Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response.Some stress is normal and even useful. Stress can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, it can help you win a race or finish an important job on time.

But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects on health.

Stress is defined as

“A state of psychological and physiological imbalance resulting from the disparity between situational demand and the individual’s ability and motivation to meet those needs.”

Dr. Hans Selye, one of the leading authorities on the concept of stress, described stress as “the rate of all wear and tear caused by life.”

Stress can be positive or negative:

  1. Stress is good when the situation offers an opportunity to a person to gain something. It acts as a motivator for peak performance.
  2. Stress is negative when a person faces social, physical, organizational and emotional problems.

Causes Of Stress 

Following are various causes which are major causes which lead to stress

Causes of Stress

1.Career Concern

 If an employee feels that he is very much behind in the corporate ladder, then he may experience stress. If he seems that there are no opportunities for self-growth, he may experience stress. Hence, unfulfilled career expectations are the significant source of stress.

2.Role Ambiguity

 It occurs when the person doesn’t know what he is supposed to do, on the job. His tasks and responsibilities are not clear. The employee is not sure what he is expected to do. It creates confusion in the minds of the worker and results in stress.

3.Rotating Work Shifts

Stress may occur in those individuals who work on different work shifts. Employees may be expected to work on day shift for some days and then on the night shift. That may create problems in adjusting to the shift timings, and it can affect not only personal life but also the family life of the employee.

4.Role Conflict

 It takes place when people have different expectations from the person performing a particular role. It can also occur if the job is not as per expectation, or when a job demands a certain type of behavior that is against the person’s moral values.

5.Occupational Demands

Some jobs are more demanding than others. Jobs that involve risk and danger are more stressful. Research findings indicate job that causes stress needs constant monitoring of equipment and devices, unpleasant physical conditions, making decisions, etc.

6.Lack of Participation in Decisionmaking

Many experienced employees feel that management should consult them on matters affecting their jobs. In reality, the superiors hardly ask the concerned employees before taking a decision. That develops a feeling of being neglected, which may lead to stress.

7.Poor Working Conditions

Employees may be subject to poor working conditions. It would include bad lighting and ventilation, unhygienic sanitation facilities, excessive noise, and dust, the presence of toxic gasses and fumes, inadequate safety measures, etc. All these unpleasant conditions create a physiological and psychological imbalance in humans thereby causing stress.

8.Lack of Group Cohesiveness

Every group is characterized by its cohesiveness, although they differ widely in its degree. Individuals experience stress when there is no unity among work group members. There are mistrust, jealousy, frequent quarrels, etc., in groups and this lead to stress to employees.

9.Interpersonal and Intergroup Conflict

These conflicts take place due to differences in perceptions, attitudes, values, and beliefs between two or more individuals and groups. Such conflicts can be a source of stress for group members.

10.Organizational Changes

When changes occur, people have to adapt to those changes, and this may cause stress. Stress is higher when changes are significant or unusual like transfer or adoption of new technology.

11.Lack of Social Support

When individuals believe that they have the friendship and support of others at work, their ability to cope with the effects of stress increases. If this kind of social support is not available, then an employee experiences more stress.

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