Stress Reduction Activity Assignment
Learning to manage stress takes practice. This assignment introduces you to two different types of stress reduction exercises. Experimenting with different types of methods can help you to find what works for you. Your assignment is to practice two methods of stress reduction. You will take notes recording your reaction to the exercises. Once you are done you will upload a reflection on the two experiences.
Materials: A note pad to record how you feel after each exercise.
Once you have completed the two exercises below reflect on the exercises. Include your reaction to the exercises, the content from the videos and the checklist and your thoughts on what are the best ways you have found to manage your stress.
Deep Breathing Exercise
Purpose: Students practice deep breathing techniques as part of stress reduction.
Make sure you are comfortably seated in a quiet place.
Read the instructions before you perform the exercise
Stand straight up or sit down
Arms and hands are relaxed downward
Body is relaxed
Focus on lower abdomen (belly) and imagine a small balloon in that space
Breath in slowly and deeply through nostrils, imagining the balloon
inflating (getting bigger/larger/growing) slowly, hold a few seconds
Slowly exhale through the mouth, imagining the balloon gently deflating (getting smaller, shrinking); blow out of the mouth as if blowing out a candle
Tip: Place a hand over the lower abdomen to feel it go up and down, and make sure you’re not breathing with the chest
Repeat at least 10 times
Now record how you are feeling. Now move on to the next exercise.
Purpose: Students learn deep muscle relaxation as an easy stress reduction activity
Materials: A note pad to record how you feel
Make sure you are sitting or lying down on their backs (depending on space).
Demonstrate/model each step for students in preparation for their participation.
Raise your eyebrows and wrinkle your forehead. Try to touch your hairline with your eyebrows. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Make a frown. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Close your eyes as tightly as you can. Draw the corners of your mouth back with your lips closed. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Open your eyes and your mouth as wide as you can. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax. Feel the warmth and calmness in your face.
Stretch your arms out in front of you. Close your fist tightly. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax. Feel the warmth and calmness in your hands.
Stretch your arms out to the side. Pretend you are pushing against an invisible wall with your hands. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Bend your elbows and make a muscle in your upper arm. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax. Feel the tension leave your arms.
Lift your shoulders. Try to make your shoulders touch your ears. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Arch your back away from the back of your chair (or off the floor). Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Round your back. Try to push it against the back of your chair (or against the floor). Hold for 5 seconds…and relax. Feel the tension leaving your back.
Tighten your stomach muscles. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Tighten your hip and buttock muscles. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Tighten your thigh muscles by pressing your legs together as close as you can. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Bend your ankles toward your body as far as you can. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax.
Curl your toes under as far as you can. Hold for 5 seconds…and relax. Feel the tension leave your legs.
Tighten all the muscles in your whole body. Hold for ten seconds…and relax.
Let your entire body be heavy and clam. Sit quietly (or lie quietly) and enjoy this feeling of relaxation for a couple of minutes.
Now record how you are feeling.
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