Stress Management Techniques Introduction
Stress is a part of day-to-day living of every individual. The college students may experience stress in meeting the academic demands, people on the job, business men may suffer stress to reach office in time and to complete the projects on time and even the house hold ladies may experience stress in managing the home affairs and to look for the maid servant. The reasons for the stress differ from person to person. The stress people experience should not be necessarily treated as harmful. An optimum amount of stress can always act as an energizer or motivator and propel people to apply the efforts and complete the work. But a high level of Stress can be a serious threat to the personality traits of the Individual and can cause physiological and social problems.
What is Stress?
We generally believe that the stress is caused by the external events and the dynamics of the environment. But we need to emphasis the fact that the Stress is caused by our reaction to the external environment. The manner in which we perceive and understand the changes or the particular event creates same event can bring happiness and cause Stress in two different people depending upon how they react to it. When students are asked to prepare a presentation, some may take it to be an opportunity to reveal their talents and to improve upon their weakness while the other students may be perturbed by it for the fear of his weakness. So, Stress is our reaction to external events and it can be positive or negative depending upon how we react. It is the general wear and tear of the body machine that takes place due to extra demands put on it.
We can define Stress as “ body’s non-specific response to any demand made on it”. Stress is not by definition synonymous with nervous tension or anxiety. On one side Stress provides the means to express talents and energies and pursue happiness on the other side it can also cause exhaustion and illness, either physical or psychological.
Symptoms of Stress
As stated earlier Stress is caused by or reaction to the external events and bring about changes in our response and our general behavior. The presence of Stress can be estimated by the analysis of certain symptoms an individual shows. These symptoms can be divided into three different categories. They are Feelings, Behavior and Physiology. When the individual experience Stress, one or more of the following symptoms can be exhibited.
* The individual becomes anxious about the outcomes and is scared. The person feels that he has got something to loose or something wrong will take place.
* In an anxious state the person does not want to be corrected or interrupted. He looks out for other areas where he can forget about the stress-causing event for a while. The person becomes irritable and moody.
* During high level of Stress the individual develops a negative frame of mind and suffers from low self-esteem. The person loose faith in his capabilities and is afraid of the failures. The individual does not have a focused approach and is not able to concentrate and is involved in his own plans and thoughts.
Physiological and Behavioral Changes
* Speech problems.
* Impulsive Behavior
* Crying for no apparent reason.
* Laughing in a high pitch and nervous tone of voice.
* Grinding of teeth
* Increasing smoking and use of drugs and alcohol.
* Being accident-prone
* Perspiration /sweaty hands
* Increased heart beat
* Nervous ticks
* Dryness of throat and mouth.
* Tiring easily
* Urinating frequently
* Sleeping problems
* Diarrhea / indigestion / vomiting/ nausea
* Butterflies in stomach
* Premenstrual tension
* Pain in the neck and or lower back
* Susceptibility to illness
* Loss of appetite or over eating
Causes of Stress
Both positive and negative events in one’s life can be stressful. However, major life changes are the greatest contributors of stress for most people.
1. If people have to travel a lot and have to move from place to place, it can cause stress.
2. Individuals can also be under stress if they are about to enter some new environment. They may be going to a new colony. To a new college or they may be joining a new organization.
3. Some events, which are generally once in a lifetime can also cause stress. The social institutions of marriage or divorce can cause stress. Pregnancy can also generate Stress.
4. Some of the untoward incidents like critical illness or death of a relative can also cause stress in individuals.
These are some of the major events in the life of the individual that cause stress. It is also supplemented by the environmental factors that act as catalyst cause increment in stress. They are:
* Time pressure
* Financial problems
Authors Details: Madhup Johri, Assistant Director, IPM Meerut
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