Stress and Stress Management

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Stress and stress management. by Suzanne M. Crampton , John W. Hodge , Jitendra M. Mishra , Steve Price Stress is found in all aspects of life. Hans Selye, a pioneer in stress research, has defined stress as "the nonspecific response of the body to any demands made upon it" (Kreitner & Kinicki, 1992, p. 597). It is considered to be an internal state or reaction to anything we consciously or unconsciously perceive as a threat, either real or imagined (Clarke, 1988). Stress can evoke feelings of frustration, fear, conflict, pressure, hurt, anger, sadness, inadequacy, guilt, loneliness, or confusion (Cavanagh, 1988). Individuals feel stressed when they are fired or lose a loved one (negative stress) as well as when they are promoted or go on a vacation (positive stress). While many individuals believe they must avoid stress to live longer, Freese (1976) argues that it is the salt and spice of life and that to have no stress we would have to be dead. Review of the Literature In the workplace, stress can affect performance. Individuals under too little stress may not make enough effort to perform at their best levels, while those under too much stress often are unable to concentrate or perform effectively and efficiently. The relationship between stress and performance is complex. Employers, however, have primarily been concerned about the rising costs of overstressed employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and many state laws hold employers liable for

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