How to Make Stress Work for You

Course No. 9190
Kimberlee Bethany Bonura, Ph.D.
Fitness and Wellness Consultant
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4.6 out of 5
25 Reviews
88% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 9190
  • Audio or Video?
  • You should buy audio if you would enjoy the convenience of experiencing this course while driving, exercising, etc. While the video does contain visual elements, the professor presents the material in an engaging and clear manner, so the visuals are not necessary to understand the concepts. Additionally, the audio audience may refer to the accompanying course guidebook for diagrams, illustrations, and examples that are cited throughout the course.
  • You should buy video if you prefer learning visually and wish to take advantage of the visual elements featured in this course. While the video version can be considered lightly illustrated, there are graphics, demonstrations, and illustrations, which may help reinforce material for visual learners.
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What Will You Learn?

  • Explore why stress comes not from raw stimuli but rather from how your brain perceives them using memory and analysis.
  • Learn how to differentiate between the different types (and degrees) of stress in everyday life.
  • Unpack popular myths about the relationship between stress and emotions like happiness, anger, and sadness.
  • Discover how to effectively employ stress management skills like detachment, visualization, meditation, and physical affection.
  • Consider why a life completely free of stress is an unhealthy (and impossible) goal.

Course Overview

Life is stressful. There’s just no getting around it. But while everyday stressors are a fact of life, that doesn’t mean they have to control you. Rather, with the right scientific understanding, you can actually make stress work for you instead of against you.

According to fitness and wellness consultant Dr. Kimberlee Bethany Bonura, trying to live a completely stress-free life is a zero-sum game. Life without stress is an apathetic life in which nothing matters. The true goal of your relationship with stress is to figure out how to manage it effectively; how to use it to build and support a meaningful, resilient life.

Recent years have seen a wealth of new insights into the science of stress and its effects on our physiological and psychological health. These insights, the product of fascinating research and studies, are more than simply interesting to learn about. They’re vital, powerful tools you can use to transform how you think about (and react to) stress, whether everyday stressors like traffic jams or unexpected traumas like a death in the family.

The bottom line, according to Dr. Bonura: “You can still find joy in this moment, in this chaos, in this life, by learning to be your own ultimate master of stress.”

With the 18 enriching and inspiring lectures of How to Make Stress Work for You, Dr. Bonura shows you how to manage and minimize the stress in your life. You’ll learn how to identify the types of stress you’re most vulnerable to, what your current stress responses are, ways to manage your response to stress (including key behavior modifications and mental exercises), and a plethora of other relevant, practical, and even essential information on integrating stress into a healthy lifestyle. Rooted in scientific findings from experiments, research papers, case studies, and first-hand experiences from Dr. Bonura’s life and career, this course offers you nothing less than a bold new way of facing (and appreciating) daily life.

EXPLORE THE NUANCES OF HOW STRESS WORKS

Think of stress management as a toll road, with an initial cost to get on but with long-term savings. The strategies and techniques required to master the stress in your life take some initial work to learn—and ongoing practice to hone and strengthen. But the investment, in the long run, will end up saving you time, energy, money, and preserve your mental health.

Designed to be your helpful companion in this process, How to Make Stress Work for You elucidates the realities of stress: how it works, why it affects us the way it does, and the importance of managing it.

Throughout these lectures, you’ll explore the nuances of stress in ways you may never have considered.

  • Types of stress: One important thing to understand about stress is that different stressors have different positions on what Dr. Bonura calls your personal “stress continuum.” There are traumas (for example, major illness) which are deeply stressful and often outside your control; moderate stressors (like work deadlines) that are more contained and manageable; and activities of daily living (such as laundry or getting dinner on the table) that can be stressful depending on your personality.
  • A matter of perception: New approaches to stress management take into account the fact that you never directly experience any stimuli. Instead, what you’re experiencing is the brain’s interpretation of raw input (sights, sounds) using memory, analysis, and reasoning. That’s why one important step in stress management is understanding that what you’re responding to in life are your perceptions—not the stimuli itself.
  • Busting emotional myths: Throughout these lectures, Dr. Bonura busts common misperceptions about our emotions and their relationship to stress. It turns out, for example, that the continued pursuit of happiness is, in and of itself, stressful. And if you think expressing your rage through punching a pillow is helpful, think again; it could actually be making you angrier.
  • The power of meditation: Meditation can dramatically improve your relationship with the stress in your life. You may have already practiced this essential skill without having gone to a meditation class. How can that be? At its core, meditation is the skill of keeping your mind and your awareness in the present moment.

BUILD A STRESS MANAGEMENT TOOLKIT

Each of us responds to stress in our own way. That’s why Dr. Bonura fills How to Make Stress Work for You with scientifically-backed techniques, behavior modifications, and simple exercises you can use to build a personalized toolkit for managing your stress response. You will explore tools like:

  • Detachment: Research shows that by detaching yourself from certain provocations and taking a “fly-on-the-wall” perspective you may more effectively let go of stressful emotions like anger.
  • Affection: At the University of Notre Dame, researchers found that adults who received more hugs in childhood had less anxiety as adults.
  • Rumination: If you ruminate right after a traumatic moment, you may better process the event neurologically and avoid getting stuck in that neural path in the future.
  • Creativity: Outlets like art therapy offer a unique opportunity for healing and restoration through the creative process.

BE YOUR OWN STRESS CHAMPION

With the insights of a health expert and the compassion of a helpful friend, Dr. Bonura makes How to Make Stress Work for You a supportive outlet to turn to whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress. A realist, her goal is not to cure you of harmful stress but to put you in better control of it.

“Fundamentally, we’re not looking for stress-free lives or stress freedom” she says. “We just want to feel like the stress that we experience leads to something we truly care about. That is when we are champions of our own stress.”

Warm and encouraging, her experience giving one-on-one help to individuals gives these lectures the feel of a private, personal conversation. Dr. Bonura walks you step-by-step through the course’s cognitive exercises, demonstrating just how easy it is to finally take charge of your stress.

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18 lectures
 |  Average 32 minutes each
  • 1
    A New Mindset about Stress
    Start the course with a reversal of common perspective: that stress is actually correlated with having a sense of meaning in your life. Along the way, learn a more holistic definition of stress, explore the idea of a stress continuum, and learn the difference between major traumas and everyday irritants. x
  • 2
    Happiness: A Fickle Queen
    We place so much emphasis on pursuing happiness that it often makes us less likely to be happy. Here, examine the relationship between happiness and play, why gratitude lists make you more resilient to stress, and how to train your mind to pay attention to the right kind of happiness. x
  • 3
    Anger: A Tyrannical King
    Expressing anger is the best way to overcome it, right? Wrong. Learn how the cognitive neoassociation theory explains why acting out on anger actually makes you angrier and that there is no proof for the common myth of anger management via catharsis. Then, learn how to let go of anger through helpful counting exercises and detachment. x
  • 4
    Swimming in an Ocean of Sorrow
    Suffering, pain, grief-how do we recover and rebuild in the wake of major trauma? Find out in this lecture on sorrow-related stress that explores our ever-shifting perceptions of trauma, the ways we make meaning out of trauma, and why simply acknowledging your vulnerability can be a vital aid. x
  • 5
    Why You Stress: Arousal and Value Judgment
    Arousal plus your value judgment equals your stress level. And what you respond to in life isn't the raw stimuli you experience (like a traffic jam) but your perceptions of these stimuli. Explore this idea in a lecture that recasts the stress continuum as a positive-negative curve instead of a line. x
  • 6
    Choose Your Adventure: Choose Your Stress
    Choice and stress are fundamentally intertwined. What does learned helplessness tell us about our sense of control? Is too much choice more stressful than fewer choices? Is someone obsessed with making the best possible choice happier than someone who's not? How can you make better decisions under stress? x
  • 7
    Heaven and Hell Can Be Other People
    For many people, social situations are stressful. But our social relationships can also promote physical and psychological health. Here, learn what role social media plays in how we view relationships, understand the idea of universal irrationality, and appreciate the healing power of experiencing awe and the importance of physical touch. x
  • 8
    Our Overstressed, Overscheduled Kids
    It's not just adults who are overstressed. A hectic modern lifestyle can create a negatively stressful impact on a child's psychological well-being as well. Learn strategies for helping kids overcome stress, including scheduling down time, appreciating the importance of hugs, and cultivating authentic relationships. x
  • 9
    Change Your Mind to Change Your Stress
    Changing your perception of stressful situations isn't easy. Dr. Bonura teaches you the nuances of cognitive restructuring, including how to reframe your thoughts of self-punishment (and avoid self-punishing behaviors) and how to productively face and manage your fears (including setting aside a specific time each day to worry). x
  • 10
    Emergency Stress Management
    Get a powerful toolkit for dealing with the stress of life-and-death situations while you're still cultivating a long-term approach to stress management. Exercises you'll learn including breathing strategies to stay centered, staying happy in order to regain a sense of self-control, and avoiding the dangerous cognitive distortion of catastrophizing. x
  • 11
    Good Stress Helps You Handle All Stress
    Can stress be good for you? How does stress help us become healthier, happier, and more resilient? Why should we seek out mild discomfort? How does one researcher's toughness model" explain how good stress works? Learn to use stress to strengthen your resilience." x
  • 12
    The Stress of Learning and Mastery
    Over half of Americans are stressed about their performance at work. Here, learn the importance of deliberate practice: perhaps the most effective strategy for cultivating competence at work. Then, ponder the idea of the imposter syndrome," learn how to receive feedback, dispel the myth of "magical transformation," and more." x
  • 13
    Alternative Approaches to Stress
    Dr. Bonura introduces you to a range of alternative care strategies that have proven benefits for stress management. These include spending time outside in nature, the mind-body technique of self-hypnosis, a fatigue-combatting diet, acupuncture, and massage. x
  • 14
    Mindfulness: Heart Healing to Manage Stress
    There's a lot of misunderstanding about meditation out there. Learn how to leverage mindfulness as a tool and a practice. From mindful breathing to mindful eating to loving-kindness meditation, find out why being mindful can help you build a more positive relationship with stress. x
  • 15
    Channeling Stress for a Competitive Edge
    Performance stress can help you perform at a higher level-if you know how to control it. First, learn how to repurpose this kind of stress as excitement. Then, discover what research says about how posture and flow" (immersion in the moment) can help you perform better in stressful situations." x
  • 16
    Emerging Stress Management Technology
    Explore emerging techniques for stress management based upon up-to-date scientific understanding of how stress works. These include biofeedback to better understand and control your physiological response to stress), art therapy (for emotional healing), visualization of desired outcomes, and eye movement desensitization (to work through trauma). x
  • 17
    Rest, Restore, Recover Your Resilience
    Relaxing is a mindset you carry with you. First, consider the physical and mental health benefits of taking a vacation. Then, better appreciate the smaller stress-reduction strategies of hot showers, and occasionally sleeping in. Finally, explore the idea of work sabbaticals and unstructured time. x
  • 18
    Learning from Your Stress
    Dr. Bonura leaves you with skills to learn from the stress in your life. Discover why it's important to feel a sense of purpose; how the frequency of positive experiences you have is more important than their intensity; and why it truly is important to appreciate the small things. x

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What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Video Download Includes:
  • Download 18 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
Audio Download Includes:
  • Download 18 audio lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 18 lectures on 3 DVDs
  • 392-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
  • Closed captioning available
Video DVD
CD Includes:
  • 18 Lectures on 9 CDs
  • 392-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 392-page printed course guidebook
  • Illustrations and photographs
  • Activities and questions
  • Suggested reading

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Your professor

Kimberlee Bethany Bonura

About Your Professor

Kimberlee Bethany Bonura, Ph.D.
Fitness and Wellness Consultant
Dr. Kimberlee Bethany Bonura is a fitness and wellness consultant with decades of experience teaching the benefits of physical and mental health to elite athletes, higher education institutions, nonprofit community organizations, and corporations. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, with a research emphasis in sport and exercise psychology, from Florida State University. Her doctoral dissertation won national...
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Reviews

How to Make Stress Work for You is rated 4.6 out of 5 by 25.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Speaker great presentation - was very happy witht the speakers knowledge and subject matter expertise highly recommend this video .
Date published: 2018-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How to make stress work for you I am very impressed with the content of this course and the way it was presented. I am very pleased that I purchased it
Date published: 2018-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Ideas in helping with Stress This Course in wonderful in giving ways to manage your Stress each day and More.
Date published: 2018-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life skills: Making stress your friend Really enjoyed this practical, relevant course on how to reduce stress by coming to terms with it, not eliminating it. I think it’s a great supplement to 1) Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation by Mark Muesse, 2) Stress and Your Body by Robert Sapolsky, and 3) The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being, by Ronald D. Siegel. All three courses get to the heart of stress but deal with it in their own ways. This course is an easy and gentle introduction to self-reflection and changing your mindset (cognitive restructuring). There are many places to stop the lecture and just contemplate where a particular issue impacts your own life. The Activities & Questions at the end of each lecture are springboards for earnest and purposeful inquiry. So, this is a course that I suspect will be repeated from time to time. Each lecture is buttressed by a foundation of research. This is what appeals to me. Having come across some of the studies in other courses, not everything was new to me, but still, I appreciated the review and perspective. As for the lengthy Bibliography with accessible references, thank you. I really like Kimberlee Bonura and her presentation style. We have similar styles of humor because I found her jokes/anecdotes really funny. However, the set was just so-so for me. The background was a bit dark at times (but not always). I just would’ve preferred more soft lighting.
Date published: 2018-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Useful information The info is really useful and easy to understand. I have already begun making changes in my thinking and my behavior. Strongly recommend it.
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Would not Recommend The Professor does not appear to have an original thought of her own, the entire course is heavily riddled with her referencing others on their writings, which she is repeating. Plucking “bits and pieces” from others to create a lecture is a horrible way to teach. I challenge you to see how much time she spends referencing others verse teaching the student. I also came across a few places that she repeated her lecture. Ironically it was almost word for word what she presented in an earlier lecture. Not at all happy with my purchase.
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Stress-Inducing! In this nondescript series of 18 lectures, Kimberlee Bethany Bonura discusses stress management. Sadly, many with a more rational frame of mind may find the whole endeavour extremely aggravating. The text read by Ms. Bethany Bonura is obviously very carefully written not to offend anyone … except those who value straightforwardness. Congruently, her tone of voice is so phoney that it is at times simply hilarious. Very little hard content is presented and, for instance, stress is defined no more as the opposite of non-involvement. The lectures are punctuated with invitations to count to 10 or with breathing exercises where with each exhalation one is asked to utter: “I am grateful for …”. Much time is spent on long, detailed, descriptions of pointless “scientific” experiments based on ridiculously small samples. For a much more substantial treatment of the same topic, potential buyers would certainly find it worthwhile to consider another Great Course: “Stress and Your Body” by Robert Sapolsky.
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eye-opening insights! I‘m a teacher, and student stress is in plentiful supply at the end of the semester. The new attitudes I‘ve learned about stress (it‘s what happens when something you care about is at stake, etc.) have helped me and my students immensely!
Date published: 2017-12-23
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