Part 1 - Outline• Legislation• What is Stress ?• Types of Stresses• Individuals• Stress origins & body systems• Adaptation Syndrome• Symptoms• Costs of Stress• Discussion & Questions
Legal Overview HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK ACT 1974 It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees (Section 2 (1) )MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK REGULATIONS 1999 Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of (a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work
WHAT IS STRESS ?Stress is the reaction people have toexcessive pressures or other types ofdemand placed upon them. It arises whenthey worry that they can’t cope.
WHAT IS STRESS ?Stress is the “wear and tear” our minds andbodies experience as we attempt to copewith our continually changing environment
DEFINITIONS=P>RStress occurs when the pressure is greater than the resource
TYPES OF STRESS• Negative stress• Positive stress
NEGATIVE STRESSIt is a contributory factor in minorconditions, such as headaches, digestiveproblems, skin complaints, insomnia andulcers.Excessive, prolonged and unrelieved stresscan have a harmful effect on mental,physical and spiritual health.
POSITIVE STRESSStress can also have a positive effect,spurring motivation and awareness,providing the stimulation to cope withchallenging situations.Stress also provides the sense of urgencyand alertness needed for survival whenconfronting threatening situations.
THE INDIVIDUALEveryone is different, with uniqueperceptions of, and reactions to, events.There is no single level of stress that isoptimal for all people. Some are moresensitive owing to experiences inchildhood, the influence of teachers, parentsand religion etc.
Most of the stress we experience is self-generated. How we perceive life - whetheran event makes us feel threatened orstimulated, encouraged or discouraged,happy or sad - depends to a large extent onhow we perceive ourselves.
Self-generated stress is something of aparadox, because so many people think ofexternal causes when they are upset.Recognising that we create most of our ownupsets is an important first step towardscoping with them.
Endocrine SystemStress response controlled by the EndocrineSystem.Demands on the physical or mental systemsof the body result in hormone secretion(Adrenaline, testosterone)
GENERAL ADAPTATION SYNDROME• Alarm response• Adaptation• Exhaustion
ALARM RESPONSEThis is the “ Fight or Flight” response thatprepares the body for immediate action.
ADAPTATION PHASEIf the source persists, the body prepares forlong-term protection, secreting hormones toincrease blood sugar levels. This phase iscommon and not necessarily harmful, butmust include periods of relaxation and restto counterbalance the stress response.Fatigue, concentration lapses, irritabilityand lethargy result as the stress turnsnegative.
EXHAUSTIONIn chronic stress situations, sufferers enterthe exhaustion phase: emotional, physicaland mental resources suffer heavily, thebody experiences ‘ adrenal exhaustion’leading to decreased stress tolerance,progressive mental and physical exhaustion,illness and collapse.
PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS• Sleep pattern changes • Dizziness• Fatigue • Fainting• Digestion changes • Sweating & trembling• Loss of sexual drive • Tingling hands & feet• Headaches • Breathlessness• Aches and pains • Palpitations• Infections • Missed heartbeats• Indigestion
MENTAL SYMPTOMS• Lack of concentration• Memory lapses• Difficulty in making decisions• Confusion• Disorientation• Panic attacks
BEHAVIOURAL SYMPTOMS• Appetite changes - too much or too little• Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia• Increased intake of alcohol & other drugs• Increased smoking• Restlessness• Fidgeting• Nail biting• Hypochondria
EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS• Bouts of depression• Impatience• Fits of rage• Tearfulness• Deterioration of personal hygiene and appearance
STRESS RELATED ILLNESSES Stress is not the same as ill-health, but has been related to such illnesses as;• Cardiovascular disease• Immune system disease• Asthma• Diabetes
COSTS OF STRESS80% of all modern diseases have theirorigins in stress.In the UK, 40 million working days per yearare lost directly from stress - related illness.Costs in absenteeism to British industry isestimated at £1.5 billion pounds per year.
Summary - Part 1• Legislation• What is Stress ?• Types of Stresses• Individuals• Stress origins & body systems• Adaptation Syndrome• Symptoms• Costs of Stress
Part 2 - Outline• Why do we work ?• Factors influencing work stress• Work Patterns• Situations• Case Study
WHY DO WE WORK ?Work provides an income and fulfils avariety of other needs; - mental andphysical exercise, social contact, a feelingof self-worth and competence.
FACTORS INFLUENCING WORK STRESS• The drive for success • Uncertainty• Changing work • Conflict patterns • Responsibility• Working conditions • Relationships at work• Overwork • Change at work• Under-work
THE DRIVE FOR SUCCESSWestern society is driven by ‘work’,personal adequacy equates withprofessional success, we crave status andabhor failure.Our culture demands monetary success /professional status.
CHANGING WORK PATTERNSMany people feel lucky to have a job. Unemployment, redundancy, shorterworking weeks, new technology affectemotional and physical security. No morejobs for life, more short - term contracts. Financial and emotional burnout isincreasing among all levels.
WORKING CONDITIONS Physical and mental health is adverselyaffected by unpleasant working conditions,such as high noise levels, lighting,temperature and unsocial or excessivehours.
OVERWORKStress may occur through an inability tocope with the technical or intellectualdemands of a particular task.Circumstances such as long hours,unrealistic deadlines and frequentinterruptions will compound this.
UNDERWORKThis may arise from boredom because thereis not enough to do, or because a job is dulland repetitive.
UNCERTAINTYAbout the individuals work role -objectives, responsibilities, andexpectations, and a lack of communicationand feedback can result in confusion,helplessness, and stress.
CONFLICTStress can arise from work the individualdoes not want to do or that conflicts withtheir personal, social and family values.
RESPONSIBILITYThe greater the level of responsibility thegreater the potential level of stress.
RELATIONSHIPS AT WORKGood relationships with colleagues arecrucial. Open discussion is essential toencourage positive relationships.
CHANGES AT WORKChanges that alter psychological,physiological and behavioural routines suchas promotion, retirement and redundancyare particularly stressful.
Case Study John Walker v Northumberland County Council (1994)• Area manager of social work team• Increased workload - requested extra resources• Suffered first breakdown in Nov 1986• Promised extra resources• Returned to work in March 1987• No extra resources were supplied• 2nd breakdown and medical retirement May 1988• Judge ruled ‘ reasonably foreseeable’• Awarded £ 175 000
Summary Work is importantWork Stresses - Heat, Noise Job satisfaction ResponsibilityRelationships - Good / badChanges - long / short term Costs
Part 3 - Outline • Causes of Stress• Identification and admission • Coping strategies • Summary
Statement Not all the stress weexperience is generated at work !!
Causes of Stress • External Stresses • Internal Stresses
External Stresses - OrganisationalCompany take over React to changesReductions / layoffs Advancement difficultMajor reorganisation Red tape delays jobsCompany sale / relocation Insufficient resourcesEmployee benefit cuts Pay below going rateMandatory overtime required Technology changesLittle input into decisions Employee benefits poorMistake consequences severe Workplace conditionsWorkloads vary Consistent poor performanceFast paced work
External Stresses - Major Life EventsDeath of a loved one Change in financial statusDivorce / separation Change of job / workImprisonment Mortgage or loanInjury/illness ( self / family ) Foreclosure of mortgage/loanMarriage/ engagement Change in responsibilitiesLoss of job Moving houseRetirement HolidaysPregnancy ChristmasSexual Problems Minor violations of the law
Now do we agree with the statement ? Not all the stress we experience is generated at work !!
RECOGNISE THE PROBLEMThe most important point is to recognise thesource of the negative stress.This is not an admission of weakness orinability to cope! It is a way to identify theproblem and plan measures to overcome it.
ABC STRATEGY A = AWARENESSWhat causes you stress? How do you react?
ABC STRATEGY B = BALANCEThere is a fine line between positive / negative stressHow much can you cope with before it becomes negative ?
ABC STRATEGY C = CONTROLWhat can you do to help yourself combat the negative effects of stress ?
Stress Management Techniques • Change your thinking • Change your behaviour • Change your lifestyle
Change your Thinking • Re-framing • Positive thinking
Re-framingRe-framing is a technique to change the wayyou look at things in order to feel betterabout them. There are many ways tointerpret the same situation so pick the oneyou like. Re-framing does not change theexternal reality, but helps you view thingsin a different light and less stressfully.
Positive Thinking Forget powerlessness, dejection, despair, failure Stress leaves us vulnerable to negative suggestion so focus on positives;• Focus on your strengths• Learn from the stress you are under• Look for opportunities• Seek out the positive - make a change.
Change your Behaviour• Be assertive• Get organised• Ventilation• Humour• Diversion and distraction
Be AssertiveAssertiveness helps to manage stressfulsituations, and will , in time, help to reducetheir frequency. Lack of assertiveness oftenshows low self - esteem and low self -confidence. The key to assertiveness isverbal and non - verbal communication.Extending our range of communicationskills will improve our assertiveness.
Equality and Basic Rights1) The right to express my feelings2) The right to express opinions / beliefs3) The right to say ‘Yes/No’ for yourself4) Right to change your mind5) Right to say ‘I don’t understand’6) Right to be yourself, not acting for the benefit of others
7) The right to decline responsibility for other people’s problems8) The right to make reasonable requests of others9) The right to set my own priorities10) The right to be listened to, and taken seriously
Being AssertiveBeing assertive involves standing up foryour personal rights and expressing yourthoughts, feelings and beliefs directly,honestly and spontaneously in ways thatdon’t infringe the rights of others.
Assertive People• Respect themselves and others• Take responsibility for actions and choices• Ask openly for what they want• Disappointed if ‘want’ denied• Self - confidence remains intact• Not reliant on the approval of others
Assertive Skills• Establish good eye contact / don’t stare• Stand or sit comfortably - don’t fidget• Talk in a firm, steady voice• Use body language• ‘I think’ / ‘I feel’• ‘What do you think?’ ‘How do you feel ?’• Concise and to the point
Benefits• Higher self-esteem• Less self-conscious• Less anxious• Manage stress more successfully• Appreciate yourself and others more easily• Feeling of self-control
Get OrganisedPoor organisation is one of the mostcommon causes of stress. Structuredapproaches offer security against ‘out of theblue’ problems. Prioritising objectives,duties and activities makes themmanageable and achievable. Don’t overloadyour mind. Organisation will help avoidpersonal and professional chaos.
Time Management • Make a list What MUST be done What SHOULD be done What would you LIKE to do • Cut out time wasting• Learn to drop unimportant activities • Say no or delegate
• Plan your day • Set achievable goals• Don’t waste time making excuses for not doing something
Ventilation ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’Develop a support network through friendsor colleagues to talk with. It’s not alwaysevents that are stressful but how weperceive them.Writing a diary or notes may help releasefeelings but do not re-read what has beenwritten.
Humour• Good stress - reducer• Applies at home and work• Relieves muscular tension• Improves breathing• Pumps endorphins into the bloodstream - the body’s natural painkillers
Diversion and Distraction• Take time out• Get away from things that bother you• Doesn’t solve the problem• Reduce stress level• Calm down• Think logically
Diet• Healthy eating habits• Caffeine (Stimulant) • Salt
Smoking and Alcohol• Moderate your consumption
Benefits of Exercise• Uses up excess energy released by the ‘Fight or Flight’ reaction.• Improves blood circulation• Lowers blood pressure• Clears the mind of worrying thoughts• Improves self image• Makes you feel better about yourself• Increases social contact
Sleep • Good stress reducer • Difficult to cope when tired• Wake refreshed after night’s sleep • Plenty of daytime energy
Leisure • Interest• Gives you a ‘break’ from stresses • Provides outlet for relief • Provides social contact