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Stress Management

How to get over the feeling of déjà vu, re-organising yourself and getting more done.

Program Overview

Stress is inevitable and it is everywhere. While modern life has its amenities and amusements; on the other side there are tremendous pressures and demands on individuals and organisations due to technological shifts, increased competitions and the transformations in the world around us. Yet the good news is that stress is not all bad and there are effective ways of managing it.

Program Objectives

The workshop on Stress Management is modulated such that it enables the participants to:

1. To gain deeper insight into personal & organisational stress.

2. To monitor and manage stress in your life.

3. To identify and unlearn dysfunctional behaviours .

4. To be acquainted with certain stress management techniques.

5. Ready reckoner for daily stress- busting.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points.

Course Outline

Stress management – conceptual clarification

Many people still get confused about pressure and stress, yet there’s a great deal of difference between the two. We all experience pressure on a daily basis, and need it to motivate us and enable us to perform at our best – ask any athlete or actor. However, if we experience too much pressure without the opportunity to recover, we feel unable to cope and stress is the result. This premise sets the tone for the commencement of this otherwise often misinterpreted topic.

Physiological Processes & Stress

Stress is normal. It is the body’s natural reaction in response to a physical and/or emotional challenge. Stress can be positive in activating a person’s body, mind and energy. It can be defined as an individual’s capacity to mobilize every resource the body has to react promptly and adequately to any given situation. However, if stress lasts too long, the body’s resources will be exhausted and the person will develop harmful or negative forms of stress reactions. From hereon the module dwells on the various types of stress and the commonly reported causes for such stress.

The Fight or Flight Syndrome

When people experience something traumatic and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), they may no longer feel as though the world is a safe place. It may feel as though danger is everywhere. As a result, a person may constantly be in a state of fear and anxiety. For this reason, cognitive-behavioural treatments for PTSD often focus a lot of attention on altering the ways in which people interpret their environment. Mindfulness may be another way of "taking a step back" from thoughts, reducing their power to activate the fight or flight response. An important aspect for stress management this module forays into the otherwise unknown territory of what ails the human mind and the self healing powers within.

Identifying your current personal and professional stressors

It may not be part of the job description, but workplace stress is a part of every job. A recent survey indicated that 78 percent of employees feel stressed and burned out at work. There are some obvious factors that add to stress levels, such as increased workloads, intense deadlines or a demanding boss. But there are other stress triggers that may be less obvious. These "hidden" triggers add to an employee's negative experience at work and eventually lead to burnout. On similar levels are factors influencing personal stressors. Using a well researched and widely implemented psychometric analysis developed on internationally accepted parameters this module attempts to uncover the stressors that participants currently are coping with. In a nutshell this is a self-diagnosis phase for the participants.

Physiological, Psychological & Behavioural Symptoms

Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. If you frequently find yourself feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, it’s time to take action to bring your nervous system back into balance. This module helps you to protect yourself by learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.

Understanding personal coping style

Reactions to stress vary between individuals, and physiological and behavioural responses tend to be associated in distinct suites of correlated traits, often termed stress-coping styles. In mammals, individuals exhibiting divergent stress-coping styles also appear to exhibit intrinsic differences in cognitive processing. Here we attempt to uncover, understand and most importantly either trust or correct our individual personal stress coping style.

Meditation & Relaxation Techniques

The body’s natural relaxation response is a powerful antidote to stress. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and yoga can help you activate this relaxation response. When practiced regularly, these activities lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels and a boost in your feelings of joy and serenity. What’s more, they also serve a protective quality by teaching you how to stay calm and collected in the face of life’s curveballs.

Mapping the Human Mind

The famed molecular biologist Francis Crick turned to neuroscience in the 1970’s. But by 1993, he was so chagrined by the ignorance of his new field that he penned an editorial in the journal Nature. “It is intolerable that we do not have [a connection map of] the human brain,” he wrote. “Without it there is little hope of understanding how our brains work except in the crudest way.” An exploratory module this explains in pure layman terms the composition of the human mind and the core areas of activity.

Attitudes, Beliefs & Behaviours

We often assume that our attitudes, values and beliefs strongly affect the way that we behave and a re consistent with each other. However this is not true. If we notice at the workplace the behaviours of individuals is in stark contrast to their beliefs and hence an attitude which is not reflective of the true self. This module attempts to facilitate recognition of attitudes, beliefs and behaviour patterns which are contra indicative setting the tone for self introspection and clinical correction.

Personal Success & Happiness through Self-Esteem

Often in our society, we are bombarded with the lives of celebrities. We can end up feeling that if we are not part of the rich and famous, our lives are insignificant. Our society also sends a message of competition and achievement. We watch sports, we always hear about profit and the bottom line being the dollar, we see large companies competing and constantly buying each other out. The result often is that we are taught to see how well we are doing, in terms of how pretty we are, how bright we are, what kind of house we have, how well we do in sports, what rewards we receive. However, in reality, these are external measures. Each of us needs to develop a sense of self-worth, a capacity for positive self-regard that comes from within. Participants will rediscover the link between self esteem and success leading to happiness. A small test also will reveal the self esteem quotient that they have.

Mental Imagery – Power of the Mind’s Eye

Our ability to see is literal and figurative, in that our brains can generate images regardless of whether or not we are physically seeing an object with our eyes. The ability to “see” without seeing, known as mental imagery, can be used as a way to improve athletic performance, to instil positive thinking, and to treat the symptoms of certain mental conditions. For example, the use of meditation to focus the mind on a single object can reduce the occurrence of intrusive thoughts in certain medical conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Though our general understanding of the ways in which mental imagery can affect us is pretty good, how and why we use it remain unanswered questions. This concluding module reveals the healing powers within the self using mental imagery as a technique for achieving excellence.

At the program's conclusion, participants will have an understanding of stress management causes, relieving techniques and an insight into their own current personal and professional physiological and psychological well being.

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