People respond differently to stress. The coping mechanisms adopted depends on the severity of the stress one is exposed and traditional methods of responding to stressful events. Stressors have a negative effect on one's psychological state. It predisposes one to mental health related conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. The variance in the ways in which people respond to different stressful stimuli determines their risks of mental health related conditions. As such, this makes it necessary for individuals to employ effective strategies for managing stressful situations that have a undesired effect on their health (Geter 99). Therefore, this essay discusses some of the ineffective ways I often use when faced with stressful situations. It also analyzes the extent to which such stress response works for me in reducing stress alongside exploring the outcomes of the stressful situation. In addition, it also provides effective strategies that prove effective in managing the stressful situations. The analysis bases on the use of practical experience I have undergone to show the ineffective and effective strategies I have used in managing stress in different situations.
Coming into reality with examination results has never been an easy task for me. It often predisposes me to significant stress that evidences through lack of appetite, sleep, loss of interest in most of the pleasurable activities and social isolation. For example, during the last semester, I failed a unit that was always easy to me. In response to the poor results, I criticized myself for failing to employ the required strategies that could have facilitated my success. I began criticizing my failure to revise adequately for the examination. As stated by Olpin (89), extreme cases of self-criticism can affect one's health by predisposing them to depression, anxiety, negative perception towards self and low self-esteem. Self-criticism enabled me to understand my weaknesses, develop new study habits. However, the response had a negative effect to my health such as low self-esteem, social isolation, and guilt. Using strategies such as seeking advice from my classmates and teacher could have proven effective in facilitating my response to stress. Such strategies help in pinpointing the weaknesses that might have contributed to inability to identify the areas of strengths that require reinforcement.
Losing a friend is the most challenging events that predispose individuals to chronic stress. During the last summer during the holiday, I lost one of my closest friends through a road accident due to drunk driving. The loss was very significant to me. In response to this, I found myself abusing prescription drugs and avoided friends and family members. Some of the drugs I used to manage the high level of stress included antidepressants that helped significantly in reducing the stress I was undergoing. However, I discovered after some time that the strategy did not work perfectly for me in reducing the stress I was facing.
According to Geter (56), abusing drugs such as the antidepressants increase risk of addiction to these drugs and recurrence of depressive symptoms in case of failure to take the drugs. Similarly, social isolation increased my risks of developing depression and posttraumatic disorder, a fact recognized by Davidson, Jeff (23) as a risk factor. Adopting alternative strategies such as seeking for professional psychological counseling and help from friends and family members could have worked well for me. Psychological counseling and help from friends and family could have helped me come into reality with the situation and develop effective coping strategies.
Adapting to the introduced organizational change can be a cause of stress for most of the employees in an organization. Working with the Coca Cola Company over the summer vacation exposed me to a significant level of stress due to the constantly changing regulations and practices adopted by the company. As stated by Olpin (102), lack of communication to the employees of the expected changes, lack of the provision of the required training to facilitate the process, and failure to involve them results in resistance to change. Similarly, failure of the company to use the above strategies resulted in my resistance to the changes introduced by the company. The resistance occurred due to the effect of stress brought by lack of information on my work expectations, lack of awareness, and involvement in decision-making. The strategy did not work for me as it increased conflicts between the management of the organization and me. Discussing the situation with the managers of the company could have worked better for managing the stress facing me. Embracing the use of group work in undertaking different organizational activities could have also proved effective in managing stress brought by the introduced organizational changes.
In the recent past, I found myself becoming aggressive when I lost some of my significant documents saved on my stolen laptop. Among the documents lost was my assignment that was due in three hours and I had to be submitted within the stated deadline. Failure to do so meant a fail in that unit by the end of the semester. I found myself being aggressive as evidenced by behaviors such as throwing objects, kicking objects, and hitting hard objects as compensatory mechanisms. After a few days, I found that the strategy had negative impacts on my health, the environment, and friends. It predisposed me to self-harm, anxiety, and harm to others, hence, a negative compensatory mechanism for managing stress. The management of aggressive behaviors associated with the response to stress is possible via strategies like crying, dialogues with the parties involved, singing, playing, and laughing Olpin (45).
In addition, I also use the attachment as a strategy for responding to stress in some situations. For example, three weeks ago, I lost one of my favorite pets, which predisposed me to a significant stress. The fact that the pet was dead was unbearable. Because of the denial, I remained attached to a dead pet to eliminate thoughts of reality concerning the death of a pet. However, I realized and concurred with Davidson, Jeff (89) that, chronic attachment to an object, individual or animal can affect one's mental well-being in a variety of ways. It increases the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, drug and substance abuse, and low self-esteem hence affecting their health and health outcomes. The effective strategies that enabled me to embrace the reality about the loss include accepting the loss and engaging in constructive activities that erased the memories. It also includes projecting the loss to other significant activities that contribute positively to my health.
I have realized that I have adopted the use of judging as a method of responding to most of the stressful situations I encounter. Geter (78) defines judging as the act of critically identifying the advantages and faults of someone or something in a way that influence the overall decision-making. The nature of judging varies, as it can be directed towards a person, personal or impersonal, and spontaneous impulse resulting from critical thinking of an issue or object. Over the last week, I have faced a variety of situations that have exposed me to multiple stresses. Some of the situations included balancing between the class work and the demands of the clinical rotations for practical experience and finding money to pay for my campus accommodation fee.
As such, I have often criticized the benefits of some of the actions adopted within the university to provide us with the desired learning competencies. For example, I have analyzed the value of attending clinical attachment synergistically with class work. However, Cooper (131) states that too much judging affects the ways in which individuals perceive the reality. It results in generalization of practical events that influence live of individuals and challenges in differentiating reality from appearance. Instead of judging, strategies such as developing an action plan for addressing the problem, discussing with…