Term Paper: Stress Management

Pages: 3 (868 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Biology  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Based primarily on Walter Cannon's pioneering work, the "flight-or-fight" theory shows that when a human experiences a shock or threat, hormones are released to help the human survive by inducing, for instance, a burst of speed or a stronger fight back (Mind Tools, 1995-2005).

Thus, while the degree and nature of the response to stress may vary across individuals, the underlying cause is the release of excessive hormones. These hormones, in fact, explain why stress leads to an increased heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and focused concentration on the perceived threat or problem (Mind Tools, 1995-2005). Besides these stress reactions, Perrewe and Vickory have categorized stress effects into five areas. These are subjective (anxiety, fatigue); behavioral (alcoholism, restlessness); cognitive (forgetfulness, inability to make decisions); physiological (high blood pressure, breathing problems); and organizational (job dissatisfaction, absenteeism). In addition, extreme stress can lead to a condition called burnout, which is characterized by emotional exhaustion and negative life attitudes that include boredom, discontent, cynicism, inadequacy, and failure (Crampton et.al, 1995). It is evident from the stress effects just described that stress can adversely affect an individual's physiological and psychological ability to function effectively in life.

Therefore, it is critical that individuals learn to identify the cause of their stress and how to manage it so that its effect is neutralized. This can be achieved by developing three sets of skills: (1) Action-oriented skills, or the ability to confront problems by either changing the environment or situation; (2) Emotionally-oriented skills, which involves changing one's perception of and reaction to a problem; and (3) Acceptance-oriented skills, which involves simply surviving the stress in situations that cannot be changed (Mind Tools, 1995-2005). In addition, there are several stress management techniques to help reduce or neutralize daily stress. These include maintaining a stress diary, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation (Mind Tools, 1995-2005), physical fitness, proper nutrition, humor, time management, relaxation and recreation time, developing a social support network, and counseling (Crampton et.al, 1995).

There are very few situations in life that are totally devoid of stress. This implies that it is vital for individuals to identify and handle their stress in order to live a long, productive, and happy life. Indeed, as this paper has described, a failure to do so could lead to severe health problems and a great deal of mental anguish.


Crampton, S.M., Hodge, J.W., Mishra, J.M., & Price, S. (1995). Stress and Stress

Management. SAM Advanced Management Journal. Vol. 60:3, p. 10+.

Mind Tools. (1995-2005). Stress Management Techniques. Mind Tools Web site. Retrieved May 7, 2005: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_00.htm [END OF PREVIEW]

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