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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

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 body.

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 Stress
Boredom: Lack of interest of work, retirement,
and unemployment, can lead to depression and

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
3. Fatigue
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 relaxed, flexible
and high personal and adaptable not
goals and strive hard over ambitious but
to achieve so they are they achieve their
more prone to stress.
goals through
(E.g. they are impatient, proper use of their
talents so less likely
to suffer stress
Locus of Control
Internal Locus of External Locus of
Control control
Internals control Externals believe
their own behaviour that their behaviour
or destiny. They is controlled by
more likely to get luck, chance, others
stressed out easily efforts so they feel
because they feel in less in control. They
control of what are prone to simple
happens to them 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 Moderators/Stress
Prevention and Management Contd
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
Stress Moderators/Stress
Prevention and Management Contd
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 Level
Managers should provide training for all
staff in time management and delegation.

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 Level
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
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!