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Christina Sirmons, BS, CPT.  Briefly review what stress is and its effects on the body  Give strategies to help manage stress in your personal and professional.

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Presentation on theme: "Christina Sirmons, BS, CPT.  Briefly review what stress is and its effects on the body  Give strategies to help manage stress in your personal and professional."— Presentation transcript:

1 Christina Sirmons, BS, CPT

2  Briefly review what stress is and its effects on the body  Give strategies to help manage stress in your personal and professional life:  Individual techniques  Health breaks (during short breaks and lunch)  Workstation set-up  Office exercises  Time management  Team building  Work Environment and Practices

3 General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) Homeostasis: The body systems maintain a stable and consistent (balanced) state. Resistance: If the stressor continues, the body mobilizes to withstand the stress and return to normal. Alarm: The body initially responds to a stressor with changes that lower resistance. Illness and Death: The body’s resources are not replenished and/or additional stressors occur; the body suffers breakdowns. Exhaustion: Ongoing, extreme stressors eventually deplete the body’s resources so we function at less than normal. Stressor: The stressor may be threatening or exhilarating. Return to homeostasis Illness Death

4 = Effects of chronic or prolonged stress = Other possible effects of chronic stress = Immediate response to stress Brain becomes more alert. Stress hormones can effect memory and cause neurons to atrophy and die. Headaches, anxiety, and depression Disrupted sleep Heart rate increases and blood pressure rises. Persistently elevated blood pressure and heart rate can increase potential for blood clotting and risk of stroke or heart attack. Weakening of the heart muscles and symptoms that mimic a heart attack Adrenal glands produce stress hormones. Cortisol and other stress hormones can increase central or abdominal fat. Cortisol increases glucose production in the liver, causing renal hypertension. Digestive system slows down. Mouth ulcers or cold sores Skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis The Effects of Stress on the Body

5 Immune system is depressed. Increased susceptibility to infection Slower healing Reproductive system Menstrual disorders in women Impotence and premature ejaculation in men = Effects of chronic or prolonged stress = Other possible effects of chronic stress = Immediate response to stress Breathing quickens. Increased susceptibility to colds and respiratory infections Digestive system slows down. Upset stomach Muscles tense. Muscular twitches or nervous tics The Effects of Stress on the Body

6  Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis  Complex set of interactions between the 3 glands  Major part of the neuro-endocrine system that  Controls reactions to stress  Regulates many body processes: digestion, immune system, moods and emotions, sexuality, energy storage and expenditure  Involved in the neurobiology of functional illnesses and mood disorders

7  Adrenalin (epinephrine) is released by the adrenal glands  Heart rate increases  Blood vessels are constricted  Fight or flight response  Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands  Increases blood sugar  Suppresses the immune system  Decreases bone formation

8  Higher levels of cortisol cause weight gain  Immune system is dampened or suppressed causing the body to be more susceptible to infections (the older you are, the more stress effects the immune system)  Interferes with the body’s ability to heal  May play a role in the progression of breast cancer

9 MORE LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM CHRONIC STRESS LESS LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM CHRONIC STRESS  Type A personality  External Locus of Control  Conflict resolution strategy of avoidance  Pessimism  Type B, C, or D personality  Internal Locus of Control  Conflict resolution strategy of addressing the issue  Optimism

10  Laughter Therapy – Laughter/humor therapy uses the physiological act of laughing to relieve stress, worry, and even pain. Laughter releases endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. This induces physical and emotional changes including a strengthened immune system, lowered blood pressure, strengthened social bonds, and much more. The positive effects of a few minutes of laughter can last for hours! Try the simple laughter therapy exercises below anytime you need to unwind.  Call a friend or tell funny stories in a group of family or friends.  Think of past funny experiences that once made you laugh (movies, TV shows, childhood memories)  Think of funny sounding words.  Observe your children and their natural, childlike silliness. Learn from them.  Spend more time with people who smile and laugh a lot. It may rub off on you.  If you make a mistake, laugh at yourself. Learn to forgive and laugh it off.

11  Breathing  Practice any time when you are feeling stressed, anxious, or upset.  Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth for a count of nine. Repeat the cycle 1-2 more times.  Aromatherapy  The use of essential oils from plants and other aromatic compounds to help improve one’s mood and reduce stress and anxiety.  Which scents invoke relaxation to you? Keep in mind that the scents should be subtle; too strong of scents can create stress.

12  Encourage each other  Meditation – the power of stillness and silence  Practice positive thinking  If I take this one step at a time, I can get this done!  This will help make our customer’s experience easier, better, etc.  Perform creative tasks during breaks (fingerpainting, sketching, listening to/playing music)

13  Keep a time diary for a week  Create SMART goals  Specific  Measurable  Attainable  Relevant  Time-Bound  Create To-do lists (daily, weekly)  Set up appointments for yourself for success (exercise, stress management, etc.)  Schedule your priorities. DO NOT prioritize your schedule.

14  Delegate!  Keep your work area clean. The average person wastes more than 20 min a day looking for misplaced items!  Learn to say “No”  Control time consuming communication habits  s  Meetings (more or less)  When your doors are open to coworkers, visitors, etc.

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16  Employees are alert, creative, responsive, physically and mentally healthy  Employees manage time well and are resourceful, and work processes are efficient  Workplace policies make it easy to eat well and get physical activity at work  Employees communicate effectively with each other  Employees are generally happy to be at work!  In financial terms, the bottom line is improved  The business thrives as a whole

17  Take your breaks!  Get up and move around on your minute breaks  Lunch breaks: Eat for half of your break and do light exercises, stretches, or stress management techniques for the latter half  Feel too busy for breaks? You will likely be more productive if you use your breaks!

18  Keep live plants or even pets!  Set up ergonomics for your desk  Display a proper sitting posture diagram

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20  Heel raises and toe raises (sitting or standing)  Hip openers  Shoulder shrugs  Neck rolls  Smile (big toothy smile!)  Chair dips and/or wall push up  Chair squats or wall sits  Hip circles  Yoga you can do at your desk

21  Strategies to improve your work environment practices  Enforce breaks – employees are more likely to be productive if they take breaks  Put up pictures and signs that promote healthy eating and exercise  Role model, if you are in a leadership role  Promote group exercise  Encourage stretching and fitness breaks

22  Reduction.html Reduction.html  Sign up for the Bucket List Challenge online!  Sign up for personalized health coaching online. A health coach will contact you to determine if you are eligible!  Do you want additional help in stress management? Call us in for assistance with the programs we can offer you at or


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