Modern lifestyle has brought in a lot of positives into our lives along with certain negatives like stress which has to be dealt intelligently. Let us discuss stress in the coming lines.
Stress is a reaction to change; it could be either positive or negative, and it affects both the body and the mind. Normally, stress stimulates the release of hormones such as adrenaline, quickening the heart rate, accelerating the metabolism, and generally preparing the body for emergency action–whether or not the opportunity for action exists. Stress could destroy a promising academic session, and not only kill the joy of learning but also seriously affect a student’s general health and educational performance. Recognizing the sources and the effects of stress as early as possible is crucial to know on how to deal with it.
Types of Stress
The body does not distinguish between negative and positive stress: both excitement and anxiety cause a strain the body’s faculties and depress the immune system. Stress varies in terms of their intensity and duration.
It is an intense stress that lasts for only a short period, could rapidly exhaust you, even to the point of triggering anxiety attacks or states of shock.
It is that stress which extends for quite some time and is a subtle condition. You may become accustomed to some level of continual tension, but this stress will nevertheless damage your system. Chronic stress is often ignored until obvious physical symptoms appear.
Concepts of Stress
The word “Stress” is neutral, However, it often has negative connotations and is used as a synonym for overstress. It must be emphasized that some stress could be positive and beneficial and is actually necessary to make us effective in the tasks we set for ourselves. It is the degree of stress that causes problems.
Over (hyperstress): where there is too high a workload and the demands of the job are greater than the individual officer is likely to manage.
Under (hypo stress): where there is too little work to do and this leads to under-stimulation, boredom, depression and possibly lack of motivation.
Desired ( Eustress): When there is something really challenging and motivating to do.
Undesired (Distress): That which makes one feel exhausted, irritable and frustrated.
Stress and Stimulants
Some substances are mistakenly considered as harmless stimulants although they often increase stress significantly. Paradoxically, many of these are a staple of social occasions through which stress is dissipated until recently, at least, sugar doughnuts, coffee, and cigarettes became a popular combination of refreshments at student events.
Caffeine could have a damaging effect if used in large quantities (it genuinely does seem to stimulate mental acuity in more reasonable doses). Excessive coffee drinking causes headaches, sleeplessness, and indigestion. Caffeine dependency could be physically disturbing; causing withdrawal symptoms like nervousness, irritability, and rapid heartbeat.
Sugar is harmless if consumed in reasonable quantities, but eating foods rich in sugar tends to be habit-forming because such snacks are convenient (sugar is an effective preservative) as well as tasty. If sugary foods displace more nutritious ones in your diet, you will become deficient in valuable vitamins and minerals. You may also gain weight rapidly, and sudden weight gain is an additional stressor.
Cigarettes heighten your stress level through chemical stimulation; they may also rob your body of vital substances such as Vitamin C. Their cost in money and risk (notably of cancer) also causes stress. Although quitting smoking can be stressful, its long-term benefits outweigh the temporary anxiety. With the best of intentions, anti-smoking groups have exaggerated the addictive nature of cigarettes: most people can quit without major physical withdrawal symptoms and without using expensive aids such as nicotine patches or hypnotism sessions.
Causes of Workplace Stress
Workplace stress is caused by factors at the organizational, management and individual levels.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has defined six areas of work that can have a negative impact on employee health if not properly managed:
- Demands: Includes workloads, work patterns, and the work environment.
- Control: How much say the person has in the way they do their work.
- Support: Includes the encouragement, sponsorship, and resources provided by the organization, line management and colleagues.
- Role: Whether people understand their role within the organization and whether the organization ensures that they do not have conflicting roles.
Change– How organizational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organization.
Relationships – Promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behavior.
From the above discussion, it is evident that we have to find the traces of stress early on to deal with them so that things could be brought under control or eradicated to a great extent.
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