¶ … demands of contemporary society and the accelerated pace that contribute to stress in the home, office, or workplace. By sheer economic necessity, organizations and individuals must be ready at all times to glean as much productivity per worker per day as possible. The complexity of the modern workplace combined with the realities of life have consequences -- stress (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010). But thinking of stress as only an inhibiting or negative factor may not always be correct -- in fact, there are numerous positive results of stress that can increase attention to detail, ideation and creativity, and increased output (Linden, 2006).
Stress is clearly an adaptive response to stimuli -- external or internal. It is the body's reaction to events that can be distributing, discomfiting, or threatening. When humans perceive such an event, chemicals are released from the brain that can cause elevated heart rate, greater sensitivity to stimuli, and the "fight or flight" syndrome that allows the muscles and organs to work at top speed. "Good stress" is a balance of arousal and relaxation that helps individuals concentrate, focus, and achieve goals. "Bad stress" is a more constant pace and physical demand that may lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, headaches, and even stroke. The body, unlike the mind, cannot necessarily differentiate between good stress and bad stress -- or the appropriateness of either. Interestingly enough, new studies continue to show the increasing importance of the brain/mind and brain/body connection, with a number of events directly contributing to stress reduction. In fact, the individual type and number of emotion-linked neuropeptides available at receptor sites influence the individual's feelings, as well as ability to learn (Mujtaba, Lara, et.al, 2010).. Humor, in fact, helps send the types of chemical messages that enhance cognition, learning, and as noted, the body's ability to combat stress and increase good feelings (Carter, et.al. 2009).
Chronic Stress is actually both a psychological and biological term that refers to a consequence within an organism -- human or animal -- to respond adequately to mental, emotional or physical demands, whether actual or imagined. Stress must happen -- the evolutionary goal of finding prey and the brain releasing chemicals that cause humans to run faster, hear and see clearer, etc. -- but there is a difference between individuated stress and chronic stress; chronic stress is endemic and continual. Signs of this type of stress vary and are quite pervasive: aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, sleeping too much or insomnia, procrastication, neglecting responsibilities, increased substance abuse, or nervous habits (pacing, nail biting, etc.) (Robenshaw, 2009).
As we age, there comes a point in our development in which stressors (particularly unfamiliar external) seem to manifest more and more into physical and psychological problems. Whether this is a result of too many multiple- horizontal priorities in the modern world, or the transference of stress from finding food and shelter to the myriad of small stressors in society is immaterial. What is a fact is that stress contributes to heart disease, pulmonary issues, diabetes, depression, and even exacerbates conditions like arthritis. In the elderly...
Of course, there are ways around this -- activitiy maximizes brain power, increases creativity, humor and activity accentuate communication and tense situations are avoided and neuro-chemicals produced that mitigate some of the disasterous effects of stress (McAuley, et al., 2007).
In the workplace, stress may lead to poor work performance, a lack of concern for safety issues, and a general lack of performance that translates into a monetary loss for the company. This is particularly true for manufacturing segments, since the emphasis is on production and the needs of the company remain fairly constant. In this environment, if stress is not managed appropriately, there may be more employee illness, mental distress, mistakes, and even compensation claims (U.S. Department of Labor). Therefore, it is imperative that the organization design and implement a stress management programs that take into consideration both the external stress of the job (production goals, quotas, standards, etc.) and the internal stress an employee may feel and translate into the job (potential layoffs, downsizing, off shore work, increased mechanization) (Gjesfjeld, et al., 2010).
Weick and colleagues (2007) show that, for management, several steps are necessary to gain a greater understanding, and resultant control, over stress in the workplace. Stress points must be defined and analyzed -- are they endemic in the position, or can they be mitigated? Are all employees susceptible to them, or are they focused in one particular area? What strategies can be used to reduce or alleviate the stress points? How can management intervene to help a stressed work prior to work errors, safety issues, or loss of productivity?
Two key factors emerge that, on the surface, seem relatively simple, but are actually quite difficult to integrate regularly into both management and employee paradigms: 1) Optimal perception -- perceiving the situation in an optimal manner in order to find the best possible navigational methodology, and 2) Optimal energy management -- embrace the stressful moment and use the physiological boost associated with stress to the advantage of the individual and/or the task at hand (Cordon, Brown and Gibson, 2009).
Naturally, the key here is in the verbiage -- "to manage." No one can be effective when they are expected to be continually at 110% - a balance must occur. Parton (2009) and Upson, (2007) find that any job that has constant stress is a likely candidate for a restructure or revamping of that task. Instead, remove the motivators for chronic stress by reducing work relationships that are unnecessarily hierarchical, competitive, or perceived as dogmatic or compulsory; establish dialog to understand and vent pent-up emotion; understand the uncertainty for most manufacturing employees regarding globalization, the recession (state of the economy), and risks faced when pursuing new goals, facing a work crisis, or taking a leap and seizing a new opportunity. Note, too, that unchecked stress in the workplace acts like a virus -- it rapidly spreads from individual to individual, creating havoc and sickness in a very short time.
The key, then, is to manage systemic stress prior to it becoming endemic. Learn to tap the benefits of stress while minimizing the negative costs of stress. Using the tools above, and providing three additional internal motivators can change the workplace from a sea of insecurity to a bastion of creativity. Cotton, (1996), defines these steps broadly as: 1) Critically examine the structure of the workplace and identify and reduce stressors; 2) Establish and maintain support services for those who are particularly vulnerable to the significant stressors identified, and 3) Create a team in which the manager continually coaches individuals to better manage their stress (See also: "Stress At Work, 2011.).
Numerous case studies prove that stress management programs are not only feasible in the workplace but also necessary under the concurrent demands of contemporary manufacturing. Reducing physiological stress related negative behaviors are more than simply a tool for increasing productivity -- they are a management philosophy that can permeate and reenergize the workforce. Two decades of history have shown that left unchecked, workplace stress will increase compensation claims, increase absenteeism, tardiness, and general dissatisfaction with the job. The establishment of a stress management program, however, severely mitigates these unproductive behaviors before they occur (Dekker, 2007). However, a dangerous precedent could be set regarding stress management programs -- there is a documented temptation for organizations to "Band-Aid" the situation with brief stress-management seminars, or other quick fix scenarios. Instead, a well-organized and implemented on-going program has more chance of reducing occupational stress and improving the work environment as a whole. It is impossible to remove all stressors from an…
Stress Management Stress Evaluation and Intervention Proposal Stress Management in Public Safety Organizations Public safety organizations are one of the most important components of any society as they are responsible to provide support and assistance to the community in times of crisis. The employees of such organization however are always exposed to stressful situations and they need to be mentally and emotionally strong to take the challenge, deal with it and help other
Stress is an unavoidable fact of life, yet, what precisely is stress? It is essentially one of those things that we all have but that we all have difficulty defining and explaining. The one unarguable fact is that we all have it in our lives and, without it, our lives would be much different. If fact, the only way that one's life can be entirely stress free is upon death.
A recent study by Duke University medical research center revealed that exercises not only relive depression and distress but also bring about positive changes in important physiological markers of cardiovascular disease. For this study 134 stable cardiac patients were recruited and assigned randomly into three different groups. The exercise group received 35 minutes of aerobic training 3 times a week for 16 weeks while the 'stress management group' received
On top of it all I had exams to study for, classes to attend, and athletics practice too. I don't usually use drugs or alcohol to deal with stress. While I was going through the move, however, I went out several nights with friends and drank. I got drunk a few times. It helped but only temporarily. When I woke up with a hangover it was just one more thing
Receive feedback and use the feedback to better cope with the situation. Week Four: The stressed female should be able to better cope with the situation and would have developed coping strategies that will assist him in the future. It is important that both men and women seek help for dealing with stress. However, they may have to seek help in different ways in accordance with their social and biological differences.
Topic: Stress Management Techniques: The Need to Rein in Stress at the Workplace Research Questions 1. What impact does employee stress at the workplace have on organizational performance? 2. What strategies and techniques should employees adopt so as to combat high workplace stress levels? 3. How would organizations benefit when employees are able to better handle stress in a more effective manner? Thesis Statement Employees need to be taught how to cope with stress so that