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Stress Management Dialectics and LOC
~ Define stress and stress management
~ Explore how understanding locus of control and using dialectics can reduce stress
~ Identify techniques to help people learn to use dialectics and embrace a balanced locus of control.
What is Stress?
~ Stress is anything that requires energy
~ Eustress: Skydiving, pregnancy, laughter, digestion, vacation
~ Makes you happier, healthier or keeps you alive
~ Distress: Conflict with a co-worker, illness, pain, nois, crowding, vacation…
~ Protects you from threats (Fight or Flight, depression)
~ Managing stress means
~ Not exceeding energy supply
~ Balancing eustress with distress (5:1)
~ Ensuring there is sufficient recovery time from each
Stress Management, Dialectics and LOC
~ Locus of control refers to how much control a person feels they have over their destiny
~ Dialectics encourages people to examine and incorporate all valid aspects of situations recognizing that things can be…
~ Controllable and uncontrollable
~ Helpful and unhelpful
~ Painful/upsetting and soothing/consoling/for the best

~ Knowing what is important to you can help you balance extremes and make effective choices to change in a way that gets you closer to your goals and reduces distress.
~ What is important to you…
~ Physically (health, fitness, senses)
~ Environmentally (housing, surroundings)
~ Interpersonally (People/pets, relationships, level of connection)
~ What are your values
Locus of Control
~ Internal Locus of Control
~ I control everything all the time
~ A belief that hard work and personal abilities will lead to positive outcomes and a strong sense of personal responsibility for future thoughts and aspirations.
~ How can an internal LOC
~ Decrease distress
~ Increase distress
Locus of Control
~ External Locus of Control
~ I have control over nothing. Fate/God determines what happens
~ Less likely to work to reach their full potential due to the motivational, emotional, and cognitive deficits it creates. Such as…
~ How can an external LOC
~ Decrease distress
~ Increase distress
Serenity Prayer
~ G.O.D. grant me
~ The serenity to accept the things I cannot change (EL)
~ Because trying to change the unchangeable is a waste of precious energy)
~ The courage to change the things I can (IL)
~ Because I can use my energy to move me toward what is important to me
~ The wisdom to know the difference (Dialectics)
Validation of Self and Others
~ Validation doesn’t mean agreeing—You feel how you feel.
~ What to validate
~ The valid
~ Example: “It is stupid to get this upset over the toilet seat.”
~ Every invalid response makes sense in some way
~ The facts
~ People’s feelings, experiences, challenges and beliefs
~ How to validate:
~ Empathy/Mindfulness
~ Reflection of feeling and manifest and latent content
~ Acknowledging the valid
What are Dialectics?
~ Once you have validated it is time to address the situation to reduce distress, improve relationships or increase wisdom
~ Dialectics means balancing opposites accepting that things can both be true and untrue
~ Truth evolves over time
~ Everything is interconnected
~ Change is transactional
~ There is always more than one way to see a situation
~ There is more than one way to solve a problem
~ Dialectics occur along many dimensions
~ Self and group/family/community reactions and identity
~ Self and other individuals identity and reactions
~ Logical mind vs. emotional mind
~ Empowered vs. Helpless
~ Impulsive/Urgency vs. Radical Acceptance
~ Self-denial vs. Self-indulgence
~ Activities
~ Choose an issue. (Gardening)
~ Describe the extremes
~ Identify what you are doing too much of vs. too little of (avoid good and bad)

Goals of Dialectics
~ Reduce suffering/reactivity
~ Increase happiness
~ Increase wisdom
~ Increase sense of personal validity
~ Improve relationships
Thinking Dialectically
~ View the facts of the situation from both sides (Devil’s Advocate)
~ Ask “What am I missing?”
~ Let go of extremes/catastrophizing
~ Use metaphors and similes
~ Look for similarities and common ground
~ Validate both sides and work toward change
~ Pay attention to your effect on others
~ Practice letting go of blame
~ Remember that all behaviors and feelings are caused
~ Why is this situation provoking this reaction?

Activity—Examples of Dialectics

~ Tough and gentle (Parents)
~ Being independent and needing help
~ Problem solving and problem acceptance
~ Needs vs. Wants (Time management, relationships)
~ Staying the same vs. change
~ Emotion regulation and emotion acceptance
~ Trust and suspicion
~ Taking and giving
~ Wanting to be alone yet connected to others (Introverts)
~ Observing and participating
~ Belong in one group, but not in another (Neighborhood)
~ Be a good person and make hurtful choices (Addiction)
~ Have valid reasons for your beliefs, but still be wrong (Relationships)
~ Be mad at someone, and still love them
Challenging Examples
~ Children: Nice vs. mean
~ Children: Good vs. bad
~ Children: Independence vs. dependence
~ Children: Parent’s divorce
~ Oppositional/Disrespectful child
~ Smoking/drinking
~ Body image
~ Parent dies of cancer
~ “Good” relationship ends
~ Unhealthy relationship ends
~ Unable/unwilling to connect for fear of being hurt
~ Reality (plane crash, stock market)
~ Failure
~ Victimization/never feel safe
~ Stress comes in many different forms
~ Stress can keep us going and get us motivated
~ Too much stress is exhausting
~ Locus of control helps people realistically examine how much control they have over a situation
~ Dialectics help people deal with distress by embracing and examining the opposing forces or points in a situation.