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Stress Management: An Army Officer's Perspective

A brief guide to managing stress from the perspective of a British Army Officer. Useful for managers who want to combat stress in their teams, and also for individuals who want to reduce their own stress levels.

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Stress Management: An Army Officer's Perspective

  1. 1. Stress Management An Army Officer’s Perspective
  2. 2. Objective The Aim of this presentation is to provide military leaders with the knowledge and skills to identify and manage stress within their organisations.
  3. 3. Introduction • Introduction. • What is Stress? • Causes. • Symptoms. • Stress managing the individual. • Stress managing the organisation. • Signposting. • Summary.
  4. 4. What is Stress? Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure).
  5. 5. History • Recently identified illness. • Shell Shock in WWI. • PTSD in Gulf War 1. • TRIM in Afghanistan.
  6. 6. Biology • Central Nervous System (CNS). • Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). • Parasympathetic Nervous System. • Sympathetic Nervous System. • Sympathetic Response. • Stimulation of Adrenal Glands. • ‘Fight or Flight’ Response. • Results. • Increased heart rate. • Pupils dilate. • Mental activity enhanced. • Metabolic rate enhanced. • Constriction of peripheral blood vessels. • Decreased intestinal response.
  7. 7. Five Types of Stress • Acute time-limited stressor. • Un-natural, short-term challenge. • e.g. Car crash, rollercoaster ride. • Brief natural stressor. • Normal but nevertheless challenging. • e.g. Dance class, interview. • Stressful event sequences. • Stressor that occurs, then continues to yield stress into the immediate future. • Chronic stressors. • Exposure to a long term stressor. • e.g. Work, unhappy marriage, parenthood. • Distant stressors. • Stressor that is not immediate. • e.g. Impending medical treatment.
  8. 8. Can Stress be Positive?
  9. 9. What is Stress Management? Stress Management is a wide spectrum of techniques aimed at controlling a person or group’s level of stress, especially chronic stress, usually for the purpose of improving functioning.
  10. 10. Why do we get Stressed? External Factors Work Nature of Work, Hours, Workload, Resources, Relationships, Deadlines, Competition, Being Overlooked, Change, Culture, Management, Unemployment Home Divorce, Children, Relationships, Bereavement, Carers, Financial Issues, Home Security, Surroundings Social Discrimination, Conflicting Values or Culture, Desire to Conform, Appearance Past Events Trauma Resilience Mental Depression, Self Esteem, Negativity, Mindfulness Physical Chronic Illness, Obesity, Smoking, Fitness, Diet List all the causes of stress in your current lifestyle.
  11. 11. Why do we get Stressed? External Factors Work Nature of Work, Hours, Workload, Resources, Relationships, Deadlines, Competition, Being Overlooked, Change, Culture, Management, Unemployment Home Divorce, Children, Relationships, Bereavement, Carers, Financial Issues, Home Security, Surroundings Social Discrimination, Conflicting Values or Culture, Desire to Conform, Appearance, Over Socialising Past Events Trauma Resilience Mental Depression, Self Esteem, Negativity, Mindfulness Physical Chronic Illness, Obesity, Smoking, Fitness, Diet, Sleep A list of the common causes of stress.
  12. 12. Symptoms of Stress Physical Psychological Behavioural Fatigue Muscular Tension Headaches Heart Palpitations Insomnia Gastrointestinal Upset Dermatological Disorders Depression Anxiety Discouragement Irritability Pessimism Feelings of being Overwhelmed Feeling Unable to Cope Reduced Ability to Concentrate Impaired Decision Making Aggression Absenteeism Drop in Performance Mood Swings Impatience Diminished Creativity Disinterest Isolation List all the symptoms of stress you display.
  13. 13. Symptoms of Stress Physical Psychological Behavioural Fatigue Muscular Tension Headaches Heart Palpitations Insomnia Gastrointestinal Upset Dermatological Disorders Depression Anxiety Discouragement Irritability Pessimism Feelings of being Overwhelmed Feeling Unable to Cope Reduced Ability to Concentrate Impaired Decision Making Aggression Absenteeism Drop in Performance Mood Swings Impatience Diminished Creativity Disinterest Isolation A list of all the common symptoms of stress.
  14. 14. Stress Management Monitor MitigateEffects BuildResilience TreatCauses Identify and Measure Three Pillars of Stress Management
  15. 15. Stress Management • Identify (Management Standards). • Demands – includes workload, work patterns and the work environment. • Control – how much say a person has in the way they do their work. • Support – includes the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues. • Role – whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles. • Change – how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation. • Relationships – promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour. • Measure and Monitor. • Several Tools (Percieved Stress Scale, Standard Stress Scale etc). • Importance of Honesty. • Importance of Data Privacy. • Repeat Testing.
  16. 16. Measure and Monitor PERCEIVED STRESS SCALE by Sheldon Cohen
  17. 17. Stress Management Mitigate Effects Treat Causes Build Resilience Take Breaks from Stressor Seek Counselling Medical Treatments Make changes in the Workplace Improve Organisation Reduce Workload Develop Interpersonal Relationships Eat healthily Stop Smoking Reduce Drinking Exercise Regularly Regular Relaxation Meditation Mindfulness Methods of Stress Management using the Three Pillars.
  18. 18. Signposting • Unit. • Chain of Command. • Peers. • TRIM Practitioners. • Medical Centre. • Unit MO. • Mental Health Nurses. • Welfare. • Welfare Officer. • Padre. • Unit Mental Health First Aider. • External. • Government Health and Safety Executive. • Samaritans.
  19. 19. Summary The Aim of this presentation is to provide military leaders with the knowledge and skills to identify and manage stress within their organisations.
  20. 20. Questions Any Questions?

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