The latest developments on self regulation and coping with stress were shared with us during a master class by TNO and Jutz. The findings and learnings are very interesting especially for our project YUNO.
The “jumping-over-the-tables” game
The day started with a game.
The instructions were simple: “you need to jump over these 2 tables as fast as you can”.
Immediately I thought: “oh no, I don’t want to… what if I fall?” Besides, I am shy to do that in front of a room full of strangers.
Then we were given one minute to prepare. I thought: “prepare? what do you mean prepare?”, so I started chatting with my colleague Marjan, who has an injury in her back, so she told me: “I am not doing this…” Then they said not everyone was going to do the jump. I felt relieved. That they would select just a couple of people. We were asked to close our eyes, and they would walk around the room and tick the selected people in the shoulder.
Oh! I started to get nervous, I hope I don’t get ticked. But I did! ^_^ Then the instruction was to open our eyes and to stand up if you were selected. To our surprise, the whole room was standing up! … and nobody was asked to jump over the tables.
We were asked the following questions:
- How did you prepare yourself?
- What thoughts did you have about the assignment?
- How did your body react?
- What were you focusing on?
Then they asked the whole group questions to identify what coping strategy we used.
There are 4 strategies people use to cope with stress:
- Problem solution focused
- Dealing with emotions
- Looking at it from a different perspective
- Look for social support
There are no right or wrong coping strategies, but most they don’t all work the same way in every situation. Everyone has a particular preference for one or another strategy, but not everyone has the same coping flexibility, the ability to change strategies according to the situation.
Coping Flex app
Based on the coping strategies, TNO developed the Coping Flex app developed for military use. The app helps you understand yourself better, and by answering a questionnaire, your coping profile is generated.
The app is still under development and is based on scientific research, and for project YUNO, it is very interesting to look at these coping profiles and see if we can build upon them.
TIP: The presenter was explaining the profile by showing her own profile, but she only shared it was her own in the end. This is something that we can also use for YUNO, showing your own profile and sharing something personal makes it easier for the rest to be willing to fill it in and share with you.
Stress Design Toolbox
The coping stress design toolbox is based on brainstorming techniques. You gather your team around the table with post its and markers. On the board there was a circle with inner circles, and a quadrant with feasable and non-feasable on one axis and common vs original in the other axis.
The idea is to start with the stakeholders involved, then define the learning goals, the stressors and the gaming and simulation techniques. For each brainstorming exercise the focus lies in choosing just one stakeholder.
It is a nice tool to brainstorm in a structured way about solutions to teach a certain target group about how to cope with stress.
The day closed with some serious gaming. It was a lot of fun. We played a computer game called: Keep talking and nobody explodes.
One player is trapped in a virtual room with a ticking time bomb they must defuse. The other players are the “Experts” who must give the instructions to defuse the bomb by deciphering the information found in the bomb defusal manual. But there’s a catch: the experts can’t see the bomb, so everyone will need to talk it out – fast!
The stress of trying to solve a logic puzzle as your buddy is screaming that he’s about to blow up is harrowing — and hilarious.