Stress Management Workshop
Similar yet not the same
Identical situations can arouse the most distinctive of reactions in different human beings; even if of a similar background, age, ethnicity and work profile. While external conditions seem similar, inner coping abilities of all individuals differ. Each one’s adaptability and self-efficacy measures determine their perception of life events as stressful or normative.
Some individuals see a specific situation as a threat, whereas other individuals may see the same situation as a challenge or opportunity. The appraisal is truly dependent upon the perception of physical demands, task demands, role demands and interpersonal demands that the situation infringes on that person. People usually ask themselves: ‘Am I capable of handling this?’ An honest answer to themselves determines their reaction. If they view it positively, they face the situation with optimism and see it as an opportunity; if viewed as a threat, danger or blow to self-esteem, they perceive stress.
Positive and negative stress
A certain amount of stress is crucial for optimizing performance. To assure good mental and physical health; it is important to occasionally push ones capacities: exercise some more, do yoga and attain greater flexibility or be highly concerned about an upcoming interview and repeatedly practice for it. This can be viewed as constructive stress, which compels us to act with our prime performance, thus assuring that we achieve our goals. However the opposite of this is distress which refers to the unhealthy, negative, destructive outcomes of stressful events that impact humans negatively.
Stress at work
Stress is a normative reaction to change. Change tends to disrupt the status quo. In the fast moving world today, work is just one of the many stressors that each one must endure. Many extra-organizational factors contribute to an individual’s experience of stress. It may be an illness in the family, a pending divorce, housing conditions, the general economy; children’s schooling, terror attacks in the world, natural calamities and so many more. Nonetheless according to recent studies, work related stress is one of the leading causes of emotional turmoil among people. Most people spend half of their life at work (average 10 to 12 hours of a given day if not more). Thus work related stress is a matter of escalating concern.
MINDFRAMES: Reframing stress
Stress is unavoidable, but the degree of stress endured can be modified by changing the environment or by changing the individual’s coping mechanisms. We target stress management at a narrow set of individual-level interventions (e.g., education, relaxation training, biofeedback, meditation) and at broader organizational level stress interventions. Organizations need to learn that the cost of putting out the fir is a lot more than building resilience to prevent it. Resilient employees have greater productivity and impact their organization with their exemplary performance.