BehaviorChange Project Part 1
BehaviorChange Project Part 1
Stressand lack of sleep
Stressrefers to mental tension or emotional pressure that is exerted on anindividual as a result of exposure to life circumstances andactivities that are very demanding. Although there is scientificproof that stress can sometimes be beneficial as it pushes people toaccomplish goals and objectives, it is mostly associated withnegative effects including many health issues such as obesity,diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Severe stress canlead to reduced life productivity and feelings of unfulfillment.Also, acute stress can lead to social degradation by causing peopleto engage in behaviors that are potentially harmful to theirrelationships (Lewandowski, 2014). Therefore, to ensure that we leadquality and happy lives, it is imperative that we regularly andconsistently recognize and manage life stressors. The behavior changethat I want to effect is stress and lack of sleep. Lack of sleep, orinsomnia, is a medical condition characterized by difficulty or aninability to sleep.
Assuch, it has a considerable impact on the quality of life because itcan limit daily activities, cause relationship problems, and affect aperson`s moods. Numerous researchers have established a closerelationship between stress and lack of sleep. Han, Kim, & Shim(2012) investigated the relationship between stress and sleepdisorder and concluded that stress, to some extent, is responsiblefor difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep. By causing hyperarousals, stress upsets the balance between wakefulness and sleepand, hence, impacts negatively on the quality of sleep. My behaviorchange is to lessen or eliminate stress and lack of sleep. Now,effecting behavior change is a complex and challenging process thatrequires absolute commitment as well as useful support tools. I usedan application called Pacifica (Pacifica, 2016) to measure andmonitor my eating, sleeping, meditation, exercise, hygiene,relationship, and breathing levels which are common indicators ofstress and sleep.
Progressmeasures and Transtheoretical model ranking
Someof the qualitative measures of progress that I used are breathing,hygiene, relationship, and eating (Pacifica, 2016). As can be seenfrom the attached images, I completed deep breathing exercises on aregular basis. Breathing is an important tool in stress managementbecause when you breathe deeply, a message is sent to the brain tocalm down and relax the body. As a result of the calmness andrelaxation of the body, majority of body responses that come aboutdue to stress such as fast breathing and increased heart rate reduce.I have consistently used breathing exercises to relieve tension andeliminate stress. However, I need to improve by incorporatingbreathing exercises in all of my activities. Breathing exercises arenot complex and can be done anywhere. I have only been using them tocalm down before sleeping at night, but I should use it even when Iam at work and everywhere else. Also, eating well, maintaining goodhygiene, and having positive relationships brings about positivefeelings of accomplishment. Positive feelings lockout negative andstressful thoughts and moods and relieves tension. Diets that includecomfort foods such as warm oatmeal facilitate serotine productionwhich in turn calms the brain. Some other foods reduce the productionof stress hormones such as adrenaline and hence alleviate bodypressure. To improve, I need to create a healthy meal timetable andstick with it.
Someof the quantitative measures of progress that I used includeexercise, water, sleep, and meditation. Meditation has numeroushealth benefits one of them is stress coping (Varvorgli &Darviri, 2011). Meditation calms the mind and the body leading tophysical and emotional stress relief. I completed 6-10 minutes`meditation on Sunday, but I need to improve by meditating at leastonce each day. I did not exercise on Thursday and Friday but workedout for 46 minutes on Saturday, 15 minutes on Sunday and 45 minuteson Monday (Pacifica, 2016). The exercises helped improve my mood,relax my mind, promote self-confidence, and relieve stress symptoms.Water intake was constant throughout the week (10 glasses each day).All body organs require water to function properly thus dehydrationcan lead to stress due to poor functioning of body organs. Sleep alsohelps measure stress levels. The more you sleep, the lesser thestress and vice versa. On Monday, my stress management was awfulsince I only slept for two hours but other days I slept for 4-5hours. I learned that these techniques help relieve stress, and,therefore, I should use them some more. On my week in general, Istart slowly on Monday but pick up momentum as the week goes on thenfinish strongly over the weekend.
Iwould rank myself on the action stage of the Transtheoretical model.This phase succeeds the preparation stage and entails activeparticipation in processes and activities that help modify behaviorthat was identified in earlier stages (Hayden, 2014). I alreadyrealized the need for taking care of myself by reducing stress andenhancing sleep. To accomplish these objectives, I have beenparticipating in exercise activities where I work with a trainer forfour days each week. Also, I do cardio three days a week, and I havea life coach who assists me to deal with the stressful situations.Besides, I mind my diet by ensuring that I always take nutritious,healthy, and organic foods. Furthermore, I am undergoing the HSC 440coaching program to enhance my skills and knowledge about wellnessactivities further. The Pacifica app has also shed light on importanttools such as meditation and breathing which I intend to utilize.
Iemployed three processes of change within the first week of my changeattempt. The three processes of change are self-Reevaluation,self-Liberation, and helping relationships (Hayden, 2014).Self-re-evaluation refers to the process through which a personobserves and notes the difference between personal self-esteem whenexperiencing the problem and after the problem has been removed(Hayden, 2014). The process of behaviors change is initiated anddirected by the need to be better or to better some aspects of life.Therefore, it makes no sense to implement behavior change that doesnot bring about any significant changes to the situation that youwere in before the behavior change. Self-reevaluation is important asit a person who is effecting behavior change to establish whether thechange is beneficial or not. To self-evaluate myself, I sat down andmade notes on my current situation regarding stress and lack of sleepmanagement. Afterward, I made another list composed of my perceivedideal situation and indicators of the perfect situation. Comparingthe two lists will allow me to evaluate my progress and theeffectiveness of the change in behavior.
Helpingrelationships and self-liberation are other change processes that Iused. The decision to use helping relationships was an easy one.Helping relationships are simply connections with people around whoassist and support you in changing the unhealthy and unwantedbehavior (Hayden, 2014). I am already in many such relationships withmy life coach, trainer, exercise colleagues as well as my family.These individuals are the biggest source of my motivation, and Iinformed them of my health and wellness goals and they pledged tosupport me in all my efforts. Self-liberation, on the other hand, isthe change process where a person makes the decision to changebehavior and commits to making it happen (Hayden, 2014). I decidedthat I want to modify the stress and lack of sleep behavior, and Ihave dedicated myself to ensure that I accomplish my goals andobjectives. I want to lead by example. I want to see my children growinto successful and respectful members of the society and I want toparticipate in fun activities with my family and friends. Good healthand a healthy lifestyle are at the foundations of success. I am goingto do everything possible to make sure that I change my behavior andavoid stress and insomnia which, to large extents, negatively affectsthe quality of life.
Han,K. S., Kim, L., & Shim, I. (2012). Stress and Sleep Disorder.ExperimentalNeurobiology,21(4),141–150. http://doi.org/10.5607/en.2012.21.4.141
Hayden,J. (2014). Introductionto Health Behavior Theory.Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
Lewandowsky,G. W. (2014). Under Pressure: The Effects of Stress on Positive andNegative Relationship Behaviors. TheJournal of Social Psychology,Vol. 154, No 5. 463-473.http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00224545.2014.933162
PacificaLabs. (2016). Pacifica.Retrieved from Think Pacifica: https://www.thinkpacifica.com/
Varvogli,L., & Darviri, C. (2011). StressManagement Techniques: Evidence-Based Procedures that Reduce Stressand Promote Health.Health Science Journal.