Stress Management

On January 27, 2011, in Quizzes, by Alberto Montoya

Learn about Stress Management here – when you’re ready, click the start button at the bottom of the page to begin your quiz!

Stress Management

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences. When people feel stressed by something going on around them, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood. These chemicals give people more energy and strength, which can be a good thing if their stress is caused by physical danger. But this can also be a bad thing, if their stress is in response to something emotional and there is no outlet for this extra energy and strength.

What Causes Stress?

Many different things can cause stress — from physical (such as fear of something dangerous) to emotional (such as worry over your family or job.) Identifying what may be causing you stress is often the first step in learning how to better deal with your stress. Some of the most common sources of stress are:

  • Survival Stress – You may have heard the phrase “fight or flight” before. This is a common response to danger in all people and animals. When you are afraid that someone or something may physically hurt you, your body naturally responds with a burst of energy so that you will be better able to survive the dangerous situation (fight) or escape it all together (flight).
  • Internal Stress – Have you ever caught yourself worrying about things you can do nothing about or worrying for no reason at all? This is internal stress and it is one of the most important kinds of stress to understand and manage. Internal stress is when people make themselves stressed. This often happens when we worry about things we can’t control or put ourselves in situations we know will cause us stress. Some people become addicted to the kind of hurried, tense, lifestyle that results from being under stress. They even look for stressful situations and feel stress about things that aren’t stressful.
  • Environmental Stress – This is a response to things around you that cause stress, such as noise, crowding, and pressure from work or family.
  • Fatigue and Overwork – This kind of stress builds up over a long time and can take a hard toll on your body. It can be caused by working too much or too hard at your job(s), school, or home. It can also be caused by not knowing how to manage your time well or how to take time out for rest and relaxation. This can be one of the hardest kinds of stress to avoid because many people feel this is out of their control.

How Does Stress Affect You?

  • Stress can affect both your body and your mind. People under large amounts of stress can become tired, sick, and unable to concentrate or think clearly. Sometimes, they even suffer mental breakdowns.

Good Stress Versus Bad Stress

  • So if stress can be so bad for you, how can there be “good” or “positive” stress?
  • If you are suffering from extreme stress or long-term stress, your body will eventually wear itself down. But sometimes, small amounts of stress can actually be good.
  • If nothing in your life causes you any stress or excitement, you may become bored or may not be living up to your potential. If everything in your life, or large portions of your life, cause you stress, you may experience health or mental problems that will make your behavior worse.
  • Recognizing when you are stressed and managing your stress can greatly improve your life. Some short-term stress — for example what you feel before an important job presentation, test, interview, or sporting event — may give you the extra energy you need to perform at your best. But long-term stress — for example constant worry over your job, school, or family — may actually drain your energy and your ability to perform well.

You Are Not Alone: Common Facts About Stress

  • Millions of Americans suffer from stress each year.
  • In fact, 3 out of 4 people say they experience stress at least twice a month.
  • Over half of those people say they suffer from ‘high’ levels of stress at least twice a month.
  • Stress can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes, and make you more likely to catch less serious illnesses like colds. It can also contribute to alcoholism, obesity, drug addiction, cigarette use, depression, and other harmful behaviors.
  • In the last 20 years, the number of people reporting that stress affects their work has gone up more than four times. (Whereas the number of people reporting that other illnesses affect their work have gone down.)
  • One fourth of all the drugs prescribed in the United States go to the treatment of stress.
  • FACT: There are simple steps you can take right now to help reduce your stress!

Stress Management

Stress Management: Learn to properly handle stress.
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Proper Telephone Manners

On January 27, 2011, in Quizzes, by Alberto Montoya

Learn about Telephone Manners here – when you’re ready, click the start button at the bottom of the page to begin your quiz!

Telephone Manners

Good phone manners are important both at work and at home. When you are on the phone with someone, your only interaction is verbal, so saying the right things is important to make the right impression.

If you are answering the phone at a job, your employer may have a specific way they would like you to answer the phone. If they haven’t told you, take the initiative and ask – it will show that you care about your performance and how your company is perceived.

If your company doesn’t have any standards for telephone procedures, follow the same standards that you would if you were answering the phone at home or at a friend’s. Speak clearly, be polite, and offer to take a message or help out if you are answering the phone for someone else.

Here are some common practices that will make you sound polite, whether talking on the phone to a friend, customer, potential employer, or complete stranger.
Answering the Phone

  • Some people like to let people know who they’ve reached as soon as they pick up the phone. Companies and some individuals may answer the phone “You’ve reached the John Smith Corporation” or “Hello, this is John Smith.” When in doubt, a simple “Hello” or “Hello, this is John” will do. Unless someone (such as an employer) asks you to answer the phone in a particular way, choose a style that’s comfortable for you and polite to others. Just avoid answering the phone in a way that may make the person on the other end feel uncomfortable or put on the spot (such as, “What?” or “Who is this?”)

Taking Messages

  • If you answer someone else’s phone or answer for someone who is not around, you should always offer to take a message. Again, this can be as simple as saying “I’m sorry, John’s stepped out. May I take a message?” or “I’m sorry, he’s busy at the moment. May I take your name and number and have him call you back?”
  • If the person who is calling asks you to help out instead and you don’t feel comfortable or don’t know the answer to their questions, it is always polite to say, “I’m sorry I don’t know but I’d be happy to pass the message on to John.” Just remember to pass the message on! If someone leaves a message, be sure to write down their name, phone number, time they called and the message – then be sure to give the message to the person they were calling.
  • Taking messages does no good if the person they are for never sees them. Set up a system for delivering phone messages. If it’s at home, you might decide to put a notepad by the phone and write messages there, or put them on the refrigerator. If it’s at work, you may set up a ‘message box’ or agree to leave messages in a certain place (on the bulletin board, in someone’s inbox, etc.)

Interrupting Others

  • Wait until someone has finished their phone conversation before talking to them. If it’s urgent and you need to use the phone or talk to someone who is on the phone, don’t pick up the line and start talking. Instead, say “Excuse me, may I talk to you for a second?” or “I’m sorry, but I need to make an urgent call, do you mind if I use the phone?”

The Phone is Your Tool

  • There are times when the phone calls (or the people on the line) can be too demanding. Being polite doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own time or drop whatever you are doing. If you are at a job or answering someone else’s phone, it is your responsibility to be as polite and helpful as possible, including taking messages. (You shouldn’t be answering someone else’s phone if you aren’t going to take the time to help out.) However, if someone calls you at home or catches you in the middle of something urgent, it is fine to offer to call them back. You can say, for example, “I’m sorry, but we were just about to sit down to dinner, can I call you back after we finish?” or “I’m sorry, but I was just about to run out the door, can I call you when I get back?”
  • Nowadays, many companies call people at home to try to sell them services; it’s fine to tell these people that you aren’t interested (it’s even fine to ask them not to call you at home anymore!), as long as you do it nicely. Again, a simple “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested” or “I’m sorry but I don’t make decisions over the phone; please don’t call again” can put an end to some of these calls.”

Proper Telephone Manners

Proper Telephone Manners: Why good telephone manners are important.
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Food Shopping on a Budget Quiz

On January 27, 2011, in Quizzes, by Alberto Montoya

Learn about Food Shopping on a Budget here – when you’re ready, click the start button at the bottom of the page to begin your quiz!

Food Shopping on a Budget

How to make the most of your stipend.

GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW WHEN FOOD SHOPPING

MAKE A LIST BEFORE GOING TO THE STORE. STICK TO IT!!!

  • Remember you are on a budget and you are less likely to stray from your budget if you stick to your list. Also, you shop quicker and get what you need without distractions.

MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT GO SHOPPING ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.

  • If you go hungry to the grocery store, you are more likely to be impulsive and buy items that won’t last you long.

STAY TO PERIMETERS AISLES.

  • Fill 2/3s of your cart with perimeter items as this is where fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, meats, and bread are found.

USE COUPONS ONLY IF YOU USE ITEM.

  • Coupons only save you money if you actually use the item. If it is not useful please cut if from your list.

MAKE FOOD SO YOU CAN STORE IN YOUR FREEZER.

  • Cook meals in advance. That way you avoid wasting food and also have to cook less.

Food Shopping on a Budget

Food Shopping on a Budget: How to make the most of your stipend.
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Hygiene and Grooming Quiz

On January 27, 2011, in Quizzes, by Alberto Montoya

Learn about Proper Hygiene & Grooming here – when you’re ready, click the start button at the bottom of the page to begin your quiz!

Proper Hygiene and Grooming

Bathing:

  • Bathe every day with antibacterial soap.
  • Scrub your entire body including your genitals and anus.
  • Scrub your feet well to avoid bad odors.
  • Shampoo your hair daily with a good dandruff shampoo/conditioner, scrubbing with your nails to get the active ingredients into the hair.
  • Dry with a clean towel after bathing. Use deodorant. Trim your arm pit hairs short too.
  • Change into clean underwear.

Teeth:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste that has fluoride. Floss daily too to remove bacteria from between your teeth. In addition, an antiseptic wash like Scope is advised.

Hair:

  • Comb your hair daily. If you are not going to take care of it, keep it short.

Hands and Nails:

  • Wash your hands before and after eating.
  • Keep your nails trimmed and clean to avoid bacteria living in there.

Feet:

  • Wear clean socks every day.

Proper Hygiene and Grooming

Proper Hygiene and Grooming: Learn about staying clean and groomed.
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Assertiveness Quiz

On January 27, 2011, in Quizzes, by Alberto Montoya

Learn about Assertiveness here – when you’re ready, click the start button at the bottom of the page to begin your quiz!

What is Assertiveness?

Assertiveness is standing up for your right to be treated fairly. It is expressing your opinions, needs, and feelings, without ignoring or hurting the opinions, needs, and feelings of others.
Because people want to be liked and thought of as ‘nice’ or ‘easy to get along with’, they often keep their opinions to themselves, especially if those opinions conflict with other people’s. But this sometimes leads to being taken advantage of by people who are not as nice or considerate. Asserting yourself will stop others from cheating you and you from cheating yourself out of what you deserve.

Assertive behavior includes:

  • Starting, changing, or ending conversations
  • Sharing feelings, opinions, and experiences with others
  • Making requests and asking for favors
  • Refusing others’ requests if they are too demanding
  • Questioning rules or traditions that don’t make sense or don’t seem fair
  • Addressing problems or things that bother you
  • Being firm so that your rights are respected
  • Expressing positive emotions
  • Expressing negative emotions

Speak up when you have an idea or opinion.

This is one of the biggest steps toward being more assertive and can be easier than you think. It may be as simple as raising your hand in class when you know the answer to a question, suggesting a change to your boss or coworkers, or offering an opinion at a party (even if it’s just your opinion of a new movie or book.)
Stand up for your opinions and stick to them.

It can be a little harder to express opinions and stick to them when you know that others may disagree, but try to avoid being influenced by others’ opinions just out of the desire to fit in. You may change your mind when someone presents a rational argument that makes you see things in a new light, but you shouldn’t feel a need to change your mind just because you’re afraid of what others may think. Like as not, you’ll gain more respect for standing up for yourself than you will for not taking a stand.
Make requests and ask for favors.

Most people find it hard to ask for help when they need it, but people don’t always offer without being asked. As long as your requests are reasonable (for example, “Would you mind holding the door while I carry my suitcase to the car?” as opposed to “Would you mind carrying my suitcase to the car while I hang out and watch TV?”) most people are willing to help out. If your requests are reasonable (meaning, would you agree or respond kindly if someone asked the same of you?), don’t feel bad about asking.
Refuse requests if they are unreasonable.

It’s perfectly appropriate to turn down requests if they are unreasonable or if you don’t have the time or resources. For example, if someone asks you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or you think is wrong, it’s fine to simply say no (“I’m sorry but I don’t feel right doing that” or “I’m sorry but I can’t help you with that.”) It’s also fine to turn down someone if you feel overwhelmed. If you are concerned that you aren’t being fair to others, ask if their favors are fair to you (would you ask the same of them? would you expect them to say yes every time?) You can always offer to help in the future or help in another way (“I’m sorry but I don’t have time to help you with that today, but I could help you tomorrow” or “I won’t write your report for you, but I’d be happy to talk to you about it and read it over when you’re done.”) As long as you don’t turn down every request that comes your way, you shouldn’t feel guilty.
Accept both compliments and feedback.

Accepting compliments seems easy, but people often make little of them because they are embarrassed (“Oh it was nothing” or “It’s not a big deal”.) But don’t make less of your accomplishments. It’s fine to simply say “thank you” when people give you compliments — just don’t chime in and begin complimenting yourself or you’ll lose their admiration pretty quickly! (“You’re right, I AM great!”) Similarly, be prepared to accept feedback from others that may not always be positive. While no one needs to accept unwarranted or insulting advice, if someone gives you helpful advice in the right context, try to accept it graciously and act upon it. Accepting feedback (and learning from it) will often earn you respect and future compliments.
Question rules or traditions that don’t make sense or don’t seem fair.

Just because something ‘has always been that way’ doesn’t mean it’s fair. If you feel a tradition or rule is unfair to you or others, don’t be afraid to speak up and question why that rule exists. Rather than break a rule or law, find out the reasoning behind it. If you still think it’s wrong, talk to friends or coworkers, work with counselors and legislators, and see if there is a way to change it. While some rules are less flexible and should be respected (for example, a family’s decision not to allow cigarette smoking in their house or the state laws about drunk driving), others may be open to debate (for example, why a public place doesn’t have wheelchair access or your school computers aren’t compatible with assistive technology.)
Insist that your rights be respected.

While you want to choose your battles carefully (the right to equal pay in the workplace is probably more important than your right to wear your Hawaiian T-shirt to work on Fridays), you do have basic rights that you should feel comfortable standing up for. Some of these rights may be guaranteed you under law, such as your medical, employment, and educational rights. Other rights may involve basic courtesy – such as the right to be treated fairly, equally, and politely by friends, coworkers, and family.
Asserting Yourself in Important Situations

Everyone has rights, some of which are protected by law, others that are basic courtesy. Asserting your rights is important, especially when they may affect your health, career, or relationships. Some things to remind yourself when faced with important decisions:
Healthcare
You have the right to:

  • Ask questions.
    Don’t be afraid to ask a doctor, nurse or counselor, about a diagnosis, recommended treatment, or prescribed drug. You may worry that their time is important but so are your time and your health. You have a right to ask and receive a full explanation about anything pertaining to your health.
  • Get a second opinion.
    Doctors, nurses, and counselors are not infallible. If you are concerned about a diagnosis or recommended treatment, even after a healthcare professional has explained it to you, it’s your right to go see someone else. (Although you may have to discuss this with your insurance company before doing so.) If the information you’re being given could drastically affect your life, don’t feel as though you have to rely on one person’s word. Healthcare professionals are right more often than they are wrong (otherwise they wouldn’t be practicing), but it doesn’t hurt to see other professionals for their opinion.
  • Refuse treatment and/or seek alternative treatment.
    This is often a scary and difficult decision, but if you are a competent adult, you do have the right to refuse medical treatment. You may choose to do so because you have received a different opinion from another expert in the field; you may do so because you are afraid the drawbacks of the treatment will outweigh the benefits (for example, undergoing chemotherapy when there’s only a small chance your cancer will spread); or you may do so for other, personal reasons. Deciding to refuse treatment or seek alternative treatments against your healthcare professional’s advice can be very risky and should be considered very carefully. If you have doubts about a treatment or diagnosis, even after getting a second opinion, consider doing research (focusing on reliable resources!), talking to others who have experienced the treatment or diagnosis, and getting even a third or fourth opinion.
  • Stay Informed.
    Some of your options may be limited by time, availability, or what you or your insurance is willing and able to pay, but your right to be informed doesn’t have to be limited. Your local library, the Internet, health care and community centers, and advocacy groups are all good places to look for more information. Just remember to assess the validity of the information you find — ask questions like, “Who is distributing this information?”; “What is their agenda?”; “What are their credentials?”; and “What are they not addressing?”

Work and School
You have the right to:

  • Equal opportunity
    No matter what your race, gender, or abilities, the law guarantees you equal access to jobs and an education. You cannot be turned down for a job or be rejected from a school based simply on your physical attributes. You cannot be denied the same opportunities available to others.
  • Equal rewards
    Just as you have the right to the same opportunities, you have the right to the same rewards. If you perform as well as others at work or at school, you deserve the same compensation (be it in the form of a grade or a paycheck.)
  • Family and Friends
    Sometimes, asserting oneself around people you care for can be harder than asserting oneself elsewhere in life. That’s because these are people you care for and depend upon. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be treated fairly by them. Just as you expect fair treatment from your boss, coworkers, or teachers, you should expect the same from those who care for you. That includes:
  • Equal treatment
    You deserve to be treated the same as other family members and friends when it comes to responsibilities (such as doing chores, sharing, or taking turns) and rewards (such as choosing which movie you’ll see with your friends or the right to time on the family computer.)
  • Respect
    Just like everywhere else in your life, you also deserve to be treated with respect. While family members and friends may be casual around each other (that’s part of the comfort that comes with friendship), if their actions or behaviors offend you or hurt your feelings, you have the right to tell them and ask them to change those behaviors.

Assertiveness

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