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Presentation Outline

Part 1 - General Awareness

Part 2 - Stress at Work

Part 3 - Self - help

Part 1

General Awareness

What Is Stress ?

Stress is the reaction people have to

excessive pressures or other types of
demand placed upon them. It arises when
they worry that they can’t cope.

What Is Stress ?

Stress is the “wear and tear” our minds and

bodies experience as we attempt to cope
with our continually changing environment

Stress occurs when the pressure is
greater than the resource
Stress Feelings

• Worry
• Tense
• Tired
• Frightened
• Depressed
• Anxious
• Anger
Organisational Stress

• Rules
• Regulations
• “Red - Tape”
• Deadlines
Negative Self – Talk Stress

• Pessimistic thinking
• Self criticism
• Over analysing

• Negative stress

• Positive stress
Negative Stress

It is a contributory factor in minor

conditions, such as headaches, digestive
problems, skin complaints, insomnia and
Excessive, prolonged and unrelieved stress
can have a harmful effect on mental,
physical and spiritual health.
Positive Stress

Stress can also have a positive effect,

spurring motivation and awareness,
providing the stimulation to cope with
challenging situations.
Stress also provides the sense of urgency
and alertness needed for survival when
confronting threatening situations.
The Individual

Everyone is different, with unique

perceptions of, and reactions to, events.
There is no single level of stress that is
optimal for all people. Some are more
sensitive owing to experiences in
childhood, the influence of teachers, parents
and religion etc.
Most of the stress we experience is self-
generated. How we perceive life - whether
an event makes us feel threatened or
stimulated, encouraged or discouraged,
happy or sad - depends to a large extent on
how we perceive ourselves.

The Individual
Self-generated stress is something of a
paradox, because so many people think of
external causes when they are upset.

Recognising that we create most of our own

upsets, is an important first step towards
coping with them.

The Individual

• Physical symptoms
• Mental symptoms
• Behavioural symptoms
• Emotional symptoms
Physical Symptoms

• Sleep pattern changes • Dizziness

• Fatigue • Fainting
• Digestion changes • Sweating & trembling
• Headaches • Tingling hands & feet
• Aches and pains • Breathlessness
• Indigestion • Palpitations

Symptoms of Stress
Mental Symptoms

• Lack of concentration
• Memory lapses
• Difficulty in making decisions
• Confusion
• Disorientation
• Panic attacks

Symptoms of Stress
Behavioural Symptoms
• Appetite changes - too much or too little
• Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia
• Increased intake of alcohol & other drugs
• Increased smoking
• Restlessness
• Nail biting

Symptoms of Stress
Emotional Symptoms

• Depression
• Impatience
• Fits of rage
• Tearfulness
• Deterioration of personal hygiene and

Symptoms of Stress
Stress is not the same as ill-health, but has been related to such
illnesses as:

• Cardiovascular disease
• Immune system disease
• Asthma
• Diabetes
• Digestive disorders
• Ulcers
• Skin complaints
• Headaches and migraines
• Depression
Part 2

Stress at Work
Why Do We Work ?

Work provides an income and fulfils a

variety of other needs: - mental and
physical exercise, social contact, a feeling
of self-worth and competence.

• The drive for success • Uncertainty

• Changing work • Conflict
patterns • Responsibility
• Working conditions • Relationships at work
• Overwork • Change at work
• Under-work
How Do I Know If I Am Suffering From Stress?

Each person handles stress differently. Some people

actually seek out situations which may appear stressful to

A major life decision, such as changing careers or buying a

house, might be overwhelming for some people, while
others may welcome the change. Some find sitting in
traffic too much to tolerate, while others take it in stride.

The key is determining your personal tolerance levels for

stressful situations.

• Remember that success will not come from a half hearted

effort, nor will it come overnight. It will take
determination, persistence and time.

• Some suggestions may help immediately, but if your stress

is chronic, it may require more attention and/or lifestyle

• Determine YOUR tolerance level for stress and try to live

within these limits. Learn to accept or change stressful and
tense situations whenever possible.
• Be realistic.
If you feel overwhelmed by some activities (yours and/or your
family’s), learn to say NO! Eliminate an activity that is not absolutely
necessary. You may be taking on more responsibility than you can or
should handle. If you meet resistance, give reasons why you’re
making the changes. Be willing to listen to other’s suggestions and be
ready to compromise.

• Shed the “superman/superwoman” urge.

No one is perfect, so don’t expect perfection from yourself or others.
Ask yourself, “What really needs to be done?” How much can I do? Is
the deadline realistic? What adjustments can I make?” Don’t hesitate
to ask for help if you need it.

• Meditate.
Just ten to twenty minutes of quiet reflection may bring relief from
chronic stress as well as increase your tolerance to it. Use the time to
listen to music, relax and try to think of pleasant things or nothing.

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

• Visualize.
Use your imagination and picture how you can manage a stressful
situation more successfully. Whether it’s a business presentation or
moving to a new place, many people feel visual rehearsals boost self-
confidence and enable them to take a more positive approach to a
difficult task.

• Take one thing at a time.

For people under tension or stress, an ordinary workload can
sometimes seem unbearable. The best way to cope with this feeling of
being overwhelmed is to take one task at a time. Pick one urgent task
and work on it. Once you accomplish that task, choose the next one.
The positive feeling of “checking off” tasks is very satisfying. It will
motivate you to keep going.

• Exercise.
Regular exercise is a popular way to relieve stress. Twenty to thirty
minutes of physical activity benefits both the body and the mind.

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

• Hobbies.
Take a break from your worries by doing something you enjoy.
Whether it’s gardening or painting, schedule time to indulge your

• Healthy life style.

Good nutrition makes a difference. Limit intake of caffeine and
alcohol (alcohol actually disturbs regular sleep patterns), get adequate
rest, exercise, and balance work and leisure.

• Share your feelings.

A conversation with a friend lets you know that you are not the only
one having a bad day, caring for a sick child or working in a busy
office. Stay in touch with friends and family. Let them provide love,
support and guidance. Don’t try to cope alone.

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

• Give in occasionally. Be flexible!
If you find you are meeting constant opposition in either your personal
or professional life, rethink your position or strategy.

Arguing only intensifies stressful feelings. If you know you are right,
stand your ground, but do so calmly and rationally. Make allowances
for other’s opinions and be prepared to compromise. If you are willing
to give in, others may meet you halfway. Not only will you reduce
your stress, you may find better solutions to your problems.

• Go easy with criticism.

You may expect too much of yourself and others. Try not to feel
frustrated, let down, disappointed or even “trapped” when another
person does not measure up.

The “other person” may be a wife, a husband, a child or a colleague

whom you are trying to change to suit yourself. Remember, everyone
is unique, and has his or her own virtues, shortcomings, and right to
develop as an individual.

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

• Where to Get Help.
Help may be as close as a friend or spouse. But if you
think that you or someone you know may be under more
stress than just dealing with a passing difficulty, it may be
helpful to talk with your doctor, spiritual advisor, or
employee for professional assistance.

If need be, they may even suggest you to visit with a

psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or other qualified

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

Ask Questions to Yourself
• List the things which cause stress and tension in your life.

• How does this stress and tension affect you, your family and your job?

• Can you identify the stress and tensions in your life as short or long term?

• Do you have a support system of friends/family that will help you make positive changes?

• What are your biggest obstacles to reducing stress?

• What are you willing to change or give up for a less stressful and tension-filled life?

• What have you tried already that didn’t work for you?

• If you do not have control of a situation, can you accept it and get on with your life?
• Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that
occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities,
resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health.

• Job stress is often confused with challenge, but these concepts are not the

Challenge energizes us psychologically and physically, and it motivates us to

learn new skills and master our jobs. When a challenge is met, we feel relaxed
and satisfied.

But job stress is different - the challenge has turned into job demands that
cannot be met, relaxation has turned to exhaustion, and a sense of satisfaction
has turned into feelings of stress.

In short, the stage is set for illness, injury, and job failure.
Approach to job stress

• Balance between work and family or

personal life
• A support network of friends and coworkers
• A relaxed and positive outlook

Job Stress
Job conditions that may lead to stress
• The design of tasks.
Heavy workload, infrequent rest breaks, long work hours, and shift work
are stressful. So are hectic and routine tasks that have little inherent
meaning, do not utilize workers' skills, and provide little sense of control.

• Management style.
Lack of participation by workers in decision-making, poor communication
in the organization, lack of family-friendly policies.

• Interpersonal relationships.
Poor social environment and lack of support or help from coworkers and

Job Stress
• Work roles.
Conflicting or uncertain job expectations, too much
responsibility, too many “hats to wear.”

• Career concerns.
Job insecurity and lack of opportunity for growth, advancement,
or promotion; rapid changes for which workers are unprepared.

• Environmental conditions.
Unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions such as crowding,
noise, air pollution.

Job Conditions That May Lead To Stress

Part 3

Self - help

Not all the stress we

experience is generated at
work !!

• External Stresses

• Internal Stresses
External Stresses - Organisational

Company take over React to changes

Major reorganisation Advancement difficult
Company sale / relocation Red tape delays jobs
Employee benefit cuts Insufficient resources
Mandatory overtime required Pay below going rate
Little input into decisions Technology changes
Mistake consequences severe Employee benefits poor
Workloads vary Workplace conditions
Fast paced work Consistent poor performance

Causes Of Stress
External Stresses - Major Life Events

• Death of a loved one • Change in financial

• Divorce / separation status
• Injury/illness ( self / • Change of job / work
family ) • Mortgage or loan
• Marriage • Change in
• Loss of job responsibilities
• Retirement • Moving house

Causes Of Stress
Recognise The Problem

The most important point is to recognise the

source of the negative stress.

This is not an admission of weakness or

inability to cope! It is a way to identify the
problem and plan measures to overcome it.
Stress Reduction Techniques
• Progressive Relaxation:
Progressive relaxation of your muscles reduces pulse rate and blood pressure as well as
decreasing perspiration and respiration rates. The body responds to anxiety-producing
thoughts and events with muscle tension which in turn increases the anxiety.

Muscle relaxation reduces tension and is incompatible with anxiety. Typically, it

involves tensing individual muscle groups for several seconds and releasing the tension
-- allowing the muscles to gradually relax.

• Deep Breathing:
Proper breathing is essential for good mental and physical health. The next time you
feel a surge of stress, try a few moments of deep breathing.

Sit in a comfortable position and take deep, measured breaths, e.g., inhaling while
counting up from 1 to 4; exhaling while counting down from 4 to 1. Do this 20-30 times
and you are sure to feel refreshed. Deep breathing assists in relaxation by increasing the
amount of oxygen in the body.
• Visualization:
If you think anxious thoughts, you become tense. In order to overcome
negative feelings, you can use the power of your imagination to refocus
your mind on positive, healing images.

Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes and visualize a scene or
place that you associate with safety and relaxation. It doesn't matter
what you visualize, as long as it's calming to you. As you relax your
mind, your body also relaxes.

• Thought Stopping:
Thought stopping helps you overcome excessive worry, repetitive
thoughts, and negative thinking, which may take the form of self-doubt,
fear, and avoidance of stressful situations.

Thought stopping involves concentrating on the unwanted thoughts and

after a short time, suddenly stopping and emptying your mind, by using
the mental command "stop" or a loud noise to interrupt negative
thinking. Then, you may use thought substitution to focus on positive
thoughts and outcomes. If the thoughts can be controlled, stress levels
can be significantly reduced.

Stress Reduction Techniques




What causes you stress?

How do you react?

There is a fine line between positive / negative


How much can you cope with before it becomes

negative ?

ABC Strategy

What can you do to help yourself combat the

negative effects of stress ?

ABC Strategy

• Change your thinking

• Change your behaviour

• Change your lifestyle

Change your Thinking

• Re-framing

• Positive thinking

Stress Management Techniques

Re-framing is a technique to change the way you
look at things in order to feel better about them.

There are many ways to interpret the same

situation so pick the one you like.

Re-framing does not change the external reality,

but helps you view things in a different light and
less stressfully.

Stress Management Techniques

Positive Thinking
Forget powerlessness, dejection, despair, failure
Stress leaves us vulnerable to negative
suggestion so focus on positives:
• Focus on your strengths
• Learn from the stress you are under
• Look for opportunities
• Seek out the positive - make a change.

Stress Management Techniques

Change your Behaviour

• Be assertive
• Get organised
• Ventilation
• Humour
• Diversion and distraction

Stress Management Techniques

Be Assertive
Assertiveness helps to manage stressful situations,
and will , in time, help to reduce their frequency.

Lack of assertiveness often shows low self -

esteem and low self - confidence.

Extending our range of communication skills will

improve our assertiveness.

Change Your Behaviour

Equality and Basic Rights
1) The right to express my feelings
2) The right to express opinions/beliefs
3) The right to say ‘Yes/No’ for yourself
4) Right to change your mind
5) Right to say ‘I don’t understand’
6) Right to be yourself, not acting for the benefit of others
7) The right to decline responsibility for other people’s problems
8) The right to make reasonable requests to others
9) The right to set my own priorities
10) The right to be listened to, and taken seriously

Change Your Behaviour

• Higher self-esteem
• Less self-conscious
• Less anxious
• Manage stress more successfully
• Appreciate yourself and others more easily
• Feeling of self-control

Change Your Behaviour

Get Organised
• Poor organisation is one of the most common
causes of stress.
• Structured approaches offer security against ‘out
of the blue’ problems.
• Prioritising objectives, duties and activities makes
them manageable and achievable.
• Don’t overload your mind.
• Organisation will help avoid personal and
professional chaos.

Change Your Behaviour

Time Management

• Make a list
What MUST be done
What SHOULD be done
What would you LIKE to do
• Cut out time wasting
• Learn to drop unimportant activities
• Say no or delegate

Change Your Behaviour

‘A problem shared is a problem halved’
Develop a support network through friends or colleagues to
talk with. It’s not always events that are stressful but how we
perceive them.

Writing a diary or notes may help release feelings but do not

re-read what has been written.

Change Your Behaviour


• Good stress - reducer

• Applies at home and work
• Relieves muscular tension
• Improves breathing

Change Your Behaviour

Diversion And Distraction

• Take time out

• Get away from things that bother you
• Reduce stress level
• Calm down
• Think logically

Change Your Behaviour

Change Your Lifestyle
• Diet
• Smoking & Alcohol
• Exercise
• Sleep
• Leisure
• Relaxation
Benefits of Exercise
• Improves blood circulation
• Lowers blood pressure
• Clears the mind of worrying thoughts
• Improves self image
• Makes you feel better about yourself
• Increases social contact

Change Your Lifestyle

• Good stress reducer
• Difficult to cope when tired
• Wake refreshed after night’s sleep
• Plenty of daytime energy

Change Your Lifestyle


• Gives you a ‘break’ from stresses

• Provides outlet for relief
• Provides social contact

Change Your Lifestyle

Benefits of Relaxation
• Lowers blood pressure
• Combats fatigue
• Promotes sleep
• Reduces pain
• Eases muscle tension
• Decreases mental worries
• Increases concentration
• Increases productivity
• Increases clear thinking

Change Your Lifestyle

• Conventional • Herbalism
Medicine • Homeopathy
• Counselling & • Hypnotherapy
psychotherapy • Acupuncture
• Meditation • Aromatherapy
• Massage • Yoga
Thank You!