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Managing Stress (e.g. Exercise, Relaxation and Spirituality) – Stress (PSY)

by Tarry Ahuja, MD
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    00:00 Now, we need to manage stress.

    00:04 And we talked about this U-shaped curved in other sections in this course as well.

    00:10 But here's another example of we have an optimal range.

    00:13 So when there's not a lot of stress, so sub-optimal really low or extremely high, you can note that this is not a good thing.

    00:23 You don't want to be too low and you don't want to be too high.

    00:25 What do you want it that sweet spot where a little bit of stress is actually arousing.

    00:29 And it's priming the system.

    00:31 It's allowing you to confront what's there.

    00:33 And it's allowing you to improve your performance so that you do well.

    00:37 So you are going to try and put yourself in situations and get yourself through resources so that when something comes to you as stressor, you are able to manage it and do well.

    00:49 Now, how do you cope with stress, right.

    00:51 So there's lot of ways to cope with stress and this is by no means an exhaustive list.

    00:55 I wanted to talk about three nice broad bends that are quite common.

    00:59 Probably the number one is exercise.

    01:02 Aerobic exercise in particular because this is actually aerobic versus anaerobic.

    01:07 Aerobic is when you're running and you're alleviating your heart rate.

    01:11 So think of you know, think of yourself in some nice pink tights and doing some aerobics, right.

    01:15 So that is aerobic exercise.

    01:16 And what it does is actually lower blood pressure.

    01:19 It improves cardiac function because it's getting your heart pumping.

    01:21 And increasing the production of neurotransmitters which we'll be talking about later.

    01:25 There are transmitters in your brain which allows you to do what you do, think and remember and communicate.

    01:30 And these are all good things.

    01:32 You can do other things like lower cholesterol.

    01:34 It can sort of other peripheral affects.

    01:37 These are all positive benefits.

    01:38 So I would say the number one answer to almost anything that ails us is almost always exercise is a good thing.

    01:44 Another way it's something called 'Bio feedback." And this is a fancy way of saying your controlling your biological function which might seem almost impossible.

    01:56 But it's doable.

    01:57 You train to control autonomic responses.

    02:00 Things like meditation and yoga.

    02:02 So the premise of behind meditation and yoga and relaxation and breathing are things like, remove all other variables and focus upon yourself.

    02:10 Look at the biological things like breathing.

    02:13 And we know that if you can control and manage your breathing.

    02:17 That in itself will lower your stress response.

    02:20 If you can remove all strenuous side variables and focus on just yourself in bringing your heart rate down, trying to bring your blood pressure down, this in itself will actually help you manage the stress.

    02:31 So very, very useful.

    02:32 And the third is social support.

    02:35 So we know the evidence tells us that if you are suffering from something, it's extremely stressful, whether it's divorce, death, post traumatic stress disorders.

    02:46 Sitting with others who are going through the exact same process.

    02:49 And you showing your past beliefs, problems and issues, is very, very useful.

    02:54 So we say vocalization of thought.

    02:56 So you actually, physically saying the words.

    02:58 I can't believe that my wife loves me for my brother, okay.

    03:03 So you saying that in itself is actually helping.

    03:06 And then when you are sitting at the support group and the guy next to you says, Oh my god! My wife said the exact same thing.

    03:12 And you know all of a sudden you're getting some compassion.

    03:15 You're saying, "Okay, it's not just me." There are all things happening there.

    03:18 It's quite dynamic.

    03:19 But that will help you understand and say, "Okay, this isn't just me and there's some support there, that really helps." Another really useful tool, something called "Expressive Writing." So that's when you open up your journal and you sit there and you write through thoughts.

    03:33 So it could be something simple and benign as, you know you walk through your stressful day.

    03:37 The man on the bus stole my seat and I'm very upset about that.

    03:42 To things like, I can't believe my wife left me.

    03:45 And you write all that down in your book.

    03:46 So that process of actually writing it down.

    03:48 Just like vocalization, we know actually helps in managing your stress.

    03:53 Okay, so to tied it all together, I think, I want you to understand that there are acute versus chronic stress.

    04:00 And we have different ways to manage it.

    04:02 It can impact our emotions and it can impact our behavior.

    04:04 But at the end of the day, we all have to deal with stress.

    04:07 We all have to try and manage stress.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Managing Stress (e.g. Exercise, Relaxation and Spirituality) – Stress (PSY) by Tarry Ahuja, MD is from the course Responding to the World.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Control of respiratory rate
    2. Lowered blood pressure
    3. Raised cardiac output
    4. Increased neurotransmitter levels
    5. Improved cardiac function
    1. Yoga
    2. Writing in a journal
    3. Singing
    4. Dancing
    5. Group counselling
    1. Daily dairy writing
    2. Coloring in a zen book
    3. Attending a kickboxing class
    4. Sleeping
    5. Taking a new class

    Author of lecture Managing Stress (e.g. Exercise, Relaxation and Spirituality) – Stress (PSY)

     Tarry Ahuja, MD

    Tarry Ahuja, MD


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