Stress Essay

1368 words - 5 pages

1/ Definition of “Stress� :

Stress is an individual’s adaptive response to a situation that is perceived as challenging or threatening to the person’s wellbeing. (1)

There are two kinds of stress dimensions which are psychological and physiological one. In psychological aspect, people perceive a situation and interpret it as challenging or threatening or both and then this cognitive appraisal leads to physiological responses.

Distress: the degree of physiological, psychological and behavioural deviation from healthy functioning. (2)

General adaptation syndrome: a model of the stress experience, consisting of three stages : alarm reaction, resistance and exhaustion which helps people to cope with environmental demands by providing an automatic defence system.
•     Alarm reaction : biochemical reactions occuring leads to physiological responses of the human body in order to alert the person to the threatening or challenging environment conditions.
•     Resistance : the body resists the environment demands in an above normal state level due to various biochemical, psycological and behavioural mechanisms activated at previous stage.
•     Exhaustion : excess a limited resistance capacity of a person leads to exhaustion stage due to body operating overload on previous stage.

2/ Stressors: the causes of stress, including any environmental conditions that place a physical or emotional demand on a person. (3)

•     Physical environment stressor: found in physical working environment such as : excessive noise, poor lighting, safety hazards…
•     Role-related stressor: includes conditions where employees have difficulty understanding, reconciling or performing the various roles in their lives. (4)
o     Role conflict : occurs when people face competing demands.
o     Role ambiguity : uncertainty about job duties, performance expectation, level of authority …
o     Workload : receiving too little work or having tasks that do not sufficiently use employee’s ability.
o     Task control : lack control over how and when performing tasks and the pace of work activity.
•     Interpersonal stressors: includes ineffective supervision, office politics and other conflicts when working with people. (5)
o     Workplace violence: employees who experience violence usually have symptoms of severe distress after the traumatic event.
o     Workplace bullying: offensive, intimidating or humiliating behaviour that degrades, ridicules or insults another person at work. How to prevent ? Firstly, set expectations regarding acceptable workplace behaviour. Secondly, base on past behaviour/incident. Lastly, companies should have a grievance, mediation...

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