Stress management and resiliency
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Stress Management and Resiliency. Overview. Definition/Effects of Stress Elements of Stress Reactions to Stress Defense Mechanisms Coping Strategies Time Management Elements of Resiliency Exercise. Defining Stress. Mental, emotional, or physical tension, strain, or distress.

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Stress Management and Resiliency

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Stress Management and Resiliency


  • Definition/Effects of Stress

  • Elements of Stress

  • Reactions to Stress

  • Defense Mechanisms

  • Coping Strategies

  • Time Management

  • Elements of Resiliency

  • Exercise

Defining Stress

Mental, emotional, or physical tension, strain, or distress.

An environment filled with reinforcing or opposing forces that either stimulate or inhibit performance.


  • Takes $500 billion from economy yearly

  • Adversely affects health of half the adult population

  • Costs $550 million in workdays lost each year

  • Leads to 40% of U.S. worker turnover

  • Is a factor in 60-80% job accidents

Elements of Stress

  • A balance or imbalance of:

    • Driving Forces (stressors)

    • Restraining Forces (resiliency)

Elements of Stress

Current Level of Functioning

Restraining Force A

Driving Force A

Driving Force B

Restraining Force B

Restraining Force C

Driving Force C

Driving Force D

Restraining Force D

Modified from Lewin’s Force Field

Elements of Stress

  • Driving Forces (Stressors)

    • Time: too much in too little time

    • Encounters: interpersonal issues

    • Situation: long hours/changes

    • Anticipatory: expected tense climate

Elements of Stress

  • Restraining Forces (Resiliency)

    • Physiological: cardiovascular conditioning & dietary control

    • Psychological: control, commitment, challenge develops “hardiness”

    • Social: friendships, mentor relationships, task teams

Reactions to Stress

  • General Reactions

    • Alarm

    • Resistance

    • Exhaustion

Reactions to Stress

  • Managerial Reactions

    • Narrow View (tunnel vision)

    • Intolerant & Demanding

    • Fixate on Single Approach

    • Adopt a Crisis Mentality

    • Oversimplify Issues

    • Consult Others Less Often

    • Rely on Old Habits

    • Less Creative Problem Solving

Defense Mechanisms

  • Aggression - attack the stressor

  • Regression - childish

  • Repression - denial

  • Withdrawal - attention gap/escape

  • Fixation - pointless persistence

Coping Strategies

  • Enactive – creating non-stress environment

  • Proactive – increasing resiliency

  • Reactive – short-term

Managing Stress

Enactive Strategies

Proactive Strategies

Reactive Strategies


Eliminate stressors

Develop resiliency strategies

Learn temporary coping mechanisms




Long Term

Short Term






Long Time

Moderate Time


Time Management

  • Long-term – Effective

  • Short-term – Efficient

  • Focus on effectiveness before efficiency

Time Management











Time Management

  • Efficient Techniques

    • Hold routine day-end meetings

    • Hold short stand-up meetings

    • Set meeting time deadlines

    • Cancel light-agenda meetings

    • Set agenda

    • Stick to it

    • Keep track of time

    • Start meetings on time

Time Management

  • Efficient Techniques

    • Prepare minutes, follow up on decisions

    • Insist followers suggest solutions

    • Meet visitors in office doorway

    • Visit subordinates’ office for brief meetings

    • Don’t over-schedule your day

    • Have someone else take calls, scan email

    • Have place to work uninterrupted

    • Do something definitive w/every piece of paper

Time Management

  • Efficient Techniques

    • Keep work area clean

    • Delegate work

    • Identify amount of effort

    • Give others credit for success

Elements of Resiliency

The ability to withstand, recover and/or grow in the face of stressors and changing demands.

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health

Elements of Resiliency

Total Human Wellness

  • Physical Fitness

  • Mental Fitness

  • Social Fitness

  • Spiritual Fitness

Elements of Resiliency

Physical Fitness

  • Managing your levels of stress

  • Good nutrition/Eating well

  • Getting enough rest

  • Regular Exercise

Elements of Resiliency

Mental Fitness

  • Take breaks and relax muscles

  • Maintain positive self-esteem

Elements of Resiliency

Social Fitness

  • Talk to family, friends, physician, chaplain

  • Build and maintain social support

  • Get involved in community and group activities

  • Be a Wingman!

  • Maintain positive self-esteem

Elements of Resiliency

Spiritual Fitness

  • Maintain a sense of purpose

  • Strengthen faith

Elements of Resiliency

Effective Problem Solving

  • Accurately assess situations

  • Generate a list of viable options

  • Use this information to determine a best course of action

Elements of Resiliency


  • Regulate nutritional balance

  • Take part in periodic recreation

  • Enjoy downtime

  • Get adequate rest

Elements of Resiliency

Positive Orientation

Why might a positive orientation (outlook) be difficult for some?

Elements of Resiliency

Positive Orientation

What type things can you do to maintain a positive outlook on life?

Elements of Resiliency

Positive Orientation

Consider these actions:

  • Focus upon positives such as gratitude, blessings, delights, interest, and love

  • Cope with hard times through laughter, humor, and fun

  • Make time to play and have fun

  • Increase contacts and support from others

  • Practice letting go and coping with surprises type things can you do to maintain a positive outlook on life?


  • Step 1: Keep one-week time log

  • Step 2: Record required vs. discretionary time

  • Step 3: Rate activity productivity

  • Step 4: Create plan for discretionary time

  • Step 5: ID more productive use of discretionary time


  • Definition/Effects of Stress

  • Elements of Stress

  • Reactions to Stress

  • Defense Mechanisms

  • Coping Strategies

  • Time Management

  • Developing Resiliency

  • Exercise

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