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Mastering Stress

Stress is a slow poison to kill your

capability and creativity

Subroto Ghosh
Customer Relationship Manager
IL&FS Property Management & Services limited
Training Agenda

 Learning Objectives
 Introduction
 Understanding the causes of stress
 Effects of stress
 The power of choice
 Relaxation and stress reduction
 Your action plan

Mastering Stress
Learning Objectives
After completing this workshop presentation,
you will be able to:
4. Develop an understanding of the demands of
under- and over-stimulation

6. Acquire knowledge of the damaging effects of


8. Learn how the mind and body interact and how

to recognize the signs of tension

10. Use several techniques to manage and/or lower


12. Practice reframing strategies for shifting your

frame of reference
Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
•Stress is an everyday fact of life.
•Stress affects all people, regardless of role, rank, status, or
position in the workplace.
•Not all stress is bad!
•Stress can reduce the quality of life, undermine health, and
impact work productivity.
•How you interpret and manage your experiences serve to either
energize, relax, or stress you out.
In this presentation, you will learn a variety of strategies to
improve your stress mastery, and break the cycle of destructive
habits of stress management.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Unit One – Understanding the
causes of stress

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Stress Mastery is about finding balance

Who said this:

“You can’t teach a person anything, you can only help them find
it within themselves.”

“Most folks are about as happy as the choose to be.”


“Most folks are about as stressed out as they choose to be.”

Dr. Phil

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
What is this thing called “stress?”

Official definition:
Anything that requires an adaptive response on the part of
the organism.

What does that mean to you?

Anything that requires you to respond, to make a change, or
an adjustment.
Stress happens whenever your mind and/or your body react
to some real or imagined situation.

FACT: Stress is an inescapable part of modern life!

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Dr. Hans Selye, the “father” of stress research:
Make the distinction between harmful and
beneficial stress

Harmful stress Beneficial stress

 Helplessness  Achievement
 Frustration  Satisfaction
 Disappointment  Fulfillment
 Panic  Meaning
 Physical & psychological  Balance
damage  Emotional & psychological

FACT: You actually need moderate stress to stay

alert and perform.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Four basic sources of stress

1. Environment
weather, noise, traffic, pollution

3. Social
deadlines, financial, job, demands for time,

5. Physiological
aging, illness, injuries, exercise, nutrition, sleep,
physical reactions
to stressors

7. Your thinking
your interpretations of events and experience

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Identifying sources of stress in the workplace


Take a moment to reflect on sources of

stress in the workplace for yourself
and your co-workers.

List three causes – stressors – that affect

people and their performance at work.

FACT: One fourth of employees view their job as the number

one stress in their lives

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Reactions to stress

Psychological and physical

Brain Little or no
No Threat physiological
interprets the determined
environment response


Fight or Flight

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Signs of Fight-or-Flight: Physical Symptoms

 Light head • “Cotton” mouth

 Dilated pupils • Tight throat
 Tense neck and • Pounding heart
shoulders • Clammy, cold
 Fast and shallow hands
breathing • Weak knees
 Queasy stomach

What other symptoms do you experience?

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Signs of Fight-or-Flight: Psychological Symptoms

• Apathy  High-pitched nervous

• Repression laughter
• Withdrawal  Feeling of dissatisfaction
• Forgetfulness  Irritability
• Anxiety  Poor Concentration

• Emotional tension –  Accident-prone

keyed up or hyper  Overpowering urge to cry,
• Nightmares run, or hide
 Tendency to be easily

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Time Dependent Stress Stages
Fight or Flight: Alarm = Sympathetic Arousal
Short term: Reaction for immediate crises, emergency
(duration is in minutes)
SAM: SympathoAdrenoMedulla (Hypothalamic responses)
Intermediate: angry, upset, frustrated, argumentative
(duration is for hours)

PAC: PituitaryAdrenoCortical
Long-lasting with greater damage potential
(duration is for days/weeks).

Chronic stress
Long term worry, guilt, worry and apprehension leads to
fatigue and illness.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress

Chronic Stress
Fight or


Threat Retur n
FACT: Problems at work are more strongly associated with
health complaints than are any other stressors – more so
than even financial problems or family problems. (St. Paul
Fire and Marine Insurance Co.)

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Downside of Fight-or-Flight

List three real and three perceived dangers you
faced in the last month.

Once you have created your list, share it with

the person sitting next to you.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Review of Fight-or-Flight

Adaptive response to presence of physical danger

Triggered by actual and perceive danger
Alarm reaction: fight or flight
Resistance: bodies habituate to specific stressors
Exhaustion: despite attempts to cope stressors are
prolonged, body wears out, stress-related symptoms win

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Unit Two – Effects of Stress

Mastering Stress
Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)

Phase 2: Phase 3:
re Phase 1:
Resistance Collapse


Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Negative Physical Effects of Stress

• Not a straight forward relationship

• Prolonged stress weakens immune system
White blood cells migrate to bone marrow
• Heart disease
• Ulcers
• Diabetes

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Negative Physical Effects of Stress

Fact: Eighty percent of all visits to doctors’ offices are for stress-
Fact: Dentists report stress causes patients to grind their teeth
during sleep

Fact: Studies reveal that during exam weeks, students possess

lower levels of salivary immunoglobulin - a defense against
infections - studies also report that acne worsens when they
are under stress

Fact: Cholesterol levels in the bloodstream rise during periods

of stress
Fact: At least 50% of all deaths in Indian urban population are
caused by cardiovascular disease in which stress played a
significant contributing role

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Negative Psychological Consequences of Stress

• Alters serotonin pathways – imbalances linked to

depression and
• Inhibits ability to relax
• Major factor in development of anxiety, phobias, panic
• Obsessions
• Compulsions
• Post-traumatic stress disorder

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Negative Psychological Consequences of Stress

Fact: Worldwide, depression, as the result of stress conditions,

is the number one cause of disability (World Health Organization)

Fact: More than 30 million Americans suffer from stress related


Fact: Alcoholism is third major cause of death in U.S. Relief of

stress and anxiety is one of the primary motives for the use and
abuse of alcohol.

Fact: Approximately 50 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in

divorce. Experts report that stress is a major contributing factor
to relationship conflicts.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Negative Occupational Consequences of Stress

•Lack of concentration
•Lower productivity
•Increased frequency of mistakes on the job
•Higher rate of on the job injuries
•Higher rate of absenteeism
•Irritability, conflict with co-workers and supervisors

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

Negative Occupational Consequences of Stress

Fact: Global businesses claim most industrial accidents are

stress-related, over millions disabling injuries per year

Fact: 80-90% of all business dismissals are linked to tension

due to mental/physical problems

Fact: 25% of people in the Indian corporate population suffer

from stress overload at work; 37% report daily job stress; 75%
report significant stress at least once weekly

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Positive Stress
•Alleviates boredom
•Provides variety
•Opportunity for change
•Opportunity for personal growth
•Sense of achievement, fulfillment, satisfaction,

Fact: In one study, adult volunteers were placed in a completely

stress-free environment (sightless, soundless, weightless,
motionless liquid heated to body temperature).

They soon manifested disturbances of mood, thought, and action.

Most asked to be quickly released. Most people need an optimal
level of change and stress in life to keep things interesting and

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh Stress
Unit Three – The Power of

Mastering Stress
Mind Body Connection

• You have the ability to create dramatic positive outcomes

• Mind and body are interconnected and interdependent
• How you think and what you believe have a profound
impact on your health and ability to master your stress

Take a moment to reflect on the statement below:

Your world is:
10 percent what happens to you, and
90 percent how you think about and then how you react
to what happens to you

Mastering Stress
Barriers to Personal Power and Change

• You can sabotage yourself with your thinking.

• What you believe of yourself can help or hinder you in

effectively coping with stress.

• Your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and self-talk can empower

you or be excuses for not taking appropriate action

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

Think Real
• Stop kidding yourself!!
• Your thoughts may have a tendency to be negative
• Practice monitoring your thinking to get out of the negativity
• Spend a few minutes each day writing in a journal
- List events you want to forget, but cannot
- Record your thoughts about each event, yourself,
and others
- Challenge your thoughts through the mirror of
reality: are
those thoughts the truth? Or don’t knows?
• Remember that you cannot predict the future – nor can you
control others
• Remember that you are not a mind reader

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

Accept responsibility
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make heaven out
of Hell, or a hell of Heaven.
- John Milton

Avoid the easy trap of viewing everything “bad” that

happens to you as someone else’s fault
Accept responsibility for your own feelings
Accept responsibility for your outlook on events that
happen in your life
Accept responsibility for your reactions

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

See Possibilities
• How you feel is up to you
• Do you see possibilities, even in events that look like
• Be aware of the strengths you possess
• Be aware of the accomplishments you have achieved
• Use your journal to do some soul-searching
- Honestly list everything you have going for yourself
- Remember every day the life events that you wish you
could forget but do not. Look at them objectively. What is the
real truth about them?
• Help yourself see possibilities by dreaming realistically about what
you would like to accomplish each day….each month….each year
- Write your dreams down in the journal and review them

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

Unit Four –
Relaxation and Stress Reduction Techniques

Effective Communication in the Workplace

Tools for Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Breathing Techniques



Quick exercises to relieve tension

Nutrition, Exercise, and Time Management

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh


Abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing can

reduce muscle tension and anxiety

4. Close your eyes. Put your right hand on your

abdomen, at the waistline.
7. Put your left hand on your chest at the center.
10. Notice how your are breathing.
13. Which hand rises the most as you inhale?
5. If your abdomen expands, you are
breathing from your abdomen. If your belly
doesn’t move or moves less than your chest,
you are breathing from your chest.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh


Loosen your clothing and lie or sit in a quiet place.

Close your eyes.
Scan your body, seeking tension in specific muscles. Relax
those muscles as much as you can.
Imagine a calm, beautiful scene in detail, smell the scents, hear
the sounds.
Repeat affirmative phrases such as "I feel peaceful."
Before any high-pressure event, picture the scene. Then review
what will happen in your mind, watching yourself deal
confidently with the situation.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh


Sitting comfortably upright, close your eyes and

Focus your mind on an object -- breathing out and
in to the count of four, looking at an image such as
a candle flame or flower, or repeating a word such
as "peace" or "one" for 15 to 20 minutes. This
induces deep physical relaxation and mental
It is impossible to worry, fear, or hate when your
mind is thinking about nothing other than the object
you are focused on.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

Quick Exercises

Mindfulness or active meditation

Give all your attention to whatever you are doing, whether it is

putting out the trash or eating dinner.

Observe shapes, colors, textures, the movement of your body.

Focus on the moment you are experiencing without worrying

about the past or the future.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

Quick Exercises

Breath Counting (Five to Ten Minutes)

Breathe deeply into your abdomen.

Pause before you exhale.

As you exhale, count “one” to yourself, and continue to inhale

and exhale, counting with each exhale.

Do sets of five. Gradually slow your breathing allowing your

body to relax and your mind to calm.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

Quick Exercises

Let Go of Tension

Sit comfortably in chair with feet flat on the floor.

Breathe deeply into your abdomen – saying “breathe in


Breathe out from the abdomen – saying “breathe out tension”

As you inhale become aware of tension in your body

As you exhale let go of the tension.

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

Go for it! Your Action Plan

• Make your dreams into goals

• Make your goals into realities
• Be assertive rather than passive or aggressive
• Enrich your life by taking small risks
• Be empathetic and compassionate to others
- there is more power in love and cooperation than in hate and

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh


Abascal, J. R., Brucatoand D., Brucato, L. (2001). Stress mastery:

The art of coping gracefully. NJ: Prentice Hall.

Charlesworth, E. A. and Nathan, R. G. (2004). Stress management.

NY: Ballantine.

Boenisch, E. and Haney, C. M. (1996). The stress owner’s manual.

CA: Impact Publishers.

Davidson, J. (2002). Managing your time. IN: Alpha.

Davis, M., Eshelman, E. R., and McKay, M. (2000). The relaxation and
stress reduction workbook (5thedition). CA: Publishers Group

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh

Thanks and
Stress free

Trainer : Subroto Ghosh