Conversation Topic and Videos: Stress and How to Manage It


What is stress?

Everyone has stress in their lives at some point or another. Some people have more than others. People deal with stress in different ways. Some ways are more beneficial than others. For some, talking about their stress with friends or family members is helpful. For others, writing in a diary provides insight and clarity when times are difficult.

Many times, our attitude and thoughts about stress can determine how much it affects us. If we try to avoid it and hide from it, we often make whatever problem is causing it worse. Procrastination can  be helpful in small doses, but as a way of life, it can lead to more stress. By facing our problems and dealing with them in a productive and healthy way, we can decrease our stress and start living more stress-free lives.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What is stress?
  2. What are some examples of things that are stressful in life?
  3. What causes you stress?
  4. How can stress be both positive and negative?
  5. What are some ways people deal with stress?
  6. How do you usually cope with stress?
  7. What are some unhealthy ways to relieve stress?
  8. What are some complications of stress?
  9. What are the healthiest ways to handle stress?
  10. What is your favorite way to de-stress?

Watch this video about academic stress in Korea and then discuss the questions that follow.

  1. What is your level of academic stress?
  2. Which is more stressful high school or university? Why?
  3. If you could change the Korean education system, how would you change it?

Pre-read the questions below and then watch this video by the BBC about how to manage stress.

  1. What is the purpose of stress and how has it changed in the 21st century?
  2. What 7 tips does the BBC give for managing stress?

Tips and Tools for Dealing with Stress

  1. Exercise.
  2. Get adequate sleep.
  3. Take deep breaths.
  4. Identify the causes of stress.
  5. Avoid unnecessary stress and learn to say no.
  6. Take control by taking steps to deal with whatever is causing you stress.
  7. Remember to take breaks. Make time for fun and relaxation.
  8. Talk to someone.
  9. Spend time in nature.
  10. Try meditation.
  11. Write in a diary.
  12. Keep a gratitude journal.
  13. Create opportunities for laughter.

For more tips and tools check out this article on stress management.

Time management tools

Check out the Pomodoro Technique.

Read books like Wait: The Art and Science of Delay

Your Turn:

How do you manage stress? Share any tips or tricks you have in the comment section below!

ESL Conversation Topic: Creativity

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