Create Your Own Blog Post Assignment- Then Do It!
So here is my assignment: Write a -NO- Junk Blog Post. This should be a topic of your choice that has been researched and carefully thought out. Research your topic, have it contain more research than opinions, and share what you already knew about the subject and, of course, what you learned.
This assignment came to my attention after reading a blog post from my first C4T Miguel Guglin that I actively follow for his amazing blog posts. In a recent one he said something that sparked an idea for my #12 assignment. He was discussing the purpose of a PLN, "the majority of my PLN isn't about responding to questions I ask, leaving comments, etc. Rather, for them, it's about tagging along on a journey and hopefully learning something...they figure that if I'm writing about it, it's pretty well developed, whether it's a junk blog entry (no research) or something else."
For my assignment I have chosen to focus on the topic of stress and its effects. As the semester draws to a close, many of us experience a wave of intense demands as we "rush to the finish line." I deal with this unnerving dilemma personally and although each semester I am learning to handle it a little better, I still suffer from irritating symptoms such as teeth grinding, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and continual restlessness/anxiousness. During my studies I have learned to develop my study skills to fit my personal learning style better and the more I learn about a subject the less stressed I am about upcoming assessments and tasks.So here is my assignment.
- Learn about stress and its effects.
- Find ways to alleviate stress in your life
- Discover methods of how to handle it when it is impossible to avoid.
Stress is the body's natural response to dealing with pressures and challenges. It is an evolutionary response that increases the body's awareness of possible dangerous events and threats. Now, we no longer are in danger of being eaten by a saber-tooth tiger, but adults and children alike have pressures and challenges to face daily. Some are better prepared to cope with the demands that we are faced to confront while others are less skilled in this area. When faced with large responsibilities that we are not prepared for or events that are too heavy to face alone our bodies respond by increasing heart rate and blood flow to help decision making ability, sending the body into a "fight or flight" reaction. This process is natural and even healthy when experienced in moderation, but is a health risk when continually stimulated.
When the body has been injured, such as a shark attack or a car wreck, the body responds by activating the hypothalamus to produce adrenalin and cortisol which allows for:
- increased blood flow to the brain to aid in decision making
- increased insulin production for a "burst" of energy
- increased blood flow to large muscles and away from visceral organs
- increased ability of clotting in the blood
This causes serious results that may be life threatening, like:
- heart attack
- weakened immune system
- teeth grinding, jaw clenching, headaches
- stuttering, trembling, muscle spasms
- faintness, ringing of the ears
- rashes, unexplained allergy attacks
- stomach problems, pain, heartburn, nausea
- panic attacks, chest pain/palpitations
- frequent urination, anxiety
- depression, mood swings
- changes in appetite
- insomnia, difficulty concentrating
Now that we know more about stress and its symptoms, let's look at ways to avoid it.
Psychologists spend a tremendous amount of time and effort on studying stress and helpful measures to avoid it. Here are some things we can do when we become overwhelmed with stressful situations:
- set realistic goals
- don't over schedule
- get enough sleep
- allow time for relaxing when things are hectic
- get regular exercise
- practice optimistic thinking and attitude
- start small and work up to larger tasks/problems
- nurture a strong support system, ask for help
When dealing with stress we must acknowledge that whatever it is we are dealing with will not last forever. As we face more and more challenges we discover we are stronger than we first realized and hopefully can also see that a little stress motivation can help "push" us to reaching our goals. The most important thing to keep in mind is a positive attitude will make all the difference.
Make your own Stress Prevention Plan
Learn more about stress by visiting the American Institute of Stress website