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Strategies for Effective Stress Management

J. Amarnath Dr. P. Kannadas

Ph.D Research Scholar, Assistant Professor & Research Guide
Stress is a term that refers to the sum of the physical, mental, and emotional strains or
tensions on a person. Feelings of stress in humans result from interactions between persons and
their environment that are perceived as straining or exceeding their adaptive capacities and
threatening their well-being. The element of perception indicates that human stress responses
reflect differences in personality as well as differences in physical strength or health. This paper
deals with types of Stress and Stressors, how to coping with stress, stages of stress, types of
coping, distinguish between behavioral & Cognitive coping strategies and based on the stress
some of the effective strategies of stress management are discussed on the following paper.
Keywords: Stress, Stress Management, Coping with stress, behavioral coping strategies.
According to Behr and Newman define job stress as a condition arising from the
interaction of people and their jobs and characterized by changes within people that force them
to deviate from their normal functioning. Most people think of stress as a mental state but it is
in fact very largely a physical condition. When a person is subjected to a stress- producing effect
known as stressor (a challenge, pressure, stimulus, external influence, etc.) it is registered in the
brain. The brain gives various parts of the body instructions for a chain of reactions known as
stress reaction or stress response.
Types of Stress:
There are two types of stress are as follows:

Eustress, or good stress, is stress that benefits our health, like physical exercise or getting
a promotion.
Eustress or positive stress occurs when your level of stress is high enough to motivate
you to move into action to get things accomplished
The stress response increases our ability to stand and fight or turn and flee and to
mobilize all our resources to achieve whatever we decide to do.

Stress only has a positive effect if it is not allowed to build up or feed on it, i.e. if it can
be worked off.

The negative effects of stress show particularly when a person allows stress to remain in
the body, usually when a person allows stress to remain in the body, usually when there is
no chance to take the necessary steps to release a stress response that is too strong or lasts
too long.
Distress, is stress that harms our health and often results from imbalances between
demands made upon us and our resources for dealing with these demands.
Distress or negative stress occurs when your level of stress is either too high or too low
and your body and/or mind begin to respond negatively to the stressors.
The first step in learning to control your stress, and live with it, is to find out what your
stresses are, i.e. what stresses you personally. Stressors are divided into physical and social
groupings and the social stresses can be subdivided into further:
Physical Stressors
Social Stressors (Social, Economic, Political, Family, Job Career, Interpersonal &
Stages of Stress:
Alarm Stage:
It is begin to experience a stressful event or perceive something to be stressful
psychological changes occur in your body. This experience or perception disrupts your bodys
normal balance and immediately your body begins to respond to the stressors as effectively as
possible Ex: cardiac Increased Heart beat rate
Resistance Stage:
Here our body tries to cope or adapt to the stressors by beginning a process of repairing any
damage the stressor has caused. Your friends, family or co-workers may notice changes in you
before you do so it is important to examine their feedback to make sure you do not reach
overload Ex: Behavioral, Emotional Cognitive Indicators.

Exhaustion Stage:
In this stage the stressors is not being managed effectively and the body and mind are not
able to repair the damage Ex: insomnia, headache, Loss of Temper.
Coping with Stress:
Coping refers to the use of strategies to deal with problems, real or anticipated, and any
possible negative emotions that may arise. This approach helps us to control our reactions to the
demands placed upon us. We use actions, thoughts and feelings to cope.
Problem-Focused Coping is aimed at changing a situation or its accompanying demands. It is
most appropriate when you have some control over a situation or when you can manage the
problem in the environment. It uses specific activities to accomplish a task.
Emotion-Focused Coping is aimed at dealing with the emotions caused by a situation and its
demands. It is more appropriate when you have little or no control over a situation. This type of
coping involves reducing anxiety associated with the stressful situation without addressing the
Coping Strategies:
The Coping Strategies can be broadly divided into two types and they are as follows:

Cognitive Coping Strategies Physical / Behavioral Coping Strategies

Reframing Physical Exercise
Challenging negative thinking Relaxation
Positive Self talk Breathing
Count to ten Smile & Laugh
Cost benefits analysis Time Management
Smell the roses Social support / Friends
Use image or visualization Seek Help

Strategies for Effective Stress Management

Recognize and Eliminate Common Pitfalls: There are several common patterns among people
today that significantly raise stress levels. We will discuss 5 interrelated ones: what Charles E.
Hummel refers to as the tyranny of the urgent, maintaining a hectic pace, approaching life
from a crisis orientation, hanging on to not really so sacred cows, and replacing stability with
unnecessary change.
Build Toward a Full and Balanced Life: To the extent that we are not fully expressive in all
major areas of life--spiritual, relational, sexual, vocational, re creative, and physical--and to the
extent that we are not making Biblically-informed choices in these areas, we will not only
experience stress, but find ourselves lacking in the energy and strength necessary to manage and
tolerate it.
Identify and Challenge False Core Beliefs: Our beliefs are certain to find their way into our
day-today behavior. To the extent that we are operating out of a system of false beliefs, we are
likely to collide with both the teaching of Scripture and the manner in which God intended for us
to live. Lack of closure and false core beliefs often blend to create a very stressful burden.
Achieve Closure; Settle Old Accounts: To lack closure is to have unresolved concerns from the
past messing up the present. The emotional baggage of unresolved issues is constant, even if
unconscious, stressor, and a drain on the resources we need for managing stress.
Conquer the Symptoms of Stress: There is the danger that doing away with the symptoms of
stress may deter us from addressing the deeper issues that are the source. Nevertheless, it is wise
to consider ways to reduce symptoms and lessen their damaging effects on the body. This section
contains instructions and exercises to help reduce present symptoms of stress.
Stress Management Plan:

Recognize that you experience stress.

Recognize the symptoms of stress.
Physical, Emotional, Behavioral, Relational signs of Stress.
Manage Stress by shifting from worrying to problem solving.
Develop Stress relief techniques which is apt for the individual
Stress in the work place has become the black plague of the present century. Much of the
stress at work is caused not only by work overload and time pressure but also by lack of rewards
and praise, and more importantly, by not providing individuals with the autonomy to do their
work as they would like. Most of the employees were not satisfied with the grievance handling
procedure of the organization which was found by the unstructured interview. If we enhance the
psychological well being and health of the employees in the coming future the employee will
give more revenue as well as the employee retention will improve.


MANAGEMENT STYLES - Dr. John Dearles, Prof. Janny Borloug
MANAGE YOUR MIND - Butler G. Hoper