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Figure 3-8.–Behavior Questionnaire
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Cognitive Restructuring
Analyze the Demands You  should  analyze  the  demands  to  determine whether they are episodic or chronic. Then analyze the controllability of the demand. Analysis tends to put your demands in perspective and take away some of their power to affect you. EPISODIC.–  Demands are episodic if they are short term. You can see the end of the situation or the removal of the demand in the near future. When we determine that a demand is episodic, it becomes easier to deal with because we know it will be over soon. CHRONIC.– Chronic demands are long term and usually require a change in the way we live our life to remove them as stressors. When we find a demand to be chronic, we must look at our habits to see if we can  make  changes  that  will  help  us  live  with  the demand  over  the  long  haul. CONTROLLABILITY.–  We need to look at the demand  to  see  how  much  control  we  have  over  it. We  can  divide  the  demands  into  the  following categories: l  Those  we  control  completely l Those we can influence but not totally control l  Those  we  have  no  control  over If we control the demand, then we have made the decision  to  allow  the  demand  into  our  life.  These demands  should  have  a  long-term  benefit.  Take  a look at the demands that you control. Ask yourself if you really want to keep the demands in your life. If the answer is yes, then you need to develop coping strategies  that  will  allow  you  to  deal  with  them. Demands that you can influence but not totally control are  within  your  power  to  change.  Children  are  a  good example. We  can  influence  them  by  using  good nurturing and parenting skills. Through our influence we  can  minimize  the  negative  distress  and  maximize the positive eustress. Demands  that  you  have  no control over are sometimes the most frustrating. We feel we need some measure of control over things that affect our lives. If you determine that you have no control  over  a  demand,  relax.  There  is  absolutely nothing  that  you  can  do  about  it,  so  it  requires  no action  on  your  part. Your   job   in   dealing   with demands  that  you  cannot  control  or  influence  is preventive   maintenance. Take measures that will lessen  the  impact  of  these  demands. Look at Your Habits We need to be aware of how we usually react to stressful   situations. Do  we  react  mentally  or physically, or a combination of both? Answering this question will help us determine what activities will help us build the most resistance to stress and help us revitalize after dealing with stressful situations. MENTAL STRESSORS.– Mental  stressors  react to  stress  with  their  thinking. They  may  start imagining the problems are larger than they really are. They  may  be  unable  to  concentrate  on  anything besides their current source of stress. They tend to dwell  on  problems. Mental   stressors   need   to participate  in  activities  that  will  engage  their  minds. Listening  to  music,  reading,  and  doing  crossword puzzles  are  examples  of  activities  that  will  reenergize the  mental  stressor. PHYSICAL  STRESSORS.–  Physical  stressors react to stress with their body. They may perspire, increase  their  breathing  and  pulse  rates,  fidget,  pace, feel  sick  to  their  stomachs,  or  get  a  headache.  People who react physically to stress need to have physical activities  to  revitalize.  Activities  such  as  jogging, playing   ball, aerobics,  and  lifting  weights  are examples  of  activities  that  will  help  the  physical stressor  manage  the  effects  of  stress. COMBINATION  STRESSORS.–  Some people may react with a combination of mental and physical symptoms. To realize a healthy level of resistance, they  need  to  engage  in  both  physical  and  mental activities. Organized  sports  are  good  combination activities.  You  need  to  be  mentally  and  physically active  to  participate.  Jogging  while  listening  to  music and memorized exercise routines offer similar relief for  the  combination  stressor. MATCH  YOUR  ACTIVITIES  TO  YOUR STYLE.– It  is  important  to  reenergize  with  activities that  match  your  particular  stress  style.  If  you  are already  enjoying  the  benefits  of  activities  that  match your  style,  continue  to  plan  time  for  them  in  your daily routine. If  you  find  the  activities  that  you normally pursue do not match your stress style, you need  to  try  different  activities  to  maximize  the  benefits of  your  leisure  time.   If you don’t have any activities 3-19

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