THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE|
Stress Management and Guided Imaged for Teen's and Adult.
Teenagers, like adults, may experience stress everyday and can benefit from learning stress management skills. Most teens experience more stress when they perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful and they do not have the resources to cope. Some sources of stress for teens might include:
Some teens become overloaded with stress. When it happens, inadequately managed of stress can lead to:
- School demands and frustrations
- Negative thoughts and feelings about themselves
- Changes in their bodies
- Problems with friends
- Unsafe living environment/neighborhood
- Separation or divorce of parents
- Chronic illness or severe problems in the family
- Death of a loved one
- Moving or changing schools
- Taking on too many activities or having too high expectations
- Family financial problems
When we perceive a situation as difficult or painful, changes occur in our minds and bodies to prepare us to respond to danger. This "fight, flight, or freeze" response includes faster heart and breathing rate, increased blood to muscles of arms and legs, cold or clammy hands and feet, upset stomach and/or a sense of dread.
- Upset stomach, diarrhea, or indigestion
- Headache, backache
- Insomnia (inability to fall asleep)
- Eating too much or too little
- Feeling hostile, angry, or irritable
- Feeling anxious,
- Feeling aggress
- Avoiding other people
- Feeling frustrated with things that normally only bother you a little
- Poor coping skills
- Drugs and /or Alcohol use
The same mechanism that turns on the stress response can turn it off. As soon as we decide that a situation is no longer dangerous, changes can occur in our minds and bodies to help us relax and calm down. This "relaxation response" includes decreased heart and breathing rate and a sense of well being. Teens that develop a "relaxation response" and other stress management skills feel less helpless and have more choices when responding to stress.
Guided imagery, a technique used for centuries, is now increasingly being used in personal, professional and healthcare settings as a powerful tool for stress management and coping.
Guided imagery is a mind-body intervention aimed at easing stress, and promoting a sense of peace and tranquility at a stressful or difficult time in someone's life. It is a process of incorporating the "power of the mind" to assist the body to heal, maintain health or relax by way of an inner communication involving all senses, (i.e. visual, touch, smell, sight, sound). It forms a balance between the mind, body and spirit.
Certain symptoms and illnesses seem to be more receptive to imagery than others. Relaxation is essential for imagery to be successful as it allows the mind to be open and receptive to new information. Not only does it reduces muscle tension, but also enhances the production of images and triggers the unconscious, which stimulates the emotions. Research suggests that the physiological impact of relaxation may be the result of its effects on cortisol, a hormone released by the body in response to stress. Although the release of cortisol is helpful during the "fight or flight" response, its continual, prolonged release in response to daily stresses can inhibit the immune system and slow tissue repair.
It has been shown that when the mind is still, it is clear and more open to suggestions. It is then able to cooperate in positive images and suggestions that may enhance physical and emotional healing. Therefore, imagery is most successful when the mind and body are quiet and still. Imagery induces an "altered state" that enables messages to travel more easily from our minds to our bodies.