Stressed? Find out how to deal with stress (Part 1)
6th January 2012
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Most Frequently Asked Questions About Stress


By Carole Spiers

As a weekly columnist for Gulf News, I have addressed many issues relating to work stress.  As a result of this column, many readers have written to me to ask me various questions regarding the best way of how to deal with stress, so I thought it would be a good idea to share some of these with you.

Q:  What is stress?

A:  Stress is the adverse reaction that people have to excess pressure or other types of demands placed on them.  It arises when they perceive that they are unable to cope with those demands


Q:  Is stress good for me?

A:  No.  It is often mistakenly thought that stress is good for people, when in fact, long-term stress is invariably harmful.  A certain amount of pressure can indeed motivate and can therefore be useful, but stress is never so.


Q:  Can stress seen as a weakness – particularly in industry?

A:  Yes.  If an individual works in an organisation, where for example, there is the possibility of imminent redundancies, he/she may seek to cover up any signs and symptoms of stress in the belief that they may be regarded as unable to cope with their job and might be regarded as dispensable.


Q:  Does stress affect everyone equally?

A:  No.  An employer or Manager should appreciate that not all members of their team will react in the same way to any given problem.  What one person perceives as merely pressure, another may perceive as stress.


Q:  What makes events stressful?

A:  Negative events are more likely to be stressful than positive events – although not exclusively so.  Uncontrollable or unpredictable events are more stressful than those that are not and ambiguous situations  are often perceived as more stressful than those that are clear-cut.


Q:  How do I recognise stress in myself?

A:  Depending on the individual, stress can manifest itself in different ways including heart palpitations, mood swings, panic attacks, over-dependence on caffeine, anxiety, loss of confidence, aggressiveness, headaches, poor time management and lack of concentration.


Q:  Why do we become stressed?

A:  Fundamentally, it is the way that you think about a situation rather than the situation itself that causes stress.  Problems occur when the pressure you are under seems to be overwhelming or out of your control.


Q:  I have been called a stress ‘carrier’ – what is it?

A:  ‘Stress Carriers’ are people, very often in a management or supervisory position, who have the ability to cause stress in others, by intentionally raising the anxiety level of all those around them without suffering any adverse effect on themselves.  Only you can answer the question as to whether you are one or not!

Carole Spiers

CEO, Carole Spiers Group

BBC Guest-Broadcaster.  Motivational Speaker

Author of a new book ‘Show Stress Who’s Boss!’



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