If there is a problem that one can identify with in this century it is stress, the world of today is constantly bombarded with information about job stress, relationship and family stress, and environmental stress. Managing stress can seem like a full time occupation if we are going to remain healthy in this century.

What Is Stress?

Stress can be defined in many ways, and it consists of various causes, symptoms, and treatment. Stressors sources of stress can come from work, school, family, financial issues, and major life changes. The associated health risk risks can affect the body’s cardiovascular nervous, digestive, and immune system, and stress is a common underlying factor associated with diseases, including hypertension, cancer, and obesity. Stress can come from a variety of sources and can last for as little as a day to as long as several years.

An individual experience of stress consists of a stimulus or stressor and the response to that stressor. A little stress adds interest and stimulation to our lives. When stress turns out into distress; however, the body begins to give us signals of stress overload. Stress causes our heart rate to increase, blood pressure to rise, and the secretion of adrenaline to increase. Breathing may become irregular or shallow and muscles tension increases. Individual under stress for prolonged periods of time prevent their bodies from resting and recuperating, and symptoms of stress overload begin to appear (Hartney 2006).

Types of stress

Societal Stress

This is stress that is visible in society as whole, manifesting itself with a decline in general behavior. This can be measured by the unemployment statistics in an area, unexpected changes in crime statistics, and educational results in schools of an area and unexpected changes in crime statistics.

Personal Stress

These cause individuals to suffer where they lack both control and capability to operate on a reasonable level. This can be measured by the change in the eating pattern, constant headaches, backaches, cramps and a rise of alcohol and drug consumption.

Organizational Stress

Job stress can be termed as the destructive physical and emotional reaction that transpires when the prerequisite of the job does not contest the capacity, capacity, or needs of the employee. Job stresses can lead to poor health (mental and physical) and even injury. Work places environment that may lead to stress include managing style, work roles, interpersonal relationships and the task

Symptoms of Stress Generally Fall Into One of Three Categories

Physical Symptoms, Emotional Symptoms, and Behavioral Symptoms

Physical symptoms, which are, a manifestation, of stress may include tension headaches, backaches, ulcers or high blood pressure. Emotional reactions to prolonged stress include irritability, mood swings, depression, and anxiety.

Behavioral symptoms include changes in appetite, changes in sleep pattern, increases in alcohol or tobacco consumption, and impulsive gambling or shopping. The causes of stress are multiple. One of the most common causes of stress is any adjustment required in life, regardless of whether that adjustment is related to a positive or negative event. Marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, job promotion and a change of residence are all examples of such adjustment, and each is stressful. Relationships also cause stress. The most significant cause of stress, however, is always the personal interpretation we place on an event or situation. The cost of stress impacts on the individual, the family, business, and society.

Statistics indicate that stress likely causes or exaggerates 50-80 percent of all physical illness. Such stress-related illnesses affect sky rocketing health cost and impact on personal income. For business, the stress of employees’ causes lost income, due to lowered job productivity, increased absenteeism, and loss of employees. Families suffer when stress leads to irritability and frustration in dealing with family members.

Burnout is a term frequently used in conjunction with the job stress. Burn out refers to a progressive condition marked by emotional exhaustion, Lack of senses of personal fulfillment and reduced job satisfaction and motivation. Persons who work under a strict management are particularly at risk of burnout because of the emotional drain of interacting with personal characteristics such as perfectionism, extreme competitiveness or a tendency toward overachievement also contribute to raising the risk of burnout. Burnout Symptoms are similar to generalized stress symptoms. Symptoms of job burnout include frustrations low tolerance, a callous attitude toward people, reduced job efficiency, chronic fatigue, tension, and reduced self esteem.

Stress Management

What can be done to protect oneself from the effects of stress? Although stress can’t always be avoided, learning how to manage can reduce the risks of developing adverse health effects. The things that you may find are stressing you may not as be as big as you think to another individual. The first successful way one can manage stress is to be in tune with your body, figure out first what is causing your stress, and find the best way to manage your stress

Positive management techniques include mediation, deep breathing, muscles relaxation, health eating, and exercise, having a social support system and getting enough sleep. However, the methods that can be used to assist one person to overcome stress are not the same methods that can be used in someone else. Basic lifestyle changes involving diet, exercise and relaxation. This can increase the ability to combat stress.

A regular physician approved exercise program and good nutrition are two of the simplest and most effective techniques for managing stress. Setting realistic goals that can be accomplished provides a sense of fulfillment and personal success, which in turn reduces stress. Relaxation techniques and informal methods of relaxation such as reading, listening to music are also useful stress management strategies. Forming a support system of caring individuals, taking short breaks on a daily basis from stressful conditions at work, finding a special project in which one can invest his or her time in, and learning to delegate workloads can reduce job stress and the risk of burnout.

The most powerful technique for managing any stressful situation is to learn the techniques of positive self-talk. Re-interpreting a situation as a challenge, rather than stressful to threatening, may be all it takes to reduce the level of stress. We can convince ourselves that we are in control and relaxed. This is called positive self reinforcement. It helps to keep the level of tension manageable can also serve as useful stress reduction strategy. However, negative self-talk leads to increased stress, depression, fearfulness and ability to cope and inability to cope. Talking to one self in positively increases one self esteem, bolsters self confidence, and brings the situation back to a realistic level will create within the individual (Sutton 2000).

Conclusion

Remember, the harmful effects of stress are caused not only by how much stress we are under, but also by how we interpret and appraise that stress. A moderate amount of stress, particularly positive stress is healthy and stimulating. There are two aspects of dealing effectively with stress: dealing with the cause and dealing with the symptoms. It is important not to overwhelm ourselves by trying to change too much at once. One has to start with some basic approaches to dealing with the symptoms of stress .and then move on to addressing the cause. It is often better to deal with the symptoms of stress first as this makes us feel healthier, more energetic and more empowered.

Summary

Stress is a term from the field of physics, meaning physical force or tension placed in an object. This also applies to a human being when our bodies and mind are subjected to issues or work load that it is not able to handle this leads to tension and this result to stress. Stress can manifest it symptoms in three ways physical, emotional and behavioral where in physical one experience headaches, high blood pressure, behavioral change in sleep and eating patterns and emotional ‘symptoms is in the form of anxiety and depression.

The advancement of technology, which promised more leisure time, has actually increased the pace of life so that many people feel stressed to keep up this pace. Lifestyle change coupled with new technology conveniences has been associated with several diseases that have been associated with stress like high blood pressure, heart diseases. Stress can appear any time in our lives, but most likely stress has been known to affect people aged between 16- 25 as it is at this time that one assumes more responsibility for one’s lifestyle behavior. But with new approaches having been implemented techniques for stress management have proven to promote good health with a good diet physical exercise and positive thinking