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Signs of Stress and Advice on Management

Signs of Stress and Advice on Management

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  • 1. By Dr Ewen McPhee Stress
  • 2. Stress• A combination of Psychological, Physiological and Behavioral reactions that people have to events that threaten or challenge them.• Not always a bad thing, it is how we interpret and cope with stress that determines whether it is positive or negative.
  • 3. Stress• Common.• Can affect anyone.• Being introspective, turning distress inside, increases the risk of physical symptoms.• Gender - “men don’t cry.”• People in remote areas more prone because of self reliance, dominance, lack of access to services.
  • 4. How Does Stress Affect Us?• Alarm Reaction – Increased Heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow to muscles in the arms, legs and torso preparing for action – Fight or Flight response (Genetically programmed for Survival e.g. Caveman) – Todays society doesn’t require this and therefore stress is dealt with more mentally than physically. (e.g dealing with finances, time management, business strategies require a Cognitive approach)
  • 5. How Does Stress Affect Us?• Resistance Stage. – The changes in the Body such as blood pressure become constant if stress is not resolved. – Hormonal changes with high levels of adrenaline. – Lower Immunity and increased risk of disease.
  • 6. How Does Stress Affect Us?• Long term Physical Symptoms – Change in Appetite – Frequents colds and infections – Illnesses such as asthma, back pain, digestive symptoms, headaches and skin eruptions – Sexual disorders – Aches and pains – Feelings of intense and long term tiredness
  • 7. How Does Stress Affect Us?• Exhaustion Stage – Body’s reserves run low – A person finds it hard to cope any more – Lack of control, Depression and feeling Overwhelmed develop as a result – Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Stroke, Diabetes eventually catch up
  • 8. The Effects of Stress• Burnout in the Workplace. – A progressive loss of idealism, energy and purpose. – Rarely are we able to recognize it in Ourselves ( which is why we need to deal effectively with stress before it reaches this stage).
  • 9. Causes of Burnout in theWorkplace• Heavy Unremitting Workloads• Time Pressures• Daily Confrontation with Suffering, pain, abuse or death
  • 10. Causes of Burnout in theWorkplace• Absence of positive factors – Rewarding Interpersonal Relationships – Being Appreciated – Challenge and Variety – Sense of Significance – Gap between aspiration and accomplishment
  • 11. Effects of Burnout in theWorkplace• Mechanical performance• Loss of interest in work• Withdrawal from colleagues and peers• Increased use of drugs and alcohol
  • 12. Effects of Burnout in theWorkplace• Work absenteeism• Risk taking• Withdrawal from client contact• Denigrating clients• Increased accident proneness
  • 13. Preventative Strategies forBurnout• Reduced Work Loads• Encouragement and the opportunity to express feelings• Sanctioned breaks• Formal and informal staff support• Rotation of work responsibilities and duties• Education and training• Intervention by a professional counselor
  • 14. Changing Lifestyle Habits• Decrease caffeine ( coffee, tea, colas, chocolate• Well Balanced diet• Decrease junk food consumption• Eat Slowly
  • 15. Changing Lifestyle Habits• Regular exercise• Adequate sleep• Leisure Time• Relaxation Exercises
  • 16. Change Stressful Situation• Time & Money Management• Assertiveness• Problem Solving• Possibly leaving a job or relationship
  • 17. Change Your Thinking• Look at things more positively• See problems as opportunities• Refute Negative thoughts• Keep a sense of humor
  • 18. Diversion and Distraction• Take a Time out (anything from a short walk to a vacation) to get away from the things that are bothering you.• Come back feeling more rested and in a better frame of mind.• Relaxation e.g. talking to a mate, having fun with a child, gentle stretching exercises, reading a story.
  • 19. Communicating Emotions• Recognize that emotions are OK• Don’t suppress emotions – deal with them as they happen• Put your feelings into language, and express them to an appropriate person• Use “I messages” - states what you are feeling or experiencing while avoiding blaming or accusation. E.g. “I feel upset with what you have done”