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I have tried several stress management techniques in the past, but I wanted to do something unconventional for this assignment. Rather than focusing on myself, I chose to focus on others in relieving the tension I often feel from stressors. Research shows that when one is stressed, this can be relieved by releasing the ‘happy hormones’, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. These hormones are released by the brain and promote positive feelings. Therefore for this assignment, I sought to have more of these hormones released by triggering the same in others. I chose to make others feel good about themselves, which in turn made me feel good, relaxed, and happy about myself. Hence, for 14 days, I set out to make it a habit to compliment at least 7 people a day. The compliments were not made haphazardly but instead were thoughtful and made with all sincerity to ensure the desired result for the recipient of the compliment. I chose to compliment 7 people because I felt this was not too large or too small a number and also because I wanted to put in much thought rather than just speaking out without being sincere.

During the first three days of my relaxation exercise, I felt a level of nervousness as I was not sure what the people I complimented would make of my compliments. I tried as much as I could not appear nervous as these would likely send the wrong message. However, every person I complimented responded positively and genuinely responded with joy and happiness. These reactions undoubtedly made me feel so much better. By the fourth day, I had gotten better at complimenting people. I would often look for a person who seemed to have a good day if only someone would complement them. One remarkable example I remember was a Latino mother I met at the mall who struggled to juggle between grocery shopping and keeping her two young children in sight. As I watched her, she seemed to look tired from perhaps a long day of work and a possibly longer evening with her two young ones. I pushed my trolley to the aisle where she was shopping, and when I got to her, I told her how beautiful her children were, and I added that they would definitely grow up to be stunning young women. The smile that the woman gave me melted my heart. She thanked me for the kind words, and it seemed that after the compliment, she was more at ease with handling her children and the shopping. I watched her even get her children some big candy floss while calling them her little angels. The compliment that I gave the woman changed her mood, and she extended this to her children. The change in her mood elevated mine as well.

When I chose to use this method of relaxing, I was, to some extent, ready to have people misinterpret my intentions. I thought I would meet people who would think I was up to no good for complimenting them. However, I was, after the 14 days, pleasantly surprised that none of those I complimented were rude or acted in anger or suspicion. Also, I need to add that on the 6th day; I decided to give out stickers to random people (10 in a day) that I met. The stickers read: ‘Have a wonderful day. You deserve it!’ Again, these stickers had the same impact as the complement had on the recipients and on me as well.

In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle points out that ‘happiness is the ultimate good because it’s the only good that can be sought for itself and not as a means to some other end’. Seeking happiness while giving happiness to others has proven to be a very satisfactory way for me to relax. I did not experience any challenges, and I looked forward to the next day when I would get an opportunity to see someone smile and appreciate a compliment. At the end of each day, I felt happier and more optimistic. The realization that one person (me) had the capacity to change the world, one person at a time, by using simple, thoughtful, and sincere compliments was the best mood enhancer that I have ever had in the recent past. The best part was that it cost me nothing to bring happiness to others and myself, by extension. There are so many negative things going on in our society, and the world seems bombarded by negative news and happenings every day. When a little light of happiness is spread around, then that, in my opinion, is worth me continuing with what I started. I may not do it on a daily basis, as was the requirement of this assignment, but I will definitely do it on a weekly basis. Every week I will seek to compliment 20 people. Any time I’m able to break the habit of drowning in my personal negative and stressful thoughts by focusing my attention on making someone else’s day better, then I think I will be steps ahead in living a healthier and happier life. I may further this by doing social research on the effects of complimenting the complimented person and the compliment.


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For 2 weeks straight, you are to engage in some stress management/relaxation technique for 10-15 minutes per day then report on your experience as explained below.

Stress Management

Stress Management

Begin by choosing an activity you wish to take on and engage in for 14 days. Here are some ideas: walking, jogging, stretching, bicycling, swimming, weight training, jumping rope, yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, progressive relaxation, body scanning, visualization, repetitive prayer, listening to soothing music, painting or coloring, journaling about 3 things for which you are thankful, something you wish for or dream about, or a positive experience you had during the day. The idea is to try something that you do not currently practice each day and stick with it every day for 2 full weeks. If you are interested in body scanning meditation or visualization, here are sample audio/video guides: Body Scan Meditation or Visualization – Forest.

Each day before you engage in your activity, track your overall mood using a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being very negative, 5 being neutral, and 10 being very positive. You should also track how you feel, using a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being very agitated, 5 being neutral, and 10 being very calm. When you finish your activity, once again, track your overall mood and how you feel. Write down this information every day and even though you need not submit it, you will need to summarize your overall results in your report.

At the end of the 14 days, review the tracking of your moods and feelings throughout that time period, and to prepare to write your essay, evaluate the findings of how your mood and feelings changed or did not change.

Begin your essay by clearly describing the stress management/relaxation technique you chose to use. Then discuss the findings that you tracked each day before and after engaging in your activity. Be sure to thoroughly address what you originally expected to find and then anything that may have surprised you, as this is 25% of your grade on the essay.

Next, write an overview of your technique in reference to the benefits to your psychological well-being. You should also address any challenges you encountered and what you learned from the overall experience. Lastly, be certain to disclose whether or not you intend to continue to use the technique in the future. Again, please provide a thorough discussion, as this part is also worth another 25% of your grade on the essay.

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