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Stress Management







































































































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 Marion Tyler Associates

5 Woodside Road, Ferndown, Wimborne, Dorset, BH22 9LB
Tel: 01202 855275, Email: enquiries@mariontyler.co.uk
Causes of Stress



Managing pressures effectively is not just good stress management. It can put us on the winning edge in the face of competition, improve our quality of life and it may even result in us living longer. Whilst a certain amount of pressure or challenge may be good for us, resulting in an increase in enthusiasm, motivation, a sense of achievement, happiness and good health, too much pressure may result in feelings of ill health, exhaustion, and poor performance.

People differ when facing stressful situations; what is difficult for one person may be a pleasure to someone else. Just as we all vary with the amount of pain we can tolerate, some individuals cope better with stressful events than others.

We therefore need to identify our own particular stressors, or causes of undue pressure. These may be everyday things, events, or relationships that put us under strain, or it may be that problems in the work environment are the principal cause. Although it may be apparent from the signs that a person is suffering from stress, the cause, or causes may not be immediately apparent.
Remember that stress is not just something that occurs overnight. There is usually a build-up effect, involving a number of contributing factors, that we may not be able to control. "IT TAKES A LOT OF STRESSES AND STRAINS TO MAKE A NERVOUS WRECK".
Most cases of stress can be due to the combination of a number of causes, and it is the cumulative effect that produces the symptoms. Causes generally fall into four distinct groups:

  • Personal
  • Relationship
  • Health related
  • Work related

On the following pages are listed various possible causes of stress for an individual, under the four main groupings referred to above. It should be remembered that these lists are not exhaustive, but merely list the most commonly experienced.

A particular subject suffering from stress will only rarely have one cause, although one cause can usually be identified as the primary stressor. In a “stress at work” case, it is important to explore all the possible causes, from the most obvious workplace stressor or stressors that may have been complained about, to the less obvious ones associated with home-life and personal relationships.
A simple questionnaire asking the subject to identify workplace stressors as well as all other possible causes may help to clarify the relative importance of the workplace problems.

Researchers Holmes and Rahe in 1968 developed a “Social Readjustment Scale.” This attempted to evaluate the relative severity of many life change events, with those at the top of the list clearly more likely to cause stress if the person’s ability to cope was diminished by other stress factors.

Finally, a simple “Measure your own Stress Levels” questionnaire can be used to try to get an individual to determine their present state of adjustment.

Some Common Causes of Stress

These PERSONAL, RELATIONSHIP, HEALTH RELATED and WORK RELATED stressors may help individuals to assess the main causes of stress in their lives. A rating of 1-10 may be useful to indicate the intensity and effect of the cause
1 = little or no problem 10 = major problem



Having unrealistic expectations                                                  


Poor time management                                                              


Lacking in organisational skills


Feeling inadequate


Needing to feel in control


Lacking confidence/self-esteem


Placing too much value on others’ opinions







Feeling that you have to fulfil others’ expectations


Lack of control


Lack of respect from others


Feeling exploited


Lack of confidence/self-esteem


Too much conflict


Lack of assertion


Dealing with angry people


Giving your time to others and not yourself


Others you experience





Poor communication


Having to cope with difficult management


Inexperienced staff


Lack of clarity of goals


Lack of consideration


Lack of feedback


Inadequate staffing


Lack of team work


Highly competitive environment


Time pressures


Work overload/underload


Lack of autonomy


Financial difficulties


Others you experience





Acute or short term illness


Chronic illness


Life threatening illness


General malaise


Specific health related issues



Life Change Events or Social Readjustment Rating Scale

Often people become stressed when there is a major change in their life or when they have to adapt to a new situation, whether that situation is good or bad. If several changes occur at once a person may then find it harder to cope, and suffer some degree of mental or physical illness. Researchers Holmes and Rahe in 1968 devised a Social Readjustment scale, which listed events in our lives, which are rated according to the amount of adjustment, required.

Death of wife or husband 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Jail term 63
Death of a close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Getting the sack from work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Change in health of family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Sexual problems 39
Addition of new family member 39
Major business problems 39
Change in financial state 38
Death of a close friend 37
Change in different kind of work 36
Change in living arrangements with wife/husband 35
Taking on a large mortgage 31
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Change in responsibilities at work 29
Son or daughter leaving home 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Wife starts/ stops work 26
Starting or leaving school 26
Change in living conditions 25
Revision of personal habits 24
Trouble with the boss 23
Change in working hours or conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in school 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activities 19
Change in social activity 18
Taking on bank loan or Hire Purchase 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family reunions 15
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Christmas 12
Minor violation of the law 11

They found that people who ran up over 300 points in one year had an 80% chance of becoming ill in the near future. Of those scoring between 150 and 300, 50% soon became ill.


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