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8.15: Bust My Stress COY

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    • What stress is how to deal with stress in healthy and productive ways.

    Giveaway: Homemade Stress Balls


    • Signage and handouts
    • Balloons, funnels, cups, permanent markets
    • Big bowls of rice or flour
    • Images of stress triggers/coping strategies from lesson
    • Optional: soothing/calming music for meditation
    • Feedback survey, pencils and collection box


    • Place flour/rice in a big bowl with a funnel and cup
    • Place balloons next to the bowls
    • Have signage and handouts placed on tables
    • Have the music play peacefully in the background


    • Have participants pick a color balloon to fill with rice or flour.
    • Inflate the balloon about size of the participants face, release the air carefully and stretch the balloon tip on funnel.
    • Have participants use the cup to get some rice/flour and pour into the funnel for the rice/flour to go into the balloon.
    • Have participants carefully remove the balloon tip from funnel; stretch and tie the end. Ask participants to complete feedback survey.

    Talking Points:

    • Introduction: Would you like to make a tress ball? Have you ever stressed?
    • Did you know there are good and bad stress?
    • Stress happens to everyone, and it can help you develop healthy coping strategies that build your mental resilience.
    • Stress balls can help you focus your energy and emotions into something else and help to release muscle tension. It tires you out and brings your energy level back down. Repetitive muscle action can help control breathing.

    Suggested Information for Café O Yea:

    Key Terms:

    Stress: A body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental and emotional respoinses.

    Acute Stress: Short-term stress that goes away quickly, usually associated with flight or fight response to manage dangerous situations or can happen when experiencing something thrilling or exciting.

    Chronic Stress: Stress that lasts for a longer period of time, that can harm the body, mind, and lives.

    Traumatic Stress: Stress that develops after traumatic events that are shocking and emotionally overwhelming.

    Eustress: Positive reaction stress that has a beneficial effect on your health and wellness.

    Distress: Negative reaction stress that can manifest itself through changes in behavior.

    Toxic stress: Excessive or prolonged activation of negative response systems in the body and brain.

    Cope: To deal with problems and difficult situations and try to come up with solutions.

    Resilience: The ability to overcome serious hardship and adapt well to adversity.

    Adversity: A difficult situation or condition.



    • There are three main types of stress: acute, traumatic and chronic stress.
    • The positive stress response is a normal and essential part of healthy development, described as increases in heart rate and mild boosts in hormone levels. Some situations that might trigger a positive stress response are the first day with a new baby sitter or receiving an immunization [Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child, n.d.]
    • Negative stress response can be headaches, anxiety and frustration which can cause emotional tension.
    • Some coping strategies for stress are talking to a trusted friend/adult, give yourself a break, stay active, getting adequate amount of sleep, being physical active and eating a nutritious diet.


    • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. (2013). Stress management and teens. Retrieved from:

    • American Psychological Association. (n.d). Stress effects on the body. Retrieved from:

    • American Psychological Association. (n.d). Resilience guide for parents & teachers. Retrieved from:

    • American Asychological Association. (n.d). Identifying signs of stress in your children and teens. Retrieved from:

    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Coping With Stress. Retrieved from:

    • Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child. (n.d). Toxic stress. Retrieved from:

    8.15: Bust My Stress COY is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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