Stages of Stress

When you are under stress, you experience and pass through three specific stages. These stages are Alarm, Resistance, and Exhaustion. However, you may or may not pass through all stages of stress, depending on the events that triggered the occurrence. First Stage: ALARM When you face any danger, your nervous system immediately sends an emergency signal to your brain. All the different body parts and their functions coordinate to either fight or flee away from the danger. You get more energy and your limbs work faster. This is clearly visible in your facial expressions as fear or tension. Normally, this stage of stress can be due to an actual event such as an accident. It is then primary stress. Otherwise, you could cause your stress like when you are appearing for an important examination. This is secondary stress. The general indications of this stage are your fast breathing with sweating and accelerated heart beat which leads to higher blood pressure and indigestion. Second Stage: RESISTANCE When you do not get any relief from the first stage of stress, you slowly start feeling a reduction in your energy levels. However, still you want to keep fighting the danger. Hence, you feel exasperated and are impatient with trivial matters. You miss your sleep schedules and find your resistance breaking your body reacts by releasing the stored sugars and fats into your system. This leads to defined changes in your physical and mental behavioral patterns. The normal indications of this level are exhaustion, weariness, anxiousness, and being forgetful. You start smoking and drinking more to come out of your stress. Being weak, you are an easy target for colds and flu.


is when the good stress becomes to much to bear or cope with. This leads to loss of mental equilibrium and extreme complications such as heart diseases. Eustress and Distress Eustress is the good stress that motivates you to continue working. This stage symbolizes a breakdown of your system and your basic physical existence itself. Tension builds. blood pressure. You do not even have the desire or the drive to do your work or live your life. loss of appetite. Behavioral symptoms include overeating. rapid breathing and generalized tension. and ulcers. the final stress stage of exhaustion settles in. motivated. Distress.When stress continues beyond the second stage and you do not adhere to remedial measures. Examples of negative personal stressors include:          The death of a spouse Filing for divorce Losing contact with loved ones The death of a family member Hospitalization (oneself or a family member) Injury or illness (oneself or a family member) Being abused or neglected Separation from a spouse or committed relationship partner Conflict in interpersonal relationships . smoking and negative coping mechanisms. Physiological symptoms of distress include and increase in blood pressure. drinking. You are now totally tired and drained out of all energy. Stress can be a motivater and provide incentive to get the job done. This "good stress" is what eustress can be identified as and some people enjoy it. This is the kind of stress most of us are familiar with and this is the kind of stress that leads to poor decision making. It is when this stress is no longer tolerable and/or manageable that distress comes in. Everyone needs a little bit of stress in their life in order to continue to be happy. there is no longer any fun in the challenge. no end in sight. there seems to be no relief. challenged and productive.

     Bankruptcy/Money Problems Unemployment Sleep problems Children's problems at school Legal problems Examples of positive personal stressors include:           Receiving a promotion or raise at work Starting a new job Marriage Buying a home Having a child Moving Taking a vacation Holiday seasons Retiring Taking educational classes or learning a new hobby Personality Type Type A The Type A personality traits are impulsiveness. . The Type A individual is often driven by feelings of insecurity. competitiveness and the need to get things. is a perfectionist and has difficulty delegating any tasks. Such a person is very unlikely to undertake too much self-analysis . Such a person often becomes one of life's high achievers. not him! Anyway. and therefore ends up trying to do everything himself. lots of things. he hasn't got the time to waste in worry out about such things. He is also likely to be impatient and can be aggressive.everyone else has the problem. Type A is always in a hurry. done quickly.. in the belief that by achieving their goals and ambitions they will gain the level of control they feel they need in order to overcome their feelings of insecurity.. lives by timetables and deadlines..

They are often reflective. The Type A personality is the energetic one who suddenly has a breakdown when he finally uses up his reserves of energy. thinking about the outer and inner worlds. enjoying achievements but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved. say a prayer of thanks. less driven and generally content with their lot. Type B Type B personalities are not as likely to suffer from stress as much as other personality types unless there is a specific cause. If you had to find one phrase to describe a Type B person. When faced with competition. If you have a Type B personality.Generally. This personality type also has the highest risk of heart disease. and are less likely to try to achieve unnecessary aims and objectives. Type B personalities have enough confidence in their fellow human beings to be able to delegate. • • Causes of work-related stress Work-related stressors Overload This is the extent to which individuals feel that the demands of their workload and the associated time pressures are a source of pressure. The Type B personality generally lives at a lower stress level and are typically: • • They work steadily. such as bankruptcy or divorce. a Type A person has no idea why he is so driven. for example:  unrealistic deadlines and expectations. often as a result of super achievement by the most talented . They are more relaxed about things. They may be creative and enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. they do not mind losing and either enjoy the game or back down. You can see from all this that Type A people are prime candidates for stress and stress-related illnesses. it would be "laid back". They are the complete opposite of the Type A personality. They are calm and rational and not likely to damage their health long term due to a stressful lifestyle.

e. bullying and harassment lack of understanding and leadership manager forever finding fault others not pulling their weight others take credit for personal achievements poor relationships with colleagues Job security .   technology overload unmanageable workloads under recruitment of staff for work already timetabled Control The experience of pressure is strongly linked to perceptions of control. pressure can occur if individuals feel isolated or unfairly treated. Poor or unsupportive relationships with colleagues and/or supervisors can be a potential source of pressure.g. for example:      lack of control over aspects of the job lack of involvement in decision making account not taken of staff ideas/suggestions about the job lack of influence over performance targets lack of time Work relationships Many jobs demand regular contact with other people at work. Poor work relationships can be a result of:          aggressive management style lack of support from others isolation at work aversive behavior. In addition. Lack of influence and consultation in the way in which work is organized and performed can be a potential source of pressure.

temporary/fixed term contracts future job change fear of skill redundancy Work-life balance The demands of work have the potential to spill over and affect personal and home life and so put a strain on relationships outside work. Stress may result from lack of:     information about what is going on in the organization feedback on performance adequate training to do the job equipment/resources to do the job Pays and benefits The financial rewards associated with a job are important in terms of lifestyle. They are also often perceived to be an indication of an individual's worth and value to the organisation. for example:  long hours: being expected to or having to work additional hours at home to the detriment of personal. Although financial reward may not be a prime motivator. individuals need to feel that they have appropriate training. e.This is the extent to which lack of job security and job changes are a source of pressure. . equipment and resources. partner and family relationships over-demanding and inflexible work schedules unsocial hours excessive travel time work interfering with home/personal life     Resources and communication To perform a job effectively.g. for example:     job insecurity lack of job permanence. They also need to feel that they are adequately informed and that they are valued. it could become a factor if there are other negative aspects of the job.

sleeping fitfully) clenched jaw grinding teeth digestive upsets lump in your throat difficulty swallowing agitated behavior. lightheartedness .         job is unlikely to change in the next 5–10 years poor physical working conditions fear of physical violence work performance closely monitored organization changes for change's sake dull and repetitive work dealing with difficult customers/clients lack of enjoyment of job Consequences of Stress: Physical Consequences: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Sleep disturbance (insomnia.Aspects of the job These are potential sources of stress that relate to the fundamental nature of the job itself. or actual muscle twitching noncardiac chest pains dizziness. type of tasks and the amount of satisfaction derived from the job. Factors such as the physical working conditions. like twiddling your fingers playing with your hair increased heart rate general restlessness sense of muscle tension in your body.

music.• • • • • • • hyperventilating sweaty palms nervousness stumbling over words high blood pressure lack of energy fatigue Psychological Consequences: • • • • • • • • mental slowness confusion general negative attitudes or thoughts constant worry your mind races at times difficulty concentrating forgetfulness difficulty thinking in a logical sequence Behavioral Consequences of stress include: • • • • • • decreased contact with family and friends poor work relations sense of loneliness decreased sex drive avoiding others and others avoid you because you’re cranky failing to set aside times for relaxation through activities such as hobbies. but they cause more damage in the long run: . art or reading Unhealthy ways of coping with stress These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress.

and learn to be okay with “good enough. or enjoy some alone time. When stress is getting you down. As the saying goes. and activities     Using Sleepin Procras Filling avoid f  Taking out. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup.     Smoking Drinking too much Overeating or under eating Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer Withdrawing from friends.”  Focus on the positive.” When facing major challenges. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam.  Look at the big picture. family. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Rather than stressing out over them. Take perspective of the stressful situation. .  Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. focus your time and energy elsewhere. listen to your favorite radio station. an Management of Stress:  Reframe your problems: try to view stressful situation from a more positive perspective. “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. reflect on them and learn from your mistakes. take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life.  Adjust your standards. try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation. including your own positive qualities and gifts. focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.  Look for the upside. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

or working on your bike. cigarettes.  Reduce caffeine and sugar. Start your day right with breakfast. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.  Avoid alcohol. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways. so be mindful of what you eat. and drugs. playing the piano. By reducing the amount of coffee. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. Do something you enjoy every day. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. soft drinks. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand. deal with problems head on and with a clear mind. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic. nutritious meals throughout the day. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress. as well as your body. even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.     Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise. chocolate. whether it be stargazing. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. Keep your sense of humor. The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. but the relief is only temporary. .  Set aside relaxation time. three times per week. Share your feelings. Adequate sleep fuels your mind. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.  Connect with others. and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced. Let go of anger and resentments. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.  Get enough sleep. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally. and sugar snacks in your diet. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make mistakes. Exercise regularly.  Learn to forgive. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule.

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