Student Conversation about Stress Management. (Characters: Sage, Heather, Jose, Brian, and Deena)

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1 Student Conversation about Stress Management (Characters: Sage, Heather, Jose, Brian, and Deena) Sage: Anyone seen Brian? We've been waiting ten minutes already. Heather: Here he comes. Jose: Hey Brian, what's up? How are your classes going? Brian: They're not. No matter how much I try, I just can't seem to get anything done. Heather: Sounds like you have some issues. Do you have any idea what might be wrong? Brian: No. I'm just really confused about what I need to know for class and I can't seem to get going. I can't stay focused. I'm really tired and sometimes I even fall asleep in class. Deena: Brian, why don't you take a break from your classes today and let us try and help you calm down a little. I've worked with some stress relief methods before, so I can sort of guide us through this. Brian: That sounds great, if you guys don't mind helping me out. All: Sure. Deena: Alright, let's start with a few questions. Do you think you get enough sleep at night? Deena: Hmmmm... Brian: Not really. I have to work and study, so I probably only get about four or five hours if I'm lucky. Deena: What about exercise? You should try to exercise at least three days a week. Brian: The only exercise I get is walking back and forth to class. Sage: Deena, I know exactly what he is talking about. I bet you're eating a lot of junk food too, right? Brian: Yeah, I am, but I don't have the time to sit down and eat regular food. Heather: I know what you mean. I can't tell you how many times I've ordered pizza this month just because I didn't have the time to make myself a real meal. 1 Page

2 Jose: What about your friends, man? I know it helps me out a lot, when I'm feeling lousy, to talk to my friends. It really cheers me up. Brian: Well, I used to talk to my friends all the time, but ever since I got into this slump I've sort of lost touch with them. Sometimes someone will call and see if I want to go out. Sage: Well? Do you go? Brian: Yeah, sometimes, but not as often as I used to. Jose: Whoa! When I first met you, you used to party 'til, well, the cows came home. Brian: Seriously guys, I find myself hanging out in my room a lot just watching TV. Deena: Is something worrying you? Something must be making it hard to concentrate? Brian: I guess I'm worried about grades, work, and especially letting my parents down. The more I think about this stuff, the worse it gets and the less I get done. Heather: It really sounds like a vicious cycle. Deena: Right, Heather, and what we need to work on is breaking that cycle so Brian can start focusing on his work again. Brian: That sounds great Deena, but how do I get started? Deena: Actually, you've already gotten started. You see, what you did is called an awareness check. You found out that you're not getting enough sleep, your eating habits need to change, you need more exercise to stop your body from tiring out and you need to keep in touch with your friends who support you and keep you in a positive frame of mind. You have something to work with there. Brian: Wow, I didn't realize that all those things could be connected to how I feel. Deena: So, how do you usually cope when you feel uptight and stressed out? Brian: Well, in high school I used to run whenever I felt stressed, but now I think that I really like listening to music and zoning out. Deena: So, how do you feel after you're done listening to music? Brian: I feel a little more relaxed. Sometimes it puts me to sleep. 2 Page

3 Student Conversation about Stress Management Questions 1. Think about Brian s distress. What are the symptoms that indicate he is feeling distressed? 2. What are the causes of his distress? 3. What are some things he could do to feel less distressed? 4. Have you been in Brian s situation? If yes, what have you done? 5. If no, what stressful situation have you been in? What did you do to overcome it? < 3 Page

4 Stressors in Life # Stressors How is it affecting you? Is this eustress or distress? Why? Select one of the stressors and explain what you can do to alleviate all or some of the stress. Write your response below. 4 Page

5 STRESS CHECKLIST On the checklist below, put a checkmark beside those things that make you feel stressed. Fear of dying Worry about the world situation and possible war Fear of getting hurt by others Too much responsibility Fear of failing School Neighborhood New friends Jealous of brothers and sisters Conditions at home (too dirty, messy, too hot, too cold, too poor...) Not enough food A friend recently moved away Parents separated or divorced Parent has boyfriend or girlfriend around that I don t like I don t fit in I have a drug or drinking problem Other stresses: (Write these below) Too many chores and responsibilities at home Too many decisions at home Not maturing physically at the speed you would like I am impatient and can t wait my turn I am not popular I get nervous when I try out for things (clubs, teams, etc.) Someone I care about is in trouble with the law I am not healthy There is a new child in the family Worrying about someone at home Attending church I get embarrassed easily I don t like the way I look Friends put pressure on me to do things I don t want to do I get nervous with members of the opposite sex 5 Page

6 Victims and Creators When people keep doing what they ve been doing even when it doesn t work, they are acting as Victims. When people change their beliefs and behaviors to create the best results they can, they are acting as Creators. Stimulus Choice Victim Creator Response Blaming Complaining Excusing Repeating Behaviors Response Seeking Solutions Taking Action Trying Something New Result Seldom AchievesGoals Result Often AchievesGoals On Course, Skip Downing 6 Page

7 What are your signs of Stress? Draw yourself when you are stressed and label it. 7 Page

8 8 Page

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