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STRESS MANAGEMENT. Presentation Outline. Part 1 - General Awareness Part 2 - Stress at Work Part 3 - Self - help. Part 1. General Awareness. HELP ME!. What Is Stress ?.

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Presentation Outline

Part 1 - General Awareness

Part 2 - Stress at Work

Part 3 - Self - help

Part 1

General Awareness


What Is Stress ?

Stress is the reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed upon them. It arises when they worry that they can’t cope.


What Is Stress ?

Stress is the “wear and tear” our minds and bodies experience as we attempt to cope with our continually changing environment


S = P > R

Stress occurs when the pressure is greater than the resource

Stress Feelings

  • Worry

  • Tense

  • Tired

  • Frightened

  • Depressed

  • Anxious

  • Anger

Organisational Stress

  • Rules

  • Regulations

  • “Red - Tape”

  • Deadlines

Negative Self – Talk Stress

  • Pessimistic thinking

  • Self criticism

  • Over analysing


  • Negative stress

  • Positive stress

Negative Stress

It is a contributory factor in minor conditions, such as headaches, digestive problems, skin complaints, insomnia and ulcers.

Excessive, prolonged and unrelieved stress can have a harmful effect on mental, physical and spiritual health.

Positive Stress

Stress can also have a positive effect, spurring motivation and awareness, providing the stimulation to cope with challenging situations.

Stress also provides the sense of urgency and alertness needed for survival when confronting threatening situations.

The Individual

Everyone is different, with unique perceptions of, and reactions to, events. There is no single level of stress that is optimal for all people. Some are more sensitive owing to experiences in childhood, the influence of teachers, parents and religion etc.

Most of the stress we experience is self-generated. How we perceive life - whether an event makes us feel threatened or stimulated, encouraged or discouraged, happy or sad - depends to a large extent on how we perceive ourselves.

The Individual

Self-generated stress is something of a paradox, because so many people think of external causes when they are upset.

Recognising that we create most of our own upsets, is an important first step towards coping with them.

The Individual


  • Physical symptoms

  • Mental symptoms

  • Behavioural symptoms

  • Emotional symptoms

Sleep pattern changes


Digestion changes


Aches and pains




Sweating & trembling

Tingling hands & feet



Physical Symptoms

Symptoms of Stress

Mental Symptoms

  • Lack of concentration

  • Memory lapses

  • Difficulty in making decisions

  • Confusion

  • Disorientation

  • Panic attacks

Symptoms of Stress

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Appetite changes - too much or too little

  • Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia

  • Increased intake of alcohol & other drugs

  • Increased smoking

  • Restlessness

  • Nail biting

Symptoms of Stress

Emotional Symptoms

  • Depression

  • Impatience

  • Fits of rage

  • Tearfulness

  • Deterioration of personal hygiene and appearance

Symptoms of Stress


Stress is not the same as ill-health, but has been related to such illnesses as:

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Immune system disease

  • Asthma

  • Diabetes

  • Digestive disorders

  • Ulcers

  • Skin complaints

  • Headaches and migraines

  • Depression

Part 2

Stress at Work

Why Do We Work ?

Work provides an income and fulfils a variety of other needs: - mental and physical exercise, social contact, a feeling of self-worth and competence.

The drive for success

Changing work patterns

Working conditions






Relationships at work

Change at work


How Do I Know If I Am Suffering From Stress?

Each person handles stress differently. Some people actually seek out situations which may appear stressful to others.

A major life decision, such as changing careers or buying a house, might be overwhelming for some people, while others may welcome the change. Some find sitting in traffic too much to tolerate, while others take it in stride.

The key is determining your personal tolerance levels for stressful situations.


  • Remember that success will not come from a half hearted effort, nor will it come overnight. It will take determination, persistence and time.

  • Some suggestions may help immediately, but if your stress is chronic, it may require more attention and/or lifestyle changes.

  • Determine YOUR tolerance level for stress and try to live within these limits. Learn to accept or change stressful and tense situations whenever possible.

  • Be realistic.

    If you feel overwhelmed by some activities (yours and/or your family’s), learn to say NO! Eliminate an activity that is not absolutely necessary. You may be taking on more responsibility than you can or should handle. If you meet resistance, give reasons why you’re making the changes. Be willing to listen to other’s suggestions and be ready to compromise.

  • Shed the “superman/superwoman” urge.

    No one is perfect, so don’t expect perfection from yourself or others. Ask yourself, “What really needs to be done?” How much can I do? Is the deadline realistic? What adjustments can I make?” Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

  • Meditate. 

    Just ten to twenty minutes of quiet reflection may bring relief from chronic stress as well as increase your tolerance to it. Use the time to listen to music, relax and try to think of pleasant things or nothing.

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

  • Visualize.

    Use your imagination and picture how you can manage a stressful situation more successfully. Whether it’s a business presentation or moving to a new place, many people feel visual rehearsals boost self-confidence and enable them to take a more positive approach to a difficult task.

  • Take one thing at a time.

    For people under tension or stress, an ordinary workload can sometimes seem unbearable. The best way to cope with this feeling of being overwhelmed is to take one task at a time. Pick one urgent task and work on it. Once you accomplish that task, choose the next one. The positive feeling of “checking off” tasks is very satisfying. It will motivate you to keep going.

  • Exercise.

    Regular exercise is a popular way to relieve stress. Twenty to thirty minutes of physical activity benefits both the body and the mind.

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

  • Hobbies.

    Take a break from your worries by doing something you enjoy. Whether it’s gardening or painting, schedule time to indulge your interest.

  • Healthy life style.

    Good nutrition makes a difference. Limit intake of caffeine and alcohol (alcohol actually disturbs regular sleep patterns), get adequate rest, exercise, and balance work and leisure.

  • Share your feelings.

    A conversation with a friend lets you know that you are not the only one having a bad day, caring for a sick child or working in a busy office. Stay in touch with friends and family. Let them provide love, support and guidance. Don’t try to cope alone.

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

  • Give in occasionally. Be flexible!

    If you find you are meeting constant opposition in either your personal or professional life, rethink your position or strategy.

    Arguing only intensifies stressful feelings. If you know you are right, stand your ground, but do so calmly and rationally. Make allowances for other’s opinions and be prepared to compromise. If you are willing to give in, others may meet you halfway. Not only will you reduce your stress, you may find better solutions to your problems.

  • Go easy with criticism.

    You may expect too much of yourself and others. Try not to feel frustrated, let down, disappointed or even “trapped” when another person does not measure up.

    The “other person” may be a wife, a husband, a child or a colleague whom you are trying to change to suit yourself. Remember, everyone is unique, and has his or her own virtues, shortcomings, and right to develop as an individual.

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

  • Where to Get Help.

    Help may be as close as a friend or spouse. But if you think that you or someone you know may be under more stress than just dealing with a passing difficulty, it may be helpful to talk with your doctor, spiritual advisor, or employee for professional assistance.

    If need be, they may even suggest you to visit with a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or other qualified counselor.

Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress

Ask Questions to Yourself

  • List the things which cause stress and tension in your life.

  • How does this stress and tension affect you, your family and your job?

  • Can you identify the stress and tensions in your life as short or long term?

  • Do you have a support system of friends/family that will help you make positive changes?

  • What are your biggest obstacles to reducing stress?

  • What are you willing to change or give up for a less stressful and tension-filled life?

  • What have you tried already that didn’t work for you?

  • If you do not have control of a situation, can you accept it and get on with your life?


  • Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health.

  • Job stress is often confused with challenge, but these concepts are not the same.

    Challenge energizes us psychologically and physically, and it motivates us to learn new skills and master our jobs. When a challenge is met, we feel relaxed and satisfied.

    But job stress is different - the challenge has turned into job demands that cannot be met, relaxation has turned to exhaustion, and a sense of satisfaction has turned into feelings of stress.

    In short, the stage is set for illness, injury, and job failure.

Approach to job stress

  • Balance between work and family or personal life

  • A support network of friends and coworkers

  • A relaxed and positive outlook

Job Stress

Job conditions that may lead to stress

  • The design of tasks.

    Heavy workload, infrequent rest breaks, long work hours, and shift work are stressful. So are hectic and routine tasks that have little inherent meaning, do not utilize workers' skills, and provide little sense of control.

  • Management style.

    Lack of participation by workers in decision-making, poor communication in the organization, lack of family-friendly policies.

  • Interpersonal relationships.

    Poor social environment and lack of support or help from coworkers and supervisors.

Job Stress

  • Work roles.

    Conflicting or uncertain job expectations, too much responsibility, too many “hats to wear.”

  • Career concerns.

    Job insecurity and lack of opportunity for growth, advancement, or promotion; rapid changes for which workers are unprepared.

  • Environmental conditions.

    Unpleasant or dangerous physical conditions such as crowding, noise, air pollution.

Job Conditions That May Lead To Stress

Part 3

Self - help


Not all the stress we experience is generated at work !!


  • External Stresses

  • Internal Stresses

Company take over

Major reorganisation

Company sale / relocation

Employee benefit cuts

Mandatory overtime required

Little input into decisions

Mistake consequences severe

Workloads vary

Fast paced work

React to changes

Advancement difficult

Red tape delays jobs

Insufficient resources

Pay below going rate

Technology changes

Employee benefits poor

Workplace conditions

Consistent poor performance

External Stresses - Organisational

Causes Of Stress

Death of a loved one

Divorce / separation

Injury/illness ( self / family )


Loss of job


Change in financial status

Change of job / work

Mortgage or loan

Change in responsibilities

Moving house

External Stresses - Major Life Events

Causes Of Stress

Recognise The Problem

The most important point is to recognise the source of the negative stress.

This is not an admission of weakness or inability to cope! It is a way to identify the problem and plan measures to overcome it.

Stress Reduction Techniques

  • Progressive Relaxation:Progressive relaxation of your muscles reduces pulse rate and blood pressure as well as decreasing perspiration and respiration rates. The body responds to anxiety-producing thoughts and events with muscle tension which in turn increases the anxiety.

    Muscle relaxation reduces tension and is incompatible with anxiety. Typically, it involves tensing individual muscle groups for several seconds and releasing the tension -- allowing the muscles to gradually relax.

  • Deep Breathing:Proper breathing is essential for good mental and physical health. The next time you feel a surge of stress, try a few moments of deep breathing.

    Sit in a comfortable position and take deep, measured breaths, e.g., inhaling while counting up from 1 to 4; exhaling while counting down from 4 to 1. Do this 20-30 times and you are sure to feel refreshed. Deep breathing assists in relaxation by increasing the amount of oxygen in the body.

  • Visualization:If you think anxious thoughts, you become tense. In order to overcome negative feelings, you can use the power of your imagination to refocus your mind on positive, healing images.

    Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes and visualize a scene or place that you associate with safety and relaxation. It doesn't matter what you visualize, as long as it's calming to you. As you relax your mind, your body also relaxes.

  • Thought Stopping:Thought stopping helps you overcome excessive worry, repetitive thoughts, and negative thinking, which may take the form of self-doubt, fear, and avoidance of stressful situations.

    Thought stopping involves concentrating on the unwanted thoughts and after a short time, suddenly stopping and emptying your mind, by using the mental command "stop" or a loud noise to interrupt negative thinking. Then, you may use thought substitution to focus on positive thoughts and outcomes. If the thoughts can be controlled, stress levels can be significantly reduced.

Stress Reduction Techniques





What causes you stress?

How do you react?


There is a fine line between positive / negative stress

How much can you cope with before it becomes negative ?

ABC Strategy


What can you do to help yourself combat the negative effects of stress ?

ABC Strategy


  • Change your thinking

  • Change your behaviour

  • Change your lifestyle

Change your Thinking

  • Re-framing

  • Positive thinking

Stress Management Techniques


Re-framing is a technique to change the way you look at things in order to feel better about them.

There are many ways to interpret the same situation so pick the one you like.

Re-framing does not change the external reality, but helps you view things in a different light and less stressfully.

Stress Management Techniques

Positive Thinking

Forget powerlessness, dejection, despair, failure

Stress leaves us vulnerable to negative suggestion so focus on positives:

  • Focus on your strengths

  • Learn from the stress you are under

  • Look for opportunities

  • Seek out the positive - make a change.

Stress Management Techniques

Change your Behaviour

  • Be assertive

  • Get organised

  • Ventilation

  • Humour

  • Diversion and distraction

Stress Management Techniques

Be Assertive

Assertiveness helps to manage stressful situations, and will , in time, help to reduce their frequency.

Lack of assertiveness often shows low self - esteem and low self - confidence.

Extending our range of communication skills will improve our assertiveness.

Change Your Behaviour

Equality and Basic Rights

1) The right to express my feelings

2) The right to express opinions/beliefs

3) The right to say ‘Yes/No’ for yourself

4) Right to change your mind

5) Right to say ‘I don’t understand’

6) Right to be yourself, not acting for the benefit of others

7) The right to decline responsibility for other people’s problems

8) The right to make reasonable requests to others

9) The right to set my own priorities

10) The right to be listened to, and taken seriously

Change Your Behaviour


  • Higher self-esteem

  • Less self-conscious

  • Less anxious

  • Manage stress more successfully

  • Appreciate yourself and others more easily

  • Feeling of self-control

Change Your Behaviour

Get Organised

  • Poor organisation is one of the most common causes of stress.

  • Structured approaches offer security against ‘out of the blue’ problems.

  • Prioritising objectives, duties and activities makes them manageable and achievable.

  • Don’t overload your mind.

  • Organisation will help avoid personal and professional chaos.

Change Your Behaviour

Time Management

  • Make a list

    What MUST be done

    What SHOULD be done

    What would you LIKE to do

  • Cut out time wasting

  • Learn to drop unimportant activities

  • Say no or delegate

Change Your Behaviour


‘A problem shared is a problem halved’

Develop a support network through friends or colleagues to talk with. It’s not always events that are stressful but how we perceive them.

Writing a diary or notes may help release feelings but do not re-read what has been written.

Change Your Behaviour


  • Good stress - reducer

  • Applies at home and work

  • Relieves muscular tension

  • Improves breathing

Change Your Behaviour

Diversion And Distraction

  • Take time out

  • Get away from things that bother you

  • Reduce stress level

  • Calm down

  • Think logically

Change Your Behaviour

Change Your Lifestyle

  • Diet

  • Smoking & Alcohol

  • Exercise

  • Sleep

  • Leisure

  • Relaxation

Benefits of Exercise

  • Improves blood circulation

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Clears the mind of worrying thoughts

  • Improves self image

  • Makes you feel better about yourself

  • Increases social contact

Change Your Lifestyle


  • Good stress reducer

  • Difficult to cope when tired

  • Wake refreshed after night’s sleep

  • Plenty of daytime energy

Change Your Lifestyle


  • Gives you a ‘break’ from stresses

  • Provides outlet for relief

  • Provides social contact

Change Your Lifestyle

Benefits of Relaxation

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Combats fatigue

  • Promotes sleep

  • Reduces pain

  • Eases muscle tension

  • Decreases mental worries

  • Increases concentration

  • Increases productivity

  • Increases clear thinking

Change Your Lifestyle

Conventional Medicine

Counselling & psychotherapy










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