Stress arises due to the demands placed on an individual and the individual's inability to
meet those demands. Stress is an involuntary physical reaction and causes harmful effects on one's body and mind. In today's fast paced and highly competitive effects one's body and mind. In today's fast paced and highly competitive environment, stress has become a way of life for many; especially so for managers. Stress related illnesses include clinical depression, high blood pressure and heart problems. In view of this, it has become very important for an individual to identify stress triggers, ands take steps to manage them, Managers have to deal with unforeseen situations and this can often cause stress. Stress management includes handling stress effectively by planning work, setting realistic goals, taking regular breaks, exercising etc. it helps a person to stay in control and balance their work and personal life better.

Definition of Stress

 Stress is defined as anything that disrupts the normal person's physical or mental well-being. It occurs when the body performs activities outside its capabilities or when the person faces extraordinary demands. According to the Taber's Cyclopedia (a medical dictionary), stress is 'the result produced when a structure, system, or organism is acted upon by forces that disrupt equilibrium or produce strain.'

The process of stress has a stressor or stimulant that causes or stimulates stress in any situation. A stressor is in itself neither positive nor negative, good nor bad, it is how one reacts to it which determines its positivity or negative. For example, a deadline that's nearing can be a motivator to finish the task on time (a positive stressor) for one manager whereas it can be a threat ( a negative stressor) for another. Hence, every manager has to identify his/her reactions to various situations, in order to deal with stress easily.

Stress can be differentiated by the way in which it affects the body and mind of an individual. It can be either positive or negative. Positive stress is called eustress. It triggers the body alarm and enhances a person's attention, performance, and creativity. It has temporary effects. Negatives stress is called distress. It has a negative affect on the physical and mental health of an individual. If left unattended, distress could result in serious health problems like sleeplessness, depression, eating disorders, and suicidal tendencies. Eustress beyond a certain level becomes distress..

In order to explain this phenomenon of stress, Hans Selye developed a model called the General Adaptive Syndrome (GAS model). The GAS model explains how an individual reacts to and deals with stress. This model has three stages. The first stage is the alarm reaction stage, which involves the body's response to the new situation or the stressor. In this stage, the individual is under eustress. The second stage is the resisting stage, which involves resisting or reacting to the situation. In this stage is the body is said to be under a fight or flight situation. The fight or flight situation is the body's ability to deal with the situation (fight) or escape from it (flight). The third stage is the exhaustion stage, which is the aftermath of the fight or flight situation. If the resistance stage extends over a long period, the individual becomes distressed. A manager has to recognize the stress levels that he/she finds acceptable in order to use stress as a motivator and avoid stress.


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