The ABCs of Managing Stress



Mike Hoff, via Flickr

Ryan Geertsma and Robin Basselin share simple ways people can deal with the pressures of a busy life.

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Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Ryan Geertsma.

Voice 2 

And I’m Robin Basselin. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

A family awakes to start the day. They have slept too long. They are late.  The mother hurries to make the morning meal. The father worries about being late for work.  What will his employer say? The youngest child cries. He cannot find his school work. And the oldest child worries about a test at school. Everyone in the family is experiencing feelings of pressure, or stress.

Voice 2 

Life can be busy and full of responsibilities. It does not matter where you live or who you are. Life is full of demands. These demands may come from work, school or family. The demands of life can cause feelings of mental, emotional, and even physical pressure. These feelings of stress can be intense.

Voice 1 

No one can avoid stress completely. However, there are simple ways to manage stress. And these steps can improve a person’s quality of life. Today’s Spotlight is on stress and a few basic ways you can manage stress in your life.

Voice 2 

Stress is a normal, human reaction. When you experience pressure or danger, your body produces stress chemicals. These chemicals prepare your body to either fight or run away from the danger. This reaction can save your life.

Voice 1 

But, too much stress can be harmful. It can make you tired. It can make you feel easily angered. And it can even make you sick. Over time, the continual release of stress chemicals can lead to diseases - diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.

Voice 2 

The good news is that stress can be managed in healthy ways. And the first three letters of the English alphabet- A, B, and C can help you remember four simple ways to manage stress.

Voice 1 

The first two ways you can manage stress begin with the letter A.  First, you can ALTER, or change, your situation.

Voice 2 

Imagine that Veejay lives in a small village. He is a fisherman. When he catches his fish, he has to decide where to sell them. He can sell them at the local market. Or he can sail along the coast and sell them at a larger market. He does not know which market needs fish today. If he sells his catch to a market with plenty of fish, he will not make as much money. He does not have much time to decide. The markets are only open for a few hours. Veejay is under pressure to make the best decision. How could Veejay alter the situation and reduce his stress?

Voice 1 

One way Veejay could alter his situation is by using a mobile phone. He could call both the local market and other markets along the coast. He could quickly learn which market needs fish that day. Now he can make an informed decision. And he no longer has to worry or feel stressed.

Voice 2 

A second way to manage stress is another “A” word. It is to AVOID stress. We cannot always avoid stress. But sometimes, it can be easier than you would think.

Voice 1 

Imagine a young, married man and woman named Cindy and Dave. They live in London, England. They both love milk in the morning. But they like different kinds. Dave likes milk fresh from the cow. Cindy likes milk from the market. They fight over which one to have. The fighting causes much stress for both of them. How could they avoid the situation and reduce their stress?

Voice 2 

One way they can avoid the situation is to have both kinds of milk. They could agree to each have their own container of milk. They can reduce their stress by avoiding it. Morning can now be a happy time in their home.

Voice 1 

A third way to manage stress begins with the letter B - BUILD your mental, physical and spiritual resistance. Building resistance will increase your ability to live with stress. And it will reduce the affect of stress on your life.

Voice 2 

One way to strengthen your mental resistance is to imagine you are in another place. Some people call this "taking a mental holiday".

Voice 1 

Imagine a man named Tobias.  He lives in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe. As a boy, he spent most of his time on the Praia de Macuti coast in Beira, Mozambique. Now, he works many long hours at his office. His job is stressful.

Voice 2 

Tobias could reduce his stress by remembering the fun he had as a boy. He can think of the blue water and the waves rolling on to the sand. This mental trip can help Tobias calm his mind.

Voice 1 

Building physical resistance is also important in stress management. A healthy body will reduce the effects of stress. A good night of sleep will help your body recover from a hard day. Also, eating healthy food and getting exercise will keep your body strong.

Voice 2 

Building spiritual resistance to stress is also important. Many people believe it is helpful to pray to God in difficult times. This can build spiritual resistance and even reduce stress. The Christian Bible says:

Voice 3 

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”

Voice 1 

The fourth way to manage stress in your life begins with the letter C - CHANGE.  Change the way you understand or feel about a stressful situation.

Voice 2 

Imagine that Carmelita lives in Mexico City, Mexico. Traffic problems are very common there. Traffic can stop a car for hours. Carmelita finds this very stressful. She gets very angry when she sits in traffic. How could Carmelita change the way she feels about this situation?


Voice 2 

Carmelita can change the way she feels by using that time in a new way.  For example, Carmelita loves stories.  So, she could start listening to recorded books in her car.  By doing something she enjoys, she can begin to look forward to traffic delays. A traffic delay will no longer be a stressful situation. Instead, it can be a chance for her learn what happens next in her newest book.


Voice 1 

You can never remove all the stress and pressure of life. But the ABCs of stress management can help you reduce stress in healthy ways. The letter A can help you remember to ALTER or AVOID stress. The letter B - to BUILD your resistance. And the letter C - to CHANGE the way you feel about a stressful situation. Together, the ABCs of stress management can help you improve your quality of life!

Voice 1 

Do you struggle with stress? What are the causes of stress in your life?  And how do you manage it?  You can e-mail us your answers and thoughts.  Our e-mail address is radio@radioenglish.net

Voice 2 

The writer of today's programme was Ann Wilds. The producer was Mark Drenth. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted and voiced by Spotlight. You can find our programs on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This programme is called "The ABCs of Managing Stress."

Voice 1 

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye!

Question:

Do you feel stress? What situations make you feel stress? What do you do when you feel stress?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
semsema
said on October 24, 2011

hi
thank you for this topic this is very useful and i was need to learn things help me to reduse the stress in my live
     
      thanks alot
            semsema.

Avatar Spotlight
rizwan
said on October 27, 2011

yes, i also struggle with stress..main cause of my stress is lack of confidence. this lack of confidence comes from little knowledge of English. I can not convey my ideas, queries and solution in English. some fears comes in mind whenever I try to speak in English. Automatically i find myself in stressful situation. this stress has erased the words, idea and question from my mind. This circumstances give me a shivery feeling. at that time i was unable to say few sentence in English. this situation again put more stress on me.

Robin Basselin's avatar
Robin Basselin
said on October 27, 2011

Rizwan-  Thanks for your comment.  It takes a lot strength and courage to learn a new language.  I also think speaking new languages is very stressful.  I appreciate your honesty in posting this comment.  And I hope speaking begins to get easier for you.  Your written English is excellent!

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daniel a.
said on October 27, 2011

I have stress too, and I think that this is because I am poor and unemployed!!!:’(

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ehsun
said on November 08, 2012

changing the situation can make me stressful!:(

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maluisa
said on November 09, 2012

Hello Spotlight.
I had found other ways for stress control such as Yoga, Reiki and PNL. Still I can not control the stress because I am angry when a situacion is bad.
Sometimes I pray to God and that encourage me.  I like to know many things and learn english with us , many topics of spotligh had been interesting for me.
That is all. Thanks.

Avatar Spotlight
georgino
said on November 10, 2012

Thank you for these tips to manage the stress, sometimes we have situations very difficult in daily life and where we could make mistakes.
It’s important to follow ABCs steps   and to have a useful development in this short life.

Bye friends

Dzung.vn's avatar
Dzung.vn
said on November 10, 2012

Many thank for Riwan’s comments and replying from Robin Basellin. I am also meet the troubles and difficult in using English language. And I know that It is come from using the English grammar structure as well as pronouncing.

Maybe, what I need that is spend more time to study grammar structure and more listening. I would like to participate in a Bachelors Degree 550-600 TOEFL course but I can not because I do not enough money. Please give me your advice in this situation? thank a lot!

I love the Spotlight very much. It is great!

Avatar Spotlight
hoaaof
said on May 29, 2013

i struggle with stress every day. listen to music, watch funny films that are things help me reduce stress

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yeutienganh120888
said on February 11, 2014

stress is very popular problem in modern life. Everybody must face it everyday. Thank to spotlight give me somes ways to control and deal with it.

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Dela
said on February 13, 2014

Stress is a part of our life nowadays, each of us uses the different ways to fight it. It seems to avoid stress absolutely is not possible, however, we can in accordance with ABC try to build our mental, emotional and physical resistence. In my opinion, changing the way we feel about a stressful situation is the most important. We can focus our thinking in the pleasant things listening to great music, watching the amazing pictures, looking forward to meeting the friends early next time. We must believe we will be able to overcome all difficulties because experiencing the bad situations in the life make us more powerful and resistant too. Stress can also harm badly our health that is why we must remember every serious problém has the right solution, it is only needed to find it, God certainly will help us!
Thanks for interesting topic!

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nguyenthuy
said on December 29, 2014

stress is always make me uncomfortable and change my character quickly . Actually , i was stressful most of study plans include of english . When i talk english with other people in face to face situation i feel very stress because i cant speak well and i dont think any words to speak though i prepared well . Maybe i need to apply this method and try to practice more and more to take my confident to speak with a native english . Thank for good informations. This program always help me learn english better .

Learning Everything's avatar
Learning Everything
said on January 08, 2015

I am trying to learn English. When I discuss with my coworker who is American, I fell stressful if I couldn’t explain to them understand clearly.  Some time I also used “body language”.

In my life, when I was stressful I often going to the church and pray to God. In quiet place I can hear what’s the best way I must be doing.

Thank you so much. God bless everybody.

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on December 31, 2015

Dear Ryan Geertsma, Robin Besselin, and the producer Ann Wilds:

My name is Severino Ramos and I am from Brasil. No, I do not. I hardly feel stress. It makes me feel stress when I am working at the hospital (I am a nurse and I take care of serious patients in health care in Intensive Care Unit where I work with.) so, my team and I do the imposible to save a patient that was in risk of life but he or she dies because he or she had not contition of life any more. However, this situation makes me sad and stressed. It looks like our effort were not enough to save that poor patient that was in a critical situation so I feel stress. Therefore, when I feel stress I take a glass of water, I breathe deeply, and I ask my God (Jesus) to help my co-workers and me. Thank you very much to write us this interesting matter. I wish you Happy New Year 2016!
All the best,
Severino Ramos

Avatar Spotlight
improve_english
said on January 09, 2016

I’m a doctor being specialist in hematology. I also work at Intensive Care Unit in my hospital. My patients are very crowded and many of them suffer from cureless diseased like leukemia. Although I and my co-worker worked very hard, they passed away. This made me very sad and stressful when I saw the last moments of them and their family. I tried to control my emotion. I’m always obsesses by the fear of disease. However, this makes me a strong power to continue to study how to cure that disease. I have to fight with them to help my patients. After a stressful time in my work, I usually listen to music, practise exercise or even sleep deeply to balance my emotion and mental physical. It helps me have more energy for the next working day.
Thanks spotlight for this helpful program.

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Dela
said on January 18, 2018

In my opinion to avoid experiencing stressful situations appears as impossible absolutely nowadays. We are often compelled to struggle against plenty of stress, sadness, desperation, suffering physical or emotional as well. Surely, fighting stressful state successfuly means having much courage, patience and primarily the strong belief in our ability to change, improve the bad conditions we must face up to. I suppose if we can depend on the good friends or family members’ support then we may be able to overcome stress attack more easily eventually!
Thanks Spotlight team for another excellent topic!
Greetings!

ahmed hassan's avatar
ahmed hassan
said on January 21, 2018

thank you for this topic this is very useful