The most commonly accepted definition of stress (mainly attributed to Richard S Lazarus) is that stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that "demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize."
In short, it's what we feel when we think we've lost control of events.
LOOSING CONTROL OF EVENTS. The very sentence gives us an indication as to what we should be doing in case of stress. Lets not loose control of events. But this is easier said than done. Hence this presentation. THE STRESS MANAGEMENT
Hans Selye was one of the founding fathers of stress research. His view in 1956 was that "stress is not necessarily something bad – it all depends on how you take it. The stress of exhilarating, creative successful work is beneficial, while that of failure, humiliation or infection is detrimental."
Selye believed that the biochemical effects of stress would be experienced irrespective of whether the situation was positive or negative
The first thing that a person automatically does when faced with a stressful event is to appraise the situation
One conducts a primary appraisal to determine the level of danger, the potential pain, loss or discomfort and the amount of effort that will have to be exerted to handle the situation. If no threat is perceived, no stress is felt.
If a threat is perceived, an individual goes through a secondary appraisal process in which he or she examines his or her perceived available resources to cope with the problem. How a person appraises the situation is a function of past experience and perceived ability to cope with the stressor. A person selects the “best” solution, which is usually the least dangerous, most likely to succeed and the one for which the person has the most appropriate skills.
POSITIVE STRESS Eustress (positive stress) motivates a person to cope with stressors and allows a person to perform effectively and may even increase performance. Eustress generally occurs when an individual perceives that he or she has the ability to effectively cope with a stressor.
Negative stress Distress (negative stress) occurs when stimulation is excessive and causes fear of the situation, panic, anxiety or agitation. Distress usually results in poorer performance and can be dangerous for flight safety. Anxiety is stress related to an unforeseen or imagined threat. It is caused by the anticipation or perception that something dangerous, unpleasant or harmful may be about to occur, and the individual is fearful that he or she will not be able to cope with the event.
THE THIRD TYPE OF STRESS Remembered Stress is triggered by an event that reminds an individual of a past experience that caused extreme stress or harm. The actual stress-causing agent may not be present, but the memory still causes the body to arouse the nervous system, and the stress related to the effects of the unpleasant episode are experienced again.
Acute Stress is caused by stressors that occur for very short periods of time. Usually, an individual is able to resolve the stressful situation and return to a normal mental and physiological state. Acute stress can be positive, but extremely high levels of over-arousal for short durations can lead to exhaustion.
Chronic Stress is caused by a constant stream of demands, risks, pressures and threats that go on for significantly long periods of time. Chronic stress slowly drains mental and physical resources and leaves a sense of hopelessness or inability to cope. If prolonged, it can have very serious health implications such as the onset con’t………..
of a stroke, heart disease or even heart attack. In extreme cases it has led to suicide. The most dangerous aspect of chronic stress is that because it is prolonged, an individual may stop noticing its effects even though the negative effects are still taking place. It becomes a familiar sensation that is accepted as the status quo, and a person may not take any actions to cope with the stress, which can lead to further problems .
Checking Yourself for Burnout Instructions: For each statement, click the button in the column that best describes you. Please answer questions as you actually are (rather than how you think you should be), and don't worry if some questions seem to score in the 'wrong direction'. *Image via Bing
15-18 No sign of burnout here 19-32 Little sign of burnout here, unless some factors are particularly severe 33-49 Be careful – you may be at risk of burnout, particularly if several scores are high 50-59 You are at severe risk of burnout – do something about this urgently 60-75 You are at very severe risk of burnout – do something about this urgently
Managing stress is all about taking charge : taking charge of your thoughts , your emotions , your schedule , your environment , and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun – plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.
Identify the sources of stress in your life Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your, and excuses: habits, attitude Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather? Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”). Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional? Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.
Start a stress journal A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down: What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure). How you felt, both physically and emotionally. How you acted in response. What you did to make yourself feel better.
Look at how you currently cope with stress Think about the ways you currently manage and cope with stress in your life. Your stress journal can help you identify them. Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem. *Image via Bing
Unhealthy ways of coping with stress These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run: Smoking Drinking too much Overeating or under eating Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities Using pills or drugs to relax Sleeping too much Procrastinating Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)
Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control. *Image via Bing
"Cognitive restructuring involves learning how to think differently, to change fundamental ‘faulty thinking,’ and replace it with more rational, realistic, and perhaps positive thinking,"
What is truly the worst possible outcome of a given situation?
Could this really harm me or my family?
Am I looking at this situation correctly; what proof do I have of my fears?
Can I really handle this situation even though I doubt myself?
What can I do to change this situation?
BE A POSITIVE THINKER. Constant negative thoughts bring about negative result and vice versa. Being positive in attitude greatly reduces chronic stress
Learning healthier ways to manage stress The Four A’s Change the situation: Avoid the stressor. Alter the stressor. Change your reaction: Adapt to the stressor. Accept the stressor.
#1: Avoid unnecessary stress Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate. Learn how to say “no”. Avoid people who stress you out. Take control of your environment. Avoid hot-button topics. Pare down your to-do list.
#2: Alter the situation If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. Be willing to compromise. Be more assertive. Manage your time better.
#3: Adapt to the stressor If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude. Reframe problems. Look at the big picture. Adjust your standards. Focus on the positive. *Image via Bing
Adjusting Your Attitude How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as "always," "never," "should," and "must." These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts.
#4: Accept the things you can’t change Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.
#4 continued Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Look for the upside. Share your feelings. Learn to forgive. *Image via Bing
#5: Make time for fun and relaxation Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.
Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. *Image via Bing
Healthy ways to relax and recharge Go for a walk. Spend time in nature. Call a good friend. Sweat out tension with a good workout. Write in your journal. Take a long bath. Light scented candles. Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea. Play with a pet. Work in your garden. Get a massage. Curl up with a good book. Listen to music. Watch a comedy.
Healthy ways to relax and recharge * Set aside relaxation time. *Connect with others. *Do something you enjoy every day. *Keep your sense of humor
Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.
Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.
Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary "highs" caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.
Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.
Taking care of the physical causes of stress - These includes ensuring you get enough sleep, eat properly and exercise. Hunger and fatigue are some of the most obvious stressors, and their effects are well-known. Climbing stairs is a very good way of eliminating excess toxins in the body, and swimming helps restore equilibrium to the nervous system. Both of these activities usually can be carried out in hotels during stopovers, eliminating residual effects of stress before the next flight.
Continuous Professional Training - Training ensures currency and competence in all standard and emergency operating procedures.
Social Interaction - It is not good to allow personal problems and worries to build up. Communicating them with others is very important as it offers partial relief and also because people may be able to offer help and advice.
Learning to manage their time wisely. This is done by setting up a study schedule, breaking up studies into smaller chunks. In short, students are advised to formulate, with the help of their teachers and parents, study timetables and adhere to them.
The student will also need to have a system of organization for note-taking, keeping track of assignments and other important papers.
Creating a good study environment is also a great tool for stress management. Students have different study habits. While some need a completely quiet room free from interruptions, others actually study better listening to quiet music in the background. A student should pick which is best for him or her.
Determining the most appropriate learning style: whether the student is a visual, kinesthetic or auditory learner. Tailoring your study practices around your particular learning styles makes success easier to attain and keeps stress at bay.
Using relaxation techniques like deep breathing, visualization or imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and yoga. Additionally, being optimistic will help students become healthier, less stressed and more successful.
Learning how to budget money, spend wisely and pay bills on time, if any, is very important for the student's survival and will lower stress levels.
Lastly, students must take care of their bodies and minds by getting proper nutrition, getting some form of physical exercise and getting enough sleep. Seven hours of sleep each night is recommended for optimum body and brain function. Naps, not exceeding one hour, should also be taken when needed.
Following these tips will help you greatly to reduce the stress and it might even help to improve your performance on exams.
LEAD A STRESS FREE LIFE. THE END Presentation by Amlan Roy Chowdhury