Stress, It’s Effect and It’s Management – An Overview

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Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. During stress, our bodies respond by activating the nervous system and releasing hormones. Chronic stress can cause headaches, pains, sleep disturbance, etc. Stress management encompasses techniques intended to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with psychological stress. Yoga, breathing exercise, meditation, mindfulness, self-hypnosis and physical exercises can relieve stress. Healthy diet, enough sleep, maintaining a supportive network, staying organized, maintaining balance in our life, help in reducing stress. Self-understanding, positive self-talk, positive attitude, regular and effective rest can reduce stress. Learning to say "No" to some demands others make reduces stress. Talking, laughing, crying and expressing anger when needed, can help to cope with stress. Listening to relaxing music, looking for the humour in life, kindness and altruism, have positive benefits for stress management. Forgiveness, positive affirmations, emotional awareness, perseverance, internal locus of control, optimism, perspective and spirituality can help in coping with stress.

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Stress It’s Effect and It’s Management – An Overview Dr. G. C. Mohanta Abstract Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical emotional or psychological strain. During stress our bodies respond by activating the nervous system and releasing hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol which increase our heart rate breathing blood pressure metabolism and muscle tension. Our pupils dilate and our perspiration rate increases. It helps us to get through the stressful event. Chronic stress can cause headaches pains sleep disturbance indigestion anxiety anger irritability depression fatigue feeling out of control tearful difficulty in concentrating/relaxing/ decision making low self-esteem lack of confidence high blood pressure low energy difficulty in breathing weakened immune system resulting in colds flu cancer depression eczema skin disorders asthma heart disease stomach ulcers and post-traumatic stress disorders. Stress management encompasses techniques intended to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with psychological stress. Yoga breathing exercise meditation mindfulness self- hypnosis and physical exercises can relieve stress. Healthy diet enough sleep maintaining a supportive network staying organized maintaining balance in our life help in reducing stress. Self-understanding positive self-talk positive attitude regular and effective rest can reduce stress. Learning to say "No" to some demands others make reduces stress. Talking laughing crying and expressing anger when needed can help to cope with stress. Listening to relaxing music looking for the humour in life kindness and altruism have positive benefits for stress management. Forgiveness positive affirmations emotional awareness perseverance internal locus of control optimism perspective and spirituality can help in coping with stress. Key Words: Stress Effects of Stress Stress Management Techniques Internal Locus of Control Emotional Resilience. What Is Stress Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical emotional or psychological strain. Stress is a type of alarm reaction involving heightened mental and bodily states - it is both a psychological and a physiological response to the environment. Our brain produces a stress reaction when we are in a situation that is physically or mentally demanding. Common causes of stress include work money relationships and illness. Symptoms may include irritability difficulty in sleeping or relaxing headaches and muscle tension. Stress can be a positive thing - helping an individual to grow develop be stimulated and take action. However if stress exceeds a person’s ability to cope it can impact on their mental and physical health in a range of ways. Some research studies estimate up to two thirds of illnesses are stress related.

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During stress our bodies respond by activating the nervous system and releasing hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol which increase our heart rate breathing blood pressure metabolism and muscle tension. Our pupils dilate and our perspiration rate increases. The various other autonomic nervous functions changes digestion slows down blood flow to major muscle groups shunts and gives the body a burst of energy and strength. These hormones cause physical changes in the body which help us to react quickly and effectively to get through the stressful situation. This is sometimes called the ‘fight or flight’ response. Originally named for its ability to enable us to physically fight or run away when faced with danger. The hormones increase our heart rate breathing rate blood flow to skeletal muscles blood sugar levels blood pressure in arteries and muscle tension. Our intestinal muscles relax our pupils dilate and our perspiration rate increases. While these physical changes help us try to meet the challenges of the stressful situation they can cause other physical or psychological symptoms if the stress is ongoing and the physical changes don’t settle down. Effect Of Stress Chronic stress is the damaging type of stress it comes from situations where our stress response is triggered again and again and our bodies don’t return to their pre-stressed state. It involves ongoing demands pressures and worries that seem to go on forever with little hope of letting up. Chronic stress can cause a number of psychological and physical symptoms. Chronic stress is very harmful to people’s health and happiness. Even though people can sometimes get used to chronic stress and may feel they do not notice it so much it continues to wear people down and has a negative effect on their relationships and health. This type of stress often comes from conflicted relationships over-packed schedules stressful jobs etc. While these physical changes help us to meet the challenges of the stressful situation they can cause other physical or psychological symptoms if the stress is ongoing and the physical changes don’t settle down. The symptoms of chronic stress are: • Headaches and other aches • Muscle tension and pain • Sleep disturbance insomnia • Changes in appetite • Decreased sexual function • Anxiety • Anger irritability • Fatigue • Feeling overwhelmed and out of control

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• Feeling moody tearful • Difficulty in concentrating • Difficulty in relaxing • Difficulty in decision making • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing • Low energy • Low self-esteem lack of confidence • Weakened immune system Long term uncontrolled stress is associated with the development of a number of different medical conditions. Primarily these occur as the result of biochemical imbalances that can weaken the immune system and over-stimulate the part of the nervous system that regulates heart rate blood pressure and digestion. Medical conditions that may occur as a result of long term stress are: • Hair loss • High blood pressure • Heart disease • Heart palpitations • Hyperventilation • Gastrointestinal problems eg: indigestion Upset stomach diarrhoea heartburn irritable bowel syndrome stomach ulcers • Worsening skin conditions eg: dermatitis eczema • Recurrent colds and flu • Cancer • Depression • Asthma • Diabetes. • Hyperthyroidism • Obesity • Obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder • Sexual dysfunction • Tooth and gum disease Stress Management Techniques Stress management encompasses techniques intended to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with psychological stress. The following are some of the techniques to deal with stress: Yoga Breathing Exercise Its great for physical health and flexibility and it can also help us to get into a meditative state. Yoga is a great stress reliever - the breathing mild to moderate exercise and sense of

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presence involved can all add up to reduced stress and greater feelings of wellbeing. A relatively small amount of yoga can bring lasting benefits to mood and performance and increased resilience to stress and could bring real benefits to employers by reducing job stress and increasing productivity in workers. Breathing exercises help release built-up tension in the body. Meditation Meditation is a health-affirming and stress-relieving practice. This simple and effective practice can have positive short-term effects and create long-term changes that can facilitate stress management and overall wellness. Self-hypnosis Self-hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of mind which can be defined as a heightened state of focused concentration. With it we can change our thinking kick bad habits and take control of the person we are along with relaxation and distressing from everyday life. Its similar to meditation and results in a better person. Doing Exercise Regularly Exercise helps to release built up tension and increases fitness increases the body’s ability to deal with stress and helps to avoid the damage to our health that prolonged stress can cause. Exercise has been correlated with stronger levels of resilience. This may be due to the effects of endorphins on ones mood or the physical health benefits to those who exercise or both. Regardless adding a regular exercise habit to our lifestyle can benefit us in more ways than one. Karate It can help us develop self-discipline become part of a community release frustration and tension and even feel safer as we will be better able to defend ourselves in the event of an attack. Swimming Combining the soothing properties of water and the benefits of exercise swimming is a great way to get in shape cool off release stress and feel great. Walking Anyone can do this and it can conform to our schedule. We can take a walk during our lunch break walk in the morning before our shower etc. Walking and talking with a friend makes it not even feel like exercise and walking by ourselves can provide the venue for us to work out problems in our head or get into a meditative state.

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Healthy Choices When we are under stress health may suffer because we don’t always make other healthy lifestyle choices like getting enough sleep exercise and healthy food in our diet which also makes us more likely to become ill. To protect our health stress should be kept to a minimum and other precautions should also be taken. Reducing Daily Stressors We can reduce stress in our life by making lifestyle changes like becoming more organized better managing time and making other changes at work. Getting enough sleep and maintaining a positive outlook are also important in overall health. Taking Care of Our Body We can take care of our body by eating a healthy diet getting enough sleep and doing exercise regularly to keep your body running smoothly. The body will then function properly and increase our ability to fight off the latest bug that’s being passed around. And if we do get sick a generally healthy body can bounce back from illness much more quickly so we will be less miserable while we are ill and heal sooner. By practicing stress-reducing activities we can keep our body from going into chronic stress mode maintaining increased health and wellness. Maintaining a Supportive Network Social support boosts immunity and helps us manage stress in our life both of which will keep us healthier. By keeping several healthy relationships in our life we will have friends to help us through the difficult times and increase our enjoyment of the good times helping us stay healthy and enjoy our life more. Staying Organized and Maintaining Balance in Our Life We should keep our home uncluttered. We should be proficient at saying ‘no’ to requests that are not in line with our priorities. Staying organized and balanced will help us keep from overtaxing ourselves and can help reduce the level of stress we experience in our life helping us stay healthier in the long run. Learning Stress-Reducing Practices Learning and practicing the stress management technique can help our health by activating our body’s relaxation response. Developing strategies to deal with stress can prevent or reduce its effects. There are many approaches to managing relieving or coping with stress. Kindness forgiveness and altruism have positive benefits for stress management and emotional health. We should know the best stress reliever for our situation. Positive affirmations can be quite effective if we know what to say and what to avoid.

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Finding Ways To Reduce Stress At Work And Enjoying Our Job Part of job stress relief involves making changes at work that can increase satisfaction and cut down on factors that cause stress and burnout. We should try to find greater satisfaction at our current jobs creating a fun job experience and assessing and eliminating burnout-related stressors. Improving Emotional Resilience It refers to our ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises. More resilient people are able to adapt to adversity without lasting difficulties. Resilient people tend to view life’s difficulties as challenges and respond accordingly with action rather than with fear self-pity blame or a "victim mentality." While life can be very challenging an important step in becoming more resilient is to develop positive self-talk and to remind ourselves that we are strong and can grow stronger and more wise as we handle life’s challenges. Being Emotionally Aware Emotionally aware people understand what they are feeling and why. Part of resilience is emotional awareness. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed with their emotions and this frightens and immobilizes them. Knowing why we feel upset can provide valuable information about what needs to change in our life. It’s also important to do research on how to meet the challenges we face. Maintaining a journal can help us explore our inner world and come up with a plan of action. Persevering Persevering people whether they are working toward outward goals or on inner coping strategies they are action-oriented and they trust in the process. While many people know of coping strategies that can help to deal with stress such as with diets and exercise programs the most successful individuals are those who maintain the effort for the long term. They do not give up on their situation and do not stop working toward getting through it. Developing An Internal Locus of Control Resilient people believe that they rather than outside forces are in control of their own lives. They believe that they are in control of their lives. It’s true while we cannot control our circumstances we can control how we respond to those circumstances and that makes a big difference in our attitudes and in the course our lives take. Fortunately we can develop an internal locus of control. Cultivating Optimism Optimists see the positives in most situations and believe in their own strength. Being an optimist is more than looking on the bright side. It is a way of viewing the world where we

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maximize our strengths and accomplishments and minimize our weaknesses and setbacks. Developing a more optimistic world view can help us become more resilient. Rallying Social Support Some people know the value of social support and are able to surround themselves with supportive friends and family. While we ultimately face our own challenges a supportive friend or group of friends can help lighten the load. Those with strong networks of social support tend to stay healthier and happier throughout life and tend to cope well with stress. Conversely those with little support may find themselves more vulnerable and those with conflicted and unsupportive relationships tend to fare even worse. Having Perspective Resilient people are able to learn from their mistakes see obstacles as challenges and allow adversity to make them stronger. They can also find meaning in life’s challenges rather than seeing themselves as victims. Getting In Touch With Spiritual Side Being connected to our spiritual side has been connected with stronger emotional resilience especially if we are internally connected and not just going through the motions of attending services. Studies have shown that those who are more spiritual tend to be more resilient as well. This does not mean that we cannot be resilient if we are atheist or agnostic. But if we are open to it reconnecting or strengthening our connection to our spiritual side can provide us with strength. Maintaining Sense of Humour People with sense of humour are able to laugh at life’s difficulties. If we are able to laugh at life’s frustrations we can have increased immunity to stress and adversity. Those with a sense of humour about life tend to experience life as less stressful are able to bond with others during difficult times and experience the numerous benefits of laughter. If we can take a step back from difficult situations long enough to maintain our sense of humor we will be more resilient too. Taking Balanced Diet Diet can play an important role in the relief of stress. We should eat a balanced diet and avoid foods that may increase tension e.g. coffee tea and foods high in sugar or consuming more salt in food.

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Undertaking Periodic Relaxation Relaxation is an effective way to help reduce muscle tension associated with stress. There are many different relaxation techniques e.g. yoga meditation massage. Some people find that simply taking “time out” during the day or after a stressful situation is sufficient to reduce stress levels. Undergoing Stress Management Courses Stress management courses enable individuals to develop strategies to cope with life and stress more effectively. Most courses teach skills that enable the individual to recognise current stressors and techniques to effectively deal with these. Course such as time management goal setting assertive communication problem solving managing change and relaxation techniques may be undergone. Practising Mindfulness Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing ones awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting ones feelings thoughts and bodily sensations used as a therapeutic technique for managing stress. Self-understanding Self understanding Self understanding e.g. self-identification as a Type A or as a Type B personality - the typical type A person is competitive time-conscious workaholic and easily frustrated with others. Researchers have suggested that this sort of person would be likely to show more risky behaviour such as smoking poor diet and so on. Taking Counselling Discussing concerns with an impartial person may assist with recognising stressors and deciding upon strategies to deal with them. The person does not necessarily need to be a professional therapist but may be a trusted family member friend or colleague. Often the process of discussing a concern is enough to alleviate the stress it is causing. Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness. Knowing when to ask for help may be one of the changes necessary in order to deal with stress more appropriately. Taking Alternative therapies

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Some people find therapies such as acupuncture homeopathy herbal medicine and aromatherapy effective in both preventing and relieving stress. Taking Medications In severe cases of stress medication may be prescribed to treat some of the symptoms caused by stress. Medication should only be considered as a short-term treatment and should be strictly monitored by the prescribing doctor. Bibliography About Health. 2015. Stress Management Techniques and Practices. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/u/Managing_your_stress.htm Australian Psychological Society. 2015. Understanding and Managing Stress. Retrieved July 17 2015 from https://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/StressTipSheet.pdf Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2012. Parenting Stress and Depression: Whos At Risk And Why The Challenges of Parenting. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/parentsunderstress/a/depressionrents.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2014. Health and Wellness: Stress Management As A Cure For The Common Cold Stress and Sickness: How Stress Management Aids Wellness. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/coldsandflu.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2014. Happiness Research - Here Are Some Happiness Research Results You Should Know About. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/research/a/Happiness-Research.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2014. Workplace Humor: How To Reduce Stress With Inoffensive Office Humor - Theres Stress-Relieving Humor and Stress-Inducing Humor. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/workplacestress/a/officehumor.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2014. The Benefits of Journaling for Stress Management. Retrieved

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July 18 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/generaltechniques/p/profilejournal.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2014. Stress Basics: Types of Stress Stress and Your Health and How Stress Works. Retrieved July 17 2015 from STRESS IT’S EFFECT MANAGEMENT http://stress.about.com/od/understandingstress/a/stress_basics.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2014. The Benefits of Journaling for Stress Management. Retrieved July 18 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/generaltechniques/p/profilejournal.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2014. Fun Stress Polls: A Fun Way to Check Public Opinion - Look Inward and Compare Your Answers. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/funandgames/a/funstresspolls.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2014. How Owning a Dog or Cat Can Reduce Stress - The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/a/petsandstress.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2014. Caffeine Stress and Your Health: Is Caffeine Your Friend or Your Foe Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/caffeine.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. Stress and Health Research. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/research/a/Stress-And-Health-Research.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. Dos and Donts of Dealing With Anger - Dealing With Anger in a Healthy Way Is Crucial. Retrieved July 21 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/dealing_anger.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. Resiliency Research: What We Know - Develop Greater

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Resiliency to Stress: The Research. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/research/a/Resiliency-Research-What-We-Know.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. Relationship Research for Stress Relief - Research Shows The Relationship Between Relationships and Stress. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/research/a/Relationship-Research-For-Stress-Relief.htm STRESS IT’S EFFECT MANAGEMENT Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. Meditation Research and Benefits - Research on the Benefits of Meditation for Stress Management. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/research/tp/Meditation-Research-And-Benefits.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. The Stress Management and Health Benefits of Laughter – Health Benefits of Laughter: Stress Relief Immunity and More. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/laughter.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. Study: What Doesnt Kill You MAY Make You Stronger. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/research/fl/Study-What- Doesnrsquot-Kill-You-MAY-Make-You-Stronger.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. Are Optimists More Lucky In Love Are Optimists More Lucky In Love Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/research/fl/Are- Optimists-More-Lucky-In-Love.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. Research on Yoga as a Stress Relief Technique - Yoga Begins Relieving Stress Quickly Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/research/fl/Research-on-Yoga-as-a-Stress-Relief- Technique.htm Elizabeth Scott M.S. 2015. Stress: The Importance of Social Support Sleep And Rest. Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://stress.about.com/od/research/fl/Stress-The- Importance-of-Social-Support-Sleep-And-Rest.htm

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Psychologist World. 2015. Stress Management. Retrieved July 18 2015 from http://www.psychologistworld.com/stress/stressmanagement.php S - Cool the revision Website. 2015. What is stress Retrieved July 17 2015 from http://www.s-cool.co.uk/a-level/psychology/stress/revise-it/what-is-stress Southern Cross Healh Care Group. 2015. Stress - causes symptoms diagnosis. Retrieved July 17 2015 from https://www.southerncross.co.nz/AboutTheGroup/HealthResources/MedicalLibrary/ta bid/178/vw/1/ItemID/115/Stress.aspx STRESS IT’S EFFECT MANAGEMENT Stress Management Health Center. 2015. Stress Management - Topic Overview. Retrieved July 18 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress- management-topic-overview Wiki How to do anything. 2015. How to Perform Self Hypnosis. Retrieved August 12 2015 from http://www.wikihow.com/Perform-Self-Hypnosis Dr. G C Mohanta is presently working as a Professor in Al - Qurmoshi Institute of Business Management Hyderabad India. He worked previously in Defence Research Development Laboratory Hyderabad India as a Scientist ‘G’ and held the positions of Director Planning Resources and Director Safety and Environmental Engineering.

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