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Definition of Stress.
General Adaption Syndrome.
Nature of Stress.
Factors Experiencing Stress.

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  1. 1. “STRESS” By: Kaushik Deb. 1
  2. 2. Introduction:  The origin of the concept of stress predates antiquity. Derived from the Latin word ‘STRINGERE’, stress was popularly used in the 17th century to mean hardship, strain, adversity, or affliction. It was used in the 18th and 19th century to denote force, pressure, strain, or strong efforts with reference to an object or person.  In the modern times, stress has become a buzzword and legitimate concerns for people of all walks of life. In fact, no one is immune to stress. Right from the time of birth till death, an individual is in variably exposed to various stressful situations. Hence stress is a subject which is hard to avoid. Stress has been a much and widely talked about phenomenon in corporate (western) world because it is a costly business expense that affects both employee held and corporate profits. 2
  3. 3. Definition & Meaning:  According to S. P. Robbins – “Stress is a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity, constraint or demand related to what he or she desires and for which the outcome is perceived to be both uncertain and important”.  According to J. C. Quick and J. D. Quick – “Stress or the stress response is the unconscious preparation to fight or flee a person experiences when faced with any demand”.  According to Mikhail A. – “Stress refers to psychological and physiological states that result when certain features of an individual’s environment challenge that person, creating an actual or perceived imbalance between demand and capability to adjust that result in a non- specific response”. 3
  4. 4. General Adaption Syndrome:  Dr. Hans Selye (1974), a pioneer in stress research, concluded that – “Physiological response to stressful situations is fairly consistent among people. This response is called General Adaption Syndrome, and it provides an automatic defense system to help cope with the demands of the environment”. There are three stages as per the general adaption syndrome: 1. Analarmreaction. 2. Resistance. 3. Exhaustion. 4
  5. 5. This figure shows the individual‟s energy and ability to cope with the stressful situation: 5
  6. 6. GAS Contd.: Alarm Reaction: Also called „initial/shock phase‟. This stage is characterized by increased respiration rate, heartbeat, blood pressure, muscle tension, adrenalin discharge, and gastro intestinal ulceration. At first, the individual‟s energy level/resistance capacity and coping effectiveness decrease in response to the initial shock. The extreme shock may result in incapacity of individual to cope with stress. In most situations, the alarm reaction alerts the person to the environmental condition and prepares the body for the resistance stage. Resistance: The bodily signs characteristics of the alarm reaction disappear and the body has activated various biochemical, psychological, and behavioral mechanisms. As a result, the person‟s resistance increases above the normal level during this stage. Exhaustion: People have a limited resistance capacity. When the resistance adaptation capacity is exhausted, the signs of alarm reaction reappear. Resistance level begins to decline abruptly. Finally, the organism gets collapsed. 6
  7. 7. Nature of Stress 7  Fight-or-Flight Response: As a result of the reaction to stress, breathing and the heart rate changes and brain activity goes up to allow the brain to function maximally. Hearing and sight become more acute and muscles ready themselves for action. These biochemical and bodily changes represent a natural reaction to environmental stressors.  Physiological Response: Most early concern with stress was directed at physiological symptoms because most researchers were specialists in the health and medical sciences. Their work led to the conclusion that stress could create changes in metabolism, increase heart and breathing rates and blood pressure, bring on headaches, and induce heart attacks. 
  8. 8. Nature Contd.: 8  Psychological Response: Job dissatisfaction is “the simplest and most obvious psychological effect” of stress. But stress shows itself in other psychological states – for instance, tension, anxiety, irritability, boredom, and procrastination.  Behavioral Response: Behavior-related stress symptoms include changes in productivity, absence, and turnover, as well as changes in eating habits, increased smoking or consumption of alcohol, rapid speech, fidgeting, and sleep disorders.
  9. 9. The stress – performance relationship:9 The logic underlying the inverted U is that low to moderate levels of stress stimulate the body and increase its ability to react. Individuals then often perform their tasks better, more intensely, or more rapidly. But too much stress places unattainable demands on a person, which result in lower performance.
  10. 10. Factors Experiencing Stress: 10  How an individual is going to experience stress is determined by a number of factors. There are four major factors: 1. Anindividual‟sperceptionofthesituation. 2. Thepastexperience. 3. Existenceofsocialsupport. 4. Individualdifference.
  11. 11. Factors that determine stress experienced by individual: 11
  12. 12. Experiencing Stress: Contd. 12  Perception of Stressors: One of the major factors that determine the extent to which stress will be experienced depends upon one‟s perception of the situation.  Past Experience: Depending on the familiarity with the situation and his prior experiences with the stressors, an individual may perceive a situation to be more or less stressful. As a result of past experience or training, an individual may be able to deal with the new situation more calmly and competently as compared to a less-experienced or inadequately trained individual
  13. 13. Experiencing Stress: Contd. 13  Social Support: The presence and absence of other people influences how individuals in the workplace experience stress and respond to stressors (Zahn - Waxler 1998)  Individual Differences: Since individuals are different from each other, their propensity to experience stress also differs significantly from each other. Individual differences in motivation, attitude, personality, and abilities influence whether employees experience stress and if they do, how they response to it. Personality characteristics, in particular, may explain some of the differences in the way those employees experience and respond to stress.
  14. 14. Thank You: 14