Regular exercise leads to fewer chances of heart attacks, less tension and stress, more self-confidence and greater optimism.
(b) Yoga and Meditation:
Yoga is a structured set of exercises and body movements with deep breathing and concentration of mind so as to reduce stress. Meditation involves concentration of mind away from stress producing areas, sitting in a comfortable position, closing eyes and clearing the mind from all disturbing thoughts.
Coping with stress requires adaptation. Proper relaxation is an effective way to adapt. Examples of relaxation include taking regular vacations and going to a hill-station or any other quiet place, or taking short, regular rest-breaks during one’s normal workday.
(d) Readjusting life-goals:
Very often, stress is induced because an individual sets high goals and expectations for himself in too little time. This is often accompanied by fear of failure. Readjustment of life-goals in tune with available time, resources, energy and capacity will reduce stress.
(e) Social Support:
This includes soliciting a friend’s emotional support in times of trouble. Families can also be a great source of support.
(f) Role Management:
One more strategy of managing stress is where an individual actively works to avoid role overload, role conflict and role ambiguity. This includes asking for clarifications from one’s boss, learning to say “no” etc.
This is a methodology designed to alter undesirable physiological responses through psychological strategies. Sophisticated electronic instruments are used to measure small undesirable changes caused by stress. Then a state of relaxation is induced so as to reduce stress.
(h) Time Management:
This is another important strategy of managing stress. This will be discussed in detail in the next section of this chapter.
II. Organizational Coping Strategies:
Organizations can also play a role in managing their employees’ stress. This is because organizations are partially responsible for producing stress and relieving stress can enhance employees’ work performance, job-satisfaction, morale and job-related attitudes. These organizational strategies of coping with stress are as follows:
(a) Institutional Programmes:
These are undertaken through established organizational mechanisms such as properly designed jobs and work schedules. Organizational cultures which value individual dignity and reinforce a healthy mix of work and non-work activities, democratic leadership styles, an open organizational climate, job enrichment, participative decision making, building teams, etc. will also reduce stress.
(b) Collateral Programmes:
A collateral stress programme is an organizational programme specifically created to help employees deal with stress. These include stress management programmes, physical fitness programmes, promoting humour, psychological counseling, etc. as antidotes for stress.