Posted: September 4th, 2013
Stress in management
Stress is the response of the body due to events of threat or being upset. They are caused by many circumstances, depending on the environment of an individual. This is because most managers have different working environment. Some are more engaging than others are therefore, managers will be affected differently. Stress caused by management issues should be addressed immediately it is detected. It affects the victim’s performance so there is need to take control measures. It is important to understand stress in general for it to be controlled. Major elements are causes of stress, symptoms and how to reduce it.
Causes of stress
“Work place is another major source of stress to the management as well as employees” (Pettinger, 34). They may be stressed by the workload or other factors. For instance, a manager may be stressed by the environment of the workplace. He or she does not get along with other employees. Some managers are discriminated openly and this could be reason for stress to them. Managers can be stressed by the operations of the workplace. This might be insubordination of other employees. It will be stressful to the managers if they are not respected by their employees.
Financial problems are a reason of stress in management. Managers are stressed if they cannot raise enough funds to maintain a business entity. “Managers are mostly affected because they are burdened by all the company’s responsibilities” (Olpin & Hesson, 52). Business people may be stressed by the poor economic times of a country. If the business is not thriving, it will experience financial problems. A business experiencing a threat of collapsing due to lack of funds, will stress the owner. People plan to do something significant or buy an item. For example, a student may decide to further education. He or she might be stressed if there are no funds for fees.
Modern lifestyle is full of many activities, which occupy almost a person’s whole day. Managers who are too busy to rest or have leisure are likely to have stress. Their minds will be overworked by their busy schedule in the work place. In western parts like America, managers get busy and some times, they have to multi task. They could be students as well as parents. Such people hardly get time for relaxation and end up being stressed. Some even develop other mental illnesses, which need medical intervention.
Any management personnel can experience cognitive dissonance. “This is having two ideas simultaneously, which are conflicting” (Pettinger, 75) Dissonance increases if the conflicting ideas are strong and their significance to the individual. Stress is caused when the person cannot solve the conflict of his or her thoughts. For example, some decisions are difficult to make, especially if they involve risk. Managers can be stressed if they are in such a situation. It becomes worse if they are being pressured by their superiors like the board of governors.
Social life can bring stress to a manager. Family issues like children and other problems is a cause of stress. Managers tend let such issues affect their productivity at the workplace. They become quick-tempered and they could even event anger on an innocent employee. Such managers will make mistakes often because they are distracted. There are reported cases where managers go to work when they are drunk. “Several of them have lost their jobs because no one understands the reason of their sudden change” (Gregson, 37).
Difficulties in relationships are sources of stress to a very large number of people. Some managers might be having problems with their partners. They could originate from disagreements between a couple or externally. “In a relationship characterized with violence selfishness and other forms of abuse, the victim will suffer stress” (Zalaquett & Wood, 9). Most of such relationships end if the abusive partner does not change. The managers affected will be stressed, especially if they do not have a practical solution. This stress will affect the manager’s performance at his or her workplace.
Other stressors include daily experiences like have expectations and they fail. A student may have worked hard to pass exams but he fails. This might stress him because he had expectations. Low self-esteem hinders people from fully expressing themselves. It stresses them if they do not know how to uplift their self-esteem. “Perfectionists are prone to stress due to their personality. They always want things to be done to their standards. If this does not happen, they become stressed” (Zalaquett & Wood, 88).
For instance, a perfectionist manager may be stressed if the employees do not achieve the target.
Signs and symptoms
Harmful levels of stress will exhibit signs and symptoms. They are can be cognitive, emotional, physical or behavioral. Cognitive symptoms include memory problems where the victim cannot remember recent events. Such people are unable to concentrate in what they are doing. This is why stressed students perform poorly. Stressed employees perform poorly in their workplace because they are unable to concentrate. Victims of stress make poor judgment since they are always pessimistic. They are always anxious with many thoughts in their minds. This makes them worry all the time.
Some of the emotional symptoms are being moody. Stressed people are dull and unhappy most of the time. They easily get angry and irritable and it is the reason why they are dull and unhappy. When an individual is unable to relax and is always agitated it could be a sign of stress. He or she frequently feels overwhelmed as well as lonely and isolated. Stressed people feel everyone has abandoned them and they withdraw themselves from the other people. Depression goes hand in hand with stress. People who have stress also get depression.
Physical symptoms are aches and pains. Stress victims always complain about headaches, stomach pains and other minor pains. They may experience diarrhea and constipation severally. “Their heartbeat is fast and they get palpitations. This is because the body tries to keep up with the pace of the body activities” (Gordon, 100). Some complain of chest pains especially below the diaphragm. People suffering from stress have low libido because the brain activities have slowed down. Men experience low production of testosterone hormone. Flu and colds is also common during stress.
Behavioral symptoms are having loss of appetite or excessive appetite. Some people will have an over appetite whereas others experience lack of appetite. The same case applies to sleeping. Some will sleep too much while others become sleepless and uneasy. Sleeplessness is mainly to those who have a major issue bothering them and they cannot find a solution. People who oversleep might not be aware they are suffering from stress, until they are diagnosed by a doctor. Victims of stress tend to neglect their responsibilities or postpone things, which should be done. “Another common indication of stress is using drugs like alcohol and smoking. People believe they help in relieving stress” (Gregson, 98). Strange habits may be observed like biting nails or pacing.
Other visible symptoms are weight loss. This mostly affects those who lack appetite. Since they do not eat well, they lose weight abruptly. Those who become stressed due to busy schedules, experience fatigue. They will feel tired even when they are not busy. When there are palpitations, breathing might be affected. Such patients will have breathing problems like breathing shallowly. Nausea can be experienced as well as dizziness. For women their Pre Menstrual Syndrome becomes more pronounced than normal. They could experience fever, painful abdominal cramps and other symptoms.
Patients of stress can cry with no specific reason. They tend to be passive and they do not want to be active. This is why they neglect responsibilities and postpone duties. Passiveness also makes them become less hygienic. They could even skip bathing and their rooms or houses remain untidy. They have problems in managing their time. They are always late in doing something. Such students will be late for school and they will not do assignment. Stressed people have a tendency of walking fast or talking fast. Their eye contact becomes poor because they cannot concentrate.
Busy schedule is a common stressor to many people. Such people should learn to manage their time and plan effectively. This will enable them to balance their schedule with relaxation time. “Some tasks or duties might be unnecessary yet people waste time on them unknowingly” (Olpin & Hesson, 112). They can get rid of them and replace them with relaxation activities. These tasks should be organized in a manner of priority. “It is advisable to do the unpleasant tasks first and then do the pleasant ones” (Olpin & Hesson, 112). This is because the unpleasant ones may cause stress. After doing the pleasant ones, it might help a person to relax.
People should adopt healthy lifestyles to avoid stress. Most of the people who feed unhealthily are those with busy schedules. They do not have time to cook good food so they rush for fast foods. Others are using alcohol and abusing other drugs because they are stressed. Such people should adopt a healthy diet and engage in other health habits. Drug abuse and alcoholism are not solutions to stress. They only intoxicate the users for a while and they are back to reality. Stressed people can seek nutritional advice from experts or other reliable sources like books.
Exercise is an important remedy of stress. In fact, “Even those who are not stress patient should always exercise to maintain their health” (Gordon, 121). Exercise can be done in many ways like doing sporting activities. People should choose what they enjoy doing. Some like hiking, others gymnasium aerobics while others play sports games. Exercise should be daily or as often as possible. It is important to liaise with a doctor the best exercise methods if an individual has health issues. For example, a hypotension patient cannot do vigorous exercise.
Resting is another important remedy of stress. People must sleep adequately for the body to get enough rest. “An adult should sleep a minimum of eight hours everyday” (Gordon, 121). Children should have different number of hours depending on their sleeping pattern. Enough rest and sleep will enable the body to resist any kind of stress an individual experiences. Rest enables the mind to rejuvenate energy and prepare to function well the following day. Children develop in their sleep; therefore, they should be allowed to sleep as often as possible.
Parents should divide responsibilities equally. Some people end up being stressed because they have too many family responsibilities. If the people share burdens, they will be easy to handle and parents will relax more. The victimized parent is the mother who has to work and run domestic errands too. She also has to attend to the children and ensure they are comfortable. Father can help with some of the house chores or look after the children while mother is doing other duties. The children can also be shown how to do some simple chores.
It is important to be honest about a person’s capabilities. This mainly applies in the work place. Some employees take too much workload because they want to please their bosses and get promotions. Such employees end up being stressed because they are handling more than they can. In some cases, employees are forced to overloaded otherwise they will look incompetent and lose their jobs. It is important for employees to be clear about their capabilities. Many employers will understand and reduce the workload if employees express themselves.
Stress caused by cognitive dissonance can be solved by seeking help with the conflicting issues. An individual does not have to suffer stress because he is unable to make a decision or solve an internal conflict. “A person can seek help from friends, mentors and other reliable sources” (Olpin & Hesson, 124). Different opinions and analysis from people will help a person broaden his or her thoughts. By doing this, he or she will easily find a solution. It is advisable to avoid conflicts with other people or unnecessary conflicts. It contributes to reducing stress since one will be at peace with other.
Stress can be reduced with the help of a doctor. In severe cases, it may not be effective to use only non-medication treatment. The doctor will prescribe drugs, which will help to reduce stress. This medication should be accompanied with sessions of guidance and counseling. “Family members should support the member suffering from stress” (Gregson, 152) Friends should also care for those who are stress patients. This kind of support and attention helps patient to recover fast. Parents with stressed children should try to spend more time with them and understand their problems.
Stress is a major problem faced by many members of a management team. The many hardships and challenges in companies and other businesses make them succumb to stress. It is important for members of an organization to observe their managers and superiors. They should take note when they show symptoms of stress. Stress should be treated immediately it is diagnosed. Stress could lead to the development of other complication on the affected person. Healthy living and relaxing should be part of everyone’s lifestyle. Managers and their subjects should be in harmony to avoid stressful situations.
Gordon, James S. Stress Management. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1990. Print.
Gregson, Susan R. Stress Management. Mankato, Minn: Life Matters, 2000. Print.
Olpin, Michael, and Margie Hesson. Stress Management for Life: A Research-Based Experiential Approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Pettinger, Richard. Stress Management. Oxford: Capstone Pub, 2002. Print.
Zalaquett, Carlos P, and Richard J. Wood. Evaluating Stress: A Book of Resources. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 1900. Print.
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