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Stress Management: A Pre-requisite for Organisational Growth





    “Under stress, hormones such as cortisol surge and severely affect people’s reasoning and cognition. When both employees and managers are under stress, their cortisol levels are creating both an opportunity to take action, or conversely “be frozen” in a stressful state, which adversely affects their mental performance”

                                -Ray.B. Williams,

                                 The Chemistry of Stress and Manager Behaviour.


Stress is an integral, indivisible, and unavoidable element of man and organization. There is nothing bad being under stress when it’s a positive one except when it’s a negative stress. Every minute of the day, people are passing from one type of stress to another. Being under stress affects our performance positively or negatively. A positive stress can boost performance and expose one to more responsibilities and challenges. For instance an executive that is being promoted to a managerial position could perceive it as stress because more responsibilities have been given to him. But such stress is a good one because promotion also comes with incentives and increment. Or moving from a rented apartment to your own House is also stressful but it’s also a good one.


Stress can be negative especially when it affects our mental, physical and psychological state of mind adversely. A lot of things can contribute to negative stress but that would be discussed later. A manager that is under stress can have a face-off with his subordinates or employer. A recent study showed that 50 percent of face-off between a manager and his subordinate is caused by stress. Stress where it’s not properly managed could adversely affect an organization or individual’s performance. Every organization that desires growth should always monitor the stress level of its organization.  Stress management is an indispensable tool for every organization. No organization can operate smoothly and achieve its goals without proper stress management. Every organization should have Litmus techniques to manage its stress.


In this article everything you need to know about stress and stress management will be unfolded. The lesson from this article if properly administered by all and sundry will reposition every individual and organization for immediate and future growth. Although the study of stress management is gaining ground in Africa especially in Nigeria. The infusion of western organizational management culture has radically changed the concept of organizational management (which stress management is one of organizational management) in Africa. What is not obtainable in the last 50 years is now obtainable in most African Business environment especially in Nigeria. For instance we can see some organizations having some foreign expertise to run and manage heir businesses. Also some organizations now send some of their staff to London school of economics, Harvard business school and other renowned institutions that specialized on Human and organizational management for further study. Also we can see a lot of technological innovations in most businesses. All these show that there is a positive radical transformation of businesses in Africa-Nigeria as a case study. As a result of this, Stress Management becomes imperative for every business to achieve growth.


What is Stress and Stress Management?


Stress is a mental, emotional or psychological strained caused by anxiety or overwork. Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well being can be refer to as stress. Some stresses get you going and they are good for you. Without any stress at all, lives would be boring and one would probably feel pointless.


Stress Management is the physical and psychological techniques designed to enable people cope with strain and anxiety. Stress management can help you to either remove or change the source of stress, alter the way you view a stressful event, lower the impact that stress might have on your body, and teach you alternative ways of coping. You can gain these techniques when you read self-help books or attend a stress management course or seek the help of a counselor or psychotherapist.


When stress is not properly managed, it could lead to stressful situation. A stressful situation is a situation when all the resources required to effectively deal with a situation are beyond us or are not readily available. In this situation the person under stress could have a “fight” or a “flight” response. A fight response occurs when the person under stress fight back in response to the stress. While a flight response occur when the person gets away as fast as he can in response to a stressful situation. When reacting to a stressful situation our heart beats higher, our muscle becomes heightened, sweat comes up and we become more alert. All these factors help us to protect ourselves in a dangerous or challenging situation.


Some Basic Facts about Stress you need to Know.


There are some basic facts about stress we do not know. The knowledge of these facts will help us in handling some stressful situations. In this section, I will unveil some of these facts about stress. Do you know that?

Stress is caused by a principal hormone called Cortisol. This hormone is secreted by the outer layer or cortex of the adrenal gland. It affects the metabolism of carbohydrate, protein, fats, metabolism of white blood cells, the metabolism of salt and water in the body, the activity of the nervous system and the regulation of blood pressure. It is stimulated by the Pituitary hormone that is produce at the base of the brain.
What one person finds stressful another may not find it at all.
Almost anything can cause stress and it has different trigger.
Our response to a stressful situation can either be a “fight” or a “flight” response.
Not all stress is bad but it may feel intensely uncomfortable.
The first thing many us do while in stress is to react even though it’s wrong.
Our past is what we use to decipher if something is stressful or not.
When you smile or laugh, you don’t feel stress.
Leaders are not immune to the contagion of stress.
We cannot get rid of stress but we can control how it makes us feel.
Unresolved stress can escalate into anxiety.
Taking control of your reactions to stress gives you more strength and energy to deal with the actual cause of stress.
Stress symptoms are often seemed to be symptoms of other problems which in most cases it’s not.
A good first step to managing stress is to identify what caused it.
Some situations which are not negative may still be perceived as stressful. Eg being promoted, having a baby, moving to a nicer house etc.
When we are stressed, the following happens-blood pressure rises, breathing becomes more rapid, digestive system slow down, muscle becomes tense and immune system goes down and we don’t sleep (heightened state of alertness).



Kinds of Stress.


Understanding the different types of stress we have will help us to be more constructive in relieving stress. The more information you have about a subject, the better you can deal with the matter. The American Psychological Association identified 3 kinds of stress:


Acute stress.
Episodic acute stress.
Chronic stress.


Acute Stress.

It is caused by things that have upset or worried us in the recent past and by pressure and worries of the future. E.g when you have deadline to meet, someone bashed your car from the back, loose of a contract, a rent to pay etc. acute stress doesn’t have time to cause extensive damage.


 Symptoms of Acute Stress.

Emotional distress.
Muscle aches and pains.
Stomach and bowel problems eg constipation, diarrhea, heartburn etc.
Raised blood pressure.
Increase heartbeat, migraines headaches, chest pain etc.


Episodic Acute Stress.

This is caused by constant worry. People in this category always seem to see negative in everything. It is more difficult to treat and relieve this kind of stress. To the affected, it has become life style. Treating episodic acute stress may need intervention on a member of levels and professional help.


Symptoms of Episodic Acute Stress.

Persistent tension.
Heart disease etc.


Chronic Stress.

This is the kind of stress that grinds away at people and wears them down day by day, year by year until the person probably dies or fall a victim of stroke (either partial or complete stroke). Chronic stress damages the body, mind and emotion. It is a stress caused by poverty, dysfunctional family life, unhappy relationship, insecurity especially those living in war-torn countries. Unrelenting demand and pressure that never seem to end can cause a chronic stress.


Chronic stress can lead to someone committing suicide, violence, frustration, heart attack, and perhaps even cancer. Chronic stress wears you out mentally and physically and it takes commitment and hard work and time to recover.



Causes of Stress.

A lot of things can cause stress. Remember in some of the basic facts about stress, we said that anything can cause stress. So our knowledge of these things will go a long way in helping us control stress. The most common cause of stress are follows:


Family problems.
Financial matter.
Job issue.
Lack of time.
Moving home relationships (including divorce).


Other factors could be:

Becoming a mother or a father.
Conflicts in the work place.
Driving in a terrible traffic.
Fear of crime.
Losing your job.
Nosy neighbours.
Uncertainties eg HIV Test, Genotype test, Exam result etc



Effects of Stress on our Body.

The effects of stress in our body will be discussed under the following headings-Physical, Emotional and Mental.


Physical Effects:

Chest pains including pounding of heart.
Muscle aches.
Back pain.
Clenched jaw.
Teeth grinding.
Stomach upset.
Shortness of breath.
Excess sweating.
Sleep problem.
Weight gain or loss.
Sex problem.
Skin problem.


Emotional Effects.

Mood swings.
Excessive worrying.
Lack of concentration.
Negative attitudes or apathy.
Feeling insecure.
Job dissatisfaction.


Mental Effects.

Drug Abuse.
Excessive drinking.
Excessive smoking.
Absenteeism from work.
Over eating.
Aggressive outburst.
Quiet or socially withdrawn.
Decreased productivity.
Blaming others.
Thought of suicide. Etc.



Stress Management Strategies.

This section is the crux of this topic. It is the section that will bring out the best in everyone or organization that desire positive growth. If we stop at the “Effects of Stress” without diving into stress management strategies, our efforts of coming together, sitting and listening would have been defeated and of no effect. A problem stated without a solution is not completely solved, though it might be half solved. In this section, we will be looking at several techniques and strategies in effectively solving the problems of stress management in an organization.


In doing this, I will adopt the Four A’s strategies of stress management developed by Helpguide.Org-a trusted non-profit resources. I have gone through these 4A’s strategies over and over and I found it useful for any organization that desire growth to adopt. Believe me you will like it. These are the 4A’s:


Avoid the stressor.
Alter the stressor.
Adapt to the stressor.
Accept the stressor.


Avoid the stressor:

Although not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a stress situation that needs to be addressed. However, there are number of stressor you can eliminate from your life. Some of these are:


Learn how to say  “No”
Avoid people who stress you out.
Take control of your environment.
Avoid hot-button topics.
Pare down your to-do list.


Alter the stressor.

If you can not avoid a stressful situation try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so that the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. In doing this, you can use the following strategies:


Express your feelings instead of bottling them up.
Be willing to comprise.
Be more assertive (self confident, bold etc).
Manage your time better.



Adapt to the stressor.

If you can change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to a stressful situation and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude. Some of the ways you can do these are:


Reframe problems-see problems from positive angles.
Adjust your standard-avoid perfectionism.
Focus on the positive.
Adjust your attitude.


Accept the stressor.

Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressor such as death of a loved one, serious illness or a national disaster/recession. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run it’s easier than railing against situation you can not change. Some of the best way to so are:


Don’t try control the uncontrollable.
See opportunity in every situation.
Share your feeling.
Learn to forgive.


Other stress management strategies that are very vital in eliminating stress in an organization are:


Make time for fun and relaxation: ways you can do this are as follows-

Go for a walk, call a good friend, sweat out tension with a good work out, watch a comedy, take a long bath, get a massage etc.


Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle: you can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health. Ways you can do this as follows:

Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, reduce caffeine and sugar, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, get enough sleep and put off procrastination etc.


Unhealthy Ways of Coping with Stress that is Very Inimical.

There are things we do believing that they can aid us in managing stress. In the short run some of these things or habit may seem effective, but in the long run, they will cause more damage to the body. Some of these unhealthy ways are follows:


Drinking too much.
Overeating or under eating.
Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer.
Using pills or drugs to relax.
Sleeping too much.
Procrastination etc.



From all we’ve discussed, we can see that stress is an integral part of every organization. And proper management of it will stimulate productivity which in turn boosts growth. I believe the knowledge you’ve gained from this article worth it.  The only way this knowledge will be more useful, is to apply all you’ve gotten to your dealings. Practice and you will become perfect.


Thank you.

Kenneth is a motivational speaker and renowned writer.

Article from articlesbase.com

Chemtura to adjust the direction of stress and efficient business environment – Chemtura, environmental protection – the plastics industry

HC plastic net News: With the new changes in world economy, the major chemical companies are planning for the future development strategy. Global specialty chemicals manufacturer Chemtura Corporation has also been the first adjustment in the global development strategy. Vice president of the company, fire and responsible for Lu Lanen (AnneP.Noonan) President, said in an interview, Chemtura will continue to pursue technological innovation, global development strategy and the rationalization of the three major industrial distribution strategy, and this Meanwhile, in order to better adapt to the increasingly stringent international environmental regulations and fire safety trend of growing importance in the new situation, Chemtura flame retardants businesses of its structural adjustment of products, optimize the assets and resources, will More focus on new green environmental protection product development and production, to the pursuit of more efficient business operation mode.

Lu Lanen, said the global financial crisis to the company’s development challenges, as the world economic recovery, 2010, the company’s business has shown a good momentum of development, particularly in Asia, sales grew rapidly, she 2010 Chemtura’s business in China will reach double-digit growth. In order to better adapt to this trend, as early as the beginning of this year, Chemtura and Albemarle on the company signed a cooperation agreement, Chemtura will be shut down tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBA), decabromodiphenyl ethane and three kinds of sodium bromide product line in the United States, turned to Albemarle Corporation to purchase products, but still remain in the Israeli joint venture production plant in TBBA. This will not only resolve the Chemtura and Albemarle the decabromodiphenyl ether between litigation lawsuit, but also conducive to the further consolidation of Chemtura’s bromine supply of resources, status, improve asset utilization. More important point is that Chemtura will have more energy and money to develop new environmentally friendly and more secure new products, brominated flame retardants business to maintain its leading position in the world and driving force of sustainable development.

In new product development, Lu Lanen introduction, Chemtura has developed a polymer type of brominated flame retardants, mainly used in electrical and electronic and construction of polypropylene, polystyrene and other products, which currently A new product has a small amount of commercial production and application of assessment available to the user, from the feedback of the situation, the customer’s evaluation of this product well, is expected later this year will be put into mass production in the United States. Chemtura will gradually roll out new brominated and phosphorus flame retardant widely used to replace the electrical and electronic industry, 10 polybrominated diphenyl ethers. She stressed that Chemtura in the development of new products, it is necessary to ensure fire safety and also meet the requirements of environmental protection and increased emphasis on the whole concept of environmental protection products, from raw material production to recover after the various aspects of waste must comply with the principles of environmental protection . Speaking of common concern

DecaBDE, Lu Lanen said DecaBDE There is no doubt the product is safe and effective, but some non-scientific disciplines in view of the dispute, Chemtura that its entanglement in the 10 BDE is the debate over the safety and environmental protection than to retreat, give up, to focus on new product research and development. She told reporters that the end of 2009, Chemtura and two other major supplier of brominated flame retardants and Albemarle fair to have reached a consensus of the Group and publicly said that the end of 2013, in the United States to stop production and sales of the full product.

Addition to the operational adjustments brominated flame retardants, Chemtura also strengthened the control of mercury pollution in the business. They are currently the United States and related companies to carry out gas experiments in Mercury, the United States to limit mercury pollution on the environment, the progress of legislation than fast, she believed China will strengthen the legislation in this regard, Chemtura is actively mercury pollution prevention and control work to promote the progress of China.

Lu Lanen finally revealed as part of development strategy, Chemtura Corporation in the Asia-Pacific region will be the first R & D centers set up in Nanjing in May and formally put into operation. R & D center for the Chinese market, built a platform to provide technical support to Chemtura’s services become more fast and convenient formula for customers from design to processing a series of experiments and then to test the technical support. She reiterated China’s strategic position: “The Chinese market is developing very fast, and convenient for Chinese customers with timely technical support is necessary.”

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