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    This collection is included inLens: Siyavula: Life Orientation (Gr. 7-9)
    By: Siyavula

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Hints on handling stress

Module by: Siyavula Uploaders. E-mail the author

LIFE ORIENTATION

Grade 8

HANDLING STRESS

Module 14

HINTS ON HANDLING STRESS

Activity 10:

  • There are various other methods that can help to control stress. If you follow a healthy lifestyle and you get on well with other people you are basically sound.
  • Here are some more suggestions to help you. I will mention them briefly. It isn’t difficult to find out more about these methods. Find out about them on the Internet or in the library, or ask someone.

Correct breathing is much more important than most people realise. When you become anxious, concentrate on breathing deeply and slowly. Breathing out should take longer than breathing in. Breathe in and hold your breath for five seconds, then breathe out slowly for eight seconds. Slow, deep breathing has a calming influence. When people are very tense, they breathe faster and their breathing becomes shallower, which could cause hyperventilation or fainting.

If you couple the correct breathing methods with muscle relaxation exercises, you can really achieve deep relaxation. Start with simple exercises. Draw up your shoulders as high as possible, and hold for about five seconds. It causes you to breathe more difficultly, doesn’t it? Relax, let your shoulders drop and allow your arms to hang loosely. Move your fingers and breathe deeply. It feels better already, not so? One can apply this technique to one’s whole body. Start with your feet and contract the various groups of muscles tightly for five seconds, then relax and breathe deeply. Work through all your muscles in this way and then relax your whole body. Make sure that you are lying down or that you are in a comfortable position, and don’t jump up – you might fall down! Open your eyes slowly and move slowly.

Spoil yourself by going for a massage. Ask the masseur to use natural oils that promote relaxation, and feel how those stiff muscles loosen up. A good reflexologist who concentrates on reflexes and other pressure points can bring about deep relaxation. But beware of untrained people!

If your stress levels are out of control, you should consult a clinical psychologist. Such a person will have various methods of helping you. If he / she should recommend that you take medication, use it as prescribed. Don’t try to self-medicate with all kinds of junk remedies.

Some more common sense advice: avoid people who always try to push you deeper into the mud. Those friends who never have anything but negative comments to offer

and always see only the worst in everything are not what you need if you are experiencing stress. Such people thwart your efforts to exercise positive thinking. Learn to say no to things that harm you, and yes to a successful life.

Keep a notebook and make a cross for each negative thought. Replace each negative thought with a positive thought. Reward yourself when the number of crosses decreases. A negative thought pattern must be broken, otherwise your stress levels will simply climb and you may become depressive.

Use the problem solving techniques that you learn at school to approach your problems objectively. Then you transfer the problem from the “emotional centre” to the cognitive, as it were. So you succeed in distancing yourself from the problem and seeing it in perspective.

Do something unusual – take up dancing and have a ball. It will have the added benefit of improving your posture.

Make sure that your expectations are realistic. You may be expecting too much of yourself, your parents and other people. Perfectionists spend their lives being anxious about making mistakes, or constantly overreact about the mistakes other people make. Chill! How else can one learn? Only through trial and error, as the saying goes. Remember, if you have made a mistake, set it right as soon as possible. It isn’t the end of the world. There is nothing so dreadful that it should mess up your life. The bad times don’t last. Terrible disappointments are worked through and accepted. The human being is a tough creature and life is good! Enjoy it sensibly.

  • Let us see how many of these stress control methods you use:

Complete this table in full:

(You could possibly use it for your PORTFOLIO.) Place a tick in the relevant column. Write down all the methods that are briefly mentioned in this module.

Table 1
Methods Do it always Do it often Do it seldom Never do it
Healthy eating plan        
Enough exercise        
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
  • Can you come to any conclusion?

[LO 3.5]

Assessment

Table 2
Learning outcomes(LOs)
LO 3
Personal DevelopmentThe learner will be able to use acquired life skills to achieve and extend personal potential to respond effectively to challenges in his or her world.
Assessment standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
3.1 analyses and discusses factors which influence self-concept formation and self-motivation;
3.2 reflects on appropriate behaviour in different kinds of interpersonal relationships;
3.5 designs and implements a personal plan for preventing and managing stress.

Memorandum

Activity 10:

General review:

Hints on handling stress

Assessment exercise

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