Our main definition
of stress is that stress is a condition
or feeling experienced when a person perceives
that demands exceed the personal and social
resources the individual is able to mobilize.
With this in mind, we can now
look at how you can manage all of the stresses
that your career will bring.
From our definition, you can
see that there are three major approaches
that we can use to manage stress:
- Action-oriented: In
which we seek to confront the problem
causing the stress, changing the environment
or the situation;
- Emotionally-oriented: In
which we do not have the power to change
the situation, but we can manage stress
by changing our interpretation of the
situation and the way we feel about it;
- Acceptance-oriented: Where
something has happened over which we have
no power and no emotional control, and
where our focus is on surviving the stress.
- best where you have some control
To be able to take an action-oriented approach,
we must have some power in the situation.
If we do, then action-oriented approaches
are some of the most satisfying and rewarding
ways of managing stress. These are techniques
that we can use to manage and overcome stressful
situations, changing them to our advantage.
The early sections on the navigation bar
to the left focus on action-oriented coping.
These sections introduce skills that help
you to manage your job actively, work well
with your boss and co-workers, and change
your surroundings to eliminate environmental
stress. The Action-oriented sections of
this site are:
- subtle but effective
If you do not have the power to change
a situation, then you may be able to reduce
stress by changing the way you look at it,
using an emotionally-oriented approach.
Emotionally-oriented approaches are often
less attractive than action-oriented approaches
in that the stresses can recur time and
again; however, they are useful and effective
in their place. The section on Reducing
Stress With Rational Thinking explains
some useful techniques for getting another
perspective on difficult situations.
- when there's no valid alternative...
Sometimes, we have so little power in a
situation that all we can do to survive
it. This is the case, for example, when
In these situations, often the first stage
of coping with the stress is to accept one’s
lack of power. The section on Defenses
Against Stress looks at building the
buffers against stress that help you through
these difficult periods. Arguably, the section
Relaxation Techniques also falls into
These different approaches to stress management
address our definition of stress in different
ways: the action-oriented techniques help
us to manage the demands upon us and increase
the resources we can mobilize; the emotionally
oriented techniques help us to adjust our
perceptions of the situation; and the acceptance-oriented
techniques help us survive the situations
that we genuinely cannot change.
article helps you identify sources of
stress in your life.