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Stress in the Workplace : Why Is it Important to Deal with It?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Stress in the Workplace : Why Is it Important to Deal with It? Stress is a part of the tapestry of work. Few people have not experienced the frantic irritation of being overwhelmed when they are drained of physical and mental energy to meet a deadline or make a presentation to a group of trainees. As people are different, stress that may intimidate one person can invigorate and challenge another. What seems to matter is whether the individual in the stressful situation believes that they have the resources to cope, to maintain a sense of control. This is particularly so with adults who have a developed sense of their own autonomy and may explain why so often people do not seek help until they are on the brink of a 'stress breakdown'. The problem is that when it's easier to salvage, people are soldiering on and are not so willing to talk about it. This trend is supported by Workcover statistics that show stress claims are on the rise and those most at risk are people working in professional and semi-professional ranks. Stress costs more than $50 million and accounted for 5.4 % of overall claims in 1998-99, compared with 2.7% 10 years earlier. The upward trend has continued despite a tightening of the eligibility criteria in 1994-95 that stipulated that work had to be a significant factor in the complaint, rather than aspects of the worker's personal life. Stress overload can flare during a crisis - even a welcome circumstance such as getting a promotion, or less dramatically, it can creep into the bones of someone who is exhausted by weeks, months or even years of being overloaded. "Too much stress can lead a person to become anxious and extreme stress can wear down even the most resilient person to the point where they develop an actual problem with anxiety. When someone is in a severe situation and are unable to escape or get support, they can cross the line." ...read more.

Middle

who were employed in jobs where they felt they felt more control. OVERHEADS AND TALK NOTES TRAINING SESSION NO: 2 . FIRST OF ALL WHAT IS STRESS AND WHY ARE YOU HERE. BECAUSE YOU ARE ALL IN CHARGE OF STAFF AT XYZ LIMITED & OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS THERE HAS BEEN A DRAMATIC INCREASE IN RESIGNATIONS AND ABSENTEEISM. (O/H 1: WORKPLACE STATS) . WHAT IS STRESS ? 10 minutes max Because of the complexity of modern life where we all play several roles - mother, worker, wife, friend - so we all have competing deadlines to meet - and so we all end up being a bit 'stressed out' like poor old Minnie when we have so many things to do we just get swept along (O/H 2: MINNIE ON BOOK) . But stress is more than having a headache or being tired Stress at times can become debilitating and even threaten your life or career. Taken to the extreme worst case scenario stressors can accumulate until we can't cope anymore - feel debilitated to the point where we become so anxious we cannot function like poor little mousie (O/H 3: MOUSIE DOWN WELL) Have you heard of the flight or fight response ? This is a good way to think about stress and stress management. It seems a bit simple but it helps explain where stress comes from - (O/H 4 - MEN FIGHTING BEARS) - The stress response is when our nervous systems rev up and alert us to danger. It is our body's attempt to cope - to maintain control when threatened. "Stress is usually created by a perceived threat to physical or psychological well-being and is increased with the feeling of helplessness" (Pfister, 1994, p.17). What we call the flight or fight response, is your response to fight the beastie bear or flee. And fight or flight reflects your body's stress reaction. ...read more.

Conclusion

The higher your score, the better the lifestyle choices you are making. These positive choices will act as a buffer against stress. If you score between 0 - 10 you need to review your lifestyle and begin to make significant improvements. You are vulnerable to the unhealthy effects of stress. If you score between 11 - 22, you are making lifestyle choices that will help buffer you against the negative effects of stress - however, there is room for improvement. If you score between 23 - 33, you are making wise lifestyle choices. You are improving your chances that you will not experience long-term negative effects from stress. This test is available on the web : www.virtualpsych.com Dr Scott Wallace. Phd., R. Psych. ____________________________________________________________ THE HOLMES RAHE SOCIAL READJUSTMENT RATING SCALE LIFE EVENT MEAN VALUE 1 Death of spouse 100 2 Divorce 73 3 Maritial separation from mate 65 4 Detention in jail or other institution 63 5 Death of a close family member 63 6 Major personal injury or illness 53 7 Marriage 50 8 * Being fired from work 47 9 Maritial reconciliation with mate 45 10 * Retirement from work 45 11 Major change in the health OR behaviour of a family member 44 12 Pregnancy 40 13 Sexual difficulties 39 14 Gaining a new family member (birth, adoption) 39 15 * Major business readjustment eg reorganisation, 39 merger, retrenchment) 16 * Major change in financial state (lot worse/better) 38 17 Death of a close friend 37 18 * Changing to a different line of work 36 19 Major changes in number of arguments with (eg either a lot more or a lot less than usual) 35 20 Taking on a mortgage greater than $10,000 31 21 Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan 30 22 * Major change in responsibilities at work (eg promotion, demotion, lateral transfer) 29 23 Son/daughter leaving home 29 24 In-law troubles 29 25 * Outstanding personal achievement 28 30 * Trouble with boss 23 41 Vacation 13 42 Christmas 12 43 Minor violations of the law (eg speed ticket) 11 _____________________________________________________ 1 ...read more.

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