Core Resource: Wellbeing and Stress Management

These resources are starting points. They represent a fraction of the research I’ve read and that I talk about when delivering a talk at a conference or school. If you’re interested in that, please see my Speaking area here.

If you are looking for the articles I write for my site, on this and other topics, click here.

MY CLASSROOM RESOURCES: Brain Sticks and Stress Well for Schools provide a comprehensive way to teach wellbeing management to people of all ages. If you represent a school, easily the best way to educate your students about wellbeing and stress would be to buy a licence for Stress Well for Schools: it’s a complete and ready-to-use set of materials designed for you.

Positively Teenage and FLOURISH

Positively Teenage is based around eight principles which I put together some years ago as great ways to make our brains work well. FLOURISH is a useful way to remember them.

F is for FOOD

L is for LIQUID

O is for OXYGEN

U is for USE

R is for RELAXATION

I is for INTEREST

S is for SLEEP

H is for Happiness

If you’d like to download a FLOURISH poster or postcard for printing, there are some on the Positively Teenage page. 

There are also free teaching notes on that Positively Teenage page.

 

Some printable A4 sheets:

Stress handout for teenagers

TipsEXAMS

TipsSCREENTIME

TipsSLEEP

TipsSTRESS

Relaxation audio:

52 Ways to Well-Being

I’m creating 52 Ways to Well-Being. To find the ones I’ve done so far, see here. They are suitable for all ages.

Of course, The Teenage Guide to Stress is a comprehensive guide to … teenage stress. It’s widely used in schools and is really appreciated by teenagers.

Body image

My book, Body Brilliant, deals in detail with this, tackling the (fascinating!) psychology as well as practical tips for both a better body image and a healthier body. You’ll find resources for this on the Body Brilliant page here. There are free teaching notes and various downloadable and printable extras.

Life Online

You’ll find my resources about life online and screen use here, including the Life Online Parent Pack and a link to teaching notes.

Resources I recommend

General sites to help you understand stress and boost wellbeing:

Experience life: https://experiencelife.com/article/the-science-of-stress/

National Geographic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyBsy5SQxqU

How your attitude to stress affects how it affects you

An interesting intro to this idea here: https://redbooth.com/blog/positive-attitude-towards-stress. “But an emerging body of research shows that the harmful part of stress often stems from believing that stress is terrible for you. One study from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, published in the journal Health Psychology, found that 182,000 people may have died prematurely because they believed their stress was bad for their health. The perception of stress was significant — not just the stress itself.”

See Dr Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk on the topic: https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend

Negative effects of cortisol build-up

The Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037

From Psychology Today, “Cortisol: Why the “Stress Hormone” Is Public Enemy No. 1”: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

Personality and Stress

Type A personality trait and stress, from Simply Psychology: https://www.simplypsychology.org/personality-a.html

From Psych Central: https://psychcentral.com/lib/stress-and-personality/

From NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22271841

Positive effects on stress of physical exercise

Scientists are united on the benefits of physical exercise on stress. Here are some references:

The NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/physical-activity-reduces-stress/

From Science Direct: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027273589900032X and a population study in Finland http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743599905972

From the BMJ – Physical exercise and psychological wellbeing: a critical review by D Scully et al  http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/32/2/111.short

Interested in mindfulness?

Personally, I’m not. I’m quite drained by people seeming to think it’s the answer to everyone’s stress. Undoubtedly it helps some people – even many people – but it doesn’t help everyone. Ever the idea makes me stressed! Keep it away from me but do try it yourself. If you do try it, be taught it properly, by someone who has done more than attend an 8-session course… And don’t worry if it doesn’t work for you. Someone who suffers a diagnosed or severe anxiety disorder or a mental illness should only do mindfulness under the guidance of a clinical psychologist, in my view.

For info, try Be Mindful https://bemindful.co.uk/ or Headspace http://www.getsomeheadspace.com/

Some stress-busting Apps are reviewed here: https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/13-of-the-best-apps-to-manage-stress.html

Books:

Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by  Robert M. Sapolsky

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Dale Carnegie is a bit fluffy for my liking but everyone’s different!

And here is a useful list with comments about each title: https://www.developgoodhabits.com/stress-books/


I hope you have found this selection of resources useful. Remember they are only starting points and there is much more in the rest of my website, books and classroom resources. Do ask me to come and speak to your audience – teenagers or adults. Adults need this just as much as young people and if we’re struggling with stress ourselves it’s much harder to care for other people. See the Speaking section of my website.