Only recently has stress been seen as a contributory factor to the productivity and health costs of companies and countries. As studies of stress-related illnesses and deaths show, stress imposes a high cost on individual health and well-being as well as organizational productivity. There are books now, which review the sources and outcomes of job-related stress, the methods used to assess levels and consequences of occupational stress and strategies to confront stress and its associated problems.
Stress is a complex phenomenon. It has been defined in many ways, but simply put; it is the wear and tear of everyday life.
In everyday's life people are subjected to a wide range of pressures. Similarly there are also a wide range of resources and strategies for coping with pressure. Sometimes people cope well and will not feel that the pressure is having any adverse effect upon them. At other times they will have difficulty in dealing with the situation and that is when we may use the term "stress".
In reality, any situation that puts pressure is technically "stressful". Stress is not necessarily unpleasant or harmful. When people are able to cope satisfactorily with the stress and find it to be positive in its effect, they tend to use other words - such as "stimulation" or "challenge".
In this regard a simple but accurate definition of stress is:
"Stress occurs when the pressures upon us exceed our resources to cope with those pressures."
It follows, therefore, that we can attempt to tackle stress either by reducing the pressures or by increasing our coping resources - or, indeed, a combination of both strategies.
The problem is that different people find quite different situations and circumstances to be stressful. At the extremes, a situation which one person experiences as positive and stimulating will cause another person acute distress.
[...] Certain Statistics that support common belief about stress: Statistics from a recent global stress research study show that increased stress is felt worldwide, and stress affects women differently than men: A recent Roper Starch Worldwide survey of 30,000 people between the ages of 13 and 65 in 30 countries showed: Women who work full-time and have children under the age of 13 report the greatest stress worldwide Nearly one in four mothers who work full-time and have children under 13 feel stress almost every day Globally of women executives and professionals, and 19% of their male peers, say they feel "super-stressed" Stress & its Characteristics Stress is physical When the goalkeeper or the batsman or the tennis player experiences Eustress, there are changes in the physical system. [...]
[...] Stress Management Training (group or individual) o Through a range of easily applied, practical courses underpinned by widely accepted Stress Management theory, groups and individuals can increase their understanding of the causes of stress and through this, learn techniques for reducing and dealing with stress. As the Manager As the boss, one can ensure that subordinates are not put to undue stress and also that they are helped to get out of stress situations as quickly as possible. The steps are Recognize the stress levels Show concern Encourage talking Listen Empathize Explain and show how it can be done Reassure Provide support Discuss and involve them in decisions Show respect to the individuals Avoid insult, denunciation, abuse, reprimand, particularly in public Avoid manipulation, coercion, blaming Avoid pressurizing too much Provide social support All the above, render support and help to reduce anxieties. [...]
[...] The stress management company thought it was best to conduct a course and the following are some of its fine points: Participants meet weekly for eight 90-minute classes. The company's human resources department and the availability of the PPSM staff will determine course schedule. Preliminary meetings with the company's human resource department, managers and employees to provide information to tailor the program to best meet the corporate needs. Up to four 60-minute introductory lectures, or as requested, to describe the program to potential participants are conducted. [...]
[...] The Resolution: The division head in charge of the development team implemented mandatory stress management programs and put a cap on overtime. In the end, the incidence of errors dropped significantly and employees were able to accomplish more work of higher quality in fewer hours. Federal agency cuts turnover rate from 40% to 15% in three years by identifying stress patterns and changing hiring philosophy The Situation: This 47-person government agency had a 40% turnover rate and was experiencing deep problems with employee moral and stress. [...]
[...] It is certainly possible to be self-indulgent and use stress as an excuse for not pushing yourself hard enough. It is, however, also far too easy to let yourself be pushed to a level where your work, and physical and mental health start to suffer. The strongest and most flexible position is to actively manage your levels of stress and fatigue so that you are able to produce high quality work over a long period, reliably. High performance in your job may require continued hard work in the face of high levels of sustained stress. [...]
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