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I cannot and should not be cured of my stress, but merely taught to enjoy it.

Hans Selye

The Nature of Stress

Around 1960 Hans Selye proposed that stress is part of the human condition About 1990 the World Health Organization calls stress a global epidemic By the turn of the 21st century, stress has clearly become a way of life, although not necessary a good one

The Nature of 21st Century Stress

A 24-7 society where everything and everyone is accessible all the time The rapid rate of change, from technology to economics to family dynamics Growing threat of terrorism, global warming, other changing world dynamics Greater responsibilities and seemingly less freedom The number of stressors in our lives appears to be increasing The amount of leisure time appears to be decreasing

A Question of Poor Boundaries

Poor boundaries are a big issue that tend to undermine our lives People have poor boundaries, thus adding fuel to the stress fire Boundaries between work and home Boundaries between technology and privacy Financial boundaries Poor boundaries with television, Internet, food, relationships, etc.

A Question of Poor Boundaries

Poor boundaries tend to be violated (making you feel like you are being walked over), hence making you feel victimized; another way to describe stress. As the saying goes: Once a victim, twice a volunteer. Learn from your experiences and strengthen you personal boundaries as needed so you dont fall prey to victim consciousness.

The Nature of 21st Century Stress II

Research now indicates a solid link between lifestyles and stress-related disease.

As much as 7085% of all disease and illness is stress-related, from the common cold to cancer.

The Many Faces of Stress

Because of the combinations of stressors, ones personality, and ones life experiences, stress becomes a complicated phenomenon. Despite these factors, the many means to cope with stress offer strategies for all these factors.

Definitions of Stress
Definitions of stress are often based on various disciplines of study (e.g., psychology, physiology, sociology, anthropology, theology, etc.) Consequently there are many different definitions of stress (e.g., loss of emotional control, wear and tear on the body, an inability to cope, an absence of inner peace)

Richard Lazarus View of Stress

Stress is a state of anxiety produced when events and responsibilities exceed ones coping abilities.

Hans Selyes View of Stress

Stress is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand placed upon it to adapt, whether that demand produces pleasure or pain.

A Holistic View of Stress

Stress is the inability to cope with a perceived or real (or imagined) threat to ones mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, which results in a series of physiological responses and adaptations.

Model of Stress

A General Model of Stress

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Source of stress for a person Objects or events in a persons physical and social environment that can induce the stress response Arise in three places in peoples lives
Work environment Nonwork environment Life transition

Stressors (cont.)
Presence of a stressor does not lead to uniform stress responses A persons perceptual process affects the persons stress response Varies among people
A challenge to overcome A threat

Three Types of Stress

1. Eustress: good stress (e.g., falling in love) 2. Neustress: neutral stress (e.g., earthquake in remote corner of world) 3. Distress: bad stress (e.g., death of a close friend); acute stress (high intensity, short duration); chronic stress* (low intensity, prolonged time)

* Seems to cause the most problems with disease and illness

Four Sources of Stress

1. 2. 3. 4. Time Stressors Encounter Stressors Situational Stressors Anticipatory Stressors

Types of Stressors
Time Stressors
Work overload Lack of control

Encounter Stressors
Role conflicts Issue conflicts Action conflicts

Types of Stressors
Situational Stressors
Unfavorable working conditions Rapid change

Anticipatory Stressors
Unpleasant expectations Fear

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Types of Stressors
Occupational Stress Commuting/traffic Working conditions (The boss from hell) Clients/customers from hell Lack of good benefits Lack of employer loyalty Job security issues

Stress response
The stress response has both physiological and psychological aspects Physiological response is an integrated set of bodily functions that readies the person to respond to the stressor or stressors Some amount of stress can energize and motivate a person Response to an opportunity. Helps a person move toward valued results Response to a threat. Adrenaline flows and increased heart rate help a person deal with the threat Variations in stress response are tied to skills, abilities, and experience with the stressors

Physiological Consequences of Stress

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Stress and Insomnia

Estimates suggest that over 60% of Urban Population is sleep deprived. Emotional stress is thought to be the primary cause of insomnia. Sleep stealers also include jet lag, caffeine, shift work, meds, repeated cell phone use, television, internet ...

Stress and Insomnia

Improved sleep hygiene habits include: Meditation Minimize/avoid caffeine after 6:00 p.m. Engage in a regular fitness program Keep a regular sleep cycle (regular circadian rhythms) Create and maintain a sleep-friendly environment (e.g., room temperature and darkness). Avoid watching television / internet before bedtime. Minimize/avoid evening cell phone use.

Stress and Insomnia


Remember this: Sleep is not recognized as an effective relaxation technique due to the procession of unconscious thoughts (dreams) that can trigger the stress response while sleeping.

A chronic state of emotional exhaustion that comes from an unrelenting series of on-the-job pressures with few moments of positive experience Special case of distress Repeated exposure to work stressors results in emotional exhaustion

Burnout (Cont.)
Depersonalization of relationships follows emotional exhaustion as a coping response
Views the people served as objects instead of humans Builds an impersonal barrier to the stressor

Final stage of the burnout process: reduced personal accomplishment

Lose interest in their work Experience decreased efficiency Have little desire to take the initiative

Burnout (Cont.)
Results: headaches, mood swings, cynicism, and drug use among other results High burnout occupations: customer service representatives, nurses, and social workers Low burnout occupations: research physicists, forest rangers, and laboratory technicians

Understand stress because of its possible positive and negative effects on people and organizations Understand stress management
Manage stress for self to reduce negative effects Manage stress in organizations to maximize its positive effects

The General Adjustment Syndrome: Fight or Flight

An early model of stress response Views the stress response as a natural human adaptation to a stressor Adaptation happens when the person chooses behavior that lets her change the stressor (a fight response) or leave the presence of the stressor (a flight response

The General Adjustment Syndrome (Cont.)

The stress response unfolds in three closely related stages
Alarm: The body prepares to fight or adjust to the stressor by increasing heart rate, blood sugar, respiration, and muscle tension Resistance: The body tries to return to a normal state by adapting to the stressor Exhaustion: comes from repeatedly experiencing a stressor or constantly resisting a stressor

The Stress Response (Fight-or-Flight Response)

A survival instinct to fight or run Meant for physical stressors (e.g., running from a burning building) It appears not to be meant for nonphysical stressors such as never-ending traffic, unruly mother-in-laws or the roommate from hell

The Stress Response (Fight-or-Flight Response)


Arousal also happens for nonphysical stressors (mental, emotional, and spiritual). No matter if the threat is real (car accident) or perceived (a noise at night), the stress response occurs. The stress response occurs in proportion to the perceived danger.

Stages of the Stress Response

Stage 1: Stimuli received by brain through one or more of five senses. Stage 2: Brain deciphers stimuli (either a threat or as a non-threat) Stage 3: Body stays aroused until threat is over. Stage 4: Body returns to homeostasis once the threat is gone.

Symptoms of Fight or Flight

Increased heart rate Increased blood rate Increased ventilation Vasodilatation of arteries to bodys periphery (arm and legs) Increased serum glucose levels

Symptoms of Fight or Flight

(continued) Increased free fatty acid mobilization Increased blood coagulation and decreased clotting Increased muscular strength Decreased gastric movement Increased perspiration to cool body core temperature

Factors Moderating the Impact of Stress

Social support
Increased immune functioning

More adaptive coping Pessimistic explanatory style

Fostering better health habits

Autonomic reactivity
Cardiovascular reactivity to stress

Health-Impairing Behaviors

Smoking Poor nutrition Lack of exercise Alcohol and drug use

If youre looking for fast acting relief, try slowing down.

Lily Tomlin

Eliminating Stressors

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Effective Time Management

1. Spending time on important matters 2. Distinguishing between important tasks versus urgent tasks 3. Focus on results rather than methods 4. Not feeling guilty when saying no

Types of Activities that Determine Time Use

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Efficient Time Management

40 Techniques for Time Management 20 apply to all aspects of life 20 apply to management


Eliminating encounter stress through membership in a stable, close-knit group or community.


Emotional Bank Accounts

A metaphor which compares investments in relationships to deposits and withdrawals in bank accounts. The more people interact positively, the more deposits are made.

Four Dimensions of Social Intelligence

1. An accurate perception of others emotional and behavioral responses. 2. The ability to cognitively and emotionally relate to the responses of others. 3. Social knowledge 4. Social problem solving


Work Redesign
Effectively eliminating stress and increasing productivity by changing aspects of work. To eliminate stressors at work:
combine tasks form identifiable work units establish customer relationships increase decision-making authority open feedback channels

Eliminating Anticipatory Stressors through Goal Setting

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Small Wins Strategy

Identify something under your control Change it in a way that leads toward desired goal Find another small thing to change and change it Keep track of changes made Maintain the small gains made through change

The capacity to withstand or manage the negative effects of stress, to bounce back from adversity, and endure difficult situations.


Balancing Life Activities

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Resiliency: Moderating the Effects of Stress

Physiological Resiliency Cardiovascular conditioning Proper diet Psychological Resiliency Balanced lifestyle Hardy personality Small-wins strategy Social Resiliency Supportive social relations Mentors Teamwork


Tend and Befriend Theory

Theory introduced by Shelly Taylor and colleagues in 2000 Women have a second stress response: Connectedness (an effective coping skill) Taylor believes it is hardwired into womens DNA, and revealed through hormones It has also been referred to as nest and nurture Women still will fight or flee, if need be

Reactions to Illness

Seeking treatment
Ignoring physical symptoms

Communication with health care providers

Barriers to effective communication

Following medical advice


Stress Management: Individual and Organizational Strategies

Stress management tries to maintain stress at an optimal level for both the individual and the organization Stress management strategies Stress reduction: decrease number of stressors Stress resilience: increase persons ability to endure stressors Stress recuperation: help a person bounce back from the stress response Have both individual and organizational strategies within each category

Individual Strategies
Stress reduction
Decrease the amount of stress a person experiences Example: Time Management - Prioritize

Stress resilience
Develop physical and psychological stamina against potentially harmful stressors Example: physical exercise, diet, and weight control

Individual Strategies (Cont.)

Stress recuperation
Rejuvenate physically and psychologically, especially after severe distress Example: vigorous walking for 20 minutes after a hectic day OR a relaxed weekend outing

Organizational Strategies
Stress reduction
Reduce the number of stressors to which employees are exposed Example: Planned work - life balance programs for job-related activities or time management

Stress resilience
Improve employees stamina against unavoidable stressors Example: on-site exercise centers / meditation rooms; Employee counseling programs

Organizational Strategies (Cont.)

Stress recuperation
Help employees rejuvenate after a stressful work day Example: relaxation training, get togethers

Wellness Paradigm
Spiritual well-being
Emotional well-being

Mental (intellectual) well-being

Physical well-being

Wellness Paradigm

The integration, balance, and harmony of the mind, body, spirit, and emotions for optimal well-being, where the whole is considered greater than the sum of the parts.

One Approach to the Wellness Paradigm

A Holistic Approach to Stress Management

To deal effectively with stress, all areas must be addressed equally to integrate, balance, and give harmony for optimal well-being

An Effective Holistic Approach to Stress Management Includes:

Physical well-being, the ability of all the bodys physiological systems to function optimally Mental well-being, ability to gather, process, recall, and communicate information

An Effective Holistic Approach to Stress Management (continued)

Emotional well-being, ability to recognize, feel, and control the entire range of human emotions Spiritual well-being, the evolution of higher consciousness through relationships, values, and purpose in life

What Is Holistic Stress Management?

To live in the present moment To integrate, balance, and harmonize all aspects of mind, body, spirit, and emotions To move from a motivation of fear to a motivation of love/compassion To unite the conscious and unconscious minds To balance the power of ego with the purpose of soul

Im an old man now, and Ive known a great many problems in my life, most of which never happened.

Mark Twain