The checklist is designed to communicate a variety of symptoms; the more symptoms you experience, the more likely you may need to explore treatment for anxiety-related problems. Now, the symptoms list:
Note your personal reflections, assessment, application, and action planning. Review this article until you can summarize “stress” in your life and how you respond
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by Lloyd Elder & Associates, Inc.
For full citation of referenced works, see Bibliography/Links at www.servantleaderstoday.com
Adapted by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., Founding Director, Moench Center for Church Leadership