Managing Stress

Sources of Stress

  • Internally Generated Stress
  • Environment Related Stress
  • Job Related Stress
  • Career Development Stress
  • Personal/ Family Stress
  • Stress from External factors

Internally generated stress

Some of the reasons for Internally generated stress can be attention seeking, to succeed every time and all the time, not to make any mistakes, being competent all the time, belief that bad luck causes all the problems (External Problems), nothing is wrong with me, temperament, etc. Anxiety is one of the most common internally generated stress source. It is a state of emotional tension characterized by apprehension, fearfulness and psychic pain. The term anxiety, disorders encompass several clinical conditions such as unrealistic factors and desires that cause anxiety. Anxiety occurs where you are concerned that circumstances are out of your control.

Environment Related Stress

It arises due to difficult, demanding, noise, pollution, crowding, dirt, filth, unhealthy food, caffeine, sugar, salt, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, obesity, and underweight. Other sources of Environment Related Stress are – Fatigue and overwork. Here stress builds up over long period when we try to achieve too much and too soon.

Job Related stress

This source of stress takes place when a person is engaged in too much or too little work, having to perform beyond experience / ability, having to overcome unnecessary obstinacies, having time pressures and deadlines, having to do unimportant, unpleasant, illegal, immoral, work assignment, coping with new developments continually, frequent changes in procedures / policies, frequent change of job, debts, lack of relevant information / support / guideline, lack of clear instructions, lack of clear objectives, disproportionate / unrealistic expectations from boss, responsibility without due authority, responsibility of people / equipment / cash, Lack of recognition.

Below illustration depicts the process of Stress building.

job related stress

Career Development Stress

This type of stress arises due to under promotion, delayed / denied promotion, frustration / boredom with present job, Over promotion beyond knowledge, competence and experience, false, fraudulent, malicious allegations, attempts by colleagues, boss, subordinates to damage reputation, no clear plan for career growth, lack of opportunity to show results, lack of job security. Individuals who are transferred or promoted are expected to demonstrate high performance from the start. Another factor for stress are the hordes of ambitious younger persons pushing up from behind to overtake. Then at the later stage of their careers the individuals find that they have gone as far as they can go and are either satisfied or dissatisfied with what they have achieved. Finally a very important issue that they face in the later half is coming in terms with their retirement.

Personal/Family Stress

Due to financial problems, relationship problems with spouse, parents, siblings, children, in-laws, ill health, family changes – Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce, litigations, property disputes.

Stress from External factors

The basic parameters involved in externally generated stress are due to improper pressures from superiors in the workplace or from politicians, Govt. officials, social figures. Sometimes due to inability of timely delivery of assignments to clients also result in stress.

Influences of Stress

Influence of Stress

Stress as a Positive Influence

  • Can help compel us to action
  • Can result in a new awareness
  • An exciting new perspective

Stress as a Negative Influence

  • Can result in feelings like distrust, rejection, anger & depression
  • Can lead to health problems like headache, upset stomach, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease

Under stress

  • At this level stress is very low, performance is also very low.
  • There is too little stimulation to keep focused on the task at hand. Typical results are boredom, apathy, under stimulation, and/or depression.


  • At this level stress is too high, performance is also very low.
  • Overstress impairs physical and intellectual functioning.
  • It results in excess anxiety, confusion, hyperactivity, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration, irritability, and panic.

Principles of Stress

Here are some of the Principles of Stress:

Principle 1 – Stress is Resistance to Change

Any time life moves us in a direction we don’t want to go, most of us tend to resist. And the resistance causes the stress.

Principle 2 – Stress is a Signal that a Change is needed.

Most people think stress is something bad and wrong. They think their life would be better if they didn’t have any stress.

Principle 3 – Stress occurs whenever you are unable to create a  positive image of success in your mind.

Principle 4 – What I am unaware of controls me, what I become aware of, I can change.

Obviously, if something is happening to us and we don’t know about it, we have no control. When we become aware,  we have a choice.

Principle 5 – If you don’t make the correct change, the pain increases until it turns into suffering.

Pain is necessary, suffering is optional.