Kari Reopening l. Stress and its Relevance in my Personal and Professional Life Stress is “the psychological response to demands when there is something at stake for [an] individual, and when coping with these demands would tax/ exceed the individual’s capacity or resources. ” I believe stress is relevant to anyone’s life, but is particularly relevant to university students, who have many different stress coming from many different sources. Stress are “demands that cause people to experience stress. I believe for me, these stress come in a few different categories: academics, extra- auricular activities, family life, and friends. All of these cause strains: the negative consequences of the stress response. Throughout my academics, the majority of the stress I experience are challenge stress; I look at them as opportunities for growth and achievement. One specific example of a challenge stress at school is my final accounting examination which forces me to be able to understand new concepts and be able to apply them.
Since I plan on pursuing accounting as a career, this exam is not something I look at as unnecessary or useless. I know that if I do well n it, it will be the results of my hard work and will encourage me to continue look at as hindrance stress rather than challenge stress. An example of this is business history readings. I do not think these readings will help me at all in the future once Eve completed this course.
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I also don’t think that the ability to remember facts from the past and being able to regurgitate it on the examination will contribute to my growth, especially since I’m likely to forget everything Eve learned within a month after Eve written the exam. This is obviously my personal opinion; other dents are likely to appraise this as a challenge that will help in them in the future rather than a hindrance. I think the most key stress-related themes that are relevant to my life are: time pressure, family time demands, and personal development.
I will be mentioning each of these throughout this examination of my own ability to deal with stress. Prior to the case study, I wrote a few surveys to get an idea of my ability to manage stress. First of all, I took the B Assessment in chapter five of our textbook (appendix l). Through this assessment, I found that I am a Type B person, meaning I ensue less stress and am less sensitive to the stress that is experienced. However, I would argue that my sensitivity to stress has increased during the course of this year and therefore I do need to work on managing it more effectively.
The second quiz placed me on the low end of having a good balance in my ability to manage stress (Appendix II). That is, I am not extremely sensitive to stress, but I do not do the best at balancing my academics with my other commitments and maintaining a reasonable stress level. This may lead me to experience psychological and physiological strains. The final quiz ranked me as being relatively able to manage my stress, but not always doing so in the most effective manner (Appendix Ill).
This means that I do not always choose the best coping mechanism of behavioral or cognitive, problem-focused or emotion-focused coping. Clearly, there is room for improvement in my stress management skills. II. Prior to Implementation of Stress Management Practices I will start off by looking at a specific instance where stress was an issue prior to consciously working on improving my stress management skills. I chose to look at the final exam period in my fall semester.
Because this wasn’t one quick situation, but rather during an ongoing period of time, I experienced a lot of stress. According to the transactional theory of stress, individuals go through primary and secondary appraisal when they first encounter a stressful situation. I definitely did a primary appraisal, where I realized how stressful the situation was and its potential impact on my future through my GAP, scholarships, and potentially landing an internship next summer. Next, I went through secondary appraisal where I thought of how to cope with this stress.
I don’t think I did a good Job at all in managing stress. Because of the time pressure I felt (which was hindering to me, not a challenge) as well as the work complexity in some subjects (e. G. Statistics), I did not take any time to personally develop (I. E. I was only doing school work all the time). I think I used behavioral coping the most by sleeping more to avoid thinking about the amount of work I had to do, and attempted to use cognitive coping (trying to look at the work in a more positive light) although I did not do it effectively.
As a result, I do not think I performed the best I possibly could have in my final exams and I also emerged from insomnia, losing weight, highly irritable) because of physiological and psychological strains. Thus the hindrance stress of time had a negative relationship with my “Job” (academic) performance. Ill. Stress Management Strategy I will be working on my coping strategies during midterm period of my winter semester. This is somewhat comparable with final exams in my fall semester, so that I will be able to look at the differences and see if my stress management abilities have improved.
In order to combat stress, I will focus on relaxation techniques and cognitive-behavioral techniques. In order to calm myself to thus reduce stress, I will do activities such as writing in a Journal and meditation at the end of each day. Writing is something that has always helped me even if I didn’t do it with the purpose of reducing stress, so I think this is a very effective technique for me personally. It works to clear my mind and allows me to concentrate my effort on working rather than worrying about the amount of work I have to do.
Meditation isn’t something I’m used to doing very frequently, but I will spend about ten minutes each night trying to empty my mind of stressful thoughts. This is a good time because I often go to sleep in a stressful frame of mind and as a result wake up in a very nervous and agitated mood which prevents me from working effectively. In terms of cognitive-behavioral techniques, I will work on time management (I. E. Not procrastinating) as well as using self-talk to rationalize my stress and put myself in a more optimistic mood about exams and studying.
I will create a study schedule to improve my time management, being sure to allow time for personal development and family time. Personal development includes activities such as extracurricular involvement, church and there religion-related events, and playing piano. Having time for these activities will permit me to think about things other than exams and assignments all the time, and will thus allow me to approach my academics with a more fresh and positive frame of mind rather than in a tense and nervous one.
Self-talk will happen before and after I start studying so that I will associate work with less painful feelings. It will also put me into a positive attitude and an “l can do it” mood so that the work (even the work I see as unnecessary) will seem more like a challenge rather than a hindrance. IV. Implementing the Coping Mechanisms A week before my first midterm exam, I initiated my coping mechanisms. I started off by creating a calendar of the next couple weeks with key assignment, presentation and exam dates.
I planned each day in terms of what I had to accomplish, making sure to leave about half an hour for personal development as well as ten minutes for meditation and twenty minutes for writing. At the beginning, this was very effective. I felt like I was making progress with my work, and I would make sure to always begin and leave studying with some “self-talk” encouraging myself that I could accomplish hat I wanted to do (high marks in exams). This allowed me to deal with the problem itself because with self-talk and reflection through writing, I became a much more efficient worker (e. G. Pent less time expectorating and testing friends). In this way, I used emotion-focused coping which led in turn to problem-focused coping. I think appraise it as a challenge rather than a hindrance. However, near the end of exam period, I adhered less to my schedule and therefore I left less time for personal development and barely any for meditation or writing. This was because I started sing my time less effectively and increased my time spent on Faceable, using my phone, talking to friends, etc. As a result, I became more stressed because I had less time, and time pressure increased.
A lot of my work once again became a hindrance to my success rather than a challenge. I most definitely was not as stressed as I had previously been during final exams of my winter semester, most likely because I’d already gotten through half of my exams and assignment with low levels of stress. This subconsciously encouraged me, and because I knew I had the ability to do well n my exams (emotion-focused coping) I finished exams with in a positive frame of mind. This reflected in my marks – I received an A in organizational behavior, an A in economics, and a 8+ in accounting.
This is in contrast with the marks I received in my final exams in the fall semester when I did not implement the correct coping strategies – a B in statistics, a 8+ in French, and an A in business ethics. Although there is not a really big difference between these marks, there is a clear one and I do attribute them to my stress coping mechanisms. Although they were slightly weak awards the end of exam period, the strength I had at the beginning overcompensated and led me to accomplish my goals of doing well. I also had much less physiological and psychological strain – I was not irritable, I slept well, and I maintained a healthy weight.
All of this was influenced by self-talk, writing, meditation and time management. V. Conclusion Through this investigation, I was able to considerably improve my ability to cope with stress specifically in my academic life. I did this using relaxation techniques (meditation, writing) and cognitive-behavioral techniques (self-talk, time management). I can definitely use these techniques to cope with stress in a lot of different areas (when I have a Job, dealing with many extracurricular activities at once, piano examinations, etc. . I redid the three surveys that I did prior to the experiment. When I did the B assessment in the textbook a second time according to my performance under stress during midterms (Appendix ‘V), my score went down slightly. However, I do not think this assessment was the most accurate. Although it did show my stress level going down, some of the traits (e. G. “l often set deadlines for yeses work-wise”) should be ranked as something that reduces stress because they help with stress rather than negatively affect it.