What is stress
Stress can be defined as a strain. A strain on someone’s body or mind, caused by an environmental stressor. A stressor being something in our environment that causes the strain.
We all experience stress in our lives. Whether we are an athlete, a performing artist, a stay-home mom, an entry-level or mid-management employee, a self-employed or the CEO of a large corporation, we all have to deal with stress. The reason is that our modern lifestyles just generate a lot of stress. To name a few stressors: family responsibilities, deadlines, commuting, workload, job security, relationships, etc.
Let’s be honest, Stress can be a good thing. There is good stress and bad stress. An example of good stress would be the stress that increases motivation, pushes to efforts towards achieving a goal. We see that in sports, in athletes preparing for events; in student studying for an exam; or, in the workplace, employees involved in timely scheduling of appointments or meetings, in preparing presentations, compiling documentation etc. In these examples, the stressor of the approaching deadline and the strong desire to succeed, might increase the drive and energy of the person involved toward achieving/delivering. The stress in our organism is then the response to the environmental stressor (i.e the meeting, the competition, the document to submit, etc.). It’s good stress.
It is the long exposure to stress, however, that becomes harmful to our body and needs to be addressed. If left unchecked, stress can become very harmful to our body systems, as we become over-stressed.
Some Consequences of Stress
Some consequences of stress may be observed at the individual level as well as at the corporate level.
At the individual level — The over-stressed person may experience:
- Bad mood
- Weight issues
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Onset of heart disease
- Mental & physical fatigue
to name a few.
At the corporate level: — companies may be faced with:
- Lack of motivation
- Less productivity in working employees
- Higher turnover
- More sick days paid
- Higher insurance premiums
- Weak team-building mentality; strained employee relationships
- Decreased energy and vitality in the workplace
- Lack of positivity; negative attitude; lack of synergy in the staff,
That is why stress reduction becomes important, as well as the need to develop a plan to achieve it. Individuals as well as companies should put in place mechanisms that help them to respond daily to the stressors and lower their levels of stress.
Coping with stress
Let’s see how people cope with stress at an individual level, and at the corporate level.
(to be continued…..)