The Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) is dedicated to improving the physical and mental health of Canadians by empowering individuals with scientifically grounded information on the effects of stress on the brain and body.
The Stress N’ Go capsules have been developed by the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) based on the work of Dr. Jeremy Jamieson’s research team at the University of Rochester in the United States. In presenting scientific knowledge, the capsules aim to help adolescents recognize a stress response, understand its purpose and how to use it to cope with struggles or overcome important challenges. Examples used in the capsules address the school environment, evaluations and other stressors that are common among adolescents.
Content : 4 capsules of 5 minutes each and an individual logbook Target audience: Adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old
Frequency : 1 to 2 capsules per week (in order)
Ideal implementation conditions (parameters): Stress N’ Go was designed to be presented in front of a class but can also be used individually (see the “I am a teenager” page). In either case, it is preferable to not make a preamble and introduce the capsules in the following way: “Stress N’ go is four video capsules that aim to help you better understand the purpose of your stress and how to cope with it”. Instead, we invite you to initiate a dialogue with the adolescents once they have watched the four video capsules. In addition, we invite you to suggest to teenagers that they use the logbook (that can be downloaded below) after viewing each capsule. This will allow them to better integrate the concepts seen in the capsules and to apply them in their daily life. The logbook can be filled out online or printed and filled out in class.
We developed Stress N’ Go as during one of our studies we realized that many teenagers are afraid of their physical response to stress or anxiety (e.g. heart beating faster, sweating, hands shaking, throat tightening, etc). It’s as if they are anxious about being stressed. They are afraid that what they are feeling signifies that they’re going crazy, are sick or that it will have negative social repercussions for them. This phenomenon is called anxiety sensitivity. Therefore, many young people perceive that stress is harmful to their mental and physical health, but also their performance. For example, when they experience a normal stress response when faced with an event (e.g. an upcoming exam), they panic about the stress response that their body is generating. However, although stress and anxiety are unpleasant, they are essential and very useful emotions for human beings.
Since this area of research has existed, researchers have not helped to make mindsets about stress to be positive as we have focused almost exclusively on the harmful effects of stress. Thus, we have published a great deal of scientific data demonstrating the negative effects of stress. However, studies show that stress has as many positive effects as negative effects. Therefore, we feel that it is about time that we talk to you about the positive effects of stress.
New lines of research are now looking at the positive effects of stress on humans. Dr. Jamieson’s team is one of them. They have shown that it is easy to change people’s negative mindsets about stress to make them more positive. Interestingly, once people have more positive stress mindsets, they can more broadly benefit from the positive effects of stress … on their body, their brain … but also on their performance!
A research project is currently underway in our laboratory and in collaboration with a research team in Australia to verify whether the Stress N’ Go capsules modifies the negative mindsets of teenagers and consequently, reduce their stress levels and anxiety sensitivity. As soon as possible, we will inform you of the results of the research project here.
To share your experience using Stress N’ Go with us, feel free to use the form below.