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Managing stress. Internal and External stress factors, Physiological and Psychological effects of stress and Current legislation governing workplace stress

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Managing Stress Contents Page 3-9 Internal and External stress factors Noise Caring for a chronically ill family member Financial problems Unrealistic expectations or beliefs Perfectionism Low self esteem Page 10- 16 Physiological and Psychological effects of stress Depression Phobias Digestive Diseases Substance use/abuse Anxiety Interrupted sleep patterns Page 17 Current legislation governing workplace stress Page 18 References Noise - External stress factor Noise pollution is so much a part of our daily life that many of us have forgotten what peace and quiet sounds like. Wether it is in the workplace caused by machinery or constant traffic depending on your job. Maybe even at home where the sound of family talking, yelling, crying or playing loud music, the problem with noise is that it is usually unavoidable. Frequent exposure to noise pollution can cause the body to produce more adrenaline and cortisol due to stress. These hormones are those produced when the body shifts into fight or flight mode, and they can raise the body's heart rate as well as a person's blood pressure. The result over time can be negative, as the body triggers this reaction again and again, leading to the loss of blood vessels and later an increased risk of suffering heart complications. Conditions triggered as a result of the stress from noise pollution causes can include ulcers and migraines as well. Noise can also disrupt the fabric of your life by affecting such things as; Disrupting your sleeping pattern - Noise can easily disrupt peoples sleeping patterns, wether it's the sound of neighbours, an ambulance or the constant sounds of busy city life, lack of sleep due to noise is very common and can effect your life in many ways. Leads to irritability to those around you - Lack of sleep and constant noises normally lead to people becoming easily irritable, which in turn will make you less patient and sometimes cause you to get frustrated and angry towards the people around you. ...read more.


Depression - Psychological Depression is actually an illness that can have many different causes. These vary from person to person, and it can sometimes be that what causes one person's depression is nothing like the cause for another's. Multiple causes can go hand in hand with each other, or there may well be only one cause. One common cause of depression is a psychological reaction to a stressful situation in life you may be experiencing or have previously experienced. These causes can include; Bereavement, illness, job or money concerns of stress, divorce, redundancy, disability, childhood experiences etc. These events or stressors can cause the lowering in mood, as well as other symptoms of depression such as anxiety, low self-esteem and self-confidence. In these cases it's usually easy to notice exactly what's causing the issue. Depression can also be caused by chemical or hormonal changes in the brain. Hormonal changes can have a powerful effect on mood. These changes can be particularly apparent in women during pregnancy, the menstrual cycle, or during menopause, and helps to explain why women are more likely than men to suffer from depression. Depression can often be caused by drugs such as cannabis and other recreational drugs, and also excessive amounts of alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are depressors therefore dependence on these can lead to an unhealthy cycle of taking them to cope with depression, while they are actually a factor causing it. As previously mentioned, there is often not a single cause to depression, and many of life's factors may coincide with each to cause the start of depression. Depression can also play a big part in affecting your personal and social life, at home the depressed individual will lack interest in their family and will be unable to enjoy their company and share in activities, and to participate in family life. They will be unable to show affection for their loved ones and uninterested in love-making with their partner. ...read more.


Personal Lack of sleep can severely affect your personal life, you may not be able to function properly on a daily basis, you make be overly grumpy towards family leading to arguments and may also affect you sex life with your partner as you don't physically feel up to doing anything after a long sleep deprived day. Social Social life is affected by interrupted sleep patterns due to being too tired to socialise with your friends and enjoy things that involve physical activity or just being out the house in general. Workplace Lack of sleep and/or untreated sleep disorders have serious consequences for productivity, safety, health, and quality of life. Despite this, sleep needs tend to be ignored by popular culture in general and corporate culture in particular. Poor sleep costs businesses directly through lost productivity, compromised physical or emotional health, impaired cognition, accident rates and absences, and indirectly through such factors as poor morale, poor social relationships, and depression. Outline of current legislation governing workplace stress HSE has created some straight forward guidance on stress management standards - Management standards for work related stress started in November 2004. It promotes organisations to take preventative measures through a risk assessment and includes a guide for employers and a template stress policy. The 6 management standards cover the main sources of stress in the workplace - demands, control, support, relationships, role and change. Standards aren't law but HSE have indicated that they will be used as evidence against employers who continually ignore their responsibilities in managing stress under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. HSE are pursuing a 3 year preventative plan that will take place between 2005 and 2008. The objectives include: * Implementing a national stress programme * Reducing the incidence of stress by 8% nationally * Reducing the number of people first reporting awareness of work related stress by the end of 2007/2008 * Focussing on 5 key sectors that report the highest incidence of work stress related ill health - health, education, central government, local government and the financial services. ...read more.

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