Free «Academic Journal Article Analysis: The Stress and Stress Management» Essay Sample
Table of Contents
Stress in the workplace or, as it is frequently referred to, occupational stress has recently turned into a management problem. Therefore, each manager has to acquire knowledge about the causes of occupational stress, typical organizational and personal problems that can become a source of stress, its symptoms, and the basic mechanisms for managing this hazardous phenomenon. This problem is a new and requires additional responsibility from managers, who can also experience stress due to the burden of responsibility. Managerial work is necessary for establishing communication with the subordinates, solving problems (one’s own and those of the others), developing the department, and taking responsibility for the quality of their work. Thus, working for the enterprise is one of the most stressful processes. To demonstrate this fact and to give an understanding of the possible stress management methods, it is essential to analyze the article “Brief stress management reduces acute distress and buffers physiological response to a social stress test” by Cruess et al. (2015). Therefore, the stress and stress management are two interconnected aspects as they have a significant impact on the life of a person and determine the way a stressor can be overcome.
A Brief Overview of the Article
The contemporary business environment is very stressful. According to the article by Cruess et al. (2015), the most intense stress is usually experienced by the most active people, including businessmen, who need to perform challenging tasks and strive to achieve the set goals in as little time as possible. Such a situation causes emotional overload, which, as a rule, leads to stress. An individual’s working capacity decreases in the state of stress. The same happens when the condition of a person worsens, as the motivation for work in this case also decreases. In other words, this impacts the work of the entire company in a very ‘unprofitable’ way. Today, it is important to make sure that employers become aware of the fact that stress in the workplace is a significant and gradually aggravating problem not only for the health system, but also for industrial production, where it requires the formation of a substantial cost item. Herein, Cruess et al. (2015) claim that in the event of a crisis, a new approach needs to be developed in order to allow the company to design the most effective stress attack program by providing the information needed for solving the problem, in other words, a strategy that would ask questions before answering. Such a rapid spread of the problem of stress in the conditions of industrial production, as well as the huge expenditure on maintaining health, make scientists and engineers from all over the world develop various methods of counteracting the provoking factors that are inducers of work stress. Herein, Cruess et al. (2015) state that the opinion of most scientists and practitioners is grounded on the fact that the most important task today is to develop methods for identifying professional stress in the conditions of industrial production. As a basis for solving this issue, the system of professional stress assessment is used, taking into account several levels of stress existing in the society. Each of them covers certain types of stressors or inducers of stressful states, and for each type of inducers several options in the transformation of working stress are offered. They allow determining the necessary amount of personal and organizational control measures put in practice in relation to each of the potentially adaptive reactions arising at one level or another (Cruess et al., 2015). The procedures for the implementation and legalization of methods that reduce stress in the workplace are also being developed.
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Evaluation and Analysis of the Article
In order to use all the principles of stress management in the activities of the organization in a correct way, it is necessary to undergo special training in the form of a seminar or some other educational course. The author rightfully states that the manager needs to be familiar not only with the causes of stress and the patterns of its course, but also with real ways of how to manage stress within the organization, which requires having relevant skills of dealing with stressful situations (Cruess et al., 2015). The advantage of training also consists in the fact that the training process is low-cost and therefore can be easily embraced by the employees of the enterprise (Cruess et al., 2015). Nonetheless, it is worth noting the shortcomings of the stress management programs, which are also substantial. They include the short-term nature of these programs’ positive impact on the reduction of the stress symptoms and the fact that they focus only on the employee directly, while the working environment and direct sources of stress are ignored (Cruess et al., 2015). As a rule, any actions aimed at reducing the level of the labor stress manifestation lead to organizational changes in terms of improving the working conditions.
The authors successfully demonstrate the fact that these changes include settling the burden on the employee in accordance with his/her abilities and resources and improving the design of the workplace. It would allow providing incentives and assistance to the employee in the application of their skills (Cruess et al., 2015). Secondly, the authors state that the definition of the role of the worker in the labor process and the establishment of the boundaries in his/her responsibility play a significant role (Cruess et al., 2015). Thirdly, giving the employee an opportunity to participate in decision-making and to effectively influence the work process is another point to be considered as a significant one (Cruess et al., 2015). Finally, Cruess et al. (2015) point to the necessity of the communication skills improvement, exclusion of uncertainty in career growth and providing assistance in solving social relationships among employees and the organization of retraining schools that are compatible with the capabilities and responsibilities of the employees. It is possible to state that this kind of layout assumes the use of a stress management program, which generally includes three phases: problem identification, impact strategy and results evaluation (Cruess et al., 2015). Otherwise, the accumulated stress will develop into distress, which is a destructive stage of stress.
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The way out of distress is a much longer and more laborious process. Thus, another significant idea provided by the authors of the investigation is that as a rule, medical specialists and psychologists are needed in such cases (Cruess et al., 2015). Herein, the scholars fairly claim that one can cope with the distress by setting a goal and making some effort towards achieving it (Cruess et al., 2015). The same idea is proved in the study by Hannibal and Bishop (2014). They claim that any procedure of overpowering is also a source of stress (Hannibal & Bishop, 2014). It turns out that human life is impossible to be stress-free. It requires a person to learn how to manage the level of tension in one’s body and be able to direct this tension to achieving one’s goals.
In the modern conditions of the rapid development of a society, stressful situations occupy one of prevailing positions as they accompany the person from birth to death. Thus, Cruess et al. (2015) make a fair point when stating that the problems arising in society, according to their influence on the personality, are completely different. In turn, therapeutic investigation demonstrates that the organism reacts to stress stereotypically, or in other words, with the same biochemical fluctuations, which result in the increased demands leveling on the human body (Cruess et al., 2015). The factors that cause stress stressors are different, but they actually trigger a similar biological reaction to stress. In addition to the intensification of stress, the so-called stress diseases and the problem of one’s critical environmental adaptation factors have long engaged researchers from countless scientific fields in the investigation of this issue.
Psychological stress is divided into information stress and emotional stress. The authors successfully lay an emphasis on the fact that stress information occurs in situations of information overload. This is when the subject is powerless to manage the assigned task, and does not have time to make the precise decisions with a high level of accountability for the significance of decisions made. The emotional stress is experienced in the situations of hazard, bitterness, disappointment, and menace, when its various forms (impulsive, inhibitory, and generalized) result in the changes of the mental processes, causing emotive shifts, makeover of activity’s motivational structure, as well as desecrations of motor and speech behavior (Cruess et al., 2015). Psychological stress, in its turn, is accompanied by an increased level of emotional stress (Cruess et al., 2015). The nature of the stress reaction depends not only on the assessment of the degree of damage of the stressor to the given person, but also on the ability to respond to it in a certain way. A person is capable of learning the adequate behavior in numerous stressful and even dangerous situations. An example of similar situation is provided in the study by Stagl et al. (2016), with the author stating that the life-threatening situations can be separated into short-term situations. There is gradual mobilization and expenditure of both surface and deep adaptive reserves with protracted extreme impact (Stagl et al., 2016). Consequently, the sensitivity of a person to a psychological trauma is determined by the level of his/her stress-resistance, i.e. a set of individual and personal qualities that determine a person’s resistance to various stressful situations.
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Comparison between the Articles
Stress is a nonspecific response of the human body to any specific or nonspecific requirement faced by a person, which includes certain reactions of the organism. Hence, one of the most significant issues the article touches upon is the fact that from the point of view of a stress reaction, the positive or negative situation faced by a person does not matter, since only the concentration on the need for reorganization or adaptation is imperative (Cruess et al., 2015). It is not easy to imagine how natural components, medical procedures, one’s own hormones, and emotions cause the identical biochemical shifts in the body. Quantitative biochemical studies prove that some of the reactions are nonspecific and identical for all kinds of effects. Hence, the authors state that the stress management techniques should be chosen on the basis of these aspects. The scholars likewise point to the fact that the conventional medicine has not identified the reality of such a stereotyped reply for quite a long time (Cruess et al., 2015). It seemed absurd that different challenges required the same solutions. Herein, when the authors of the research touched upon the background of stress management, they fairly stated that at first glance it is difficult to find a common denominator for a person. Thus, the stressor effect of the demands placed on the body does not depend on the type of specific adaptive responses to these demands (Cruess et al., 2015). In this case, the stressors serve as unfavorable factors causing stress in the body. Stressors affecting the human body can be represented by various phenomena and components of the micro- and macro environments.
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Long-lasting pathology of the heart or coronary syndrome is much more common in the individuals with pronounced ambition and intolerance toward their closest associates. This disease may also be caused by the empathy, which develops as a consequence of stress. Similarly to Cruess et al. (2015), Holmes (2017) points to the fact that empathy which is developed as a result of stress may impact the physical health of a person. However, dissimilarly to the study by Cruess et al. (2015), Holmes (2017) makes an emphasis on the fact that stress frequently serves as a positive tool for a person as it may make a person think differently and find the necessary solution. Hence, it is possible to state that both articles – by Cruess et al. (2015) and by Holmes (2017) have certain similar points, but they also have several differences. The essential point consists in the fact that Holmes (2017) believes that the stress, regardless of its negative impact on the human organism, may cause positive consequences.
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Summary of Findings
The findings from the research cover numerous aspects. According to the scholars, the physiological fundamentals of stress confrontation include the state of the endocrine structure and a good corporeal shape. At the same time, there is a tendency to nerve-wracking reactions, which is characterized by definite emotions: irritation, aggression, and hostility (Cruess et al., 2015). Individual sensitivity of a person to trauma is due to the influence of such factors as gender, level of intellectual development, social status, age, individual personality structure, maturity-immaturity, hypersensitivity, predisposition to excessive control, dependence, aspiration to suppress emotions, propensity to act as a victim, and the desire to retain traumatic experience (Cruess et al., 2015). All this contributes to the increase of the damaging effect of trauma, i.e. low tolerance to stress.
Physiological changes in regard to the strong emotions are frequently associated with disproportionate dynamism sources for the unanticipated circumstances. Not only physiological changes in the usage of emotional reserves can be excessive and exhausting, but also the psychological attitudes and the person’s personal position may significantly affect his condition. Similarly to the research by Cruess et al. (2015), the study by Sharma (2014) points to the fact that the doctors have long paid attention to the direct relationship between the specific emotions predominance and a tendency to develop definite diseases and pathologies. Similarly to the study by Cruess et al. (2015), Sharma (2014) points to the fact that psychologists and psychiatrists have established a relationship between somatic diseases and personality traits, as well as the psychological climate in which a person lives and works. If a person wants to become part of a team that does not correspond to his/her real capabilities, along with having an increased level of claims, he/she is more susceptible to the development of cardiovascular pathology.
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The problem of stress affects all aspects of human life, as it is an unavoidable constituent of different spheres of life with a range of positive and negative effects on the human body, influencing the quality of one’s existence. Stress in a positive sense is a motivator for achieving the set goals, which at the same time encourages the development of psychosomatic disorders in its negative meaning, up to a lethal outcome. As a result, stress is not an illness or pathology, as anxiety is the norm of life. Hence, the presented article can be of interest to different categories of readers as the issue of stress is common for everyone. Thanks to the article, each person can change his/her perception of stress and the related negativity factors. It is necessary to note that stress is present in any workplace, regardless of the sphere of human activity. Only a positive approach and the correct perception of stress are likely to help in fighting against it.