Chapter 6 Management of Stress

Introduction Stress is an integral part of living. It is considered to be the major killer. In this module we shall: Study various aspects of stress, their types, and means of coping with stress. Learn about personality types that are prone to stress. Learn how individual behavior causes stress to self and others. Study organizational stressors and how strutures, processes, people and cultures increase stress. Understand individual and organziational strategies to control stress.

a) b) c) d) e)

Chapter 6 Management of Stress

Stress Management • Stress is unavoidable and most of us adapt to stress in such a way that we are no longer aware of it. • Absence of stress does not make things happen as much as too much of stress slows down things into ineffectiveness.

Chapter 6 Management of Stress

Definition of stress According to Dr. Hans Selye, who introduced the word “stress” in 1942, “stress is a non-specific response of the body to any demand made on a person” He believed that when one is under stress a set of symptoms of the body get manifested in the form of head ache, backache etc. (refer to other definitions in course material)

Chapter 6 Management of Stress
Human Function Curve (refer to graph in course material) Dr. Hans Selye coined the concepts of “eustress” and “distress” and the phenomenon of General Adaptive Syndrome (GAS) Eustress is positive stress which is like a starter for any activity. The stress we experience before & at the start of any activity is Eustress. This stress is needed to move us ahead towards goals. Distress is negative stress. When the eustress continues even beyond the start of the activity and creates loss of concentration and other symptoms, it is a sign of Distress. It is Distress which we need to recognize and manage.

Chapter 6 Management of Stress
Human Function Curve…. General Adaptive Syndrome –GAS refers to our reactions to stressors – demands that are threatening. The causes of stress may be different for different people and for different situations. GAS occurs in three stages: a) Alarm – the physical reaction in the form of increase of heat beat, etc due to increase in chemical flow of the body. b) Resistance – after prolonged exposure to the stressor, the stress moves from the body to the mind. The person decides to flee from the situation. He displays resistance. c) Exhaustion – if the stressor continues even beyond, then the individual experiences physical and mental draining of energies. Slowing down of activity and efficiency is the outcome.

Chapter 6 Management of Stress

Causes of Stress There are outside factors that cause stress. According to Fred Luthans, the causes of Job Stress are: a) Administrative Policies & Strategies b) Organizational Structure and Design c) Organizational Processes d) Working Conditions (refer to table in course material)

Chapter 6 Management of Stress

Personality and Stress Some personality types are more prone to stress than others. For example, Type A personality, which is the aggressive, go-getter, impatient type is prone to “distress” External Locus of Control is a stressor.

Chapter 6 Management of Stress

Effects of Stress Mild stress (Eustress) is conducive to performance. It encourages movement ahead and goal attainment. However, when the “stretch” become “too much”, the stress becomes Distress The capacity to take stress varies from person to person. The effects of distress is manifested in physical and mental forms.

Chapter 6 Management of Stress Stress & Performance (refer to figure in course material) Performance is affected in the manner in which one responds to stress levels. There are three stages: a) Too little stress leads to low performance b) Optimum stress leads to high (optimum) performance c) Too much stress leads to low performance Each of these stages create body and behavioral responses ranging from boredom to alertness to panic

Chapter 6 Management of Stress
Strategies to cope with stress We cannot eliminate stress. We need to manage them wisely. Job stress could be of two dimensions: a) Problem centric b) Emotion centric Again, within the these two dimensions, the stress may be: a) due to individual reasons b) due to organizational reasons. (refer to table in course material)

Chapter 6 Management of Stress

Strategies to cope with stress…. Stress Management follows three basic steps: a) Understanding that stress can have a negative effect on the person both physically and emotionally, leading to dysfunctional life. b) Identifying those stressors that affect the individual's behavior and performance adversely. c) Taking constructive steps towards coping with stress and minimizing the effects.

Chapter 6 Management of Stress

Strategies to cope with stress… Stress management needs to be approached in the following manner: a) Individual – emotion-centric b) Individual – problem-centric c) Organizational – emotion-centric d) Organizational- problem-centric

Chapter 6 Management of Stress Strategies to cope with stress…. (I) Individual Strategies to cope with job stress: a) Problem centric 1. Time management 2. Seeking help 3. Shifting of job b) Emotion centric 1. Relaxation 2. Physical exercise 3. Recreation 4. Companionship

Chapter 6 Management of Stress Strategies to cope with stress…. (II) Organizational Strategies to cope with stress a) Problem centric 1. Redesigning jobs 2. Proper selection & placement 3. Training 4. Team building b) Emotion centric 1. Employee welfare facilities 2. Mentoring 3. Open communication

Chapter 6 Management of Stress • • • • • • Summary We learnt what stress is all about and its effects on people. All stress is not bad, some stress is useful for our growth. Certain Personality types are stress prone We learnt causes of individual and organizational stress. Coping with stress needs to be addressed at two levels: individual & Organizational. We learnt the strategies to cope with individual and organizational based stress.

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