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“Managing Stress in Our Lives”



Pre-Listening Activities

  1. Discussion: Start by having a class discussion on the topic of stress management. Ask students questions such as:
  • What are some common stressors in your life?
  • How do you typically cope with stress?
  • Have you tried any stress management techniques before? Which ones were effective for you? This discussion will activate students’ prior knowledge and personal experiences related to stress.
  1. Predicting Content: Based on the title of the interview, “Managing Stress in Our Lives,” ask students to make predictions about the content of the conversation. Have them work in pairs or small groups and generate a list of possible stressors and stress management strategies that might be discussed. Afterwards, have students share their predictions and compare them with the actual content of the interview. This activity will activate their critical thinking skills and engage them in making connections to the topic.

  2. True/False Statements: Prepare a set of true/false statements related to the interview content. For example:

  • Stress is always harmful and should be avoided.
  • Medical bills are not a significant stressor in people’s lives.
  • Exercise is not an effective way to manage stress.
  • Stress management techniques are the same for everyone, regardless of individual differences. Read out the statements and have students indicate whether they believe each statement is true or false. After listening to the interview, they can check their answers and discuss their reasoning. This activity will encourage active listening and help students identify key information during the interview.

Vocabulary and Expressions

Here are some words and expressions that appear in the video:

drive something (verb): push, motivate, or move forward
– Stress sometimes drives people to self-isolate, which is not a healthy way to deal with the situation.

overwhelming (adjective): hard to deal with or intense
– The financial stress of providing for her family is overwhelming, and she doesn’t know what to do.

eliminate (verb): remove or get rid of
– One way to eliminate stress is to exercise regularly.

ridiculous (verb): laughable, absurd, unreasonable
– My boss expects us to work 70 hours a week, which is ridiculous.

Listening Comprehension Questions

Now, watch the interview and answer the comprehension questions. You can also turn on the automatically-generated captions for the video once you start it.


Randall: In this video. Let’s talk about managing stress. And to begin with, let’s talk about whether stress is ever good or useful in our life. Uh, what do you think, Aubrey?

Aubrey: Well, definitely there are positive stressors, right? Um, because, you know, if you’re not, it drives us, right? If you’re not stressed in some way, then you probably wouldn’t do anything, you know, like writing your paper. If you’re not worried about it, you’re probably not gonna do it.

Randall: Right. I agree with that.

Aubrey: But it can definitely become overwhelming if you have too much on your plate or you’re not managing it well.

Randall: Well, let’s talk about that idea of what kinds of stressors do you think are very common in people’s lives today.

Aubrey: Yeah, like especially in the United States, like we have a, like there’s a pretty toxic, um, drive to work all the time. Right. And not take time off. And that can be overwhelming and stressful, right? Because you don’t have downtime. You don’t have time to let go of that stress. You know, the drive to work more than 40 hours a week. Another one that’s big here in the United States would be like medical bills.

Randall: Oh yeah.

Aubrey: Just because things are really expensive. I was actually playing the Spider-Man game on the PlayStation, and one of the collectibles you get is a medical bill of his and it’s like blah, blah, blah. Surgery $2,000. I’m like, Yeah, that’s not true. There’s no way that surgery cost $2,000.

Randall: That seems so cheap.

Aubrey: No, like I was in a car accident and, uh, the bills are upwards of $10,000. Like, it’s ridiculous. Um, thankfully, I have insurance, so I’m gonna be okay, but it’s definitely a big stressor in people’s lives here in the United States.

Randall: Yeah. So school can be a stressor, work can be a stressor, medical bills can be a stressor. What about the idea of just, uh, managing finances overall?

Aubrey: Oh, yeah. And it really depends. Like finances. That’s a hard one because it’s not a math problem. It’s more of a people behavior problem. Right?

Randall: Right.

Aubrey: And sometimes you end up in this cycle where it’s like, Oh no, I have no money, I’m stressed out, I better spend some money to make myself feel better.

Randall: Oh.

Aubrey: And then you’re more stressed out.

Randall: And that actually leads into the last thought on this. What are some healthy ways of managing stress? Again, going back to some of the things we talked about with the medical bills or school or work or, uh, relationships, what are some healthy ways, uh, whether it be exercise or other, that could help eliminate or at least reduce stress?

Aubrey: Yeah. So and then this is a good question too, like with the person who needs to manage stress, like do they have an underlying anxiety disorder is something to think about.

Randall: Good point.

Aubrey: Because the answer is gonna be different because, you know, if you do have an anxiety disorder, you’re gonna process things differently than you know someone who doesn’t. Um, but if we’re just talking in generalizations, I mean, meditation can be good for some people, um, deep breathing, you know, just taking a minute to center yourself, definitely take your days off. Like if you get paid, paid time off, you need to use it, right? Your company might not like that, but that’s too bad for them.

Randall: And you really, in those particular cases, need to force yourself to do it. You probably earned it. And so take it because it’s kind of like use it or lose it. And sometimes you might end up losing your mind because you haven’t been practicing enough self-care.

Aubrey: Exactly.

Randall: All right. Well, thank you for sharing some thoughts on managing stress in our lives.

Conversation Questions


  1. What are some examples of stressors mentioned in the interview?
  2. According to Aubrey, why is stress sometimes beneficial?
  3. What are some healthy ways to manage stress mentioned in the interview?
  4. Why is it important to take time off and practice self-care?
  5. How does Aubrey describe the relationship between stress and motivation?
  6. In what ways can financial issues contribute to stress? Explain with examples.


  1. Discuss the impact of work culture and societal norms on stress levels, as mentioned in the interview.
  2. Evaluate the statement: “Finances are not solely a math problem, but a people behavior problem.” Do you agree or disagree? Provide reasons to support your stance.
  3. Analyze the potential consequences of prolonged stress and the importance of managing it effectively.
  4. Reflect on the relationship between stress and physical health. How does engaging in regular exercise contribute to stress reduction, according to the interview?
ChatGPT was used collaboratively to prepare some of the discussion questions for this lesson.
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