Strategies in Stress Management

Intention and Hypothesis

My chosen technique is a unique combination of standing and stretching exercises. The so-called resilience building technique was developed in response to three major objectives based on my desire to develop a practical daily activity that can help relieve stress or build-up resilience against the negative consequences of stress. First, there is a need to establish a practice or a set of activities that can help the body fight stress and its ill-effects. Second, I came to realize the importance of creating a daily ritual or practice that does not cost anything. Finally, I find it prudent to design and implement a set of activities that compliment my lifestyle and does not disrupt my daily tasks and commitments.

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I hypothesize that at the end of the 30-day exploration period, I will feel generally better than when I started. I also speculate that this improved sense of well-being is attributed to the health benefits of applying a technique based on the perceived health impacts of standing and stretching exercises. In addition, the overall improvement in health is the byproduct of two expected outcomes: reduce weight and the reduction or elimination of the ill-effects of sitting down for several hours that restricted the body’s physical activity. At the end of the 30-day period, I expect to experience a boost in energy and the ability to wear my old shirts and pants due to weight loss.

Personal Exploration

  • Daily Journal #1
    • Nothing went according to plan on the first day. Stretching exercises did not last beyond the 5-minute mark. I was not able to sustain standing for one hour.
  • Daily Journal #2
    • Improvements were made in implementing the stretching exercises. The solution was to let a video play while doing the stretching exercises. I was still unable to stand for more than one hour.
  • Daily Journal #3
    • In the past three days not only did I fail to stand for two hours straight, I was also unable to keep standing for thirty minutes straight. I need to constantly take a break every ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Daily Journal #4
    • I need to modify the planned 10-minute stretching exercise. It must be reduced to a 5-minute stretching exercise. I am still unable to make an accumulated 120 minutes of standing time.
  • Daily Journal #5
    • My body has adjusted to the 5-minute stretching exercise. However, I felt increasing pain in my ankles and the area around the bottom of soles.
  • Daily Journal #6
    • I am beginning to appreciate the 5-minute stretching exercises. My feet hurt and I feel like running out of breath every time I accumulated more than sixty minutes of standing time.
  • Daily Journal #7
    • All I can think of is the constant reminder that my feet hurt. I am tempted to abandon the exploration phase.
  • Daily Journal #8
    • I want to quit because my feet hurt. However, I am compelled to stand because my laptop is on top of the dresser drawer, and I want to watch some videos.
  • Daily Journal #9
    • My feet still hurt but I am building up resistance to the pain. I can stand for 30 minutes straight without taking a break. I have no more problems with the stretching exercises.
  • Daily Journal #10
    • I observed that in the last few days I was able to sleep better or it is easier for me to sleep compared to the previous months of experiencing difficulty in this area. This can be attributed to the added physical activity that makes my body to crave for rest.
  • Daily Journal #11
    • There is a slight reduction in the feeling of pain around my ankles and the soles of my feet. However, I believe that it seems impossible to stand for 30-minutes straight without taking a break.
  • Daily Journal #12
    • I am still unable to break the 90-minute barrier. Needless to say, I am unable to accumulate 120 minutes of standing time per day.
  • Daily Journal #13
    • The pain in my ankles and the discomfort around the general area of the bottom soles of my feet is manageable compared to the past 12 days.
  • Daily Journal #14
    • My feet still hurt but the pain is tolerable. Every fifteen minutes I have to change position. I have to change positions through different ways: sitting on my bed; hunched over, my hands clutching my knees like an athlete gasping for air; and leaning my body on my bedrooms’ wall.
  • Daily Journal #15
    • I was able to log more than ninety minutes of standing time. The pain in my ankles and the discomfort around the soles of my feet persist, but I can manage it.
  • Daily Journal #16
    • I feel a gradual reduction in the discomfort that I feel while standing for several minutes in front of my laptop.
  • Daily Journal #17
    • The pain is now manageable, I can stand for thirty minutes without a need for extended breaks. I am enjoying the feeling of standing up while reading content from the Internet or social media sites.
  • Daily Journal #18
    • I do not feel any significant pain in my ankles and my feet. I do not need to sit down in order to take a break or catch my breath.
  • Daily Journal #19
    • I am able to log ninety minutes of standing time without feeling the need to quit or get frustrated due to the pain in my ankles. However, the 90-minute exercise was not completed without breaks.
  • Daily Journal #20
    • I am no longer bothered by pain. I still need to take a break after more than thirty minutes of standing while using the computer. I prefer not to sit down, and I usually walk around the room or go downstairs to drink a glass of water.
  • Daily Journal #21
    • I have to modify the plan that requires me to log 120 minutes while using the computer stading up. I do not think it is a practical goal.
  • Daily Journal #22
    • I feel invigorated because of the said technique. I am not as lethargic as in previous months. I am sleeping better now.
  • Daily Journal #23
    • I need to know if it is an effective weight loss mechanism. I took out some of my old clothes from the dresser drawer. These clothes were purchased two years ago and in storage because they no longer fit. I tried a few shirts on and I am surprised to find out that they fit. But I may have to make an accurate documentation of my weight loss experience.
  • Daily Journal #24
    • I am surprised to discover that I can stand forty minutes straight without feeling any discomfort.
  • Daily Journal #25
    • I felt invigorated and happy. There is an overall feeling of satisfaction in accomplishing something that was once considered an impossible task.
  • Daily Journal #26
    • I have to readjust my expectations in attempting to log 120 minutes of standing time in a span of 3 hours. It is not possible to accomplish this task.
  • Daily Journal #27
    • I feel better and I think that my posture has improved. The most significant change is the absence of lower back pain.
  • Daily Journal #28
    • I can breach the 90-minute mark under a two-hour period. I only require two or three breaks.
  • Daily Journal #29
    • I can log 90 minutes of standing time without the need to sit down. However, I still need to prevent injury by pacing around the room or going down to eat or drink.
  • Daily Journal #30
    • I was able to establish a routine comprised of a a 5-minute stretching exercises and a 90-minute standing exercise.

Scholarly Inquiry

The Importance of Building Resilience to Combat Stress

The development and implementation of the aforementioned “stress resilience building technique” was borne out of the need to combat the ill-effects of stress. It is also critically important to cope with the consequences of stress experienced in daily life. The failure to cope leads to mental, physical, and emotional problems. One can argue that there are two major sources of stress. First, the challenges and constraints experienced by people pressured to accomplish certain tasks. Second, the anxiety caused by imagine fears or real concerns. With regards to the first, consider the stress caused by the daily grind of regular activities in the school, office or factory. The repetitive activities can cause a great deal of stress in the same way that unemployment worries and financial difficulties can weigh us down.

Stress is the consequence of a perceived inadequacy to cope or solve personal problems. Stress can also come from health problems that resulted from unhealthy lifestyles. Consider the effect of not getting enough physical activity because of the need to spend several hours poring over documents or typing on a keyboard. However, concerns over finances and deteriorating health can become sources of major stressors in life.

A survey sponsored by an association of American psychologists revealed the top five triggers of stress for American citizens:

  1. the state of the nation’s health;
  2. the nation’s economy;
  3. government-related issues;
  4. crime;
  5. terrorist attacks (American Psychological Association 1).

Although anxiety is a root cause of stress, health related issues are also critical triggers. Thus, it is best to develop a practical solution that focuses on the health aspects of stress.

The creation of a unique resilience technique by combining standing and stretching exercises was a byproduct of the need to develop a practical routine. Roger Walsh, representing the University of California’s Irvine College of Medicine, made the remark that almost all intervention strategies do not consider the impact of lifestyle factors (579). In my case, I realized that it is imperative to integrate the things that I do on a daily basis with whatever intervention strategy that has to be implemented to improve my health and well-being.

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The same association of American psychologists made the revelation that almost forty percent of Americans are unable to manage the stressors in their lives (American Psychological Association 4). Thus, the resilience technique described earlier was incorporated into my daily habits, such as, the need to consume media content from websites and other social media platforms.

Standing and Stretching Exercises as Components of an Effective Resilience Technique

A review of related literature finds scientific support for the so-called “stress resilience building technique.” In a study concerning the energy expenditure of elementary school students, the researchers were able to prove that students using “stand-biased desks” or school furniture that encourages them to stand instead of sitting down to perform school-related task was an effective method to increase the amount of calories consumed in order to prevent obesity (Benden et al. 9361). A senior editor of the Harvard Health Publishing website also made the assertion that spending more time standing as opposed to sitting down can help lower blood sugar, reduce weight, and lower cholesterol levels (Ferrari). With regards to the stretching exercises, this activity finds support in the review of literature.

According to the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, stretching forms part of a well-rounded exercise (Page 109). In another source of information, the American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine published an article stating that stretching exercises prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (Gasibat et al. 27). These scientific discoveries justified the design of my resilience technique.

Health Promotion Strategy

It is important to invest in the construction of “stand-biased desks” designed to help college students, the faculty, and staff of a particular learning institution in fighting the ill-effects of stress. These customized desks are placed in specially-designated areas of the library, offices, and classrooms. The computers provided with the said furniture will play a video explaining the benefits of standing as opposed to siting down while reading articles or watching videos.

This will encourage the students, the faculty and staff to try a new routine. Pamphlets and brochures are also made available so that the target population can bring the published materials home and read them. I will seek support from the school board and other influential leaders of the community to initiate a seminar regarding the health benefits of the said resilience building technique.

Works Cited

American Psychological Association. Stress in America: Coping with Change. 2017. Web.

American Psychological Association. Stress in America: The State of Our Nation. 2017. Web.

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Benden, Mark, et al. “The Evaluation of the Impact of a Stand-Biased Desk on Energy Expenditure and Physical Activity for Elementary School Students.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 11, no. 1, 2014, pp. 9361-9375.

Ferrari, Nancy. Standing Up for Better Heart Health. Harvard Health Publishing. 2015. Web.

Gasibat, Qais, et al. “Stretching Exercises to Prevent Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders – A Review Article.” American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, vol. 5, no. 2, 2017, pp. 27-37.

Page, Phil. “Current Concepts in Muscle Stretching for Exercise and Rehabilitation.” International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, vol. 7, no. 1, 2012, pp. 109- 119.

Walsh, Roger. “Lifestyle and Mental Health.” American Psychologist, vol. 66, no. 7, 2011, pp. 579-592.

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