Managing Stress

Managing Stress

Managing Stress

Managing Stress

Synopsis

Universities and colleges (and their staff) have undergone dramatic and stressful change over the past few years. Managing Stress identifies the nature of stress for individuals, and what causes it in further and higher education. It helps staff in academic institutions to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, and highlights the potential health problems if the stress is not managed. It provides its readers with a selection of stress reduction and stress management techniques that can help them reassess their lifestyles, and take the necessary steps to lead healthier lives.

Ann Edworthy has written an accessible and practical guide to stress, its causes and symptoms, and how best to alleviate it. It is an important resource for all staff in universities and colleges.

Excerpt

Before we can begin to look at the methods that can be implemented to reduce stress, we need to be able to recognize the signs of stress in ourselves and others.

Stages of stress

The body will respond to any situation in order to achieve its top physical condition to cope with what is happening. To begin with, the physiological reaction will be the same, regardless of whether the event is pleasant or threatening, happy or depressing, thrilling or perilous. The 'stress hormones' released by the body enable the individual to perform feats far beyond its normal capacity; for example in traffic accidents it has been known for one person to lift a vehicle to free someone who has been trapped.

During this initial stage of stress, the individual behaves as if they have an over-active thyroid. Tasks are undertaken faster than usual. They will eat faster but probably feel that they cannot afford to take a lunch break and will therefore be more inclined to snack on a packet of crisps or a bar of chocolate. Throughout the day this person may make many cups of tea or coffee but will rarely find time to drink any. Over a short period of time this amount of stress is not harmful and indeed acts as a motivator. After a while, however, tiredness will be experienced and may be accompanied by feelings of anxiety and frustration. The quality of work produced will suffer. Stage 2 has been entered.

During Stage 2, the person will feel as if they are being 'driven', and tiredness and fatigue are permanent features. Ironically, this is . . .

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