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Understanding Stress
Management and Work
By Grace Abban - Ampiah

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the lecture: students will be

able to know that understanding the

nature and causes of stress is key
element in creating a work environment
that meets the needs of both the
organization and employees.
Identify and develop practical

techniques to manage and prevent

stress at work place.

Stress is a fact of life, wherever you are and

whatever you are doing. You cannot avoid
stress, but you can learn to manage it, so it
doesnt manage you.

Lesson Structure
What is stress?
What are stressors?
Classification of stress
Significance of studying stress
Causes of work-related stress (Work

Symptoms of stress
Stress outcomes
Personality and Stress
Stress moderators (Stress prevention and

What is Stress?
Psychologists, define stress as a strain

experienced by an individual over a period of

time which impairs the ability of the individual to
perform his or her role.
Stress refers to the way individuals reacts

physically or mentally to changes, events and

situations in their lives.
Stress occurs when an individual feels that they

are working outside his/her comfort zone.

(Mullins, 2005)

What are stressors?

These are physical (Physiological) or

psychological (emotional) events or

situations that put pressure or demands on
an Individual.

Classification of stress
Stress can be classified into two main groups
Psychological stress: which manifests itself
in individual feelings through emotional stress.
E.g. anxiety, excessive worry and depression
Physiological Stress: manifest itself in pain or

physical discomfort associated with human


E.g. abnormal blood pressure or heartbeat

detected in an individual.

Psychological Stress

Physiological Stress

Significance of understanding and

managing Stress in the organization
To prevent health issues such as increased

heart rate, sweating as a result of increased

blood sugar, high blood pressure
Improve employee attitude at the work place
Less absenteeism
Improved job performance
Improve self-esteemed
Decreased use of medications.

Discuss among yourself causes of stress

and describe ways it can be prevented or


Causes of Work-related
Stress(Work Stressors)
Work overload: Individuals are at a risk if

they are unable to relate with work task set

for them by their superiors.

Excess demands of work: some jobs

takes so much out of the employee that

makes them exhausted.

Interpersonal Conflicts: Personal and

emotional conflicts with colleagues at the

work place can lead to stress.

Causes of Work-related
Boredom: Lack of interest of work,

retirement, and unemployment, can lead to

depression and stress.

Poor communication: Lack of effective

communication at work can lead to feelings of

isolation and frustration resulting to stress.

Work Role Issues: When a person does not

know his/her roles or responsibilities at work

can easily lead to stress.

Symptoms of Stress
1. Headaches

2. Muscular tension

4. Hypertension
5. Heart problems
6. Lack of concentration
7. Sweating palms/shaking hands
8. Harsh treatment of others
9. Increased smoking
10. Disruptive eating (overeating or under

Other causes of Stress

Personal circumstances: Conditions

outside the work place e.g. divorce,

Financial problems can influence the

performance or a person at work place.

Lack of Sleep
Anxiety (nervousness)

Stress Outcomes (Effects of

Stress on Individuals)

Personality and Stress

Personality Type A

Personality Type B

Type A set

Type B are more

themselves exact
and high personal
goals and strive hard
to achieve so they
are more prone to
(E.g. they are
impatient, inflexible,

relaxed, flexible and

adaptable not over
ambitious but they
achieve their goals
through proper use
of their talents so
less likely to suffer

Locus of Control
Internal Locus of

External Locus of

Internals control

Externals believe

their own
behaviour or
destiny. They more
likely to get
stressed out easily
because they feel
in control of what
happens to them

that their behaviour

is controlled by luck,
chance, others
efforts so they feel
less in control. They
are prone to simple
anxiety reduction
strategies that only
pertain in the short

Stress Moderators/Stress
Prevention Management
Personal Level
Seek for social support Conversation

with people at the work place.

Recreation: Having a lot of time for

oneself to have fun.

Time management: Planning and

prioritizing ones schedule can help reduce

stress. E.g. Make a To-do-list daily to help
reduce stress.

Stress Moderators/Stress
Prevention and Management
Share your problems: Always share

problems when the need arises with friends

and colleagues, seek for advice and opinion
of your Superiors.
Live a healthy lifestyle: Develop the

habit of eating well, exercise regularly,

sleep more (7-8hours). Relax anytime you
are stressed out.

Stress Moderators/Stress
Prevention and Management
Relax and Exercise: Relaxing by reading
interesting books, meditation, and doing
exercises helps to control stress.
Adapt to change: Do not let work control

your life. Do other things that will help you

become refreshed and creative. All work
and no play.makes an individual become

Stress Moderators/Stress
Management Organizational
Managers should provide training for all

staff in time management and

Adopt regular open communication so that

employees get the opportunities to discuss

problems and worries bothering them at
the work place.
Ensure that there are adequate resources

available to enable employees to perform

their job effectively without any
unreasonable pressure from deadlines.

Stress Moderators/Stress
Management Organizational
Develop an effective feedback system to

ensure that problems of workloads and

deadlines are identified quickly.
Create a serene working environment to

help reduce managerial stress. E.g.

Managers should motivate employees
through providing them with certificates,
appreciation, career development

Group discussion.
Why is the incidence of stress

increasing in modern working life?

In your opinion, does stress increase as

you ascend the managerial hierarchy?

Do not let work take over your life.
Work hard, but play hard as well in
order to reduce stress!