Managing Stress In the Workplace | Dan Guerra, Psy.D. | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (54m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Stress Indicators

    • 3. PMR Practice

    • 4. Action Plan and References

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

If we don't understand stress, we may become a slave to it.

Stress in the workplace is rampant.  How we manage stress for our own well being but also to more effectively address our objectives in business is key to being a valuable employee, an effective manager and a strong leader.   Too often, we ignore the impact that unmanaged stress can have on the bottom line. This is because we may have a common tendency to overvalue results at the expense of relationship----with ourselves and with others..  Managing stress involves addressing the relationship with ourselves while we work as well as addressing how we are relating to others--down, up, or across the corporate hierarchy.  


In this class, you will learn the following:


  • A cursory understanding of stress and the nervous system.
  • How to identify signs and symptoms of stress in yourself.
  • How to identify triggers and scenarios in the workplace that lead to unmanaged stress.
  • Introduction to the first tangible point in the effective management of stress.
  • Learn one evidence based method to manage stress in the body.
  • Start an action plan to manage stress more effectively at work.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dan Guerra, Psy.D.

Psychologist, Author, Executive Coach,


"We do not have to be slaves to our own minds. We can make changes at ?any time," says Dan Guerra, Psy.D., a leading expert in behavioral ?change and stress management. Dr. Guerra's innovative treatments help? people emerge better versions of themselves so they're more fulfilled? in their personal relationships, successful in their careers, and they enjoy an ?overall improvement in the quality of their lives.

Dr. Guerra's unique approach draws on traditional psychotherapy,? Eastern philosophy, mind-body approaches, and the dramatic arts to? tailor treatments to his clients. His tireless pursuit of healing and? freeing people from negative behavioral patterns has led him down many? different avenues. Dr. Guerra is a psychologist, psychotherapist,? mindfulness meditation teacher, e... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hello. My name is Dr Dan Guerra. I'm a clinical psychologist with a private practice based in Manhattan, New York City. I'm also the co author of a book entitled From Stressed to Centered. A Practical Guide to a Healthier and Happier You. I do some executive coaching as well, both for individuals and teams in the areas of leadership, development, work, life balance and stress management. This class will address stress in the workplace and will be the first of a series of classes. So first we'll learn a bit about what stress really is, and maybe what it's not, and how to identify stress triggers in your life and also some practical skills that will teach you how to manage stress better both personally and professionally. And then we'll finish up with the introduction of an action plan, and this will be developed so that you can hold yourself accountable to your own goals. In the area of stress management and work life balance, I have found that it really takes very little toe learn how to manage stress effectively. In other words, it doesn't take a lot of arduous work or burdensome amounts of time to have a positive impact in your life. But it does take a bit of willingness, commitment and regular application on your part in order to reach some level of success. The strategies that I'm going to show you, our evidence based, time tested and they definitely work when applied. Your job is really at first to just get a cursory understanding of these practices. And then Teoh put them into play to apply the regularly and have a way to measure the impact of the technique first, by writing down your experiences as a beginning point to help you hone in to what's working and to what extent it's work. Stress in the workplace usually manifests and things like workload level time demands, difficult conversations and sometimes difficult coworkers or supervisors. I'm sure some of you out there can relate to that. Stress also has a component in the workplace that's related to changes that are going on outside. For example, changes in the organization or poor communication that's out of our control and sometimes another relatable experience. Something like the right hand doesn't really know what the left hand is doing. How many of us have been in a situation like that before. I know I have. So before we delve into those specific work issues, which will also tackle in later classes were first must have an understanding of the basics of stress and how it shows up in us. This is really the starting point because, after all, we can try to focus on the external events that are bringing stress into our life. But really, it's the internal ones that we have somewhat more of control over and a chance of changing directly. So this class will be the first of a series of classes that I plan to develop that will expose you to a wider range of techniques and practices and hopefully levels of understanding that can help you develop a broader and deeper range of tools and practices to apply for stress management and also to address a variety of different contexts and situations. So we're about to begin with ah, few slides to introduce these concepts, and as I mentioned, we're gonna end with a really nice practice that I hope you'll enjoy 2. Stress Indicators: Hello, Just welcoming you again to the class entitled Managing Stress in the Workplace. Class one. My name is Dan Guerra and I'll be your instructor today. So here are the class objectives. First, we're going to take a look at exactly what is stress. I think it's important to define what it is we're trying to manage, so we know what to look for. Then we'll move on to identification of stress and stress triggers. That is, what are the symptoms and signs of stress within me that I can pay attention to and address when learning some skills. Then we'll take a look at one evidence based technique in the realm of stress management and do a deeper dive on that. And finally, what is an action plan? And how can we put that in place to better meet our goals? So let's take a look at some stress statistics. These were taken from Stress in America. Survey is conducted by the American Psychological Association from 2013 to 2017 and as we take a look at these, just let the stress stats sink in a bit. See would resonates with you in your work life experiences or even in your personal life. So chronic work stress is reported by over 1/3 of American workers, and greater than eight in 10 Americans are attached to their gadgets. On a typical day, I'm sure many of us might relate to this. 86% saying they constantly are often checking emails, texts and social media accounts. Money and work remain the top two sources of either very or somewhat significant stress. Almost 1/3 of adults are reporting that stress has a very strong impact on their body or physical and mental health, 35% indicating communication tech. And just that expectation of always being on makes it impossible to stop thinking about work, also contributing to stress. So what is stress? We can see that it has a significant impact on our life experience, including our health and well being. So there's lots of definitions, and each one has merit. Let's take a look at a few here and again, just see how these resonate with you throughout the class today. You might hear me say, you know, take a moment and see how this resonates with you or what feeling or experience this leaves you with that approach that I offer is the beginning, actually, of stress management. It's an invitation to be self aware and to be connected not only intellectually or rationally to what we're talking about, but experientially and emotionally so what it is that you're doing at the moment. So one definition of stresses that it's a physical, mental or emotional strain or tension. A second definition is that stress is a physiological or psychological response to a stressor beyond what is needed to accomplish a task that is that the response sort of is disproportionate to the situation. Let's say third stress can be a persistent psycho physiological condition that results from , ah, perception that sustained of a threat to survival. So it's the continual experience that you're being threatened. Your survival is at stake, and this translates into a psycho physiological condition. So perhaps the most compelling definition, and one that we can work with today is that stress is any change that you have to adapt to . And as you know, we're always needing to adapt to change in this world because change really is the only constant, and as many of you can probably relate, particularly when reflecting on your work experience. That change is the only constant is really the Golden rule or the golden experience? Let's say so. Along with stress comes many changes within the body and the brain as well. So let's just take a quick look and don't worry too much about this nerdy brain chart here . I just wanted to give us a bit of background and what happens with the nervous system when we're under stress. So here you have the brain and you have the central nervous system in the middle of the slide and part of that nervous system is another branch called the autonomic nervous system . The autonomic nervous system, or a N s is broken up into the parasympathetic branch on the left and a sympathetic branch on the right. So the autonomic nervous system is what we have learned now in our modern vernacular, to refer to as the fight or flight rest and digest dimension of our nervous system. Sympathetic branch again on the right, is associated with the fight or flight response, and this is very necessary to our survival. The fight or flight response helps us to deal with imminent threat. Let's take a look at what happens here so you can see that the biological indicators such as dilation of the pupils toe, let more light in and the inhibition or the slowing down of saliva, because digestion is secondary at that moment to survival and glucose increases to bring energy quick energy to the body so that we can flee or fight and in the heart beating faster to move the blood and oxygen to the larger muscles. So why is this happening? Back in the earlier time when we were living in harsher conditions, this might have translated into wild animals that were about to attack or other humans who might have wanted to destroy or fight us and other threatening situations. So today we still experienced fighter flight in times of threat. Thank goodness we need that. But the problem now is that unfortunately, we are over assessing threat in a variety of situations that might not actually be so threatening. And this can cause something that we refer to as sympathetic nervous system over responding . What happens when we earned a great deal of stress is that the sympathetic nervous system branch kind of takes over and we can be in danger of living under constant and increasing stress. Or, in other words, we move from momentary stress to distress. So the parasympathetic branch on the left is probably obvious to you at this point. The opposite indicators in the body and brain that tell us that it's now OK to rest and digest that the threat has been removed and it's okay to relax so clearly. Salivation and digestion is restored, heartbeat slows, pupils can now constrict, and we can live with less light, etcetera. And this balance or this needed balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system is really what we're shooting for. If we're living in a society in which we are that is constantly aligning with sympathetic nervous system over responding, and we need to find ways to help the parasympathetic branch, the rest and die jet just mode to be more available to us easily access and so on. Also, there are more hormones involved with stress than you might first realize hormones and neurotransmitters and the ones at the top of the slide. Epinephrine, cortisol and adrenaline are most associated with stress and other processes in the brain. Serotonin and dopamine are also related to stress, but as well mood, stabilization and feelings of satisfaction, well being and happiness contentment. So let's launch into how we can begin to identify signs and triggers within ourselves that tell us that we may be experiencing stress that could lead to distress. As you can see from this slide, stress shows up on various levels physiologically emotionally, their cognitive or thinking factors that contribute to stress and also stress shows up. Behavioral e Let's take some examples so physically we may see things like rapid heart rate without physical exertion, chronic headaches, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, you could experience in digestion, vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, dryness of the throat and mouth, or even things like nausea, dizziness, feeling exhausted or drained. And that experience of having we say, butterflies in the stomach. All physical indicators. Emotionally, you may experience apathy or feeling of being on edge, irritable mood quicker to anger, anxiety, fear of failure. We're feelings of loneliness or isolation in the cognitive or thinking realm. We find things like trouble concentrating or forgetfulness. Negative thinking. We're dwelling on negative thoughts, racing thoughts being easily embarrassed or preoccupation with self and in extreme examples , thoughts of suicide or self harm and behavioral e. We can notice things like poor judgment, like the use of alcohol or drugs to distract us or relieve us from stress emotions like anger and sadness, sleeping more than usual. Nervous ticks, nail biting or being easily startled, or even isolating yourself from others or procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities. Let's look at some signs of moderate to high levels of stress. This list is not exhaustive, of course, but can help you to begin to think about where you might fall in the range of stress. Maybe a little bit more, maybe a little bit less and how its showing up for you. So some questions and comments you can ask, You know, Are you feeling out of control or overwhelmed? Having difficulty concentrating or remembering things? Have you been more accident prone recently experiencing headaches or dizziness, frequently feeling tired or lacking energy? More incidents of crying or quicker to cry, irritability, experiencing feelings of depression, helplessness, anxiety or panic? Have you noticed out of character responses, increased road rage or snapping or yelling at co workers? Children Well after you can identify what might be operating for you personally, we can begin the process of managing stress better and particularly at the workplace. Well, the first level really has to do with cultivating awareness. An awareness could be developed in three important areas or touch points, if you will, that are an integral and regular part of everyday experience. For today. We'll look at one of those touchpoints and that is the body, the body. We wear it every day. If you could think of it that way, it's with us all the time. It's very accessible and and one might argue it's really the first level off our awareness and experience of self. You remember a few moments ago we discussed physical indicators of stress. Well, today we're going to focus on the body as one area, we can begin cultivating awareness so that we can begin to change the physical impact of stress on our lives. The other two areas are breath and mind, which will address in future classes as a follow up to this one. Now, with breath, we begin to harness our awareness and skill with breathing and breath control exercises, which can be very powerful incumbent, combating the negative aspects of stress on many levels. And lastly, we'll look at mind and by mind here, I mean, how our thoughts and our inner dialogue impact worry and stress and our internal experience as it pertains to stress. So, as mentioned, will look at breath in mind in more detail in future classes. Okay, so this is the fun part. At least I think so. In that it's where we put the ideas and notions about stress into practice. So I'd like to introduce to you one of the evidence based techniques that will address stress in the body. And that's called progressive muscle relaxation, also known as P M R. Now, most people really enjoy this practice s I hope you will. And before we begin, let me outline a few guidelines for you before we begin. So this is a practice where you do not need to necessarily achieve anything. I hope that comes as somewhat of a relief. Simply play the audio portion which comes up next and follow the initial instructions as best you can, and then just listen and follow. You cannot fail it. This and so for once in our lives. Let's turn off that judging mind as best you can and allow yourself to measure your success simply by participating in the practice, not on how well you relaxed or how well you think you did the practice or any of that sort of thing. This kind of shift in our attention and way of being is part of the stress management practice. So give it your best shot. Now. This practice will take about 28 minutes or so, so try to give yourself ample time to do it without being interrupted. Pick a quiet, relaxing space to practice with dim lighting if possible, so enjoy it and try not to skip ahead. Actually go through the whole practice, and at this point, when you're finished with the practice, come back and finish the rest of the slides for the class. 3. PMR Practice: My name is Dan Guerra. This stress management practice is known as a progressive muscle relaxation. It's also called P M. R. In this practice will be tensing and releasing certain muscle groups in the body. This practice will help you to relax the body and the mind. Just one word of caution. This is a tensing and releasing exercise. However, If you're having pain of any sort in the body and particularly in the area of the body that we're focusing on, please do not tense that area. When the instructions tell you to tense the area, just focus on the release. Before beginning the practice of PMR. Decide whether you would like to do the practice from a chair, seated position or lying on the floor. You can lie on the floor on a yoga mat or a rug, as long as it's a fairly firm surface. Do not do this practice while lying on your bed. Let's assume for now that you'll do the practice from a seated position. Okay, she is parallel to the floor, and your feet are flat on the floor. Become aware of your natural breath. Don't try to manipulate your breathing in any special way just observing your natural breath. Now become aware of your hands. Just take a deep inhalation as you inhale. Just clench your hands into fists and hold the breath for a moment or two. Now slowly exhale the breath, and as you exhale, release the hands. Totally feel the difference between tension and relax ation good. Once again, gonna inhale. And as you inhale, slowly bring your hands into fists and hold it there. Not tensing so much that you're moving into pain, but just tensing and holding good. And then exhale and release the hands. And as you release the hands, notice the difference between tension and relaxation. Now bring your attention to your wrists. Inhale the breath and as you inhale with your hands, flat an open. Bend your hands at the wrists joint so that your fingertips point up toward the ceiling, creating some tension in your forearms. Once again, hold the breath for a moment or two and just notice the tension. Study it, and now, as you exhale, release, release the breath and the tension and just relax the hands and wrists completely good once again tensing the forearms by lifting the fingertips up toward the ceiling, holding that tension, noticing it, focusing on it and then exhale and release. And as you exhale, you should time the release of your hands with your exhale and just let go. So nice to begin to feel some relax ation spreading through the hands, wrists and forearms. Now bring your attention to the bicep muscles taken, inhaled breath now and bring your fingertips up to the front of your shoulders. Intends your bicep muscles here. That's it. Joe's creating his intention and noticed the tension. Hold the breath and now slowly exhale and release the arms back down in full release. We're timing the release with the Exhale so that you're letting go of the tension as you let go of your breath. Feel the difference between tension and relaxation. Once again, raising the fingertips to the front of the shoulders tends the bicep muscles on an inhale. Hold it, hold attention there and now exhale and release for release. Come comfortable relaxation, spreading now down the arms and into the hands. Become aware of your shoulders. Take a deep inhalation and lift your shoulders up toward your ears. Make sure to keep the rest of the body relaxed. While you do this, lift them and hold the breath sends the breath on the hold and the tension in the shoulders . And now, very slowly as you exhale, release the shoulders very good in the relaxed position. Just breathe normally now, once again, lifting your shoulders up toward the ears as you inhale. And then when you reach the top, hold it, keeping the rest of the body relaxed. Hold it there, and then, as you exhale release, see if you can time the release with your Exhale. Now bring your attention to the back of your head. If you're sitting up against a couch or lying on the floor, it can inhale the breath and gently push the back of the head against the floor or the couch or chair just enough to create some tension in the head and the neck. If this is not the case that you're sitting in a chair with a head rest or lying on the floor, then you can just sense any tension that you might experience in the head and just inhale and just notice that tension there. Hold the breath for a moment or two studied attention now release as you exhale the breath and bringing the head back to normal position, relaxed and not touching anything. Once again, just tensing the head and upper neck. Inhale. Hold attention, their study it and now release as you exhale the breath and notice the difference between tension and relax ation in the head and upper neck. Very good. Now bring your attention to your eyebrows. First. Just notice the space above your eyebrows. Now taken inhaled breath and raise your eyebrows up, creating ripples in the forehead. See the tension? Notice it, hold it now exhale and let the eyebrows fall down to normal position. Feel the relaxation spreading all along the forehead. Once again, inhale and raise your eyebrows up. Field attention in the forehead. Just notice it and hold it there and now exhale and let the eyebrows fall down right into normal position. Good. Bring your attention to the eyes. Inhale deeply and as you in how squeezed the eyes shut so that no light can get in. Squeeze them now as you inhale and hold the breath. Noticed the tension. Now release the breath and let the eyes relax into a normal closed position, feel the difference once again, inhaling, squeezing the eyes shut and holding the breath for a moment. Notice the tension and then exhale and release and just feel the release and feel. Relax, ation spreading through the forehead down into the eyes. Now take this moment here to notice any differences in the body, particularly the eyes, the forehead, upper neck, arms and hands. Bring your attention now to the nose. Inhale and scrunch the nose up, creating a little tension here. You can do this part of the practice by imagining trying to bring all the parts of your face to the center of your nose. Hold attention there. Notice it now exhale and release the tension in the nose. Feel the face flattened out. You can enjoy this relaxation in your face here, once again inhaling scrunching up the nose, creating tension. Here, hold it, hold the breath, study it, and then as you exhale, release the tension once again feeling the difference between tension and relax ation. Bring your attention to the teeth very gently. Allow the teeth to clinch. Not too hard, but enough to feel some tension in the jaw. Inhale and clench the teeth, hold it and noticed the tension. Now exhale and separate the teeth. You can even wiggle the job that from left to right just helping the release. We hold a lot of tension in the jaw, so it's nice to release the tension here once again, allowing the teeth to clinch just a bit. Feeling some tension in the jaw, hold the inhale and keep the teeth clenched. Notice it, see it No exhale and again separate. The teeth can wiggle the jaw and feel the release calm. Comfortable, relax, ation spreading now through the whole head and face. It's nice to have some control over tension and relaxation. Now bring your attention to the lips. Inhale and press the lips together. Hold attention there. Go ahead, press them together. Notice the tension in and around the mouth. Exhale and gently separate the lips on the exhale. Notice the release and relax ation all around the mouth. Now very good. Once again pressing the lips together. Hold attention there as you inhale. See the tension and now exhale and gently separate the lips on the exhale. Good. Let's bring attention down to the neck. Now on an inhale. Judge the chin forward a bit and bring tension in the neck simply by flexing the neck muscles. There's so many muscles in the next, or just feel them and feel the tension and study it. Keep the rest of your body relaxed as you tense the neck, keeping the rest of the body relaxed as you tense. One body part is called differential relaxation. Hold attention there in the neck. Now exhale and with the Exhale, release the tension in the neck. You're in control here of tension and relaxation. With your breath, you're able to let it go. Tell yourself this as you release good once again, inhaling, shutting the chin forward a bit and bringing tension in the neck, feeling the tension. Once again, study it, and then when you're ready, exhale and release that tension. Good. Now bring your attention to the upper back, gently take the elbows and reach them behind the back, almost as if they were going to touch and just feel the tension in the upper back and maybe even the back of the shoulders. Inhale and hold there, notice it and then exhale and just release the shoulders and arms and back to a normal position once again, now inhaling, reaching the elbows back behind the back almost as if they're touching. Hence the upper back region. And hold the breath and then exhale slowly and gently and release. Notice the release and notice the difference between tension and relaxation. Focus your attention on the muscles in and around the chest. Inhale in. Flex the chest muscles as best you can. Whatever way makes sense to you again, keeping your arms relaxed and head and neck. Just feel the tension in your chest and hold it. Now release the tension as you exhale and feel the release. Once again, inhale flexing the chest muscles. Hold the inhaled breath. I feel tension in and around the chest. Study it and then when you're ready, exhale and release all tension around the chest. Feel the release. Notice it as you let go. Bring your attention to the belly, inhale and tighten the belly a bit, almost as if someone were going to give you a little punch in the stomach area. Hold the tension there, brace for it. Notice it noticed the tension and now exhale and release the tension in the belly. Just let it go. Don't hold on to it at all. Many of us hold tension in the stomach area all the time. Let it go. Feel the difference between tension and relaxation and once again inhaling, tightening the belly a bit, Holding the tension there See it, See the tension And then as you exhale your breath, release that tension. Let it all go good now shifting your attention to the lower back, inhale and very carefully flex the lower back muscles. Just maybe arching the lower back. Just enough to feel a little tension there. Hold it and noticed that. Okay, Now exhale and release the lower back. You can even try releasing by rounding the lower back and dipping the tailbone a bit down into your seat. Exhale and let go. Feel the release Very good once again, now inhaling, flexing the lower back muscles and just feeling tension in the lower back region. Notice that and then exhale and releasing once again the lower back exhaling and letting go . Now bring your attention to your buttocks, inhale and, as you inhale, tends the buttocks muscles right there in your seat. Feel it, notice it and studied attention, old attention right there. Now exhale and release the tension in the buttocks as you exhale. Feel that tension just melting into your seat. Let it go completely with the exhale and once again inhaling and bring some tension to the buttocks. And now exhale and release. Feel the difference between tension and relaxation. Bring your attention to your thigh muscles with your feet flat on the floor. Inhale intends the thighs by drawing the kneecap up towards your hips. Flex the thighs. Hold attention right there, of course. Noticed the tension. I see it. Okay, now exhale and release the thigh muscles. Feel the release and the letting go. Remember to experience the release once again. Tense the thigh muscles. Hold attention there as you inhale, holding the breath and now with your decision, Exhale and release and feel the release. Bring your attention now to the calf muscles. Inhale and raise the heels off the ground, creating tension in the calf muscles. Notice the tension here, feel it, study it and hold now. Exhale and release. The tension in the Cavs feel that released Now relax ation spreading through the whole of the legs once again inhaling. Raise the heels off the ground and feel the tension in the calf muscles and exhale. Release the breath and release the tension in the Cavs. And now bring your attention to your feet. Inhale and scrunch of the feet into balls inside the shoes. The feed can hold a lot of tension, so just feel it here, scrunch them up and hold the tension here with your inhaled breath. Exhale now and release the tension, but letting your feet spill out like water into your shoes again, feel them widen and spread out as you release your breath. Very, very good, since the release again inhaling tensing the feet, bringing them into balls and just feel that tension. Notice it, hold it and the next. How and release by letting your feet spill out and widen and you're releasing your breath. Feel the release. Okay, now get ready for a full body scan. We're going to focus on the whole body at once. Inhale slowly and deeply, and, as you do, tends the hands into fists. Bring them up to the shoulders, lift the shoulders, raised the eyebrows, press the lips together, tense the neck and chest belly and buttocks, legs and feet Hold it, Hold it all feel the tension And now with an audible exhale Just release the tension and the body Let it all go and let the bodies sink into the chair on the release and just keep exhaling all the breath out of the body. We'll do that one more time. So you gonna inhale slowly and deeply tensing the fists, bringing them up to the shoulders, lifting the shoulders, eyebrows, lips, neck, chest, belly, buttocks, legs and feet holding it. And when you're ready with an audible exhale Ah, releasing the tension from the body let it go Feel the release Very good. Just feeling all the comfort and relax ation that you've created throughout the body Feel the release Just enjoying feelings of comfort. Stay in the release position Just noticing your natural breath. Now take notice of any changes that have occurred in the body And now the practice of PMR has ended 4. Action Plan and References: Okay. I hope you enjoyed the PMR practice. Now let's talk about an action plan. Developing your personal action plan is the difference between this class being sort of a one time feel good practice versus an integral and continual process of improvement and development that has a significant long term benefit. But my experience in research in the area of change over the last 20 years shows that goals that are written down have a noticeable increase in being met. And people who write down their objectives report greater satisfaction with the changes that they do make rather than those who do not. So an action plan is a plan that requires and supports self accountability. This transfer is the sense of control and agency a bit from external uncontrollable factors to more internal, stable and effective factors. As mentioned, this should be written down, and your action plan should also be reviewed regularly. Let's say once a week or once a month, if you prefer toe edify your method of improvement and for reaching your goals. So for today, let's start with this simple initial action plan. First, get a piece of paper Yes, paper. If you can I know we like to use our smartphones and what not? But there's something about writing that gets to a different part of the brain and using a pen or pencil to put, uh, that down on paper. If you can't do it and you need to type it in, that would be an okay substitute. But if you have a moment to get a piece of paper and pen that is preferred and simply write down these questions and answer them underneath. What are your current goals for managing stress? What are the current obstacles toward meeting those goals? And what can you commit to this week to move you closer to those goals? Current goals congee things like, perhaps lesson worry. I feel less tension in the body or have a better work life balance. But be sure to choose what's most appropriate for you. Current obstacles. This could be anything from getting home too late from work or having others make too many demands on you. Perhaps an obstacle can be a belief that you'll have to put forth the effort. And really, in the end of the day, not much change will really occur. Whatever it is do a really honest look into one of the obstacles for you personally to meet your goals and write those down and last. What can you commit to again? This can be practicing, let's say progressive muscle relaxation 2 to 3 times this week. Or you might be able to commit to just identifying where your stressors lie and in which categories physical, emotional, behavioral so on. Or it might just be spending five or 10 minutes a day, just reflecting on your action plan or goals for managing stress. Whatever it is that you want to focus on wherever you are in your realistic ability to commit, write those down now and in future classes will see if we can deep in this action plan and add to it so you can pause to write down some of these goals and these objectives and commitments right now. And I would suggest doing it now rather than later, so you can really be sure to be on your way. Okay. And these slides we have some references. Uh, I say we in that this was put together by my colleague Dr Gionta and I. We wrote the book bare list of the top from stress to centered. A practical guide to a healthier and happier you. It's available on Amazon if you're interested in has some of the concepts that we talked about today and more listed there and you might want to have a look at that. But there are a lot of great references out there that you can choose from on this slide and the next, and hopefully that will said she want a course to, uh, having some good reading related to stress management. Okay, I'd like to thank you all for attending, and I really hope you enjoy this class and have benefited from learning some facts about stress and also one of many evidence based techniques in combating the negative effects of stress. If you like the class, I hope you'll recommend it to others who might benefit. I put my contact information here. You're more than welcome to reach out to me with any questions or comments or follow up and again, thank you very much for participating. See you soon