Part II will outline the
remaining major sources of stress:
due to Change
and nutritional stresses
are a complex network of interactions. Each family is a system and hence each
interaction and each personality affects the entire system. If one person is
ill in your family, it is clear how that illness disrupts the everyday flow of
the system. Likewise, it affects the system when one member of the family is
angry or depressed. An alcoholic in the family disrupts the system and often
leads to the system trying to adapt to the family member. Sometimes that
adaptation creates difficulties as well.
family, like the human body, tries to compensate for an organ that is not
functioning up to par. Our entire body may be thrown out of alignment by an
injury to an arm or a leg, for example. Similarly, the family in an attempt to
compensate for one of its members, may be thrown out of alignment and become
dysfunctional. When this occurs it is time to seek professional help.
Psychologists and family therapists can help the family focus on the
communication styles that throw the family out of alignment.
primary relationship is often stressful. Two people, each with different
histories, different personalities, different needs, and different ways of
doing things are trying to live under the same roof and get along with each
other on a daily basis. That's a pretty tall order even under the best of
of the main difficulties that couples face revolves around expectations. Each
person in the relationship brings expectations -- a set of explicit
expectations, a set of implicit expectations, and a set of unrealistic
expectations. These expectations, when in conflict with the other person's
expectations, can create a great deal of conflict; and this conflict is
the course of a relationship, each partner may go through a series of
transitions, such as the death of a parent, the loss of a job, or physical
illness. The couple may go through transitions, such as relocation, the birth
of a child, or the change of a job. All of these changes have an impact on the
relationship and produce stress.
our environment may be a source of unpleasant or distracting stimuli causing
the stress. These can come from:
and invasion of personal space
working and living space
or untidy conditions
badly organised or run down environment
the food we eat may contribute to the stresses we experience. Examples of
stressors we may not be aware of are:
this raises our levels of stress hormones, makes it more difficult to
sleep, and can make us more irritable.
of sugar from sweets or chocolate: these can make us feel more energetic in the
short term. However our body reacts to stabilise abnormally high sugar
levels by releasing too much insulin. This causes a serious energy dip
shortly after the sugar high.
much salt:This raises our blood pressure and puts our body under chemical
well as these specific sources of stress, we may experience stress if we eat
an unbalanced or unhealthy diet. We may find that some dietary deficiency or
excess causes discomfort and illness which generates stress. If we are obese,
then this causes physical stress on our internal organs and emotional stress
as our view of ourself declines.
While there is a lot of
biased, dubious or incorrect dietary information around, we can normally rely
on nutritional advice from our doctor or from our government's health
The vast hormonal changes of
puberty are severe stressors. A person's body actually CHANGES shape, sexual
organs begin to function, new hormones are released in large quantities.
Puberty, as we all know, is very stressful.
Once a woman passes puberty,
her body is designed to function best in the presence of female hormones. For
women past puberty, a lack of female hormones is a major stress on the body.
Once a month, just prior to menstruation, a woman's hormone levels drop
sharply. In many women, the stress of sharply falling hormones is enough to
create a temporary OVERSTRESS. This temporary OVERSTRESS is popularly known as
Pre MenstrualSyndrome (PMS).
Following a pregnancy,
hormone levels CHANGE dramatically. After a normal childbirth, or a
miscarriage, some women may be thrown into OVERSTRESS by loss of the hormones
There is another time in a
woman's life when hormone levels decline. This is the menopause. The decline
in hormones during menopause is slow and steady. Nevertheless, this menopausal
decline causes enough stress on the body to produce OVERSTRESS in many women.
you have a difficult boss?
your talents under-used?
you constantly asked to put in overtime, particularly at the last minute?
you face role ambiguity, that is, you don't have a clear definition of
what's expected of you?
you face conflicting demands? If you have one of your bosses, and many
people do, sometimes to please one you have to displease the other.
you deal with excessive job requirements - tasks and assignments that
clearly exceed your ability or training?
you lack job security?
you have an inflexible work environment? Do you have to be in by 9 O'
clock on the button?
there a healthy career progression? Does hard work earn reward?
you have responsibility for the performance of others? Have you ever had
to fire someone?
the above questions will let you know how stressful your job is. Work is a
significant source of stress for many people. Conflicts on the job,
dissatisfaction with one's supervisor or with the job itself, insufficient
financial compensation, job insecurity, fear of changing a job for greater
advancement, feeling stifled in a quest for power, not feeling appreciated or
acknowledged, all produce significant stress. The degree of stress will vary
depending on the personality of the individual.
a comprehensive list of the stresses we experience from our job may include
much or too little work
to perform beyond our experience or perceived abilities
to overcome unnecessary obstacles
pressures and deadlines
up with new developments
in procedures and policies
of relevant information, support and advice
of clear objectives
expectations of our role from our boss or colleagues
for people, budgets or equipment
frustration and boredom with current role
of a clear plan for career development
of job security
from our organization or our clients:
from our boss or from above in our organization
in our work
to work plans
particularly unpleasant source of stress comes from what many authors call
Here we can get into a
vicious circle of stress, which causes us to hurry jobs and do them badly.
This under-performance causes feelings of frustration and failure, which
causes more stress, which causes more hurry and less success, and so on.
Stress-creating behavior can compound this, as can an inability to relax at
home or on holiday. If we do not manage long term stress effectively, it can
lead to long term fatigue, failure and one of the forms of physical or mental
Very often we can eliminate
this sort of overload by effective use of time management skills, particularly
by learning how to prioritize effectively. We can neutralize the associated
stress by effective use of stress management techniques.
strategies that we should adopt to manage stress depends on the source of that
stress. We will explain how to analyze this later.
For the time being from this list of causes, you can shortlist those which you
think are pertaining to you and organize them in there order of importance, so
that we can deal with them one at a time in your own priority sequence.
up: Symptoms of Stress