The media presents us with tragedies and disasters from around the world. The world of terrorism is brought to our lounge rooms. Financial pressures brought about through rising interest rates and drought, climate change and the competitiveness of careers and employment all add to the pressures of living In today’s world and stress levels. Beth McHugh In her article Anxiety: The New Plague of the Millennium states: “Stress and anxiety have overtaken the contagious disease that once plagued our grandparents ND are regarded as the new epidemics of the 21st century.
The Stress Myth 1999-2000 pig 79) Another deflation of stress (mainly attributed to Richard S Lazarus) Is that “stress Is a indention or a feeling that Is experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobiles (Beth McHugh Anxiety: The new plague of the millennium 2007 http;//mental health. Families. Com/bldg/trackball/11412). The “demand” can be a threat, a challenge or any kind of change which causes the body to adapt. The response is automatic and immediate.
Stress can be good or bad Stutters or good stress Is when it helps us perform better and Distress or bad stress is when it causes upset or distress. According to Robert Steersman a professor of psychology at Fairfield Dickinson university “No one reaches peak performance without an athlete, an office worker or manager”. He goes on to say that In normal events the pattern of human behavior to stress when experiencing a stressful event is to react to it with increased tension and then return to normal relaxed state.
The problem occurs when the stress is constant or overwhelming and this pattern is broken. (Rebecca Macon: Stress in the workplace: A costly Epidemic. ) Stress is common to everyone. Our bodies are designed to feel stress and react to it. It keeps us alert and ready to avoid danger. It is not always possible to avoid of change events that cause us stress. When a person feels trapped or unable occur and stress takes over then this can affect behavior. Changes in behavior can include Inability to sleep, aggressiveness withdrawal a dependence on drugs or alcohol.
Literature suggests that personality may Influence how people react to stress and determine their behavior. The theory of Type A and Type B Personality divides people Into 2 personality types wanly determines Dangerous. Type A personalities are highly driven, competitive, impatient and aggressive. (Theories and Powell 1992). These personalities are driven by ambition, curiosity; creativity and adventure find themselves in countless situations of stress resulting from over commitment, excitement, frustration and fatigue.
These personality types eat walk and talk rapidly, are devoted to work, are highly competitive, struggle to perform several tasks at once, have a strong sense of urgency interrupts others and loses their temper easily. Type A personality find it difficult to delegate authority and often because of this increase their own workloads. And may in fact create stress for themselves through their behavior. In the late sass Friedman and Roseanne (1959) identified a major link between Type A personality through their research into Type A personality Friedman and Roseanne (1959) identified a link between stress and health.
This personality was found to be a more likely to suffer heart disease. They determined that the factors that caused the link between the personality and health are mainly anger, hostility, and a socially dominant personality style. They determined that when negative emotions like anger are chronic it is as if the body is in constant flight or fight. This personality type is more inclined to greater sections to stress hence having a bigger impact on them and their personality. Type B personalities in contrast relax more readily and focus more on the quality of life.
These personality types tend to be less ambitious and pace themselves. They are not more resistant to stress they simply don’t go looking for it. While these personality types still experience stress this may lessen impact on their behavior in relation to stress How people behave when dealing with stress usually is in response to how they cope with the stresses. A definition of coping in Psychology in Modern life (pig 86) is “coping Refers to active efforts to master, reduce or tolerate the demands created by stress”.
How a person copes with stress can help determine whether the stress faced is a positive or negative experience. Mild stress may cause changes that are useful. For example, stress can actually improve our attention and increase our capacity to store and integrate important and life-protecting information. But if stress is prolonged or chronic, those changes can become harmful Occupational Stress has been defined as a global epidemic by the United Nations International Labor Organization. Rebecca Macon: Stress in the Workplace a costly Epidemic. 999. ) Occupational Stress is not directly related to what happens at work. Balancing increasing work demands and family life is the source of conflict and stress. Downsizing in companies, increasing workloads and changes with the work environment are the major causes of stress in the workplace. People are working longer hours and spending less time with family and friends. For many any social life is tied to work. Workplace stress can be displayed in absenteeism, accidents or injury, poor work performance.
Changes in attitude and mood, Conflict with others, Becoming withdrawn and lack of interest in work/life in general. Joel Harmon, escalate protestor AT management Ana canal AT ten management, marketing, information systems and sciences department on the Floral-Madison Campus, says, “The greatest reported cause of stress is workload. .(Rebecca Macon: Stress in the Workplace a costly Epidemic. 1999. ) The physical effects of excessive stress have long been recognized from heart attacks and strokes to ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Continual stress also takes a toll on the body’s immune system, causing frequent colds and other illnesses. Psychologically, stress can lead to depression, anxiety and even panic attacks. Specifically, the stress produced by aggression in the workplace has “been associated with physical and psychological distress, resulting in decreased productivity, commitment and loyalty,” says Harmon. Also, victims of or witnesses to violence in the workplace may suffer from a range of trauma-related illness including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sixty percent of lost workdays each year can be attributed to stress. In addition, an estimated 75 to 90 percent of visits to health care providers are due to stress-related conditions, costing employers in increased health care costs. A list of physical and psychological warning signs of stress exhaustion appears on this page. Stress also can have a direct effect on the way people handle their Jobs. Employees under stress may make more mistakes, have trouble concentrating, become disorganized, become angry or Just stop caring about their work.
The Wall Street Journal reported that one third of people surveyed considered quitting their Jobs because of stress and 14 percent actually did. .(Rebecca Macon: Stress in the Workplace a costly Epidemic. 1999. ) Chronic stress can lead to drug abuse. Stress also increases the production of a hormone in the body known as corporation releasing factor (CAR). CAR is found throughout the brain and initiates our biological response to stresses. During all negative experiences, certain regions of the brain show increased levels of CAR.
Interestingly, almost all drugs of abuse have also been found to increase CAR levels, which suggests a neurological connection between stress and drug abuse (Stress Anxiety and Depression Resources Centre: Stress and Substance Abuse: 2006) Environmental situations can also cause stress and impact on groups of people. Ambient Stress consists of chronic environmental conditions that although not urgent, are negatively valued and that place adaptive demands on people’ (Taken from Psychology Applied Science to Modern Life.
Whiten: Lloyd: Dunn; Hammer). Environmental factors such as noise, traffic and pollution can affect mental and physical health. Studies of children living near Munich international airport and those living in quieter areas (Evans, Hog & Bulling 1995: Evans, Hog & Bulling 2002) have found elevated stress hormones, reading and memory deficits and poor task persistence in those living near the airport. Psychology Applied Science to Modern Life. Page. Whiten: Lloyd: Dunn; Hammer).
Research into the effects of residential density has suggested that generally there is a link between high density living and increased psychological arousal, distress and social withdrawal. (Evans 2001 : Evans, Leper & Schroeder 1996) (Psychology Applied Science to Modern Life. Page. Whiten: Lloyd: Dunn; Hammer). Toner studies nave snow a link Detente Demurral problems, anxiety, oppression and violence and anger among urban youth and exposure to community violence as either a victim or witness. Foster, Supermen & Price 2004: Thompson & Mammas 205: Psychology Applied Science to Modern Life.
Page. Whiten: Lloyd: Dunn; Hammer) While stress may be usually associated with personal experiences global and environment disasters and stresses can impact on behavior. While the stress of the event may have subsided many of the behaviors remain. Global warming and climate change is a current topic of interests and the stress of the consequences if something is not done affects many of the world’s population. This has resulted in people changing behavior to reduce green house emissions. Another more traumatic event that has had an impact on behavior.
When the World Trade Centre was attacked it had a bigger impact than the grief and horror of the event. Some people today still prefer to stay home instead of traveling. People of Islamic descent are still treated with mistrust and looked upon as “terrorists” by many and are often the subject of violent attacks and racialism which are directly related to the World Trade Centre. Behavior has changed in relation to travel where security is paramount to allay concerns and fears for safety. While many of the effects of stress may be negative stress can in fact have a positive effect on individuals and their behavior.
Stressful events can develop new skills; help people develop insight and personal changes. Overcoming stress can allow improvements in coping strategies and lead to improved self esteem and personal growth. Stress can also provide the stimulation and challenge to achieve goals. Such as career advancement and giving us the courage to try new experiences. Dealing with one stressful today may help them deal with future stress and promote resilience, Roth and provide stimulation and challenge to prevent boredom. Everyone will deal with stress at some time in their life.
Statistics taken from the Satellite Corporation website Depression Perception states that 75% of the American Population experiences at least some stress every two weeks. Half of those experience moderate or high levels of stress during the same two week period. While everyone may have an individual reaction to stress that may be influenced by your personality, culture, environment or work situation it will have some impact on your behavior. This impact may result in how you interact with others, on your hysterical health or if not faced and dealt with can lead on to longer term problems such as drug abuse, anxiety disorders or health problems.