Stress management lesson plans help you organize, teach and communicate all there is to know about stress. Use them in the classroom or during team building sessions to help groups understand stress and stress reduction, though you may need to modify them for younger classroom audiences.
The beginning of each lesson plan should include educational information about stress, such as its sources and the effects it has on the human mind and body. Possible information to include is:
If teaching younger audiences, use pictures and try to communicate basic concepts through stories, such as a rabbit going into the fight-or-flight response from a bear chasing him.
Help people understand how this information about stress applies to their individual lives. In a team building seminar, you may ask group members to think about the impact stress has on their work productivity or attendance and to share those experiences. You can have the group complete stress management worksheets individually and then compare answers to find common themes. This prepares the group to move into problem solving and stress reduction.
Ask group members to share their ideas or methods for reducing stress. Highlight any positive ideas, such as deep breathing, by writing them on a board.
Discuss the link between stress and unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as alcohol use, when those come into the discussion. It’s helpful to discuss the basic principles of relaxation, such as a clear mind and deep breathing, before moving into activities.
A stress reduction activity will give the class firsthand experience with healthy, positive methods for reducing stress, and you have many activities to choose from. These activities include:
Ask group members to reflect on the stress reduction activity and to communicate their experience with it; journaling may work for some groups, whereas group discussion may benefit others. Questions to ask them may include:
This helps people acknowledge the physical and mental effects of the stress reduction activity and encourages them to use it (or some other technique) during their own time. If stress management lessons will be a routine for your group, use each session to try a different type of relaxation technique. Effective stress management lesson plans cover the many sides of stress so that groups walk away with a well-rounded understanding of its causes and effects, as well as healthy methods to reduce it.
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