Do you have a lot of say in your job?
Do you have freedom to make decision?
Is sexual harassment at work one of your stress?
Is Anxiety of losing job a source of stress to you?
Work can bring people deep satisfaction, but it can also be a source of frustration and conflict. Stress can emerge from any corner of your life. However, many theorists suspect that the workplace is the primary source of stress in modern society. People in majority are working harder and harder than they were a decade ago, causing experts to cite overwork as a major source of job stress. In addition to long hours, common job Include lack of privacy, high noise levels, unusual hours (such as rotating shifts), the pressure of deadlines, lack of control over one’s work, inadequate resources to do a job, and perceived inequities at work. Fears of being “downsized” and concern about health care benefits (losing them or paying increasingly higher premiums) also dog workers in today’s economy. Office politics and conflict with supervisors, subordinate, and co workers also make the list of job stressors. Workers who must adapt to computers and automated offices experience “techno stress” fire fighters and coal miners face frequent threats to their physical safety. High pressure jobs such as air traffic controller and surgeon demand virtually perfect performances, as errors can have disastrous consequences. Ironically “underwork” (boring, repetitive tasks) can also be stressful.
Woman may experience certain work plan stressors, such as sex discrimination and sexual harassment, at higher rates than men. Discrimination is also a problem for gay and lesbian employees. Workers from lower socioeconomic groups typically work in more dangerous jobs than workers from higher socioeconomic status do.
According to Gwendolyn Keita and Joseph Hurrell four factors are the culprits:
- More workers are employed in service industries. Dealing with variety of customers are difficult. Workers have to swallow their frustration and anger, and this situation is stressful.
- The economy is unpredictable. Fear of job loss may lurk in the back of workers minds.
- Rapid changes in computer technology, tax workers abilities to keep up. Computers have taken over some jobs. The stress comes from rapid and ongoing advances in technology that force workers to keep pace with the changes.
- The workplace is becoming more diverse. As more women and minority group members enter the work place, individuals from all groups must learn to interact with those who are unfamiliar. Developing these skills takes time and may be stressful.
Taking a broader view, Robert Karasek contends that two key factors in occupational stress are the psychological demands made on a worker and a worker’s amount of decision control. Psychological demands are measured by asking employee’s questions such as “Is there excessive work?” And “Must you work fast (or hard)?” To measure decision control, employees are asked such question as” Do you have freedom to make decisions?”
Based on survey data, the jobs thought to be most stressful are those with heavy psychological demands and little control over decisions.
As the other forms of stress, occupational stress is associated with a host of negative effects. In the work arena itself, job stress has been linked to an increased number of industrial accidents, increased absenteeism, poor job Performance, and higher turnover rates. When job stress is temporary, as when important deadlines loom, workers usually suffer only minor and brief effects of stress, such as sleeplessness or anxiety. Prolonged high levels of stress are more problematic, as those who work in people oriented jobs such as human services, education, and health care can attest.
Symptoms of heart disease were more prevalent among men whose jobs were high in psychological demands and low in decision control. Job stress can also have a negative impact on worker’s psychological health. Occupational stress has been related to distress, anxiety, and depression as well as abuse of alcohol or drugs.
There are essentially three avenues of attack for dealing with occupational stress. The first is to intervene at the individual level by modifying worker’s ways of coping with job stress. The second is to intervene at the organizational level by redesigning the work environment itself. The third is to intervene at the individual organizational interface by improving the fit between workers and their companies.
Interventions at the individual level are the most widely used strategy for managing work stress and it usually focus on relaxation training, time management, cognitive approaches to reappraising stressful events, and other constructive coping strategies. A workplace wellness program improves employee’s physical health. It includes exercise and fitness training, health screening, nutritional education and reduction of health impairing habit, such as smoking and overeating.
Interventions at the organizational level are intended to make work environments less stressful. It could be reduced by reducing noise levels, instituting rest periods, and making surrounding more attractive and giving workers different tools.
Management and giving workers greater participation in decision making may also help reduce occupational stress. For dual earner couples and single parent, child care resource and referral services are required.
Workers who have flexible work arrangements report higher job satisfaction.
Know Your Sources Of Personal Strength
Instead of waiting for stress or illness to come and then reacting to it, we need to get goals and structure our lives and life. Styles in ways are most likely to bring us what we really want. The following ideas are presented as guidelines to encourage a more active role in taking charge of your own life and in creating a more positive psychological environment for yourself and others.
- Look for the causes of your behavior in the current situations and not just in some defect in yourself. Understand the context of your behavior.
- Compare your reactions, thought and feelings with those of other comparable individuals in your current life environment so that you can gauge the appropriateness and relevance of your responses.
- Have several close friends with whom you can share feelings, joys and worries. Work at developing, maintaining and expanding your social support networks.
- Don’t be afraid to risk showing others that you want to be their friend or even to give and accept love. Don’t let rejection defer you from trying again after cleaning up your act.
- Never say bad things about yourself such as stupid ugly, uncreative, a failure. Look for sources of your happiness in element that can be modified by future actions–what can you do differently next time to get what you want?
- Always take full credit for your successes and happiness (and share your positive feeling with other people).
- Keep an inventory of all the things that make you special and unique, those qualities you have to offer others. For example, a shy person can offer a talkative person the gift of being an attentive listener. Know your sources of personal strength and the coping resources available to you.
- When you feel you are losing control over your emotional (hyper excited or depressed) distance yourself from the situation by (a) physically leaving it. (b) Role-playing the position of some other person in the situation or conflict, (c) projecting your imagination into the future to gain temporal perspective on what seems like an over whelming problem now or (d) Talking to someone who is sympathetic.
- Don’t dwell on past performance or source of guilt, shame and failure. The past is gone and thinking about it keeps it alive in memory; nothing you have said or done is new under the SUN.
- Remember that the failure disappointment are sometimes blessings in disguise, feeling you that your goals are not right for you or saying you from bigger let downs later on learn from every failure experiences. Acknowledge it by saying ‘I made a mistake’ and move on.
- If you see someone you think is troubled intervene in concerned gentle way to find out if anything is wrong and if you can help or get help. Often listing to a friend’s troubles is all the therapy needed. If it comes soon enough. Don’t hesitate the stranger and be tolerant of deviance but of course respect of your own need for personal safety as well.
- If you discover you cannot help yourself or the other person in distress seek the counsel of a trained specialist in your student health department. In some cases a problem that appears to be psychological one may really be physical as with glandular conditions.
- Assume that anyone can be helped by an opportunity to discuss his or her problems openly with a mental health specialist. If you do go to one, there is no need to feel stigmatized.
- Develop long range goals, think about you want to be doing five, ten, twenty years from now and about alternative ways of getting there. Always try to enjoy the process of getting there too.’ Travel hopefully’ and you will arrive eventually and be more fulfilled.
- Take time to relax, to meditate, to enjoy hobbies and activities that you can do alone and by means of which you can get in touch with yourself.
- Think of yourself not as a passive object to which bad things just happen but as an active agent who at anytime can change the direction of your entire life. You are what you choose to be and you seen by others in terms of what you choose to show them.
- Remember that as long as there is life, there is hope for a better life and as long as we care for another, our lives will get better.
Stress is a diverse combination of Reaction on Social Levels
pressure force a person to speed up intensify or change the direction of goal oriented behavior.
Life would be simple indeed of one’s biological and psychological needs were automatically gratified. But as we know there are many obstacles both environmental and personal, that may interfere. Such obstacles place objective demands or stress on the individual.
Stress is a diverse combination of reactions on social levels including psychological, behavioral, emotional and cognitive changes. Stress may be classified as frustration, conflicts, and pressures.
Frustration: frustration occurs when once strivings are thwarted, either by obstacles that block progress toward a desired goal or by absence of an appropriate goal. A wide range of obstacles both environmental and internal can lead to frustration inflation group prejudice and discrimination and the death of loved ones are common frustration stemming from the environment, physical handicaps, lack of needed competencies and inadequate self-control are sources of frustration that can result from our own personal limitation. Often frustration arises out of psychological barriers in the form of ethical and moral restrains and faulty value and assumptions. The frustration we face depends heavily on such factors as age and other personal characteristics, our specific life situation and the society in which we live.
Conflict: In many instances, stress results from the necessity of crossing between two needs or goals usually the choice of one alternative means frustration with regard to the other. For example, an early marriage means for going or shortening one’s college education, choosing one job may mean turning down another that seems equally desirable. Although we are dealing with frustration and conflict as if they were distinct source of stress, this differentiation is largely for convenience the key element in conflict is often the frustration that arises when we must choose an alternative and give up another in addition, however the necessity of making a choice commonly involves cognitive strength. It is often difficult to make up one’s mind specially when such alternative offer values that the other does not and the choice is an important one.
Conflict with which everyone has to cope may be conveniently classified as approach-avoidance, double- approach and double avoidance types.
Approach avoidance conflict: involve strong tendencies both to approach and to avoid the same goal. A woman may want to marry for sexual, social and security reasons while at the same time sharing the responsibilities of married life and the lost personal freedom. Approach avoidance conflict are sometimes referred to as mixed blessing dilemmas because some negative and some positive features must be accepted regardless of which course of action is chosen.
Double approach conflicts: involve competition between two or more desirable goals. On a simple level the individual may have to decide between leather and vinyl upholstery or between two dinner entries and or between two initiations for a particular weekend. In more complex causes, however as when an individual is formed between two good career opportunities or between present satisfaction and future once, decision making may be very difficult and stressful.
Double avoidance conflicts: are those that completely them us in we are caught between the devil and the Deep Blue Sea: we may have to choose between finishing a job intensely dislike or quitting and being called a failure.
It can be seen that this classification of conflicts is somewhat arbitrary and that various combination among the different types are perhaps the rules rather than the exception. Thus a ‘plus-plus’ conflict between alternative careers may also have its ‘plus-minus’ aspects growing out of the responsibility that other imposes but regardless of how we categorize conflicts they represent a major source of stress and can be overwhelming in their intensity. Stress may stem not only from frustration and conflicts but also from pressure to achieve particular goals or to behave in particular ways. Such pressures may originate from external or internal sources. A college student may feel under severe pressure to make good grades because her parents demand it or She may submit herself to such pressure because he wants to gain admission to college.
In general, pressure force a person to speed up intensify or change the direction of goal oriented behavior. All of us encounter different pressure in the direction of goal oriented behavior. All of us encounter different pressure in the course of everyday living and often it is possible to handle them without undue difficulty. In some instances, however our pressures seriously tax our objective resources, and if they become excessive they may lead to a breakdown of organized behavior.
It is apparent that a given stress situation may involve elements of all the three types of stress- frustration, conflict and pressure. For example, a serious financial loss not only main lead to lower living standards but also confronts the person with the evidence of poor judgement. If such evidence is contrary to the person’s view of himself or herself as a shrewd business men or women, the resulting cognitive dissonance may add to the complexity of the stress situation.
Stress and Immune Functioning
The development of questionnaires to measure life stress has allowed researchers to look for correlations between stress and s variety of diseases.
Found an association between life stress and the course of rheumatoid arthritis.
Another study found an association between stressful life events and the emergence of lower back pain.
Other researchers have connected stress to the occurrence of asthmatic reactions and periodontal disease.
Studies have also found association between high stress and flare-ups of irritable bowel syndrome peptic ulcers.
These are just a handful of representative examples of research relating stress to physical diseases. Many of these stress illness connections are based on tentative are inconsistent findings, but the sheer length and diversity of the list is remarkable.
Why should stress increase the risk for so many kinds of illness? A partial answer may be the immune functioning.
The apparent link between stress and many types of illness probably reflects the fact that stress can undermine the body’s immune functioning. The immune response the body’s defensive reaction to invasion by bacteria, viral agents, or other foreign substances. The human immune response works to protect the body from many forms of disease. Immune reactions are remarkably complex and multifaceted. Hence there are a great many ways to measure immune function in an organism, and these multiple measures can sometimes produce conflicting, confusing results in research.
Nonetheless, a wealth of studies indicate that experimentally induced stress can impair immune functioning in animals. That is, stressors such as crowding, shock, food restriction, and restraint reduce various aspects of immune reactivity in laboratory animals.
Studies by Janice Kiecolt Glaser and her colleagues have also related stress to suppressed immune activity in humans. In one study medical students provided researchers with blood samples so that their immune response could be assessed at various points. The students provided the baseline sample a month before final exams and contributed the “high stress” samples on the first day of their finals. The subjects (the students) also responded to the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) as a measure of recent stress. Reduced levels of immune activity were found during the extremely stressful finals week. Reduced immune activity was also correlated with higher scores on the SRRS.
Many other studies have also shown a link between stress and suppressed immune response. For example, when quarantined volunteers were exposed to respiratory viruses that cause the common cold, those under high stress were more likely to be infected by the viruses. Other studies have found evidence of reduced immune activity among people who scored relatively high on a stress scale measuring daily hassles among men who were recently divorced or separated among husbands and wives grappling with a high level of marital conflict among people recently traumatized by a hurricane and among men who recently experienced the death of an intimate partner.
Unfortunately, evidence suggests that susceptibility to immune suppression in the face of stress increases as people grow older. Scientists have assembled impressive evidence that stress can temporarily suppress human immune functioning, which can make people more vulnerable to infectious disease agents.
A wealth of evidence suggests that stress influences physical health. Moreover, critics of this research note that many of the studies used research design that may have inflated the apparent link between stress and illness.
Actually this fact should come as no surprise. Some people handle stress better than others. Furthermore, stress is one of the factors that undermine the body’s immune functioning.
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