STRESS IS A STATE OF MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL
STRAIN OR TENSION RESULTING FROM
ADVERSE OR DEMANDING CIRCUMSTANCES
ANYTHING THAT POSES A CHALLENGE OR A
THREAT TO OUR WELL-BEING IS A STRESS.
Some stresses get you going and they are good for
you - without any stress at all many say our lives
would be boring and would probably feel
However, when the stresses undermine both our
mental and physical health they are bad. In this
text we shall be focusing on stress that is bad for
To understand the stress response, we must
possess a fundamental knowledge not only of
but of physiology as well.
- George Everly
STRESS & FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE-
The way we respond to a challenge may also be a type
of stress.. When faced with a challenge or a threat,
our body activates resources to protect us - to either
get away as fast as we can, or fight.
If we are upstairs at home and an earthquake starts,
the faster we can get oneself and our family out the
more likely we are all to survive. If you need to save
somebody's life during that earthquake, by lifting a
heavy weight that has fallen on them, you will need
components in your body to be activated to give you
that extra strength - that extra push.
Our fight-or-flight response is our body's sympathetic
nervous system reacting to a stressful event. Our
body produces larger quantities of the chemicals
cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline, which trigger
a higher heart rate, heightened muscle preparedness,
sweating, and alertness - all these factors help us
protect ourselves in a dangerous or challenging
Non-essential body functions slow down, such as our
digestive and immune systems when we are in fight-
or flight response mode. All resources can then be
concentrated on rapid breathing, blood flow, alertness
and muscle use.
HARVARD PHYSIOLOGIST WALTER CANNON COINED THE TERM FIGHT-
OR-FLIGHT RESPONSE TO DESCRIBE OUR BODY'S AUTOMATIC
RESPONSE WHEN WE PERCEIVE THREAT OR DANGER. THIS IS A
PRIMITIVE RESPONSE THAT GIVES US STRENGTH, POWER, AND SPEED TO
THE FREEZE RESPONSE HAS SINCE THEN BEEN ADDED. IN EARLIER
TIMES, STRESSFUL SITUATIONS REFERRED TO THE ANIMALS IN THE
WILD, AND MAN HAD TO BE IN A READY STATE WHEN ENCOUNTERED
WITH THESE TO EITHER FIGHT OR RUN AWAY FROM THEM. IN MODERN
SOCIETY, THE ELEMENTS OF STRESS HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY
DEADLINES, MEETINGS, NOISE POLLUTION, RUSH-HOUR TRAFFIC, AND
Stress can be seen in anyone, either housewife or
student , tea maker or an office manager, doctor or
pilot, everyone has stress related to their work and
While talking about an organization, individual can
get stressed due to external factor or organizational
factor or even due to individual factor.
These dynamic condition leads individual confronted
from an opportunity with constrains because of which
outcome is uncertain and important .
Similarly it's everywhere in our daily lives: noise,
crowds, pollution. Environmental stresses may be
individually minor, but can accumulate to form a
high background stress load, diminishing your
capacity for dealing with stress from other
1. Job Content-Monotonous, Unpleasant, aversive
2. Workload and work pace- Having too much
work and have to work in certain period of time
under pressure. Working in an overcrowded
room or visible place, where interruptions are
constant can increase anxiety & stress.
3. Working Hour- Strict and unpredictable
working hours, Badly designed shifts
4. Participation and Control: Lack of Participation
in decision making / Lack of control over tasks.
1. Organizational Culture: Poor Leadership, Poor
Communication, Lack of clarity about
organizational structure and objectives.
2. Role in the organization:
Role conflicts create expectations that may be
hard to reconcile or satisfy.
- Role overload is experienced when the employee
is expected to do more than time permits.
- Role ambiguity is created when role expectations
are not clearly understood & employee is not sure
what he or she is to do
3.Interpersonal Relationship: Poor relationship
with co-workers, isolation or solitary works,
inadequate or unsupportive supervision. Lack of
social support from the colleagues & poor
interpersonal relationships .
4.Career development, status and pay: Job
insecurity, Lack of promotion, Being over-skilled
or under-skilled for job.
Individual works about 40-50 hrs a week.
People encounter 120 plus non-work hrs per
week–outside the work place–family & others.
Family issues, economic problems, marital
relationship, discipline troubles with children are
the examples that create stress for employees -----
------- bring to work place.
Health:Aging, diagnosis of a new disease,
complications from an existing disease, and
undiagnosed symptoms can increase stress
Life Changes:The death of a loved one,
changing jobs, moving houses, and sending a
child off to college are examples of big life
changes that can be stressful.
Financial:Financial trouble is a common source
of stress. Credit card debt, not making rent,
inability to provide for a family—not being able
to make ends meet can put a serious amount of
stress on a person
Relationships: Arguments with a spouse,
parent, or child can certainly increase stress.
Problems among other members of the family,
even if you’re not directly involved, can cause
Emotional Problems: Unexpressed anger, low
self-esteem, depression and loneliness will cause
EFFECTS OF STRESS
Affects different people in different way.
Physiological effects– Headaches, Hypertension,
Heart disease, Digestive problems, increased
blood pressure, Musculoskeletal disorder, affect
immune system impairing people’s ability to fight
Psychological effects: Anxiety, Depression, &
Decrease in job satisfaction, unable to relax and
concentrate, Having difficulty in thinking
logically and difficulty in decision making .
WORK STRESS AND EFFECT IN
1. Increasing absenteeism
2. Decreased commitment to work
3. Impairing performance and productivity
4. Increasing complaints from clients and
5. Damaging the organizational image
6. Increasing staff turn over
7. Increasing unsafe working practice and accident
MANAGEMENT OF STRESS
Stress also Known as “managerial illness” can be
avioded and managed. It should be treated at
both organizational and individual level as
stress not only affects the individual but also
results in harm to the organizations.
1. Individual approaches
2. Organizational approaches
1. Individual approaches:
Physical exercise – increase heart capacity &
provide mental diversion from work pressure.
Relaxation techniques – meditation, hypnosis,
Expanding social network - having friends &
family, or work colleagues to talk to provide
outlet when stress becomes excessive.
Making daily list of activities to be
Prioritizing activities by importance & urgency.
Scheduling activities according to the priorities
STRESS MANAGEMENT- ORGANIZATIONAL
Work stress is a challenge to healthy and saftey
of workers and to healthiness of an organization.
Work stress can be effectively managed by
applying a risk management approach for work
It assesses the possible risk in working
environment that may cause particular hazard to
cause harm to employee.
PREVENTION OF WORK STRESS
There are number of ways by which the risk of
work stress can be reduced. These include:
--Primary prevention,reducing stress through:
ergonomics,work and environmental design
--Secondary prevention,reducing stress through:
worker education and training, and
--Tertiary prevention, reducing the impact of
stress by developing more sensitive and
resonsive management systems and enhanced
occupational health provision.
Improved personnel selection
Use of realistic goal setting
Redesigning of jobs
Stress management trainings
Increased employees involvement
Improved organizational communication
Establishment of corporate wellness programs