Effective Ways to Manage Stress


To see a sample of the workshop, click here.

Program Summary

You know what it’s like to experience stressful situations – your palms sweat, your heart races and pounds, your muscles contract, or you feel butterflies in your stomach. It’s uncomfortable. What you want most is to get it over with or avoid it all together.

Stress has a well-known negative side to it. Stress destroys relationships, contributes to failure at work, and leads to physical ailments.

Yet, stress has a positive side too. Stress creates a burst of energy that can get us out of tight situations. Under some stressful circumstances, people have been known to demonstrate super-human strength, increased speed, and quick decision-making.

Another view of the positive effect of stress occurs when we tap into productive tension. Productive tension moves us into action, but not through a sudden burst of energy. Productive tension is different. It motivates us and keeps us engaged in a task.

During this workshop, you will explore both sides of stress – the productive side and the destructive side – as you discover the role of stress in your life and consider strategies for managing it effectively.

Course Contents

Jenga: An Experience of Stress
Learning Objective: Participants reflect on their experience of and reactions to a stress-inducing game.>

What is Stress?
Learning Objective: Participants define stress by understanding the conflict between their internal and external worlds and by differentiating between the three levels of stress: calm, productive, and distress.

What’s Stressing You?
Learning Objective: Participants rate the level of stress they feel in their own lives, and identify the influences and causes.

Two Forms of Distress?
Learning Objective: Participants describe the two forms of stress – chronic and acute.

4 Responses to Distress
Learning Objective: Participants describe the four responses to distress.

Managing Stress/Distress with Breathing
Learning Objective: Participants experience the calming effects of breathing.

Managing Stress/Distress with Self-Talk
Learning Objective: Participants experience the effects of negative and positive self-talk.

Managing Stress/Distress with Body Awareness
Learning Objective: Participants notice their bodily sensations and feelings when experiencing stress and after reducing their stress.

Managing Stress/Distress with Control/No Control
Learning Objective: Participants notice where they can take control and where they don’t have control.

More Stress Management Techniques
Learning Objective: Participants brainstorm stress management techniques and rate them as being healthy or unhealthy.

House of Cards: An Experience of Stress
Learning Objective: Participants manage a stressful situation using the techniques they’ve learned.

Learning Outcome

By the end of this workshop, participants will have explored the two sides of stress – productive and destructive stress. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of the use of productive stress and they will learn techniques for managing destructive stress. They will also develop a plan for managing and minimizing the two types of destructive stress – chronic and acute stress.

Workshop Benefits

The benefits of this workshop include:

  • Debilitating stress most occurs when you perceive that your internal world is being threatened by something in your external world.
  • Stress is usually triggered by external circumstances that threaten your physical, emotional, or psychological safety.
  • Stress can be either magnified or minimized by how you choose to react to the stressor.
  • Productive tension is a primary motivator for taking action.
  • Productive tension is a form of stress that has a positive effect.
  • Productive tension releases creative energy, imagination, and productivity.
  • Stress management techniques help you avoid or minimize the negative impact of stress.
  • Some stress management techniques are designed to help you avoid the experience of stress.
  • Other stress management techniques are to be used to minimize or reduce the immediate experience of stress.
  • Creating a stress management action plan will reduce the negative physiological, emotional, and interpersonal impact that stress tends to have.
  • Stress has a proven link to many physical and emotional ailments.
  • Stress can have a negative impact on personal and professional relationships, work and home environments, and decision-making abilities.


To see a sample of the workshop, click here.