Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sailors Learn to Overcome Stress, Anger

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nardel Gervacio, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-West

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to various commands on Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island attended a stress and anger management class at the Nor'Wester Fleet and Family Support Center Feb. 17.

The class covered ways of controlling and overcoming physical effects of stress and anger through the changing of one's thoughts and attitudes.

"The big thing I try to do in the class is to make sure they have resources," said David Thomason, master trainer, and education services facilitator at Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC), Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. "We look for all kinds of books (Quick Series), different publishers who have all kinds of insight and different methods of handling and managing stress."

Some people may experience sleep disruption, loss of energy, loss of appetite and feelings of guilt when dealing with stress and anger, according to Thomason.

"My job is to teach the very core of what stress is and how it affects us, and how anger plays [a role]. I give them the very basic tools on changing their body chemistry," said Thomason. "The way they think, the way they respond to stress, so they can improve their lives."

Signs of stress also include feelings of sadness and loss of interest in pleasurable activities.

"I came here today because I was having difficulty dealing with the day-to-day stresses of the job, and to learn more about what causes it," said Sonar Technician 3rd Class Meosha Jefferson, a San Diego native assigned to Naval Ocean Processing Facility at NAS Whidbey Island. "The examples the instructor gave were very helpful. [The way] he included his own personal stories made it easier for everyone to relate to."

Students learned to evaluate and deal with problematic situations as demonstrated in video presentations, and through class discussion, slides, and reading materials.

The class was an open forum encouraging students to learn and interact on a variety of potentially stress-causing issues.

"There were a lot of things discussed in the class that I can relate to. The examples given and the videos shown on anger and stress were helpful to me," said Aviation Electronic Technician Airman Trevor Voshell of Pullman, Wash., assigned to Naval Hospital Oak Harbor.

Keeping fit, eating right and learning to relax are all helpful in overcoming stress Thomason added.

"Stress impacts our health, our relationship, jobs, stress and anger impacts who we are," said Thomason. "Managing it does not require equipment or medications; all we have to do is teach people the skills and help them learn them and they can totally improve their quality of life."

FFSC provides service members and their dependents with many personal and professional support services. Whatever the need, FFSC offers the tools necessary for success.

"The biggest thing is that they have a new perspective," said Thomason. "When they start getting stressed and angry, they can employ the basic tools I gave them and see success. Productivity improves, accidents go down, and illness goes down; all the good things happen."

For more news from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, visit

For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visit

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