Topics: Anxiety, Stress, Employment Pages: 5 (1774 words) Published: June 29, 2015
Stress is the experience of demands or pressures place on people. Stress can produce a range of positive (eustress) and/or negative (distressing) reactions such as exhilaration, fear, motivation or feeling tense.

Personal stress levels can be contributed to by both internal and external variables: Internal (self-generated - we have some control over it):
Anger management
Positive/negative attitude
Ability to express emotions
Ability to forgive
Lack of assertiveness
Unrealistic expectations

External (outside forces act on us):
Interpersonal conflict
Time pressures
Work pressures
Family pressures
Social obligations
Monetary issues

Studies have shown that when the body is exposed to a stress, the level of hormones in the body increases to mobilise energy resources in preparation to 'flight or flee' the situation. This is the body's way of responding to a possible dangerous or threatening situation. It readies the body to deal with the physical or mental challenges ahead. People can experience stress in a variety of ways - physically, through their thoughts or actions or in a change of mood.

Stress is not always bad. In small doses it can help us perform under pressure and motivate people to do their best. It is when our body is constantly under stress or "running in emergency mode" that our mind and body suffer.

Stress becomes a problem for an individual when:
Their stresses are so big, occur so often or last so long that they are unable to handle them well They have been stressed for some time can notice the effects like nervousness, headaches and insomnia The energy draining effect of over stress is noticed in extreme fatigue, poor judgement and low output for the effort involved A lowering of the natural resistance to the disease resulting in increased illness Friends, relatives and colleagues observing signs of strain and are worried

Signs and symptoms of stress include:
Trouble thinking clearly
Memory problems
Can’t concentrate
Low attention span
Poor judgement
Anxious or racing thoughts
Constant worrying
Easily upset or hurt
Irritability or short temper
Agitation, unable to relax or keep still
Feeling overwhelmed
Sense of loneliness and isolation
Depression or general unhappiness
Tightness in muscles
Aches and pains
Headaches, trembling, sweating
Nausea, dizziness
Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
Loss of appetite
Lack of sleep, dreams, nightmares
Eating more or less
Sleeping too much or too little
Isolating yourself from others
Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing).

Managing stress is about making a plan to be able to cope effectively with daily pressures. The ultimate goal is to strike a balance between life, work, relationships, relaxation and fun. By achieving this balance, individuals are more likely to be able to deal with daily stress triggers and meet challenges. Personal experience can make the reaction to stress different amongst people even if they experience the same trigger. Some strategies for managing stress are: Decrease or discontinue caffeine

Make time for regular exercise
Relax and recharge
Get quality sleep
Take time out
Have realistic expectations
Reframe your attitude
Challenge your belief system
Cultivate a great support system
Eat a well-balance, healthy diet
Know your stress triggers and recognise early warning symptoms and signs and act on them Try to worry less
Set small, manageable and achievable goals
Compete against yourself, not those around you - aim for YOUR personal best Plan your time
Reward your achievements

Work related stress has been defined as "the reaction people have to excessive demands or pressures, arising when people try to cope with tasks, responsibilities or other types of pressure connected with their...

References: Injury Management Fact Sheet - Identifying Stress, Department of Education, Training and Employment QLD v2 2012
Lifeline Information Service. Toolkit - Overcoming Stress
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