This is only the first of several blogs in which I hope to address the problem of stress in the workplace and stress in daily lives. In this blog I will just define stress.
Most people probably find that they encounter the highest levels of stress in their workplace since that is the place where most pressure is piled upon them daily and relentlessly.
Obviously, the workplace is not the only environment in which people encounter stress. There will probably be stress in the home and within a relationship. Even, to a certain extent, stress within the areas of relaxation and enjoyment. A keen golfer, having a poor day out on the course, may find his/her stress levels rising when their drives are pulling into the rough or the putter is 'just not working'.
Wherever there are other people affecting our lives, be it at work or home, or a target to be met, again be it at work or on the golf course say, there is stress.
It should be pointed out that stress is not always detrimental. Neither is it a recent phenomenon. Cavemen had stress but they did not know what it was called back then.
Stress is a natural reaction to fear. It increases the flow of adrenalin in the system, which in turn increases the heart rate and breathing rate. If you were a caveman out hunting and you came face to face with a dangerous animal which you needed to kill, then the increased adrenalin, heart rate and oxygen levels would increase your likelihood of being the victor. Your sight would be sharper as would your hearing.
That's all well and good for a caveman but for 21st century people the fear is very often of not meeting targets or being in a relationship which has gone bad. The body still reacts to fear in the same way, as it has not evolved away from the 'fight or flight' reaction to fear which nurtures stress.
In the next blog I shall look at the physical effects of stress on the person and later address the routes which may be taken to avoid or repair the damage of stress.
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