Questions • What is stress? • What causes stress? • How can we manage stress? • How can we help others manage stress?
What Is Stress? ...our body’s physical and emotional reaction to circumstances or events that frighten, irritate, confuse, endanger, or excite us.
The Work Underload -Overload Continuum Optimal Stress Moderate Work Load Work Underload Work Overload
What Causes Stress? • People • Self expectations • Impersonal barriers • Conflicting desires • Situations • Expectations • Time • Lack of resources • Lack of vision & goals
Stages of Reaction to Stress • Alarm • Resistance • Exhaustion
ALARM PHASE • Triggered by the stress alert system (fight or flight) • Short term • Provides immediate strength • Positive stress
RESISTANCE PHASE As stress continues you begin to feel run down & are unable to meet the various demands placed on you. Irritation, over-reaction to minor issues, altered sleep patterns, mental & physical weakness.
EXHAUSTION PHASE If stress does not reduce exhaustion takes over. Enthusiasm for work diminishes. Emotional breakdown, insomnia, heart & blood pressure problems occur. Eventually you may BURNOUT
What are some behavioural symptoms of stress? • Talking too fast or too loud • Yawning • Fiddling and twitching, nail biting, grinding teeth, drumming fingers, pacing, etc. • Bad moods • Reduced personal effectiveness • Changing work habits • Increased absenteeism • Neglect of personal appearance
Keep life in perspective Exercise Take time to work Take time to play Learn to relax Avoid frustrations Develop productive work skills eg time management Don’t bottle up things Set realistic expectations Live in the present Laugh often and loud How Can We Manage Stress?
How Can We Help Others Manage Stress? • Encourage expression of feelings • Help identify stressors • Relieve pressures • Facilitate adaptation
Summary • We need some stress to perform at peak levels • Help others deal with stress -- talk (don’t complain) • Be prepared -- take time to “sharpen the saw” • People and things cause stress -- control both • Avoid frustration • Exercise • Smile • Be around those you like • ASK FOR HELP!
A Prayer For The Stressed Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I cannot accept, And the wisdom to hide the bodies of those I had to kill today, Because they got on my nerves. Also help me to be careful of the toes I step on today, As they may be connected to the feet I may have to kiss tomorrow.
Help me to always work at 100% • 12% on Monday • 23% on Tuesday • 40% on Wednesday • 20% on Thursday • 5% on Friday And help me to remember…. When I’m having a bad day and it seems that people are trying to wind me up that it takes 42 muscles to frown, 28 muscles to smile, and only 4 to extend my arm and smack you in the mouth.