Business Magazine

Stress Management

Posted on the 12 September 2011 by Combi31 @combi31

EFFECTIVE STRESS MANAGEMENT LENGTHENS YOUR LIFE SPANStress is a common, adaptive response to threat. It indicates the presence of danger, peril or risk and prepares us to take protective or proactive actions.When there is the fear of an anticipated threat one’s welfare and comfort, the human system is designed to react in such a way as to protect the body from perceived imminent danger. Such dreaded objects are normally avoided.Note the following facts about STRESS- Stress hinders performance of difficult tasks or at least retard the progress.- Moderate stress improves performance and motivation on less difficult assignment.- In family relationship, stress leads to strained relationship, less cooperation and more hostility.- Stress must be properly managed to prevent physical and mental illness. It is a wellestablished fact that stress causes cardio vascular disorder.- Continued exposure to chronic stress can culminate in serious heart disease and psychological illness.SOURCES OF STRESSAny circumstance, situation or condition which can cause stress is referred to as STRESSOR. Stressors vary in severity, impact and duration. The fear of oppression by a boss at work will last longer than a stress created by a flat tire on the way to the office.As well, the stress resulting from a seriously sick daughter will be more severe and have more impact than that created by a little traffic jam.When considering the sources of stress (stressor), mention need be made that what is a stressor for one person may not be stressful for another person. The demise of a loved one is stressful for all but loss of a job may be a major stress to some, minor stressor to some and no stressor to others.Moreover, what may constitute to one in a particular period may not be a stressor at another time. Being stuck in a traffic jam when going to the office may be more stressful than when returning home after a day’s job.TragedyThe major stressors for adults include major tragedies in the family such as death of a family member; a spouse, a child. Others include divorce, unfaithfulness of spouse, imprisonment, loss of job, accidents which may result in permanent disabilities.Positive EventsNot all stressors are negative events. Some positive events may result in stress. Wedding is normally adjudged as a desired or positive event. But the challenge in the new home will result in stress for a newly wedded lady. Extended family issues may also create stress for the new couple.Family ChallengesDaily challenges and hassles which result in stress include (but not limited to) the following: challenges at the work place, family relationships, daily movements to work in a heavy traffic, debt and mortgages, sickness in the family. The combination or accumulation of these events can be more stressful than major sudden events.Catastrophic EventsA catastrophe is a sudden, life threatening event which pushes people to undesirable extremes in life. This may be natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, tsunamis. Other catastrophic events include road accidents, sexual assaults.Catastrophes usually create stress which endures many years after the occurrence. A year after the tsunamis that claimed more than 216,000 lives, the ripple effects are still palpable on the survivors.OUTCOMES OF STRESSA stressed individual manifests some adverse behavior such as:Poor concentration, abnormal anxiety, changed outward behaviors, teeth clenching, hand wringing, pacing, nail biting, deep sighs, dry mouth, increased heart beat, and more regular yawns.The nervous system response to stressWhen a person perceives an event as stressful, the body undergoes a number of changes that intensify psychological and emotional stimulation.Diseases resulting from stressResearchers have clearly identified stress, and specifically a person’s characteristic way of responding to stress, as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The release of stress hormones has a cumulative negative effect on the heart and blood vessels. Cortisol, for example, increases blood pressure, which can damage the inside walls of blood vessels. It also increases the free fatty acids in the bloodstream, which in turn leads to plaque buildup on the lining of the blood vessels. As the blood vessels narrow over time it becomes increasingly difficult for the heart to pump sufficient blood through them.Stress also has been discovered (although with less established connection than cardio vascular disorder) to be responsible for the development of cancer.Reduced immunityThe immune system is a natural mechanism whereby the body is protected against invading bacteria and viruses that are responsible for sicknesses. Stress weakens the immune system thereby making the body susceptible to the invasion of viruses and bacteria.This occurs in two ways. People who are stress engage in unsafe activities and behaviors such as excessive smoking, sleeping less, careless driving, and poor feeding.Secondly, the hormonal system could directly be affected by stress thereby exposing the body to dangerous assault.Mental DisorderApart from physical disorderliness caused by stress, the psychosomatic disorderliness resulting from stress can not be glossed over. This may result in irritability, emotional instability, extreme anxiety, inability to reason properly to solve problem, and poor concentration.STRESS MANAGEMENTThere are corrective measures one takes to reduce the level and the effect of stress. Individuals have different ways of handling stress. The person who wants to control stress must have a belief that they can control the situation using either thought or action. If you have a bad boss and you are caught in a traffic jam on the way to the office, you either believe that he will be lenient that morning or you may pick your mobile phone and explain to him right there explaining the situation to him.Thus to control stress, you make more positive statements about the situation, resist every form of frustration and look on the brighter side of stressful events.Control Strategies.Psychologist have distinguished between problem focused control and emotion-focused control strategies. The first one has to do with finding immediate solution to the problem responsible for the stress. The emotion focused strategy involves eliminating or moderation unpleasant emotions.Social MaintenanceThe social system is so structured as to help victims of stress recover as quickly as possible. Supports from family members, government, employers go a long way helping a victim of stress to control it. It is strongly advised that when stressed, refuse to be isolated.Rest and RelaxationThis is a simple control measure for controlling stress. Progressive muscular relaxation is a way of doing this.Aerobic ExercisesThis includes physical exercises such as running, walking, biking, and will help control the stress level.Meditation Meditation can help recenter the body and the mind and help to take a step back from stressful experiences and to put things into perspective. Meditation can also improve breathing and muscle control which can alleviate the effects of stress in both the mind and body.James OjoArticle Source: EzineArticles.comSmiling shark

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