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Literature Review Stress Management

Literature Review Stress Management

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LITERATURE REVIEW ON STRESS MANAGEMENT

BY:

MARTIN KWASI ABIEMO

Email: abimart2009@yahoo.com Tel: +233-242838284 / +233-272838585

INTRODUCTION
Stress may be referred to as an unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being. The word stress means different things to different people. Some people define stress as events or situations that cause them to feel tension, pressure, or negative emotions such as anxiety and anger. Others view stress as the response to these situations. This response includes physiological changes²such as increased heart rate and muscle tension²as well as emotional and behavioral changes. However, most psychologists regard stress as a process involving a personµs interpretation and response to a threatening event. Stress is a common experience. We may feel stress when we are very busy, have important deadlines to meet, or have too little time to finish all of our tasks. Often people experience stress because of problems at work or in social relationships, such as a poor evaluation by a supervisor or an argument with a friend. Some people may be particularly vulnerable to stress in situations involving the threat of failure or personal humiliation. Others have extreme fears of objects or things associated with physical threats²such as snakes, illness, storms, or flying in an airplane²and become stressed when they encounter or think about these perceived threats.
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The field of health psychology focuses in part on how stress affects bodily functioning and on how people can use stress management techniques to prevent or minimize disease. and/or physical tension that occurs when the demands placed on an individual are thought to exceed his ability to cope. In ordinary conversation we seem to be willing to apply the word to both cause and effect. feeling of anxiety. such as the death of a loved one. Stress is as the result of an interaction between an individualµs emotional. such as heart disease. It signals danger and prepares us to take defensive action.Major life events. Cooper & Marshall. Although stress may hinder performance on difficult tasks. Stress is something more than mere pressure. Fear of things that pose realistic threats motivates us to deal with them or avoid them. intellectual. WHAT IS STRESS? Whilst there is little disagreement about the prevalence of stress there is considerable debate about what the word (stress) actually refers to. (1978). If not managed appropriately. the common sense view of stress is that it is a combination of external stressors and our response in the early and highly influential research of Selye (1936). It carries strong overtones of the breakdown of normal human performance. This most Page 2 of 19 . social. Stress is the excitement. can cause severe stress. and physical resources and the demands on him or her. In an earlier work. stress can lead to serious problems. Stress can have both positive and negative effects. moderate stress seems to improve motivation and performance on less complex tasks.4) The following are the various definitions of the term stress: A. Stress is a normal. In personal relationships. Exposure to chronic stress can contribute to both physical illnesses. such as anxiety disorders. and mental illnesses. In other words. Stress also motivates us to achieve and fuels creativity. as it is the outcome of the twoµ (p. Marshall & Cooper (1981) argue that µstress¶ is a different phenomenon form pressureµ. stress often leads to less cooperation and more aggression. adaptive reaction to threat. the same two authors concluded that stress is essentially individually defined and must be understood with reference to characteristics of both the individual and his environment.

a bridge girder. the stressor will lead to a physiological response. such as elevated heart rate. The response is strain . G. Selye (1976) define stress as the bodily response we make to the troublesome event. 1977) F. that is a consequence of any action. or event and that places special demands on a person. which is the impact the force has on the girder. Stressors vary in form and can include extreme temperature or lighting. situation. one that can be measured by several indicators. Page 3 of 19 .common view of stress is often called distress or negative stress. An adaptive response. In related literature. 1993) E. Konopaske and Matteson. 2004) B. an unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being. Under a general model of the stress response. situation. Is an adaptive response. D. (Hellriegel & Slocum. In physics. (Auerbach et al. H. Stress is any circumstances or transactions with the environment that threaten or are perceived to threaten our well-being and thereby tax our adaptive capacities. The physical or psychological demands from the environment that cause this condition are called stressors. 2007 / Encarta 2008) J. stress refers to the external force applied to an object ± for example. when an individual experiences a stressor. K. (Weihrich and Koontz. moderated by individual differences. It is defined by Ganster and Murphy (2000) as a form of strainµ provoked in response to situational demands labeled stressorsµ which occur when jobs are simultaneously high in demands and low in control. that is. or event that places excessive psychological and/or physical demands on a person. (Leslie & Lloyd. Stress is defined as a nonspecific response of the body to a stimulus or event (stressor). Stress (psychology). lack of sleep. a consequence of any external (environment) action. time pressure. Stress is the mental or physical condition that results from a perceived threat of danger (physical or emotional) and the pressure to remove it. 1987) I. 1986). (1967) defined stress as a stimulus event that presents unusual demands. (Ivancevich. (Weiten. mediated by individual differences and/or psychological processes. Holmes & Rahe. the term stress is used to refer to this physiological response. C. and exposure to threat or danger.

Stress is the consequence of the interaction between and environmental stimulus (stressor) and the individualµs response. Thus. Lazarus & Folkman. called a stressor. General Principles of Stress by Richard Lazarus I. In a response definition. 1956). Lazarus emphasizes that the experience of stress is highly personal & subjective. depending on how people appraise the events they encounter. From the above definitions of the term stress. stress is the result of a unique interaction between stimulus conditions in the environment and the individualµs predisposition to respond in a particular way. exposure to excessive heat or cold failure to get adequate sleep. (Selye. and pain. In a response definition. Stress may be either physical or psychological: Examples of physical stress include infections. 1982. however. From a laypersonµs perspective. stress means different things to different people. situations. Virtually all of the definitions can be placed into one of the two categories. A stimulus definition treats stress as some characteristic or event that may result in a disruptive consequence. All stressors. stress is neither a stimulus nor a response but a stimulus-response transaction.among others. That is. stress is seen partially to some stimulus. Transactional model of stress championed by Richard Lazarus and his colleagues (Holroyd & Lazarus. stress can be described as feeling tense. or worried. 1984) .A theory that proposes that the experience of stress depends on oneµs subjective appraisal of events. tend to produce similar physiological responses within the body. anxious. events) as stressors. stress can be defined as either a stimulus or a response. A stressor is a potentially harmful or threatening external event or situation. The term stress itself has been defined in literally hundreds of ways in the literature. stress is the consequence of the interaction between an environmental stimulus (a stressor) and the individualµs response. however. Page 4 of 19 . In a nutshell it is useful to view stress as the response a person makes and to identify stimulus conditions (actions.

you should not think of these two types of stress as being altogether independent. But collectively. there is evidence (Friedman. VI. following closely on one another. at school and at work. V. II. Coyne. The effects of stress may be cumulative or additive: it had long been suspected that stress has cumulative effects along the lines of the fabled ³straw that broke the camelµs back´. IV.Examples of psychological stress include arguing with your spouse. Coping with each source of stress singly. Page 5 of 19 . starting a new job. people respond emotionally and seem particularly prone to deviate from objective and rational modes of thought (Folkman. The appraisal of stress is not necessarily objective: when under threat. For example. Schaefer & Lazarus. you might put pressure on yourself to get good grades or to climb the corporate ladder rapidly. Surprisingly often. For example. our physiology. Our response to stress is complex and multidimensional: stress affects us at several levels. staring at a stack of bills you are unable to pay. such as being wounded in combat. you might be able to handle things without great difficulty. Recent evidence (Kanner. however. They may overlap in that a single event. 1979). Furthermore. may also have cumulative effects. and our behavior. It tends to produce changes in our emotions. the stress in these three areas of your life might be overwhelming. Moreover. Schaefer & Lazarus. 1981) that little everyday ³hassles´ can add up to damage oneµs health appears to confirm that suspicion. III. can produce both physical and psychological stress. Stress may be self-imposed: we tend to think of stress as something imposed on us from without by others and their demands. Physical and psychological stress may overlap and interact: although it is convenient to distinguish between physical and psychological stress. you might be experiencing stress of moderate intensity at home. it appears that the stressful events do not have to take place at the same time in order to have additive effects. and being lonely. Ader & Glasgow. The evidence suggests that a series of stressful events. 1965) that physical and psychological stressors may function interactively. These overly high expectations often lead to perceptions of failure and feelings of disappointment. it would seem appropriate to characterize stress as self-imposed.

the person must appraise the situation as threatening and lack the coping resources to deal with it effectively. In addition. and sexual assaults. For example. Two years after the disaster. 2007 / Encarta 2008) The circumstances that cause stress are called stressors. violent physical attacks. the responsibility of caring for a sick parent may be an ongoing source of major stress. most of the adult survivors continued to show emotional disturbances. whereas a classmate who studies in advance may feel confident of a good grade. often life-threatening calamity or disaster that pushes people to the outer limits of their coping capability. destroying the town. in 1972 a dam burst and flooded the West Virginia mining town of Buffalo Creek. and daily hassles. are stressful for everyone. most of the survivors of concentration camps in World War II (1939-1945) continued to experience nightmares and other symptoms of severe emotional problems long after their release from the camps. But in other situations. short-term stress. b) Major Life Changes The most stressful events for adults involve major life changes. automobile accidents. and hurricanes²as well as wars.SOURCES OF STRESS (Auerbach et al. such as death of a spouse or family member. Catastrophes include natural disasters²such as earthquakes. major life changes. Similarly. Stressors vary in severity and duration. floods. Catastrophes often continue to affect their victims¶ mental health long after the event has ended. such as the death of a loved one. imprisonment. a student who is unprepared for a chemistry test and anticipates a bad grade may feel stress. torture. For example. For an event or situation to be a stressor for a particular individual. For example. tornadoes. losing oneµs job. simply thinking about unpleasant past events or anticipating unpleasant future events can cause stress for many people. divorce. Stressors can be classified into three general categories: catastrophic events. whereas getting stuck in a traffic jam may cause mild. fires. a) Catastrophes A catastrophe is a sudden. Some events. individuals may respond differently to the same event²what is a stressor for one person may not be stressful for another. and major personal disability Page 6 of 19 .

but cumulatively. deciding whom to invite. but she may also feel stress from supervising coworkers who were once peers. They often stare off into space and have Page 7 of 19 . Getting married is usually considered a positive experience. commuting to work in heavy traffic. the worse is their mood. the greater their exposure is to hassles. imprisonment of their mother or father. For example. When taken individually. Such effects are far from inevitable. and major personal disability or illness. stress may lead to a narrowed form of attention. apparently positive events can have stressful components.or illness. c) Daily Hassles Much of the stress in our lives results from having to deal with daily hassles pertaining to same hassles every day. and dealing with family members may cause couples to feel stressed. poor concentration and less effective memory storage. Impairment of cognitive functioning: a moderately common effect of stress is impairment of oneµs mental functioning. apathetic fashion to events around them. EFFECTS OF STRESS Negative effects A. Shock and disorientation: severe stress can leave people dazed and confused. In some people. disliking oneµs fellow workers. worrying about owing money. people tend to feel emotionally numb and they respond in a flat. these hassles may feel like only minor irritants. For adolescents. reduced flexibility in thinking. (Mandler. they can cause significant stress. divorce of their parents. over time. and misplacing or losing things. (Horowitz. a woman who gets a job promotion may receive a higher salary and greater prestige. waiting in a long line. 1979) B. the most stressful events are the death of a parent or a close family member. The amount of exposure people have to daily hassles is strongly related to their daily mood. Studies have found that oneµs exposure to daily hassles is actually more predictive of illness than is exposure to major life events. 1979) In these states. Sometimes. Examples of daily hassles include living in a noisy neighborhood. but planning the wedding. Generally.

Disruption of social relations: there is one evidence that stress can lead to deterioration in oneµs normal social relations.difficulty maintaining a coherent train of thought. psychologists have long believed that stress might be a key factor in the causation of many kinds of psychological problems and mental illness. and impairments in the capacity to love and trust others. weakness. Their behavior frequently has an automatic. and depression. However. The physical exhaustion includes chronic fatigue. drug abuse. excessive anxiety. 1982. mental and emotional exhaustion. F. stereotyped quality. C. The emotional exhaustion refers to feeling hopeless. trapped. These disruptions include feeling of alienation. nervousness. Examples of illnesses that have long been viewed as stress-related are asthma. The effect of stress on interpersonal behavior has not attracted much attention. which emerges only after the stress has been alleviated. In the domain of common psychological problems. Shatan. Burnout: burnout is a buzzword for the eighties. and emotionally drained. sexual difficulties. This is a stress-related syndrome wherein oneµs behavior comes to be dominated by feelings of physical. hypertension. rigid. it is clear that stress may contribute to poor academic performance. (Blank. Delayed Stress Response Syndrome: dysfunctional behavior attributed to exposure to significant stress. The mental exhaustion is manifested in highly negative attitudes toward oneself. and ulcers. D. oneµs work. Psychological Problems and Disorders: on the basis of clinical impressions. E. G. researchers working with Vietnam veterans suffering from the delayed stress response syndrome (also called ³posttraumatic stress disorder´) observed disruptions in social functioning with some regularities. difficulties in relating to spouses and friends. F. dejection. and low energy. and life in general. insomnia. migraine headache. 1978) E. helpless. Physical problems and illness: the existence of a connection between stress and certain kinds of physical illness has long been recognized. Page 8 of 19 . Above and beyond these ³everyday´ problems we have evidence that stress frequently plays a role in the onset of full-fledged psychological disorders.

Stress must sometimes force us to develop new skills. Third. some of the time. In light of the negative effects that stress can have. we would probably experience a suffocating level of boredom if we lived a stress-free existence. it is clear that underload can be extremely unpleasant as well. and acquire new strengths. todayµs stress can inoculate us so that we are less affected by tomorrowµs stress. 1979) that an intermediate level of stimulation and challenge tends to be optimal for most people. it may increase our subsequent stress tolerance. Basically. situation.Positive effects The beneficial effects of stress are more difficult to pinpoint than the harmful effects because they tend to be more subtle. In other words. Confronting and conquering a stressful challenge may lead to improvement in a specific coping abilities and to favourable alternative in oneµs self-concept. Second. First. the adaptation process initiated by stress may often lead to personal changes for the better. There is evidence (Suedfeld. a fellow who has previously endured businessµs setbacks may be much better prepared than most people to deal with the fact that the bank is about to foreclose on his home. Life would be very dull indeed if it were altogether devoid of challenge. Although most of us think of stress in terms of stimulus overload. from the disrespectful manager. workers facing disrespectful manager may deal with his harassing style by being absent from work. improved stress tolerance is a desirable outcome. or event. This absenteeism would enable the workers to be removed. learn new insights. COPING WITH STRESS There are two types of coping: problem focused and emotion focused. For example.  Problem-focused coping: this refers to the actions taken by an individual to cope with a stressful person. If stressful experience is moderate in intensity and does not overwhelm us. stress may frequently promote personal growth. Page 9 of 19 . personal growth refers to movement toward greater psychological health. Thus.

elder care) Employee Perceptions / Experience of Stress Outcome of Stress y Physiological y Emotional y Behavioral Source: Ivancevich. STRESS PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT by Ivancevich. et al. (1987) EXHIBIT 1 Organizational Stress Management Program Targets Organizational Stress Management and Prevention Programs Targeted at (1) (2) (3) Work and Network Stressors y Workload y Job conditions y Role conflict and ambiguity y Career development y Politics y Interpersonal relations y Aggressive behavior y Conflict between work and non-work (child care. If these coping activities are successful. (1990) Page 10 of 19 . employees that travel frequently as part of the job may alleviate their stressful feelings and emotions by exercising regularly or by reading light. Emotion-focused coping: this refers to the actions taken by a person to alleviate stressful feelings and emotions. For instance. The actions center on avoidance or escape from a person. et al. problem. or event. non-work-oriented fiction or poetry. the frequent travelerµs feelings and emotions are kept in check.

Programs may be designed to (1) identify and modify work stressors. Redesigning work to minimize stressors. Stress management on the other hand suggests procedures for helping people cope effectively with or reduce stress that is already being experienced. and outcomes are linked. Thus. Misfit on this dimension results in stress. For example. There is a very important distinction between preventing stress and managing it. this type of targeting is difficult to accomplish. Some of the targeted. y Better feedback on worker performance and management expectations. and (3) provide employees support to cope with the negative impact of stress. corrective programs include: y y y Training programs for managing and coping with stress. y More flexible work hours and attention paid to work/life balance and needs such as child and elder care.Exhibit 1 presents how organizational stress management programs can be targeted. (2) educate employees in modifying and understanding stress and its impact. a job may provide too little job security. a trained. One is the extent to which work provides formal and informal rewards that meet or match (fit) the personµs needs. dealing with stress: physical and psychological techniques designed to enable people to cope with strain and anxiety. However. These and other efforts are targeted to prevent and/or manage stress. or inadequate Page 11 of 19 . Maximizing Person-Environment Fit A person-environment fit (P-E fit) approach generally focuses on two dimensions of fit. insufficient compensation and reward for the effort expended. stress. Stress prevention focuses on controlling or eliminating stressors that might provoke the stress response. and knowledgeable work force can make modifications with the help of management in how work is performed. Changing management style to include more support and coaching to help workers achieve their goals. educated. In a rapidly changing work environment. The potential for success of any stress prevention or stress management program is good if there is a true commitment to understanding how stressors.

experience. There are numerous strategies for maximizing P-E fit. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) This is an employee benefit program designed to deal with a wide range of stress-related problems. and abilities for the job are key elements in maximizing fit. IBM. Some of these programs focus on a specific issue or problem. Selection programs that are effective in ensuring that potential employees possess the requisite skills. the process begins before an individual even joins the organization. or maximizing. Two specific types of organizational programs have become particularly popular during the last two decades: employee assistance program and wellness programs. or burnout. and increasing number of organizations have developed very specific stress prevention and/ or management programs. including behavioral and emotional difficulties. A. General program elements include:  Diagnosis: Employee with a problem asks for help. B. Ideally. and family and marital discord and other personal problems. such as alcohol or drug abuse. The second type of fit deals with the extent to which the employeeµs skills. knowledge. Xerox. abilities. and experience match the demands and requirements of the employer. and Caterpillar are examples of companies with such programs. EAP staff attempts to diagnose the problem. To the extent that the individualµs talents are insufficient for or underutilized by job requirements. potential stressors are eliminated and stress is prevented. substance abuse. Organizational Stress Prevention and Management Programs In addition to variety of activities that may be undertaken to improve person-environment fit. Employee recruitment programs that provide realistic job previews help potential employees determine whether the reality of the job matches their needs and expectations.recognition to meet the individualµs needs or preferences. By improving the quality of.F. career counseling. EAPs tend to be based on the traditional medical approach to treatment. Goodrich. job relocation. the fit between the employee and the organizational environment. stress results. Page 12 of 19 .

Crucial to the success of any EAP is trust. and (3) use of the program carries no negative implications for job security or future advancement. B. if followed. health hazards. and job and personal stress management.  Screening: Periodic examination of employees in highly stressful jobs is provided to detect early indications of problems. nutrition and diet control. employee may be referred to appropriate community-based professionals. This includes not only disease identification but lifestyle modification as well. sometimes called health promotion programs is an employee program focusing on the individualµs overall physical and mental health. If employees do not trust the program or company management. Wellness Programs Wellness programs. Page 13 of 19 . a number of recommendations. Treatment: Counseling or supportive therapy is provided. Simply offering an EAP or wellness program does not guarantee positive results for either employers or the sponsoring organization. Examples of well-established wellness programs (all of which include a stress reduction component) include Mass Mutualµs Wellness Partnership. they will not participate. and Control Dataµs StayWell program. While many factors determine how successful any particular program will be. smoking cessation. Among the most prevalent examples of such programs are those emphasizing hypertension identification and control. or negative health habits.  Prevention: Education and persuasion are used to convince employees at high risk that something must be done to assist them in effectively coping with stress. Employees must trust that (1) the program can and will provide real help. If in-house EAP staff is unable to help. 3Mµs Lifestyle 2000 program. Wellness programs may include a variety of activities and assist in preventing or correcting specific health problems. physical fitness and exercise. EAPs with no customers cannot have a positive effect of stress prevention and management. (2) confidentiality will be maintained. Warner-Lambertµs LifeWise program.

if an individual labels the loss of a promotion a catastrophe. Thus. Many unions take the position that instead of helping employees deal with stress. Programs with no or poorly defined objectives are not likely to be effective or to achieve sufficient participation to make them worthwhile. The underlying assumption of these techniques is that peopleµs thoughts. Cognitive Techniques The basic rationale for some individual approaches to stress management. long-term commitment is essential.  Unions should support the program and participate in it where appropriate. without either pressure or stigma. are labels they apply to situations. but from ongoing and sustained effort.  The greatest payoff from stress prevention and management comes not from one shot activities. This can be particularly difficult to accomplish.  Clearly stated objectives lay a solid foundation for the program. in the form of expectations. including both philosophical support and support in terms of staff and facilities. management should focus on elimination those conditions that contribute to the stress in the first place. Employees must have no concerns that participation will in any way affect their standing in the organization. and these labels elicit emotional responses to the situation. for example. Cognitive techniques of stress management Page 14 of 19 . beliefs. known collectively as cognitive techniques.  Confidentiality must be strictly adhered to. thus.  Extensive and continuing employee involvement would include involvement not only in the initial planning but in implementation and maintenance as well. or thoughts. is necessary. is that a personµs response to stressors is mediated by cognitive processes. not the situation. Individual Approaches to Stress Prevention and Management A. This is one of the most critical factors for ensuring representative employee participation.  Employees must be able to participate freely. the stress response is to the label. Among the more important ones are:  Top-management support. and assumptions.will increase the likelihood of achieving beneficial outcomes.

Short. Conditions conducive to achieving relaxed states include a quiet environment. Studies indicate that TM practices are associated with reduced heart rate. or TM. more frequent breaks of this sort are more relaxing than fewer. and decreased blood pressure. Meditation The most widely practice is transcendental meditation. physiologically. defines TM as turning the attention toward the subtler levels of thought until the mind transcends the experience of the subtlest state of thought and arrives at the source of thought. Its originator.focus on changing labels or cognitions so that people appraise situations differently. both psychologically and physiologically. respiration. and a reduction in tension and anxiety. decreases in blood pressure. including imagery and visualization. anywhere). which combines elements of muscle relaxation and meditation. and closed eyes. but the effects claimed for it are extensive. lowered oxygen consumption. successful relaxation results in enhanced feelings of well-being. Iµll never be promoted in any job. and personalization (since I didnµt get the promotion itµs clear Iµm a terrible person). a clear sense of being in control. and heart rate should take place. longer breaks. All cognitive techniques have a similar objective: to help people gain more control over their reactions to stressors by modifying their cognitions. muscle relaxation. Psychologically. a comfortable physical position. C. autogenic training. over-generalizing (not getting promoted means my career is over. Page 15 of 19 . Simply taking a few moments of ³mental rest´ from job activities can be an effective relaxation activity. and a variety of mental relaxation strategies. The basic procedure used in TM is simple. Relaxation techniques include breathing exercises. One simply sits comfortably with closed eyes and engages in the repetition of a special sound (a mantra) for about 20 minutes twice a day. B. peacefulness and calm. Relaxation Training The purpose of this approach is to reduce a personµs arousal level and bring about a calmer state of affairs. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This reappraisal typically centers on removing cognitive distortions such as magnifying (not getting the promotion is the end of the world for me).

Aerobic Exercise (Auerbach et al. For example. walking. blood pressure. muscle tension. to voluntarily lower their heart rate. and quicker recovery from stressors. or negative emotions such as anxiety and anger. Normally. such as skin temperature. people cannot control these responses voluntarily. pressure. such as heart rate.D. the machine might beep with each heartbeat or display the number of heartbeats per minute on a digital screen. Gradually. and feeds that measurement back to them in an understandable way. they learn to produce changes in that response system²for example. people are connected to an instrument or machine that measures a particular physiological response. less reactivity to stressors. Some people define stress as events or situations that cause them to feel tension. an aerobically fit individual will have a lower heart rate at rest and lower blood pressure. This response includes physiological changes²such as increased heart rate and muscle tension²as well as emotional Page 16 of 19 . and skiing²can help keep stress levels down. Biofeedback Biofeedback is a technique in which people learn voluntary control of stress-related physiological responses. individuals learn to be sensitive to subtle changes inside their body that affect the response system being measured. The word stress means different things to different people. E. studies show that people who exercise regularly have higher self-esteem and suffer less from anxiety and depression than comparable people who are not aerobically fit. biking. Because aerobic exercise increases the endurance of the heart and lungs. In biofeedback training. and heart rate. Others view stress as the response to these situations. Typically individuals use different techniques and proceed by trial and error until they discover a way to produce the desired changes. In addition. 2007 / Encarta 2008) Aerobic exercise²such as running. Next. CONCLUSION Stress could be defined as unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well-being.

Often people experience stress because of problems at work or in social relationships. stress can lead to serious problems. Stress also motivates us to achieve and fuels creativity. Others have extreme fears of objects or things associated with physical threats²such as snakes. stress often leads to less cooperation and more aggression. can cause severe stress. Stress can have both positive and negative effects. Major life events. Page 17 of 19 . or flying in an airplane²and become stressed when they encounter or think about these perceived threats. Some people may be particularly vulnerable to stress in situations involving the threat of failure or personal humiliation. such as a poor evaluation by a supervisor or an argument with a friend. However.and behavioral changes. We may feel stress when we are very busy. such as heart disease. most psychologists regard stress as a process involving a personµs interpretation and response to a threatening event. moderate stress seems to improve motivation and performance on less complex tasks. It signals danger and prepares us to take defensive action. Stress is a normal. Stress is a common experience. illness. In personal relationships. storms. If not managed appropriately. such as anxiety disorders. Exposure to chronic stress can contribute to both physical illnesses. and mental illnesses. have important deadlines to meet. Fear of things that pose realistic threats motivates us to deal with them or avoid them. Although stress may hinder performance on difficult tasks. such as the death of a loved one. The field of health psychology focuses in part on how stress affects bodily functioning and on how people can use stress management techniques to prevent or minimize disease. adaptive reaction to threat. or have too little time to finish all of our tasks.

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Stressful Levels of Environmental Stimulation. (1976). New York: Mcgraw-Hill. Mandler. Washington. & Koontz.). New York: McGraw-Hill Inc.12. (2nd Ed. 16. R. Stress Disorders among Viet Nam veterans: The emotional content of combat continues. Warburton (Eds. Selye. Weihrich. Suedfeld. Management: A Global Perspective. 15. F. D. Thought Processes. G.). H. P. Human Stress and Cognition: An Information Processing Approach. (1993). 10th edition. Stress Disorders among Viet Nam veterans: Theory. consciousness and stress. G. Research and Treatment. 13. (1978). H. Spielberger (Eds. C. Shartan. H. In V. C. New York: Brunner/Mazel.: Hemisphere.). D. (1979). Figley (Ed. Stress and Anxiety (Vol. In C. In I. Page 19 of 19 . Sarason & C. (1979). 14. The Stress of Life. M.). Hamilton & D. 6). New York: Wiley.

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