Stress Management and Relief

Stress – the automatic, physiological response to any situation evoking a physical, emotional or psychological response that mobilizes the body for quick action. Stress may arise from a one-time event or be a chronic, long-term condition.

Burn-out – the downward spiral produced by an accumulation of chronic, overwhelming stress, characterized by disillusionment, apathy, resignation and exhaustion of caring energies.

Stressors – sources or causes of a stress response.

At some time in life, almost everyone notices the effects of stress in their lives, careers and relationships. The physical and emotional symptoms associated with stress are especially prevalent among those who expend caring energies, are frequently over-achievers, and often must confront unchangeable realities. While the sources of stress are the same for everyone: work, home, spouses, family, many people face the additional stressors of

  • abusive managers,
  • non-functioning, dirty or missing equipment,
  • unavailable supplies,
  • inadequate or ill-trained staffing,
  • long hours, heavy workloads,
  • the need to stay current in an ever-changing environment

Some stress is both normal and beneficial because it enables a person to seek answers to problems, redirect thinking, develop inner autonomy and assertiveness, and face the demands of reality with an open, flexible, positive attitude. Stress is the jump-start for many projects.

In addition to external stressors, there are catalysts and aggravators that can contribute to the perception of and response to stress. Catalysts exist within the person’s internal, physical or emotional make-up, such as poor self-esteem, antagonism, chronic worry, compulsive addictive behaviors and poor physical health.

Aggravators intensify the stress reaction. Examples are fears and phobias, busy lives out of control, illness, and unhealthy responses to normal stress.


About the Author:

Joyce Henderson - Accomplished AuthorJoyce Henderson, RN, is an accomplished author and nurse in the central Florida area. Joyce has written several books and articles for several different journals and magazines. Joyce is a regular contributor to Nursing Spectrum.

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