Stress Managment and Goal Setting

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The American Institute of Stress Management (2015), define stress as stress refers to a physical condition or else an emotional factor that results in the bodily or mental tension. Stress can either be from within the environment, psychological or social situations (external) or internal (resulting from sickness or medical procedure). Modern societal populations have better health than others do and partly these variations come from the differences that exist in healthcare, nutrition and exercise. Nevertheless, when the three differences are not balanced, they broaden and result in individual suffering as well as dramatic social and economic costs that result in human stress. These problems and the need to improve the health of future generations has led to the increased interest in the study of stress topic by many psychologists. On a personal level, stress influences various aspects of my life that affect my health to the extent of contributing to various health problems. It also plays many more roles such as immensely affecting my relationships and normal functioning, draining crucial energies and affecting my work or performance.

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Summary of Different Studies

Various studies on stress reduction make use of scientific methods in examining human behavior. One of these studies is on how Stress Changes How People Make Decisions. The study makes inference on how one attempt to make a crucial or big decision while at the same time getting ready for a frightening presentation. In concludes that stress feeling influence the manner in which compare risk and reward. The study is aimed at reviewing how people under the influence of stress may concentrate on the upside of the expected outcome. The study review on how people think and make decisions when they are stressed. They conclude that people tend to concentrate more on the upsides other than the downsides and hence increase focus on the positives when under stress. They also conclude that men and women differ in their thinking about risks, as men are more willing to take risks when stress but women are conservative (Association for Psychological Science, 2012).

Another study is on How to Predict Who Will Suffer Most from Stress by Concordia University. (2014). The study aimed to find out who is more vulnerable to stress and this is helpful to professionals that are working to stop stress to help them counter stress levels before hitting a breaking point. The researcher, Professor Jean-Philippe Gouin used a population from university students and studied them during lower stress periods and at higher stress periods during exams. The study finds out that those people who exhibit less heartbeat when they begin to get worried are likely to be stressed. The researcher also concludes that exposure to real threat or misplaced worry can be used as diagnostic tool to determine who is more susceptible to threat (Concordia University, 2014).

Comparison of Studies

Association for Psychological Science (2012) study on Stress Changes How People Make Decisions makes use of the principle of control in stressing situation whereas (Concordia University, 2014) study on How to Predict Who Will Suffer Most from Stress makes use of the principle of stimulation. Association for Psychological Science (2012) finds out that individuals tend to concentrate on the positives when faced with stress as a means of control in making decisions. They also make findings that women tend to avoid risks that are likely to cause stress rather than face them as compared to men. Concordia University (2014) finds out that the body system reaction to stimulation can be used to determine who is more vulnerable to stress. For instance in his study on university students, Concordia University (2014) finds out that the people whose heartbeat is lower when faced with danger are likely to be more stressed as compared to those whose heartbeat is high. The conclusions on these studies in that Association for Psychological Science (2012) focus on the human behaviors ability to control stress and exhibit certain results as far as making a decision is concerned while Concordia University (2014) focuses on reaction to stimuli to determine who is more vulnerable to stress.

Relevance of Studies

The two studies are very relevant to my stress management career. Association for Psychological Science (2012) study helps me in guiding people to make informed decisions when faced with positive or negative experiences. Concordia University (2014) study is very relevant to me in my career to determine the most vulnerable people to stress and how they can intervene the stress situation before they escalate.

Personal Stress Experience

I. Personal Professional Goals

I have a number of personal goals that focuses on the accomplishments that offer happiness and attainment for the people that I am concerned about. The following are my personal goals. Firstly, I want to lose 5 kg by June 2015. To accomplish this, I am not going to eat junk food and will take care of myself and family towards attainment optimum health and wellbeing. Secondly, I am going to pursue my hobbies as well as my career. To achieve this am going to set aside 1 hour daily to learn a foreign language and improve my writing and speaking skills. On top of this, I plan to develop my own blog to offer useful content to my readers. Thirdly, I plan to live my life ethically. To achieve this am avoiding doing anything that will make me feel guilty and set aside 20 minutes daily for my peace of mind.

II. Holmes and Rahe Self-Assessment

From Holmes and Rahe self-assessment, my total comes to 120, which falls on the 0-150 scale. This means my stress level now is low and I have a low chance of illness related to stress in the next 2 years.

III. Results of Self-Assessment and Impact on Ability to Reach Personal Goals

My results are not surprising as have been working towards living a stress-free life by choosing positive lifestyles and goals that are not straining. The results mean that any change to my current lifestyle could lead to stress and, therefore, I need to stick to my plan and ensure any variation to personal or professional goals is to the minimal. This means cannot alter my personal or professional goals.


I. Findings and Relationship to My Own Situation

The two studies have one focused on the how stress influences decision making and the choice between risks and rewards among men and women. The second study looks at how to identify who is vulnerable to stress. The fists study on stress and decision making is very relevant to my situation as it helps me to prioritize between a set of personal goals amid varying conditions that may lead to stress. The second study on how to determine the vulnerability f stress is helpful in determining how to intervene in the case of variations of the factors that contribute to the attainment of my goals leading to increase or change in stress levels. The conclusions of these studies enable me to learn on the two principles of psychology-control and stimulation adopted in the study and my own personal behavior. It can be applicable in controlling situations affected by stress and how to intervene in stress situations.

II. Summary of Ways of Managing Stress

Am going to minimize stress by taking action to change the stressful situations through for instance managing time. Striving to achieve personal goals can be the source of stress in case time is not managed well. Apart from managing time is going to manage my interaction with people in a way that I can manage conflicting priorities with people. Time and people are the two main factors that influence the attainment of personal goals and being able to manage them are going to influence the success of personal goals.

Action Planning

I. DAPPS Goals

a) Health Goal

Dated: My goal is to live a healthy life for the next 1 year and beyond

Achievable: I want to lose 12 kg by the end of this year (in the next 12 months)

Personal: I will live a healthy life this year

Positive: I am working towards living a healthy life because I want to take care of my family to achieve and attain optimum health and wellness

Specific: I am going to lose 1 kg every month for the next 12 months; am avoiding junk food for the next 12 months

b) Creative Goals

Dated: I am going to pursue my hobbies that include reading, painting, and dancing in the next 12 months

Achievable: I am going to have own resourceful blog for my readers in the next 12 months

Personal: I am working towards pursuing my hobbies

Positive: I am going to pursue my hobbies because I want to realize my dream and passion.

Specific: I will devote an hour each day to learn a foreign language; 2 hours to practice and sharpen my writing and speaking skills and I want to have my own blog by the end of the year

c) Societal and Spiritual Goals

Date: I am becoming spiritual and ethical the next 1 year

Achievable: I will not do anything that makes me feel guilty and will respect God by meditating 15 minutes every day

Personal: Am living an ethical and spiritual life

Positive: I am going to always do the ethical things and attend church every Sunday

Specific: I will not do anything that makes me feel guilty; I will not lie, steal, gossip or hurt anyone.

II. Sub-goals that address how to cope with stress

While attempting to achieve the goals set above, I will have to make some changes in life that will result in n stress. Here are a few sub-goals on how I will cope with the stress:

- I will adopt healthy habits on daily basis in order to achieve my health goals

- I am going to eat a healthy diet every day, limit the amount of alcohol I drink, exercising and avoid smoking

- I will have a sense of purpose in my life in order to achieve my societal and spiritual goals

- I am going to connect more with my family and friends as well as my job

- I will find a balance between personal work and family needs to achieve my creative goals. I will start by looking at how I spend my time and avoid things I dont need to do at all

Relationship with Psychological Concepts

To start with, adopting healthy living style relates well to the psychological concept of control as used in my first study. This is because by adopting healthy living style I have to control like for instance my diet. Doing exercise helps relieve pressure from work and hence release stress. Besides, finding a balance between personal work and family relates to both the concept of socialization and control. This is because it affects the process of socialization and control between work and family. Similarly, having a sense of purpose relates to the psychological concept of identity, i.e. who you are and what I want to be and stand for. Accomplishing each of the above goals will enable me to effectively reduce stress. The benefits that come with the management of stress include avoiding stress, avoiding the causes of stress and controlling the manner in which I control stress.


In the current social climate, stress has become something to be accepted as part of our home and work environment. Learning how to manage stress will enable me to take charge of my reactions to external events, people and situations along my path of trying to achieve my goals. While I work towards my personal goals, managing stress enables me find the peace of mind and remain in proactive control of my emotions that tend to get the better of me. My stress management plan will be successful largely. It is based on research studies that revolve around psychological principles of control and stimulation. It relates this to my personal goals to the psychological concepts and action plan on managing stress along the process of achieving personal goals.


American Institute of Stress Managem...

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