Currently viewing the tag: "stress"

Silence, solitude, and breathable air, that’s all I wanted, not exactly a miracle, but I guess this nightmare of a job is what I deserve. –Monster’s Chef by Jervey Tervalon

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the first line of the week as the starting point or inspiration for a scene, story, poem, or haiku.

Journaling Prompt: Write about your basic needs for a happy life.

Art Prompt: What I need to be happy

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about how they can decrease stress and increase happiness in their lives.

Photo Credit: daliscar1 on Flickr


Burnout syndrome is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. This exhaustion is typically work-related and is triggered by discrepancies between the expectations and the actual requirements of the job. Burnout syndrome has become a common worldwide phenomenon, especially among members of high-stress professions, such as firefighters, police officers, teachers and all types of health-care professionals.

Critical care health care professionals have one of the highest rates of burnout syndrome, with nearly half of the workforce exhibiting symptoms. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict springs from burn out.

Journaling Prompt: How do you deal with feeling burned out?

Art Prompt: Burn out

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the health effects of burn out and give them tips to avoid it.

Photo Credit: ashley rose, on Flickr


My mantra, like most, was that if it didn’t kill you, it only made you stronger. Later on in life, after being beat down by the experiences following you’ll read about, I’ve changed the mantra to, if it doesn’t kill you now, it will later. –Jennifer Topper, 29 Jobs and a Million Lies

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a series of adversities that your protagonist must struggle through.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when  you were extremely stressed and how you learned to deal with it.

Art Prompt: If it doesn’t kill me…

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how to deal with soul-killing stress.

Photo Credit: ashley.adcox on Flickr

Goodbye Grandpa

A 2009 report from the National Alliance on Caregiving indicated that 28 percent of adults are providing regular help to another person. This care mostly goes to an older person, but it may also include younger individuals-special needs children, individuals with severe chronic mental health problems and so on. Looking specifically at older people, the amount of care has increased because people are living longer and reach ages where disabilities are common. Furthermore, people appear to live longer than in the past after the onset of disabilities, including the cognitive problems associated with neurodegenerative conditions, such as dementia…
…Caregiving can range from providing occasional and minimal care to giving ongoing, extensive and sometimes full-time care… In intense care, high stress situations, the challenges are considerable. Caregiving can take up most, if not all, of the caretaker’s time. It can feel like you are always on call and needing to be vigilant. It can also feel like you are engulfed — your life has become just caring and you cannot do the other things that have been important and rewarding…
The other major psychological challenge is that care takes place in the context of a relationship that has a long, complex history…Caregivers may feel criticized and not appreciated by a parent or spouse they are caring for, or by siblings and other relatives. –Steven Zarit

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene from the point of view of someone who is in the demanding situation of caregiving.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were a caregiver. How did you deal with the emotional toll?

Art Prompt: Caregiving

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the phenomenon of caregiving in today’s society and give them ideas for supporting people they know who are caregivers.

Photo Credit: Eric Ward on Flickr


There is no one specific trigger, but there are many contributing factors and high risk behaviors that contribute to the addictions spectrum disorders.

  • Physiological Factors – Pre-natal substance use exposure, genetic predisposition, psycho-pharmacology of the substance being use, and the person’s body ability to tolerate the substance.
  • Psychological Factors – Stress/distress, anxiety, depression, and physical/psychological pain all increases one’s likelihood of using substances
  • Social – Exposure to substance use in one’s family, community, or even one’s job are possible contributing factors
  • Spiritual – Loss of purpose, hope, or struggling with the meaning of it all.

Joseph Troiani

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write about a character as they develop an addiction. What are the triggers? What is the background?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a personal experience with addiction.

Art Prompt: Addiction

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the contributing factors that lead to the development of an addiction and how they can spot the warning signs in their loved ones.

Photo Credit: Kaushik Narasimhan on Flickr


Frequent arguments/conflicts with anyone in the social circle — ranging from partners and relatives to friends and neighbors — were associated with a doubling to tripling in the risk of death from any cause compared with participants who said these incidents were rare.
Being out of work seemed to amplify the negative impact of social relationship stressors. Those who were unemployed were at significantly greater risk of death from any cause than those who were exposed to similar stressors but had a job.
And men seemed to be particularly vulnerable to the worries and demands generated by their female partners, with a higher risk of death than that normally associated with being a man or with this particular relationship stressor. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Add to your character sketch. What are the predominant stressors in your character’s life? How does his or her body react to them? How  is this reflected in their life?

Journaling Prompt: What is the most common stressor in your life? Write about how you cope with it.

Art Prompt: Stress and death

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the health effects of stress and give them strategies to deal with it.

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver on Flickr

Bored at work

Although boredom is often seen as a trivial and temporary discomfort that can be alleviated by a simple change in circumstances, it can also be a chronic and pervasive stressor that can have significant consequences for health and well-being.
Boredom at work may cause serious accidents when safety depends on continuous vigilance, as in medical monitoring or long-haul truck driving. On a behavioral level, boredom has been linked with problems with impulse control, leading to overeating and binge eating, drug and alcohol abuse, and problem gambling. Boredom has even been associated with mortality, lending grim weight to the popular phrase “bored to death.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Create character for your story who is bored. What are the consequences of that boredom?

Journaling Prompt: When do you get bored and how do you cope with it?

Art Prompt: Boredom at work

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the problems of boredom and provide tips for dealing with it.

Photo Credit: hawk684 on Flickr

2 Because he won't knock...

…scientists wanted to see whether or not people could be scared to death. They looked for a likely belief, and found it in the Chinese and Japanese idea that the number four is unlucky. Obviously, finding a random sampling of subjects and attempting to scare them to death would be unethical, so the scientists reluctantly turned their attention to existing death certificates. The scientists looked and Japanese and Chinese death certificates, and those of white Americans as the control. They found that while white Americans saw no major peak for cardiac deaths, Japanese and Chinese cardiac deaths peaked on the fourth of the month every months.

Why? The stress and worry of approaching an unlucky day actually caused people to have heart attacks. The fourth of every month acted the same way a Sherlock Holmes murderer did, and so the phenomenon was called The Baskerville Effect. Worry actually can kill. So don’t worry, or you will die. -Esther Inglis-Arkell

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene about someone who is scared to death.

Journaling Prompt: What are you most afraid of? How do you deal with your fear?

Art Prompt: Scared to Death

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about the effect of fear, stress, and worry on your life.

Photo Credit: Silentmind8 on Flickr

Stress Reduction

…researchers have found that when people are put under stress — by being told to hold their hand in ice water for a few minutes, for example, or give a speech — they start paying more attention to positive information and discounting negative information. “Stress seems to help people learn from positive feedback and impairs their learning from negative feedback,” Mather says.

This means when people under stress are making a difficult decision, they may pay more attention to the upsides of the alternatives they’re considering and less to the downsides. So someone who’s deciding whether to take a new job and is feeling stressed by the decision might weigh the increase in salary more heavily than the worse commute.

The increased focus on the positive also helps explain why stress plays a role in addictions, and people under stress have a harder time controlling their urges. “The compulsion to get that reward comes stronger and they’re less able to resist it,” Mather says. So a person who’s under stress might think only about the good feelings they’ll get from a drug, while the downsides shrink into the distance.

Stress also increases the differences in how men and women think about risk. When men are under stress, they become even more willing to take risks; when women are stressed, they get more conservative about risk. Mather links this to other research that finds, at difficult times, men are inclined toward fight-or-flight responses, while women try to bond more and improve their relationships. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a person making a decision in a stressful situation. Include the internal monologue.

Journaling Prompt: How do you make decisions when you are under stress?

Art Prompt: Stressful Decisions

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Inform your audience about the role of stress in decision making.

Photo Credit: Eamon Curry on Flickr

The Voice of a broken heart

Experts are saying that it is the stress that kills, but I think it’s a broken heart. -Kristine Katherine Rusch, Dunyon, Asimov’s July 2011

Writing Prompt: Write a poem, story, or scene about a character dying of a broken heart.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when your heart was broken.

Art Prompt: Broken heart

Photo Credit: Romel on Flickr