Hydrocephalus Canada

Reducing Stress - Activity #3

Print PagePrint PageSend by emailSend by email

Role Models and Stress

We learn to deal with stress from our parents and caregivers, who model coping strategies for us. Some are better role models than others.

List three people in your life who you see as role models and briefly describe how each deals with stressful situations.

Think of a recent stressful situation. How did you respond? How would your role models respond to the same situation?


Other leading questions

  1. Does your role model’s response to the situation make sense to you?
  2. Is your response a lot like that of your role model’s? Are just the opposite? Or are they somewhere in between?
  3. Do you have coping strategies to deal with stress? DO they work? Are they effective?
  4. Do you wish you could respond to stress in another way? If so what might that be?
  5. What is important in the outcome?


Additional information

Stress can be good. It can lead to high output, increase your focus/concentration, you become more aware of your surroundings, become competitive and it can help you to achieve good marks at school.

Excessive stress can however cause problems if you don’t cope with it effectively. It can reduce concentration, make it hard to sleep, affect your ability to be safe, and affect your appetite. It can cause irritability, over reactions to normal problems, self-blame, tearfulness, anxiety, depression and panic attacks.

Physical responses to stress include accelerated heartbeat, cold feet and hands, tight muscles, tense shoulders, a pressure headache, dry mouth, clammy hands and or stomach or bowel problems.

Sources of Stress

At Home

An unstable home environment,
parental conflict or divorce,
family money problems,
taking medications,
medical appointments and therapy,
changes in routine, 
being rushed,
sickness (self/family members)
changes in relationships, 
incontinence (bowel and bladder),
family  member diagnosed with terminal illness
distressing world events
and so on.

At School

Trying to fit in,
feeling different,
being teased or bullied,
pressure to perform academically,
dealing with learning difficulties,
not getting along with teachers,
inability to communicate,
changes in routine.

At Work

Pressure to perform
manage deadlines
too many bosses

Strategies for coping with stress

  1. Realize that you have the capability to manage stress and make situations in your life less difficult
  2. Learn to react in ways that do not hurt you. Learn to problem-solve, make adjustments and take care of yourself.
  3. Pause before reacting to stressful situations and think about possible responses and consequences
  4. Respond  creatively, think positively and learn to see stressful situations as opportunities for personal growth.
  5. Remember that fear of catastrophes in the past were often unfounded
  6. Instead of running from stressful situations you can work on ways to respond that allow you to stay in control of your own life
  7. Talk about stress and responses to stress with family, friends, teachers coaches or co workers. A good listener can help sort out your stress.
  8. Learn to relax, take time to rest, exercise, eat healthfully and cut down on caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, pop). When you feel well physically you can cope with stress more effectively.
  9. Control your reactions to stress. This is the key to effective coping.

Everyone has little tricks that they do to help relax and deal with stress in their lives. Some people find that music helps them relax. Some read, or do puzzles. Others watch movies or mindless television. Sports, and being active is a great way to reduce stress. Find that thing that helps you to take care of yourself.