Deal with Stress

The relationship between stress and disease is now well established, but was not always recognised. Hans Selye describes stress as the “nonspecific response of the body to any demand “. It is non-specific because, any number of stressors can produce the same general non-individualised response as a defence. Stress could be a combination of personal, professional / organizational and individual factors.

A few facts about stress:

1. Each individual has an optimal stress level

2. Maintaining high levels of can be harmful

All stress is not bad – Stress can be good or bad

Good stress can lead to glow-up and bad stress leads to burnout.

Consequences of good stress – Eustress

  1. Good concentration
  2. Plenty of energy
  3. Cheerful disposition
  4. Regular attendance
  5. High Achievement

Consequences of bad stress

  1. Poor concentration
  2. Low energy
  3. Not cheerful
  4. Irregular attendance
  5. Low achievement levels

Some amount of stress is necessary e.g. without stress players of football or cricket cannot bring out the best performance.

Reactions to stress

Hans Selye mentions the General adaptation syndrome which has 3 stages

1. Alarm reaction stage – This stage is associated with the flight or fight response.

2. Resistance stage – the individual undergoes chronic hormonal and neurological changes in order to adapt to stress. When the stressor is removed the body returns to normal.

If the resistance stage continues for too long of a period without pauses to offset the effects of stress, this can lead to the exhaustion stage. Signs of the resistance stage include: irritability, frustration, poor concentration

3. Exhaustion stage

This stage is the result of prolonged or chronic stress.. Signs of exhaustion include:

  1. fatigue
  2. burnout
  3. depression
  4. anxiety
  5. decreased stress tolerance

The physical effects of this stage also weaken your immune system and put you at risk for stress-related illnesses.

Coping techniques to reduce stress :

  1. Identify the stressors and try to develop techniques to overcome these stressors. Yoga is a good technique to learn.
  2. Get Social support – friends, relatives
  3. Start Physical activities including jogging, swimming, walking, etc.
  4. Try to get some Intellectual stimulation – attending conferences, seminars, writing / reading professional literature, etc.
  5. Entertainment – going to movies, eating out, etc.
  6. Pursue hobbies unrelated to work
  7. Develop positive outlook
  8. Develop a sense of humour
  9. Become assertive – e.g. Learn to say NO

Finally a point to remember

Tough times never last but Tough people do.

Published by Dr. Pramila Kudva

I am a teacher educator currently worrking as a Principal of a reputed school in North Mumbai, have more than 30 years of experience, with several publications to my credit and have authored a book -"From chalk to Talk The Art of Teaching.

Leave a Reply