YE REMIND Czech Republic, 13 – 22 June 2018
July 24, 2018
Dissemination SELFY 2.0
August 8, 2018

As part of the dissemination of the project results of YE reMind that SFERA MACEDONIA was one of the partner organizations, we organized a workshop on the topic of Mental Health and dealing with stress.
First we presented the pictures, videos and the booklet which were all the main outcomes of the project, and we discussed which activities we did during the exchange in Czech Republic from 13-22 June 2018.
After the presentation of the project we continued with a full 1.5 hour workshop on Mental health, which was a combination of theoretical input from our volunteer Dance who is a psychology student, combined with personal reflection and visualization exercises.

Following is a short summary of the workshop:


  1. What is stress?

-origin of the term stress

-who used it in psychological meaning first

– definition of stress (according to Lazarus)


  • List of “must” and “shoulds” is transformed into list of “coulds” exercise (for homework “why” needs to be answered for every “must” and “should”)


  • Distress and eustress
  • Theory of flow (Csikszentmihalyi)
  • Factors of stress- repetition, unpredictability, and not being in control and the study (“new genes” by Chopra)


  • Clearing what big terms mean to the participants by defining success, love, joy exercise
  • Relaxing the muscles exercise


  1. Effects of stress
  • Effects of stress on telomers
  • Effects of stress on the amygdala (the cycle of stress)


  • Gratitude journal
  • Albert Ellis’ rationalization technique


  • Physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioral effects


  • Louise Hay’s affirmations and mirror work


  1. Prevention, managing and overcoming stress
  • Bad ways to cope with stress (complaining to the wrong people, passing the stress to others, putting up with stress until there’s time to unwind, putting extra pressure on ourselves for better preformance, blaming others)


  • Visualization “letting go of a bag full of rocks”


  • Prevention of stress:

Do: Exercise; eating well; taking breaks; slowing down; being in the present moment; taking time for hobbies; expressing feeling through music, dance, art; healthy sleep; time management; taking time to tune in to your body; find balance; be grateful; enjoy nature as much as you can; create boundaries; create a system of beliefs that work for you; make self-care a priority; understand your stress symptoms; learn to recognize stress signals; learn to match stress signals with strategies; be clear of that it is that big terms mean for you; use regionalization; use affirmations; use visualization; identify your stress sources; meditate;

Don’t: avoid multitasking; stop being the cause of someone else’s stress; decrease boring and repetitive work; don’t unload your stress on family or friends; reduce the noise around you; reduce alcohol use; retreat from stressful situations quickly; limit watching TV especially news; avoid people, places and activities that cause stress


  • Eisenhower’s technique of task ranking by importance and urgency


-Managing stress:

Breathing techniques; exercising; relaxing muscles-stretching, massages, hot baths or mindful relaxing; eating well; breaks; talk about it; surround yourself with caring and supportive people; compensate with humor


Overcoming stress

Deal with the sources; ask for help; talk about it to the person causing the stress; minimize the importance of the stressor; meditation; replace “should”, “must” with “could” in your vocabulary; stop comparing; stop thinking about what other might think; inform yourself about the stressor; deal with past traumas with professionals; prioritize activities that bring you joy;


-Helping others with their stress:

Ask others how they feel and listen; don’t insist to always get your way; respect everyone; never criticize in public; be loyal; no gossiping (or only positive gossiping);be open to new ideas;  praise and appreciate other people.


  • Visualization “the silent temple”


The workshop was spiced up by bonus information (info that came to the presenter’s mind in the moment regarding the topic and therefore can’t remember them J ); discussion after the bullet points and feedback after the exercises; and few jokes on Kate’s behalf, all in good nature which she was a great sport about.

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