Joan is preparing for her daughter’s wedding. Because she is very excited and nervous, she did not sleep well last night. She was too busy thinking about all of the details and things she needed to do and remember. What type of stress is this? 1. Acute, good stress 2. Chronic, bad stress
Body’s Reaction Increased heart rate and muscle tension, and a higher blood pressure Confusion, anger, fear and sweating We are not faced with the same types of dangers of long ago, but our bodies react in similar ways.
Common Stress Symptoms Difficulty sleeping Loss of appetite Low energy Frequent colds and infections Muscle tension and aches Increased substance use Crying spells Poor concentration Constant worry Feeling blue Tension and irritability Difficulty making decisions
Personal Action Plan Write the two major stressors in the top blanks. Determine a realistic goal for each stressor and write it down. Identify activities or strategies for each goal. Determine how much time you will need to reach each goal. Think about who might help you fulfill each goal. Decide how will you celebrate.
When to Seek Help Chronic thoughts of doom and gloom Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness Changes in sleep and eating patterns Impaired concentration, memory and daily functioning Worsening relationship conflicts Increased use of alcohol or drugs Symptoms have been continuing for six months without significant improvement
Want more information? National Institute of Mental Health www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml American Institute for Stress www.stress.org/ Medline Plus – U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/stress.html