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Diplomacy in Action

Chapter 2: Group Focus Session 3: Stress busters


Group Size: Seminar group-8-12 students

Time Needed: 45 to 60 minutes

Physical Set up: Circle or conference table

Materials: Recording material, whiteboard or flip chart, student journals, Stress busters to the rescue handout, activity worksheet: Stress busters.

Goal: Students will learn short term strategies for alleviating stress caused by specific situations.

Procedure: Meet & Greet Activity: Using Talking Leather technique, ask the following question: A stress less moment for me is when I                                                                        .  Distribute handout and activity sheet. Describe each strategy and do the exercises as a group as outlined on the Activity sheet. Allow the students to comment on the strategies as they experiment with them.

Follow-up: Conclude by having the students decide on a particular strategy that they will try before the next session.

Reflection: Journal entry.  Comment on the usefulness of strategy.  Describe the situation causing the stressful moment, what it felt like physically, and how the stress buster helped alleviate the tension of the moment.

Stress busters to the rescue!

These exercises are intended to help you manage immediate stress. They can reduce the short term effect of stress to help you get calmed and relaxed after some stressful experience. They can help improve focus and concentration.

Focus on your breathing. 
             a) Deep deliberate breaths,
             b) Taking care to fill your lungs.
             c) Hold breath as you count slowly to five.
             d) Gently exhale completely emptying your lungs.

Neck exercises. 
             a) Head tucks. 
                      i) Sitting straight up in your chair
                      ii) move your head slowly and steadily backwards as far back as you can
                      iii) Keep you chin tucked down and in as you do this 5 X.
             b) Neck Rolls.
                      i) Still sitting straight up in your chair, after doing your head tucks,
                      ii) lift your chin and tilt your head backwards look at the ceiling
                      iii) with your nose is pointing straight up tilt your nose % an inch to the right
                      iv) try to tilt your head even further back.,
                      v) then tilt your nose 1/2 an inch to the left and try to tilt your head even further back.
                          Combine exercise 1 with exercise 2, repeat 10 times.

Disassociation. Describe your favorite day dream.....

Music. Describe your favorite music, artist, style, selection. Why is it your favorite?

Stress busters to the rescue!

  • Exercise is a perfect stress buster. What exercises do you enjoy and might you try when you are stressed?
  • Laughing & Crying - are among the best of the stress busters. What makes you laugh?
  • What makes you cry?
  • How do you feel after laughing or crying?
  • Why?

Do you know what a "Belly Laugh" is?

Belly laugh - n 1: a burst of deep loud hearty laughter [syn: guffaw] 2: a joke that seems extremely funny [syn: sidesplitter, howler, thigh-slapper, scream, wow, riot]

Source: WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University

Try getting the entire class to join in a class Belly Laugh. The best kinds come from real laughter but even a pretend "burst of deep loud hearty laughter" will do the trick!

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