Reduction of Stress Essay Example

For this stress reduction assignment, I used the original version found at mindtools.com. Using this stress test, I found out that I had a score of 298 which is, although on the high side, in the moderate chance of becoming ill in the near future. My main stressors were; change in health of a family member, death of a close family member, gain of a new family member, change to a new line of work, change schools/college, and vacation. I believe that there are some stressors that are missing from this scale. Some of these stressors would be; change in your health, birthdays, and weddings. An example of one of these stressors is a change in your own health. Before my grandpa passed away, he had COPD and it was getting worse, although he could still live at home, he had to be connected to oxygen 24/7. That, with deteriorating health can be very stressful. Another example is, my sister was getting married and she was stressed out because she believed that not everything would go the right way and that the wedding would be a disaster. It was not. Finally, a stressor can be a birthday. This can be a stressor because people can be scared to enter another decade. Also, the people shopping for someone's birthday might become stressed on finding the perfect gift to give the person.

I hate to admit it, but when I am stressed, I tend to lash out at people that are just trying to help me, especially my mom. Just a few weeks ago, I was applying for a job and it was a very in-depth application. I got to a question that I was not quite sure what it meant, and I was getting stressed, I asked my sister for help with it and she tried to explain it, but I still could not understand what it meant so I yelled at her to just leave me alone because she was not being a very big help.

When I do not have people around to lash out at I typically just take a break from whatever it is I am doing and turn on some classical music. I also sometimes bring out my violin and just play. Really, I just need a moment to collect my thoughts and this helps me to become less stressed.

According to the article titled, Coping as a Mediator of Emotion, by Susan Folkman and Richard Lazarus, there are two main ways to cope with stress. They are emotion-focused and problem-focused. Emotion focused coping tries to reduce the negative emotional response that is associated with stress. This can be done with distractions, meditation, eating, or even drugs. Problem focused coping is a way to target the source of the stress and tackles the problems leading to the stress. Some things one can do to use this coping strategy is problem solve and manage their time. This typically reduces the amount of stress (McLeod). I think that when I am stressed out, I mainly use emotion-focused coping instead of problem-focused. When I get stressed I usually find a distraction such as Netflix or Hulu. Sometimes I will eat just to take my mind off things. I have also on certain occasions, prayed/meditated. According to Folkman and Lazarus, emotion-based coping has different effects on different age groups. "For example, positive reappraisal was associated with a decrease in distress (in disgust/anger) and an increase in positive feeling (in pleasure/happiness and confidence) in the young group and with a worsened emotion state (more worry/fear) in the older group" (Folkman and Lazarus 11). Although, emotion-focused coping is the most common form of coping, problem focused coping is the best type because it forces the person that is stressed to tackle whatever is stressing them, head on.

With my stress test score being so high, there are some things that can be done to help lower it back to a more normal score. For example, some of my stressors, I cannot do anything about. Examples of these are, death of a family member, gain of a family member and change to a new line of work. I cannot magically make my grandpa alive again and I cannot get rid of my niece, nor can I quit my new job. However, these stressors will become less and less of stressors to me as time wears on. I am not over the death of my grandpa yet, but that will change. In order to reduce my stress score, I can have a more positive attitude about things in life that are not going my way. There are people with higher stress scores than me that have a lot more to deal with. Something else I can do to lower my score is to focus more on using problem-focused coping instead of emotion-focused coping.


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