Managing Stress

Stress, is defined as a person’s adaptive response to a stimulus that places excessive psychological or physical demands on a person. Stress manifests itself differently from person to person. A stressful situation for one person could very well be tolerable to a person of substantial hardiness and optimism. Many people incorrectly assume that a susceptibility to stress is a sign of personal weakness or cause for embarrassment, but stress affects everyone. We as people need to learn how to identify some of the coping strategies and techniques useful in helping to alleviate stress.

“Coping is defined as the constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and or internal demands that are appraised as taxing or exceeding the resources of the person. ” In short, it is what you think and what you do when dealing with the demands of stressors. An individual may not be able to eliminate all stress from your life, but there are steps one can take to reduce stress. Many strategies have been developed to help people manage and cope with stress.

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There is no single right way of coping with a given stressful situation. Each of us must figure out what works best for us. Unfortunately, many People cope with stress by eating, drinking, smoking or doing drugs. Some people do not even deal with it at all. “In the short term, unmanaged stress management can lead to fatigue, sleep disorders, eating disorders and other unhealthy symptoms. Long-term unmanaged stress management can lead to major health problems such as heart decease, high blood pressure, Stroke and migraine headaches.

” However, there is help available for those who are experiencing and dealing with everyday stress and excessive levels of stress. “Five of the most popular forms of coping with stress are Exercise, Relaxation, Time Management, Role Management, and Support Groups. ” Exercise – Physical exercise is one of the most effective ways of relieving stress. Exercising the body thirty minutes or longer each day is a very effective tool in managing stress. Getting into better shape improves your mental health as well as your physical health.

People who exercise regularly feel less stress, are more energized, more confident and are able to cope with more stressful situations than those people who fail to exercise regularly. Any exercise that gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing relieves stress and promotes physical, emotional and spiritual health. Walking, jogging, running, aerobics and swimming are very good exercises that help to cope with stress and promote good health. Relaxation ? Relaxation can be experienced in several different ways.

You do not have to meditate and light incense to relax. You can take regular vacations to just get away and distress, take naps to recharge your emotional and spiritual energy, listen to smooth and soothing music or talk radio to help you unwind, going out to a restaurant or movie once a week, taking up a hobby, or doing something that gives you a break from your normal routine. The key here is to consciously decide to relax and to take full advantage of downtime opportunities. Time Management – Working on time management has multiple benefits, as well.

It has been proven that many daily pressures can be eased or eliminated when time is managed correctly. Not only will you come to an understanding of where you’re spending your time, but you’ll also be able to use the time you do have more efficiently, resulting in less stress due to greater control over your daily schedule. Role Management ? Is somewhat similar to Time Management, but it concentrates on the person’s ability to protect oneself from the stresses of overload. Role management can be achieved by doing something as small as saying no.

Deciding to not to take on any more projects, assignments or volunteering for anything that is going to tax you with more stress. Support Groups ? A support group can be just a group of people who you can spend some time with, family, friends, or neighbors. It can also be in a social or professional sitting, where counselors or psychiatrics assist to help you identify, understand and cope with your stressors. In the work place, organizations are getting into the act of helping employees manage stress. Most organizations use two program strategies, institutional programs and collateral programs.

Institutional programs identify, address and try to alleviate as much stress from jobs, schedules and situations as possible, they strife to build a culture of work, vacation and work load monitoring. Collateral programs are programs that organizations develop or bring in, to help employees manage stress by promoting health. Such as in house fitness centers, memberships to health clubs, cooking, fitness and training classes as well as humor, yoga and massage therapy. Stress whether good or bad is a basic part of our daily lives, work, home and social.

There are many causes of stress and the demands can be both physical and emotional. Stressors include life changes and life traumas. Many consequences include behavioral, psychological and medical problems. However, there are just as many coping strategies to help you deal with cope and overcome stress in our lives as outline above by exercising, relaxing, effective role management and by participating in support groups. Bibliography Fahey, T. D. , Insel, P. M, Roth, W. T. Fit & Well, Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.

New York, NY: McGRaw Hill Companies 2007. This textbook focuses on Physical Fitness and Wellness. Calvagna, M, MS. (2006). Tips for Reducing Stress in Your Life. Retrieved September 17, 2006, from http://www. rosemed. com/healthcontent. asp? page=/hic/stress/index This article is provided by the Rose Medical Center. It focuses on stress, and stress related complications, along with the different ways to minimize and cope with stress. Griffin, W Ricky. Moorhead, Gregory. Organizational Behavior Managing People and Organizations.

Boston/New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007. This textbook focuses on organization culture, behavior and how it affects the stress levels of employees. Robbins, P Stephen. Organizational Behavior. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc, 2003. This textbook discusses organizational behavior, culture, structure and the effects on the various employees. Schafer, Walt. Stress Management for Wellness. California: Wadsworth Group/Thomson Learning, 1998 This textbook is dedicated to wellness and stress management. It covers the causes, the effects and strategies to cope with stress.

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