Biologically, stress is a bodily response to occurrences that make an individual reactive. It interferes with one’s bodily balance. Precisely, stress exhibits how a person’s body might respond to environmental demands. This is a critical provision when scrutinized critically. Usually, stress is caused by both positive and negative experiences in a person’s life. A person’s body usually responds by releasing chemicals into the blood. This occurs when the person feels stressed by a given event around him or her. The released chemicals allow the concerned individual to respond to the stressing issue with promptness (Corbin et al., 2009).
Consequently, the response can either be positive or negative depending on the situation. Stress is linked to both external factors including physical surroundings, relationships, one’s job, and internal factors among others (Koslowsky, Kluger & Reich, 1995). Internal factors mainly define an individual’s ability to cope with the external factors that induce stress. Nutritional condition, physical health, and mental well-being are some of the internal factors that affect one’s ability to handle stress. Workplace is one area that is stressful to most people in the contemporary world. There are usually many demands and deadlines to be met, and this usually leads to stress. People usually react to stress in different ways. Consequently, this might affect them and their environment.
This paper provides insight to the common causes of stress to workers, their responses to stress, and how it affects them socially, mentally, and health wise. Additionally, it looks into the destructive habits workers may pick to deal with stress. This considers special emphasis on alcohol abuse and includes an expert’s advice on how to manage stress. Stress affects the performance of workers considerably and therefore proper knowledge on stress and how to manage it is vital for any organization and for the worker. The sections discerned in this paper include introduction, causes and effects of stress and alcoholism to a customer care officer, how he deals with it, and an expert’s suggestion on how to manage stress.
Causes and Effects of Stress and Alcoholism
Alcohol abuse is one habit people pick to help them deal with stress. I sought to understand how a banker deals with stress and I had an opportunity to interview one who works in the customer care department of a bank and has a lot of pressure at work. Alcohol abuse refers to when drinking results to problems such as physical health, work, and even mental problems (Koslowsky, Kluger & Reich, 1995). The individual I interviewed took a lot of alcohol and it affected his performance at work and he did not know any other way on how to manage the stress.
Stress has many health related problems, the main one being heart disease. Many researches that have been done have strong indications that stress lead to high blood pressure resulting to heart disease (Koslowsky, Kluger & Reich, 1995). Another health related problem with stress is obesity. Excessive fats in the belly pose high health risks and there are indications that stressed individuals seem to store more fats.
Headaches are also mostly triggered by stress and these greatly affect people. Lastly, chronic stress is usually associated with high levels of depression and nervousness. Problems associated with excessive alcohol drinking can be broadly grouped into medical, psychiatric and social categories. Medical problems may include the liver disease, poor sight, and hypertension among others while psychiatric problems may include alcohol dependence syndrome, depression, and anxiety. The social problems that relate to alcohol abuse are poor work performance, relationship problems, anti-social habits, and violence. The other problems associated with stress and alcoholism includes pain, digestive problems, sleep problems, auto-immune diseases, and skin diseases like eczema. There are certain factors that influence individuals’ stress tolerance levels.
A network of friends and family members is a huge cushion against stress agents. Lonely and isolated individuals are more vulnerable to stress. An individual’s sense of control, confidence, and ability to influence events makes it easier for him or her to deal with stress. On the flip side, people who are not confident are vulnerable to stress and often feel that everything is out of control. Attitude also influences peoples’ tolerance ability to stress.
Optimistic people are usually stressed, able to handle challenges, and accept changes in their lives. The ability to deal with emotions is also important in dealing with stress. People are usually vulnerable to stress when they do not know how to handle themselves when feeling angry, sad or even afraid. Finally, one’s knowledge about a stressful state including the period it will take and its likely results enables such a person to cope easily with stress.
I inquired from the customer care officer what usually leads to him being stressed. I found out that the common courses of stress were work related. Excessive work load is what caused much of the stress for the concerned customer care officer (Koslowsky, Kluger & Reich, 1995). He had to deal with so many people or different personality and demands. Some of the clients he dealt with were uneducated and could not understand simple instructions.
The working environment also gave him too much stress as people were so many and made a lot of noise for him the whole day. I found out that these two gave him a lot of stress and he usually took alcohol after work to manage it. Finally, I sought to know if he knew the factors that influence his wellness and health. I did this since scientific researches done have revealed links between the habits people indulge in and the extent of their wellbeing health wise.
Habit such as alcoholism, cigarette smoking, and high stress levels are usually associated with heart disease. Other habits are advantageous to the body and general health of an individual. Exercising regularly, for example, assists in the prevention of heart disease, depression, and diabetes. The environment an individual lives in also has considerable impact in his or her wellbeing (Corbin et al., 2009). Factors such as noise can relate with an individual’s personality in ways that leads to stress and thus disease. He told me that he understood the importance of regular exercise, good nutrition, and the dangers of excessive consumption of alcohol; however, he did not practice these habits.
Ways of Managing Stress
There are many strategies that are healthy and can be used in the management of stress. These strategies can be easily implemented since the causes of stress, responses, and its adverse effects can be traced.
I sought an expert’s opinion on how to help the concerned customer care officer deal with stress in a healthy way instead of heavy alcohol drinking. Stress management refers to a range of techniques and therapies designed to control a person’s level of stress, mainly with the intention of improving the individual’s functioning (Corbin et al., 2009). The symptoms of stress are manifested socially, mentally, and physically and may include exhaustion, headaches, and sleeplessness among others. Indulgence in alcohol, drugs and other compulsive habits are indicators of stress. Stress management begins with the identification of the sources of stress.
I found out that exercise is very vital in the management of stress as it helps in reducing the production of stress hormones and the related neuro-chemicals (Corbin et al., 2009). Therefore, exercise can help stressed individuals, like the customer care officer, to avoid the harm to their health. Researches that have been done have shown that exercise is a good antidepressant and is good in combating anxiety.
The expert also suggested the elimination of drug use and only moderate or no alcohol consumption as the other ways the banker can use to manage stress. People usually seek outlets like drug use and alcohol when they are under stress yet these usually have the result of making them more responsive to the stress. The use of drugs and alcohol often provide escape from the problem only for a short time; thus, the concerned individual cannot face the problem directly. Consequently, the stressed person cannot develop helpful habits to deal with the stress (Corbin et al., 2009).
Additionally, the expert suggested that the banker should take breaks from work to decompress. I told him to take lunch break and never to talk about work during that time and to take walks. Such breaks help individuals to move away from stressful situations. Finally, he suggested meditation and new recreation techniques. A half an hour meditation session daily can have longtime benefit to health of a stressed individual. Meditations together with breathing control practices have been identified to be highly efficient in the management of stress (Corbin et al., 2009). Meditation also assists in clearing the mind from thoughts that are disturbing and likely to cause stress. In addition to this, the expert suggested that the banker could join a stress management counseling group therapy offered by a qualified mental healthcare giver.
Stress affects workers’ logical, emotional, and interpersonal functioning. These affect their performance and lifestyle choices. This paper sought to know the common causes of stress among workers, habits people take to deal with stress, and how to manage stress. Additionally, it includes the health related effects of stress and alcoholism and an expert’s opinion on how to manage stress. Alcohol abuse is one habit people pick to help them deal with stress and it usually leads to problems including liver diseases, poor sight, hypertension, alcohol dependence syndrome, depression, and anxiety.
Moreover, alcohol has the result of making them more responsive to stress and only serve to help them escape from their problems for a short period of time. Excessive work load and work environment contribute considerably to stress. In order to manage stress, it is advisable for the affected individual to take exercise regularly. Exercise helps in reducing the production of stress hormones and the related neuro-chemicals. Concurrently, regular breaks from work and daily half hour meditation can be very helpful in the management of stress. Understanding the causes and effects of stress is very vital in finding a suitable stress management method.
Corbin, C., Welk, G., Corbin, W. & Welk, K. (2009). Concepts of fitness and wellness: A comprehensive lifestyle approach. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Koslowsky, M., Kluger, A., & Reich, M. (1995). Commuting stress: Causes, effects and methods of coping. New York, NY: Plenum Press.