After studying this chapter, students should be able to understand the
A. Explain Stress
We will discuss the concept of stress in this chapter we will see either
stress is positive or negative in nature.
Further we will see different sources that can create stress at workplace and
programs that can be used to
manage the stress.
Stress is the body’s nonspecific reaction to any demand made on
it. For various reasons, programs dealing
with stress and its related problems are becoming increasingly popular.
Long-term productivity depends
largely on the dedication and commitment of the company’s employees.
Employees are increasingly holding
their employers liable for emotional problems they claim are work related.
And, stress-related mental
disorders have become the fastest-growing occupational disease. There is
increasing evidence indicating that
severe, prolonged stress is related to the diseases that are leading causes
of death—coronary heart disease,
stroke, hypertension, cancer, emphysema, diabetes, and cirrhosis; stress may
even lead to suicide. Some
signs that may indicate problems include impaired judgment and effectiveness,
rigid behavior, medical
problems, increased irritability, excessive absences, emerging addictive
behaviors, lowered self-esteem, and
I. Sources Of Stress
Regardless of its origin, stress possesses the same devastating potential.
Some factors are controllable to
varying degrees, whereas others are not.
The person or event that triggers the stress response, it can be
organizational, personal or environmental
factor that can become the source of stress.
a. Organizational Factors—Many factors associated with a
person’s employment can be
potentially stressful. These include the firm’s culture, the individual’s
job, and general
b. Personal Factors—Stress factors outside the job and
job environment also may affect job
performance. Factors in this category include the family, financial problems,
c. The General Environment—Stress is a part of everyone’s everyday
life and its potential
lurks not only in the workplace and the home but also in our general
three-hour commute in rush traffic, the unrelenting rain, the oppressive
heat, or chilling
cold can all create stress. Excessive noise, wherever it is encountered, can
people up the wall.
II. Symptoms of Stress:
Stress can express following four types of the symptoms:
a. Short-term physical symptoms: Short-term physical
symptoms include; faster
heart beat, increased sweating, cool skin Cold hands and feet Feelings of
or 'Butterflies in stomach' Rapid Breathing, Tense Muscles, dry Mouth, desire
b. Long-term physical symptoms: Change in appetite
frequent colds illnesses
(such as asthma Back pain digestive problems headaches aches and pains)
feelings of intense and long-term tiredness, Risk factors (Heart attacks and
strokes Hypertension and headaches Ulcers Allergies)
c. Internal symptoms: Internal symptoms include Worry or
and an inability to concentrate or make decisions, Feeling ill, Feeling out
control or overwhelmed by events, Mood changes, Depression, Frustration,
d. Helplessness, Restlessness, Being more lethargic, Difficulty sleeping,
more alcohol and smoking more, Changing eating habits, relying more on
e. Behavioral symptoms: Behavioral Symptoms include,
talking too fast or, too
loud Bad moods being irritable Defensiveness Being critical Aggression,
Irrationality, Overreaction and reacting emotionally Reduced personal
effectiveness Being unreasonably negative Making less realistic judgments
unable to concentrate and having difficulty making decisions being more
forgetful Making more mistakes being more accident-prone Changing work
habits Increased absenteeism Neglect of personal appearance
g. Outcomes of Organization due to stress:Continuous
stress in working
environment results in some problem in organizational operations like poorer
decision-making, decreased creativity, lost work time, Increased turnover and
III. Stress & Job Performance
Stress can affect the performance in positive as well as negative ways.
Stress is a dynamic condition in which
an individual is confronted with an opportunity, constraints or demand
related to what he or she desires,
and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important.
Stress is a complex issue, so
let’s look at it more closely. Stress can manifest itself both in positive
and negative way. Stress is said to be
positive when the situation offers an opportunity for one to gain something;
for example, the “psychingup”
that an athlete goes through can be stressful, but this can lead to maximum
performance. It is when
constraints or demands are placed on us that stress can become negative.
Constraints are barriers that keep
us from doing what we desire. Demands, on the other hand, may cause you to
give up something. Demands
are desires that are backed by the purchasing power or affordability.
Experts emphasize that some stress is healthy and moderate stress is the key
a. INDIVIDUAL COPING APPROACHES—There are a number of
individuals may take to control excessive stress. There are several specific
individuals can utilize to deal with stress. These methods include hypnosis,
and transcendental meditation.
• Hypnosis: An altered state of consciousness that is
artificially induced and characterized by increased
receptiveness to suggestions.
A method that can be used to control involuntary bodily processes, such
pressure or heart beat rate.
• Transcendental meditation (TM): A stress-reduction
technique whereby a secret word or phrase
(mantra) provided by a trained instructor is mentally repeated while an
individual is comfortably seated.
b. Organizational Coping Approaches—A number of programs and
effectively prevent or relieve excessive stress. General organizational
not specifically designed to cope with stress, may nevertheless play a major
Safety Involves protecting employees from injuries due to
Health Refers to the employees’ freedom from physical or emotional
Stress: Stress is the body’s nonspecific reaction to any demand
made on it.
Burnout The total depletion of physical and mental resources
caused by excessive striving to reach an
unrealistic work-related goal.
Hypnosis An altered state of consciousness that is artificially
induced and characterized by increased
receptiveness to suggestions.
Constraints are barriers that keep us from doing what we desire.
Demands desires that are backed by the purchasing power or
Biofeedback A method of learning to control involuntary bodily
processes, such as blood pressure or heart
A stress-reduction technique in which an individual, comfortably seated,
mentally repeats a secret word or phrase provided by a trained instructor.