Stress and behaviour

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Stress and behaviour

  1. 1. A Presentation on: STRESS & BEHAVIOUR
  2. 2. Understanding Stress Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help us perform under pressure & motivate us to do our best. But if we frequently find our self feeling frazzled & overwhelmed, it’s time to take action to bring our nervous system back into balance. We can protect our self by learning how to recognize the signs & symptoms of stress & taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.
  3. 3. What is Stress ? Stress is a normal physical response to events that make us feel threatened or upset our balance in some way. When we sense danger, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as “ the stress response.” When working properly, the stress response helps us stay focused, energetic, & alert. In emergency situations, stress can save our life, for example, spurring us to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. The stress response also helps us rise to meet challenges. Stress is what keeps us on our toes during a presentation at work, or drives us to study for an exam when we would rather be watching TV. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful & starts causing major damage to our health, our mood, our productivity, our relationships, & our quality of life.
  4. 4. The Body’s Stress Response When we perceive a threat, our nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline & cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action. Our heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, & our senses become sharper. These physical changes increase our strength & stamina, speed our reaction time, & enhance our focus – preparing us to either fight or flee from the danger at hand.
  5. 5. General Adaptation Syndrome It refers to a general development of responses to stressful events in the form of physiological, psychological and behavioural responses believed to follow a fairly consistent pattern and consists of the following three stages : ALARM EXHAUSTION RESISTANCE
  6. 6. The “alarm” stage occurs at the first sign of stress. It results in physiological changes in the body as a warning & preparation against stress. Muscles become tense, blood pressure rises & there is increase in hormone flow such as adrenaline from endocrine glands. RESISTANCE The second stage in bodily responses is that of resistance. In this stage, the body’s energies tend to resist the stress so that the physiological & psychological equilibrium can be maintained. If this resistance is successful then the stress will disappear. However if the stress is of a high degree and continues long enough, then the body’s capacity for adaptation becomes exhausted. ALARM
  7. 7. EXHAUSTION In the third stage of exhaustion, the person is unable to cope with the stress and the individual experiences physical and mental pressures that result in such illness as continuous headaches, ulcers and high blood pressure. It is this last stage that presents the greatest threat to the individual’s well – being.
  8. 8. Basic Forms of Stress FRUSTRATION ANXIETY
  9. 9. Frustration <ul><li>Frustration is a form of behaviour that occurs when a person wishes to achieve a certain objective or pursue a certain course of action, but is prevented from doing so. It refers to an obstruction or impediment to goal oriented behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>CAUSES OF FRUSTRATION </li></ul><ul><li>There are several factors that cause frustration : </li></ul><ul><li>Unnecessary delay in achieving the goal </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of resources </li></ul><ul><li>Actual failure in achieving the goal </li></ul>
  10. 10. Anxiety <ul><li>A second form of stress is the “anxiety” which is a feeling of inability and helplessness in formulating appropriate responses or plans for dealing with the anticipated negative outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>CAUSES OF ANXIETY </li></ul><ul><li>Anxiety occurs when : </li></ul><ul><li>A decision has to be made but the outcome of the decision could have positive as well as negative consequences </li></ul><ul><li>All our opinions result in undesirable consequences </li></ul>
  11. 11. Causes of Stress General Causes Life Causes Stress at Work
  12. 12. General Causes <ul><li>THREAT – A perceived threat will lead a person to feel stressed. This can include physical threats, social threats, financial threat, and so on. </li></ul><ul><li>FEAR – Threat can lead to fear, which again leads to stress. Fear leads to imagined outcomes, which are the real source of stress. </li></ul><ul><li>UNCERTAINTY – When we are not certain, we are unable to predict, & hence feel we are not in control, & hence feel threatened by that which is causing the uncertainty. </li></ul><ul><li>COGNITIVE DISSONANCE – When there is a gap between what we do & what we think, then we experience cognitive dissonance, which is felt as stress. Dissonance also occurs when we cannot meet our commitments. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Life Causes There are many causes of stress in life including : <ul><li>Death : of spouse, family, friend </li></ul><ul><li>Health : injury, illness, pregnancy </li></ul><ul><li>Crime : Sexual molestation, mugging, burglary, pick pocketed </li></ul><ul><li>Self – abuse : drug abuse, alcoholism, self harm </li></ul><ul><li>Family change : separation, divorce, new baby, marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual problems : getting partner, with partner </li></ul><ul><li>Argument : with spouse, family, friends, co workers, boss </li></ul><ul><li>Physical changes : lack of sleep, new work hours </li></ul><ul><li>New location : vacation, moving house </li></ul><ul><li>Money : lack of it, owing it, investing it </li></ul><ul><li>Environment change : in school, job, house, town, jail </li></ul><ul><li>Responsibility increase : new dependent, new job </li></ul>
  14. 14. Stress at Work The UK’s Health & Safety Executive lists six key stress factors : <ul><li>The demands of the job </li></ul><ul><li>The control staff have over how they do their work </li></ul><ul><li>The support they receive from colleagues and superiors </li></ul><ul><li>Their relationships with colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Whether they understand their roles and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>How far the company consults staff over workplace changes </li></ul>
  15. 15. Stress at Work Other stress indicators at work include : <ul><li>Sickness absence </li></ul><ul><li>High staff turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Poor communication between teams </li></ul><ul><li>Bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of feedback on performance </li></ul><ul><li>Value and contribution </li></ul><ul><li>Technological change </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Dissatisfaction with non monetary benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Working long hours </li></ul><ul><li>Boring and mundane work </li></ul><ul><li>One – off incidents </li></ul><ul><li>Uncomfortable workplace </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of training </li></ul>
  16. 16. How much Stress is too much ? Because of the widespread damage stress can cause, it is important to know our own limit. But just how much stress is “too much” differs from person to person. Some people roll with the punches, while others crumble at the slightest obstacle or frustration. Some people even seem to thrive on the excitement and challenge of a high stress lifestyle. Our ability to tolerate stress depends on many factors, including the quality of our relationships, our general outlook on life, our emotional intelligence, and genetics.
  17. 17. Stress Tolerance Level Things that influence our Stress Tolerance Level are : <ul><li>Our support network – A strong network of supportive friends & family members is an enormous buffer against life’s stressors. </li></ul><ul><li>Our sense of control – If we have confidence in our self & our ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, it’s easier to take stress in stride. </li></ul><ul><li>Our attitude and outlook – Stress hardy people have an optimistic attitude. They tend to embrace challenges, have a strong sense of humor, & accept that change is a part of life. </li></ul><ul><li>Our ability to deal with emotions – We’re extremely vulnerable to stress if we don’t know how to calm & soothe our self when we’re feeling sad, angry, or afraid. </li></ul><ul><li>Our knowledge and preparation – The more we know about a stressful situation, including how long it will last & what to expect, the easier it is to cope. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Top Ten Stressful Life Events <ul><li>Spouse’s death </li></ul><ul><li>Divorce </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage separation </li></ul><ul><li>Jail term </li></ul><ul><li>Death of a close relative </li></ul><ul><li>Injury or illness </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Fired from job </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage reconciliation </li></ul><ul><li>Retirement </li></ul>Source : Holmes – Rahe Life Stress
  19. 19. Health Problems caused by Stress <ul><li>Heart Attack </li></ul><ul><li>Hyper tension </li></ul><ul><li>Stroke </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer </li></ul><ul><li>Diabetes </li></ul><ul><li>Depression </li></ul><ul><li>Obesity </li></ul><ul><li>Eating Disorders </li></ul><ul><li>Substance abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Ulcers </li></ul><ul><li>Irritable Bowel Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Memory Loss </li></ul><ul><li>Autoimmune diseases </li></ul><ul><li>Insomnia </li></ul><ul><li>Thyroid problems </li></ul><ul><li>Infertility </li></ul><ul><li>Pain of any kind </li></ul><ul><li>Digestive problems </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep problems </li></ul><ul><li>Skin Conditions, like Eczema </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous Headache </li></ul><ul><li>High Blood Pressure </li></ul>
  20. 20. Stress Warning Signs & Symptoms <ul><li>Cognitive Symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Memory problems </li></ul><ul><li>Inability to concentrate </li></ul><ul><li>Poor judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Seeing only the negative </li></ul><ul><li>Anxious or racing thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>Constant worrying </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional Symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Moodiness </li></ul><ul><li>Irritability or short temper </li></ul><ul><li>Agitation, inability to relax </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling overwhelmed </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of loneliness </li></ul><ul><li>General unhappiness </li></ul>
  21. 21. Stress Warning Signs & Symptoms <ul><li>Physical Symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Aches and pains </li></ul><ul><li>Diarrhea or Constipation </li></ul><ul><li>Nausea, dizziness </li></ul><ul><li>Chest pain, rapid heartbeat </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of sex drive </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent colds </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioral Symptoms </li></ul><ul><li>Eating more or less </li></ul><ul><li>Sleeping more or less </li></ul><ul><li>Isolation from others </li></ul><ul><li>Neglecting responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Using alcohol, cigarette, drugs </li></ul><ul><li>Habits like nail biting, pacing </li></ul>
  22. 22. Consequences of Stress <ul><li>Frequent headaches </li></ul><ul><li>Jaw clenching or pain </li></ul><ul><li>Gritting, grinding teeth </li></ul><ul><li>Stuttering or Stammering </li></ul><ul><li>Trembling of lips, hands </li></ul><ul><li>Neck ache, Back pain </li></ul><ul><li>Muscle spasms </li></ul><ul><li>Faintness, Dizziness </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent blushing, sweating </li></ul><ul><li>Cold or sweaty hands, feet </li></ul><ul><li>Dry mouth, problem swallowing </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent colds, infections </li></ul><ul><li>Herpes sores </li></ul><ul><li>Rashes, itching, hives </li></ul><ul><li>Goose Bumps </li></ul><ul><li>Unexplained allergy attacks </li></ul><ul><li>Heart Burn </li></ul><ul><li>Stomach pain </li></ul><ul><li>Nausea </li></ul><ul><li>Excess Belching </li></ul><ul><li>Flatulence </li></ul><ul><li>Popping Sounds </li></ul>
  23. 23. Ways to manage Stress <ul><li>One thing at a time – This is the simplest & best way to start reducing stress, and one can start today, right now. Focus as much as possible on doing one thing at a time. </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify your schedule – Simplify your hectic schedule by reducing the number of commitments in your life to just the essential ones. Learn to say no to the rest, & slowly get out of commitments that aren’t beneficial to you. </li></ul><ul><li>Get moving – Do something each day to be active. Walk, play a sport, go for a run, do yoga. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop one healthy habit – Improving your health overall will help with the stress. But do it one habit at a time. Eat fruits & veggies, floss every day, quit smoking, drink plenty of water. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Ways to manage Stress <ul><li>Do something calming – Do something enjoyable that calms you down. It can be the “get moving” activity, taking a nap, or a bath, or reading, or having sex, meditating & so on. </li></ul><ul><li>Simplify your finances – Finances can be a drain on your energy & a major stressor. Automate savings, bill payments and debt payments. Spend less while shopping. Find ways to have fun that don’t involve spending money. </li></ul><ul><li>Have a blast ! – Have fun each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Playing with kids, playing sports and so on. </li></ul><ul><li>Get creative – Throwing yourself into a creative activity is another great way to de-stress and to prevent stress. Writing, painting, singing, making pottery and so on. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Ways to manage Stress <ul><li>Declutter – Take 20-30 minutes and just go through a room, get rid of stuff you don’t use or need anymore. Look around at anything that’s cluttering up a room, & get rid of it or find a better place for it. </li></ul><ul><li>Be early – Being late can be very stressful. Try to leave earlier by getting ready earlier, or by scheduling more space between events. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Activities that help to Relax <ul><li>Listening to music </li></ul><ul><li>Playing with a pet </li></ul><ul><li>Laughing or Crying </li></ul><ul><li>Going out with a friend for shopping, movie, dining </li></ul><ul><li>Taking a bath or shower </li></ul><ul><li>Writing, painting, or other creative activity </li></ul><ul><li>Praying or going to temple, church or gurudwara </li></ul><ul><li>Exercising or getting outdoors to enjoy nature </li></ul><ul><li>Discussing situations with spouse or close friend </li></ul><ul><li>Gardening or Cooking or making home repairs </li></ul><ul><li>Practicing deep breathing, meditation, or yoga </li></ul>
  27. 27. Bibliography <ul><li>Book – Stress : from burnout to balance, by Vinay Joshi </li></ul><ul><li>Article – Understanding Stress : Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Effects </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Websites: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.changingminds.org </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.helpguide.org </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.stress.about.com </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.stresscure.com </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>www.advancedlifeskills.com </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. THANK YOU

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