January 21, 2018

How do I manage stress?

iStock_stress (640x486)How do I manage stress?

What is stress?

Is stress detrimental to your health?

Stress is a common health risk factor commonly experienced by everyone (Campo et al., 2009; Shapiro et al., 2005; Manotas et al., 2014; Howard, 2008). Stress is your body’s physiological and psychological response to anything your body may perceive as threatening or a specific reaction to a life changing event which may be perceived as positive or negative (Christ, McVay, Marocco, 2013). The effect of stress is highly individualized and may have a detrimental impact on one’s health while having a minimal impact on another’s (Howard, 2008, p. 105). There is evidence that suggests stress can contribute to psychological disorders (depression/anxiety), cardiovascular disease (hypertension/stroke), as well as have a negative effect on the immune system (Campo et al. 2009; Miller et al. 2001; Shapiro et al, 2005). Stress in the work place can come in a variety of forms including work load (caseload/hours worked), lack of resources (staffing/ equipment), loss of autonomy, frustration with customers or clients, and interpersonal relationships (supervisor/co-workers) (Campo et al., 2009; Howard, 2008). In healthcare workers, stress has not only been linked with depression and cardiac disease, but also leads to “burnout” and reduced quality of patient care (Campo et al., 2009; Howard, 2008, Shapiro, 2005). Howard (2008) suggests that social support in the work place is the most crucial buffer against job stress (p. 107). Stress in the work place can also lead to poor coping strategies leading to excessive use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco (Howard, 2008; Miller et al., 2001).
Prevention strategies to deter stress may include: facilitating the development of a social support system (e.g. family/friends/special groups), promotion of self-care (e.g. nutrition, smoking/drug cessation, exercise), learning specific relaxation techniques (e.g. deep breathing, imagery, affirmation, biofeedback, and medication), and/or the enhancement of self-efficacy.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) training has become popular over the last couple of decades and has been shown to be a successful stress reduction intervention (Manotas et al., 2014; Shapiro et al., 2005). MBSR is a form of mediation, derived from Buddhism, and is designed to teach individuals how to become aware of the present (Manotas et al., 2014; Shapiro et al., 2005). This is accomplished by a multi-faceted approach consisting of observing, describing, acting with awareness, non-reacting and non-judging (Manotas, Segura, Oggins, & McGovern, 2014, p. 208).

S. White

Campo, M.A., Weiser, S., & Koenig, K.L. (2009). Job strain in physical therapists, Physical Therapy, 89(9), 946-956. doi:10.2522/ptj.20080322
Crist, M., McVay, D. & Marocco, S. (2013). PHT 712, Module 6 tutorial. Utica College.
Miller, G. E., & Cohen, S. (2001). Psychological interventions and the immune system: A meta-analytic review and critique. Health Psychology, 20(1), 47-63. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.20.1.47
Shapiro, S. L., Astin, J. A., Bishop, S. R., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for health care professionals: Results from a randomized trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176. doi:10.1037/1072-5245.12.2.164
Manotas, M., Segura, C., Eraso, M., Oggins, J., & McGovern, K. (2014). Association of brief mindfulness training with reductions in perceived stress and distress in Colombian health care professionals. International Journal of stress management, 21(2), 207-225. doi:10.I037/a0035150
Howard, F. (2008). Managing stress or enhancing wellbeing? Positive psychology’s contributions to clinical supervision. Australian Psychologist, 43(2), 105-113.

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