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Stress scenario 1: Every morning, as she prepares for her two-hour drive to work, Carole gets a headache.
Carole is experiencing the frustrations of commuting. From the information provided, it does not appear that Carole is actively coping with her stress.
Carole could choose a different route to work that has less traffic volume, listen to calming or soothing music during the drive, and incorporate meditation or exercise as part of preparation for work. Carole would benefit from increasing her social support by carpooling. Carole could realize her internal locus of control which would enable her to predict what triggers her stress on her long commutes and plan for ways to cope with it in a healthy manner.
Stress scenario 2: Jim hates attending meetings at which he might be asked a question. His hands begin to shake at the thought of not having the right answer.
Jim is experiencing anxiety as a psychological barrier to public speaking. Jim has low self-efficacy, believing that he will not have the correct answer increases his anxiety.
Preparing himself prior to the meetings will increase Jim's confidence in his ability to answer correctly and dealing with his irrational beliefs by recognizing that answering a question wrongly is not as tragic as he thinks it is. Jim can increase his self-efficacy by replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Jim can change his view of the meetings from fearing he will answer incorrectly to optimistically viewing the meetings as a learning experience.
Stress scenario 3: Lori's stomach hurts constantly. Lori was married eight months ago, is expecting her first child in five months, and just started a new job after finishing her graduate degree.
Lori is experiencing a lot of major life changes within a short amount of time, with little time for recovery. Although these life changes are positive, they still apply a tremendous amount of stress that requires adjustment.
Lori's pain negatively affects her ability to cope with life changes and impairs her performance. Because pain is the body's warning signal and Lori is pregnant, she should consult with her obstetrician to rule out medical causes for the stomach pain.
Once it has been determined that stress, due to multiple life changes, is the cause of Lori's pain, she needs to learn healthy ways to reduce her stress levels and increase her resilience under stress. Lori would benefit greatly from a strong social support network that would provide information from her physicians on healthful ways to reduce stress such as meditation or yoga and emotional concern from friends and family thus working as a buffer between Lori and her sources of stress. Lori can stoke her sense of humor by watching comedies and finding humor in the everyday occurrences in her life which would help her control or regulate her stress.
Stress scenario 4: Darlene feels paralyzed with two choices: (a) stay in a job where the boss is overbearing and abusive, but where she has a steady paycheck or; (b) pursue a business opportunity and risk the security of a steady paycheck.
Darlene is experiencing multiple approach-avoidance conflict: both choices put before her have pluses and minuses. From the information provided, Darlene is not being active in coping with her stress; she is paralyzed with indecision.
A healthy way to deal with her conflict would be to realize that she has a choice and accept her locus of control. Darlene canto talk to friends and family about her choices and the pros and cons presented with each decision. Accepting her locus of control will make Darlene feel less helpless and realize the cause and effect of each course of action, and it would have the added benefit of increasing her psychological hardiness. Darlene would also benefit from accessing her social support network, specifically, the appraisal of family and friends; feedback provided by others who care about the outcome of Darlene's decision can assist her in looking at the big picture and perhaps interpret her situation from another perspective.
Stress scenario 5: Harold sees his coworkers as inconsiderate, unsupportive, and lazy. He hates his job.
Harold is experiencing daily hassles, specifically work hassles, which Harold may have adapted some irrational beliefs to. There is very little specific information supplied here about Harold's situation. One must wonder if Harold hates his job because of his co-workers or finds his co-workers difficult because he hates his job.
Harold is stressed in his present situation, and has not developed a plan to resolve his situation. Harold could react in a healthy manner to reduce his stress levels by accessing his social support system and regain his locus of control by realizing that he has options. Accessing or building a social support network system would allow Harold to benefit from reduced stress by having others who can listen and sympathize with him. Harold also needs to regain his locus of control, acknowledging his control allows Harold to control the direction of his life and career and plan ahead for healthy ways to manage work hassles.