Stress and behaviour

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  • 1.A Presentation on: STRESS& BEHAVIOUR

2. Understanding Stress Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isnt always bad. In small doses, it can help us perform under pressure & motivate us to do our best.But if we frequently find our self feeling frazzled & overwhelmed, its time to take action to bring our nervous system back into balance. We can protect our self by learning how to recognize the signs & symptoms of stress & taking steps to reduce its harmful effects. 3. What is Stress ? Stress is a normal physical response to events that make us feel threatened or upset our balance in some way. When we sense danger, the bodys defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the stress response. When working properly, the stress response helps us stay focused, energetic, & alert. In emergency situations, stress can save our life, for example, spurring us to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. The stress response also helps us rise to meet challenges. Stress is what keeps us on our toes during a presentation at work, or drives us to study for an exam when we would rather be watching TV. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful & starts causing major damage to our health, our mood, our productivity, our relationships, & our quality of life. 4. The Bodys Stress Response When we perceive a threat, our nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline & cortisol. These hormones rouse the body for emergency action. Our heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, & our senses become sharper. These physical changes increase our strength & stamina, speed our reaction time, & enhance our focus preparing us to either fight or flee from the danger at hand. 5. General Adaptation Syndrome It refers to a general development of responses to stressful events in the form of physiological, psychological and behavioural responses believed to follow a fairly consistent pattern and consists of the following three stages : ALARM EXHAUSTION RESISTANCE 6. The alarm stage occurs at the first sign of stress. It results in physiological changes in the body as a warning & preparation against stress. Muscles become tense, blood pressure rises & there is increase in hormone flow such as adrenaline from endocrine glands. RESISTANCE The second stage in bodily responses is that of resistance. In this stage, the bodys energies tend to resist the stress so that the physiological & psychological equilibrium can be maintained. If this resistance is successful then the stress will disappear. However if the stress is of a high degree and continues long enough, then the bodys capacity for adaptation becomes exhausted. ALARM 7. EXHAUSTION In the third stage of exhaustion, the person is unable to cope with the stress and the individual experiences physical and mental pressures that result in such illness as continuous headaches, ulcers and high blood pressure. It is this last stage that presents the greatest threat to the individuals well being. 8. Basic Forms of Stress FRUSTRATION ANXIETY 9. Frustration

  • Frustration is a form of behaviour that occurs when a person wishes to achieve a certain objective or pursue a certain course of action, but is prevented from doing so. It refers to an obstruction or impediment to goal oriented behaviour.
  • There are several factors that cause frustration:
  • Unnecessary delay in achieving the goal
  • Lack of resources
  • Actual failure in achieving the goal

10. Anxiety

  • A second form of stress is the anxiety which is a feeling of inability and helplessness in formulating appropriate responses or plans for dealing with the anticipated negative outcomes.
  • Anxiety occurs when :
  • A decision has to be made but the outcome of the decisioncould have positive as well as negative consequences
  • All our opinions result in undesirable consequences

11. Causes of Stress General Causes Life Causes Stress at Work 12. General Causes

  • THREAT A perceived threat will lead a person to feel stressed. This can include physical threats, social threats, financial threat, and so on.
  • FEAR Threat can lead to fear, which again leads to stress. Fear leads to imagined outcomes, which are the real source of stress.
  • UNCERTAINTY When we are not certain, we are unable to predict, & hence feel we are not in control, & hence feel threatened by that which is causing the uncertainty.
  • COGNITIVE DISSONANCE When there is a gap between what we do & what we think, then we experience cognitive dissonance, which is felt as stress. Dissonance also occurs when we cannot meet our commitments.

13. Life Causes There are many causes of stress in life including :

  • Death: of spouse, family, friend
  • Health: injury, illness, pregnancy
  • Crime: Sexual molestation, mugging, burglary, pick pocketed
  • Self abuse: drug abuse, alcoholism, self harm
  • Family change: separation, divorce, new baby, marriage
  • Sexual problems: getting partner, with partner
  • Argument: with spouse, family, friends, co workers, boss
  • Physical changes: lack of sleep, new work hours
  • New location: vacation, moving house
  • Money: lack of it, owing it, investing it
  • Environment change: in school, job, house, town, jail
  • Responsibility increase: new dependent, new job

14. Stress at Work The UKs Health & Safety Executive lists six key stress factors:

  • The demands of the job
  • The control staff have over how they do their work
  • The support they receive from colleagues and superiors
  • Their relationships with colleagues
  • Whether they understand their roles and responsibilities
  • How far the company consults staff over workplace changes

15. Stress at Work Other stress indicators at work include:

  • Sickness absence
  • High staff turnover
  • Poor communication between teams
  • Bullying
  • Lack of feedback on performance
  • Value and contribution
  • Technological change
  • Lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities
  • Dissatisfaction with non monetary benefits
  • Working long hours
  • Boring and mundane work
  • One off incidents
  • Uncomfortable workplace
  • Lack of training

16. How much Stress is too much ? Because of the widespread damage stress can cause, it is important to know our own limit. But just how much stress is too much differs from person to person. Some people roll with the punches, while others crumble at the slightest obstacle or frustration. Some people even seem to thrive on the excitement and challenge of a high stress lifestyle. Our ability to tolerate stress depends on many factors, including the quality of our relationships, our general outlook on life, our emotional intelligence, and genetics. 17. Stress Tolerance Level Things that influence our Stress Tolerance Level are :

  • Our support network A strong network of supportive friends & family members is an enormous buffer against lifes stressors.
  • Our sense of control If we have confidence in our self & our ability to influence events and persevere through challenges, its easier to take stress in stride.
  • Our attitude and outlook Stress hardy people have an optimistic attitude. They tend to embrace challenges, have a strong sense of humor, & accept that change is a part of life.
  • Our ability to deal with emotions Were extremely vulnerable to stress if we dont know how to calm & soothe our self when were feeling sad, angry, or afraid.
  • Our knowledge and preparation The more we know about a stressful situation, including how long it will last & what to expect, the easier it is to cope.

18. Top Ten Stressful Life Events

  • Spouses death
  • Divorce
  • Marriage separation
  • Jail term
  • Death of a close relative
  • Injury or illness
  • Marriage
  • Fired from job
  • Marriage reconciliation
  • Retirement

Source :Holmes Rahe Life Stress 19. Health Problems caused by Stress

  • Heart Attack
  • Hyper tension
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Eating Disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Ulcers
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Memory Loss
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Insomnia
  • Thyroid problems
  • Infertility
  • Pain of any kind
  • Digestive problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Skin Conditions, like Eczema
  • Continuous Headache
  • High