Types And Sources Of Social Support
Social support can be categorized in several different ways. Emotional support is the presence, warmth, and nurturance that provides the individual with a sense of value, esteem, acceptance, or affection. Tangible support is the offering of a material service, such as financial support, that provides concrete assistance to another person. Informational support is the provision of advice, guidance, or suggestion that enables individual problem-solving. Companionship support is the presence of another person who provides a sense of belonging and engagement.
Social support: The presence of a social network that can either be expected to provide or actually provides social support can have extremely positive effects on the experience of stress and successful stress management.
In any instance, a type of support can be either perceived or received. Perceived support is a subjective, personal experience or judgment that support will be offered when needed and that such support will be effective. Received support is the objective, specific help that is offered in a time of need.
Social support can also be measured in terms of structural or function support. Structural support refers to the size of a persons social network, while functional support refers to the types of support that network can provide. Social networks encompass sources of support including families, friends, romantic partners, counselors, and organizations.
Government Of Canada’s Role
The Government of Canada works to help Canadians maintain and improve their mental health, including coping with stress. Within its jurisdiction, the Government of Canada works to:
- generate and disseminate knowledge, and support both knowledge generation and dissemination activities undertaken by other organizations
- strengthen the capacity of the primary health care, home care and acute care sectors to effectively deliver mental health programs and services
- provide leadership and governance
- develop social marketing campaigns
- conduct surveillance on health trends in the population
- In 2007, the federal government provided funding to establish and support a Mental Health Commission to lead the development of a national mental health strategy.
Limit Your Social Media Intake
On the one hand, social media is a great way to connect with others. On the other hand, it can amplify anxiety and stress with a constant flow of worrisome information. Therefore, be careful about your social media use: consider turning off push notifications, unfollowing or muting accounts which are triggering for you, muting WhatsApp groups and hiding Facebook posts and feeds that might overwhelm you. A lot of devices nowadays even offer a function to notify you once youve reached your daily time limit of social media use.
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Strategically Using Learning At Work
What specifically can you do to increase learning when faced with stress at work?
First, start internally. Practice re-reframing stressful work challenges in your mind. When stress emerges, change the message you tell yourself from this is a stressful work assignment/situation to this is a challenging but rewarding opportunity to learn. Reframing stressful tasks as learning possibilities shifts your mindset and better prepares you to approach the task with an orientation toward growth and longer-term gains.
Second, work and learn with others. Instead of wrestling with a stressful challenge solely in your own head, try to get input from others. Getting out and discussing a stressor with your peers and colleagues might reveal hidden insights, either from their experience or from the questions and perspectives they raise.
Embracing learning can be a more active way to buffer yourself from negative effects of stress at work. At the same time, there is no need to wait for stress to arise before seeking learning opportunities. Even without pressing problems, engaging in learning as a central feature of your work life will help you build personal resources and equip you to be resilient and prepared in navigating future stress at work.
Where To Get Help
If you think that you or someone you know may be under more stress than just dealing with a passing difficulty, it may be helpful to talk with your doctor, clergy person, or employee assistance professional. They may suggest you visit with a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or other qualified counselor.
In crisis? If you or someone you know is in crisis, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK to reach a 24-hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.
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How Does Cognitive Appraisal Affect Stress Levels
Positive or negative cognitive stress appraisal can therefore be an important mental health concept to improve stress-coping skills and control stress among workers. For individuals, positive cognitive appraisal contributes to prevention of depression, thereby improving quality of life.
Can My Doctor Help
You can speak to your GP if you are struggling to cope with stress. Struggling to cope with stress may include the following.
- You are struggling to do everyday things.
- You have stopped looking after yourself.
- You are taking more time of work.
- You have thought that life is not worth living.
- You are using drugs or alcohol to cope with how you feel.
- You have felt very low or hopeless for 2 weeks or more.
- You no longer enjoy anything.
- You are having panic attacks.
It may help you to write down a list of the main points and questions that you want to discuss with your GP. This can be helpful if you are feeling anxious or worried.
If you have kept a stress diary you could take this with you. See the previous section for more information about a stress diary.
Your GP could offer:
- support groups in your area.
You can find more information about:
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People Experience Different Kinds Of Goal Conflict
Many people live lives where they have obligations to others and where demands are put on their time. It is not unusual for these many different obligations to be in conflict. Work demands and home-life demands are frequently in conflict. Goal conflict occurs in any situation where a person has competing demands on their time, not just those related to work-life balance.
Smoking Drinking And Drug Use And Stress
You might find that you smoke, drink alcohol or use recreational drugs to reduce stress. However, this often makes problems worse.28
Research shows that smoking may increase feelings of anxiety.29 Nicotine creates an immediate, temporary, sense of relaxation, which can then lead to withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Similarly, you may use alcohol as a means to manage and cope with difficult feelings, and to temporarily reduce feelings of anxiety. However, alcohol may make existing mental health problems worse. It can make you feel more anxious and depressed in the long run.30 It is important to know the recommended limits31 and drink responsibly.
Prescription drugs, such as tranquillisers and sleeping tablets, which may have been prescribed for very good reasons, can also cause mental and physical health problems if used for long periods of time.32 Street drugs, such as cannabis or ecstasy, are usually taken for recreational purposes. For some people, problems start as their bodies get used to repeated use of the drug. This leads to the need for increased doses to maintain the same effect.33
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Ways To Cope With Chronic Stress
“Its key to recognize stressful situations as they occur because it allows you to focus on managing how you react,” Dr. Stoll says. “We all need to know when to close our eyes and take a deep breath when we feel tension rising.”
Use these tips to prevent or reduce chronic stress.
1. Re-balance Work and Home
All work and no play? If youre spending too much time at the office, intentionally put more dates in your calendar to enjoy time for fun, either alone or with others.
2. Build in Regular Exercise
Moving your body on a regular basis balances the nervous system and increases blood circulation, helping to flush out stress hormones. Even a daily 20-minute walk makes a difference.
3. Eat Well and Limit Alcohol and Stimulants
Alcohol, nicotine and caffeine may temporarily relieve stress but have negative health impacts and can make stress worse in the long run. Well-nourished bodies cope better, so start with a good breakfast, add more organic fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and sugar, and drink more water.
4. Connect with Supportive People
Talking face to face with another person releases hormones that reduce stress. Lean on those good listeners in your life.
5. Carve out Hobby Time
Do you enjoy gardening, reading, listening to music or some other creative pursuit? Engage in activities that bring you pleasure and joy research shows that reduces stress by almost half and lowers your heart rate, too.
6. Practice Meditation, Stress Reduction or Yoga
Be Gentle And Understanding Of Grief During This Time
Today we are all grieving. We are grieving the loss of our freedom, a predictable future, the lives and roles we used to have before the coronavirus. We are all experiencing a degree of grief. Many of us are fearful about work, health, our families, and our shared future in ways that were unimaginable just a short time ago.It might be difficult to even acknowledge the loss in the midst of a global pandemic, but it is understandable to feel sad, or angry if a loved one is sick, if you cannot visit your family, or if you are no longer able to attend important events that you were looking forward to, such as your graduation or a long-awaited holiday.Be kind to yourself and your feelings right now, it is understandable to feel out of sorts with all of these changes.
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Tips For Reducing Or Controlling Stress
If you are feeling stressed, there are steps you can take to feel better. As you read the following suggestions, remember that conquering stress will not come from a half-hearted effort, nor will it come overnight. It will take determination, persistence and time. Some suggestions may help immediately, but if your stress level doesnt seem to improve, it may require more attention and/or lifestyle changes.
Be realistic. If you feel overwhelmed by some activities , learn to say NO! Eliminate an activity that is not absolutely necessary. You may be taking on more responsibility than you can or should handle. If you meet resistance, give reasons why youre making the changes. Be willing to listen to others suggestions and be ready to compromise.
Shed the superman/superwoman urge. No one is perfect, so dont expect perfection from yourself or others. Ask yourself, What really needs to be done? How much can I do? Is the deadline realistic? What adjustments can I make? Dont hesitate to ask for help if you need it.
Meditate. Just ten to twenty minutes of quiet reflection may bring relief from chronic stress as well as increase your tolerance to it. Use the time to listen to music, relax and try to think of pleasant things or nothing.
Exercise. Regular exercise is a popular way to relieve stress. Twenty to thirty minutes of physical activity benefits both the body and the mind.
Who Is Famous For Cognitive Appraisal
Arnold. Magda Arnold was an American psychologist who coined the term appraisal to refer to the cognitive processes preceding the elicitation of emotion. She developed her cognitive theory in the 1960s, which specified that the first step in experiencing an emotion is an appraisal of the situation.
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Be Realistic And Practical
Remember whats happened cannot be undone. Theres no use crying over spilt milk.
At times getting too emotional aggravates the situation. If youre facing a permanent loss and nothing can be done about it, make yourself understand the fact.
Try to assess the situation intelligently. Think of other logical options to resolve the problem or conflict. Set realistic goals, have priorities and be focused.
Change your perspective. You can only do all that if you remain cool and your mind is calm, so go back to point #1 and learn to be calm.
This way of coping with stress seems to be like a Zen approach, but you too can do it.
Some Coping Strategies Are Not So Great
But people have other ways of coping that arent quite as effective. For example, lots of people use screen time watching TV or movies and surfing the net to distract themselves from stress. But in the Stress in America survey, relatively few people said screen time was truly effective as a stress management strategy.
Some coping strategies give people temporary relief, but can cause other problems. For example, people may feel relief from stress after eating junk food or having a few drinks. But both can cause health problems if they become habits.
That doesnt mean you should never watch TV or eat the occasional bag of chips to distract yourself from stress. Almost everybody does things like that sometimes. But its a good idea to learn about other coping strategies that may be more helpful.
Here are some proven coping methods that are both effective and low-risk. Some of them are first aid strategies that help us manage stress in the moment. Others are stress maintenance strategies that build our ability to deal with stress or help us recover from it.
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How Can I Prevent Stress
Its not always possible to prevent stress altogether life can be stressful. If you remember that some stress can be positive and motivating, you can aim to find the right balance between productive stress, and an unhelpful level of stress.
Making sure you have time to relax each day will also help prevent a build-up of tension in your body and your mind.
Daily exercise can have many benefits for your overall health and wellbeing, including reducing stress. Something as simple as going for a walk or taking part in a team sport can also improve your mental health, and help prevent feeling stressed.
Spend time learning what triggers your stress and try to understand why this is. Structured problem solving is another form of psychological therapy that can then help prevent your stress from escalating, as you identify ways to solve the problems that trigger your stress.
While preventing stress altogether may not be a realistic goal, you can go a long way towards managing your stress, by recognising what causes your stress and practicing a range of stress-reducing techniques that work for you, and seeking help before you feel overwhelmed.
Momentary Vs Lasting Stress
Sometimes a stressful situation just lasts a moment like getting through a school play audition or making the foul shot that could win the game.
But life also can bring situations that might keep us stressed for a few days, weeks, or months. Even if we’re not always thinking about this stress, it can be like a background soundtrack playing in our lives.
If you’re like most people, you’ve faced these kinds of lasting stressful situations. Feeling unprepared or unhappy about the situation increases the stress. Stressful situations can wear us down over time. Finding ways to deal with them can help us grow strong.
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To Cope With Stress Try Learning Something New
There are typically two ways people try to deal with work stress. One is to simply buckle down and power throughto focus on getting the stressful work done. Professional workers often have a bias for action and want to find a solution quickly. The other common tactic is to retreatto temporarily disconnect from work and get away from the stressful environment. Unfortunately, both of these approaches have pitfalls. Continuing to work while stressed and fatigue can tax us and lead to worse performance. And while a reprieve from work can offer temporary relief, it doesnt address the underlying issues causing the stress in the first place.
Research suggests a third option might be more effective at helping us manage stress and its effects: focusing on learning. This can mean picking up a new skill, gathering new information, or seeking out intellectual challenges. In two recent research projects, one with employees from a variety of industries and organizations, and the other with medical residents, researchers found evidence that engaging in learning activities can buffer workers from detrimental effects of stress including negative emotions, unethical behavior, and burnout.
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Approaches To Stress Management
Studies of stress have shown that it is caused by distinct, measurable life events deemed stressors. Life stressors can be ranked by the median degree of stress they produce. This finding led to the belief that stress was somehow outside of or beyond the control of the person experiencing stress. Further study into this belief yielded a slightly different result. While external stressors can produce valid and measurable stress in the body, this reaction is entirely dependent on the appraisal formed by the stressed person. Not only does an event need to be perceived as stressful, but the individual must also believe that the pressure of the event outweighs his/her ability to cope. This theory of imbalance between demands and resources is now called the transactional model of stress. Modern stress-management techniques were modeled from this idea that stress is not a predetermined, direct response to a stressor but rather an changeable perception of deficiency on behalf the individual. This precept allows stress to be controlled by the person and provides the basis for most stress management techniques.
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Managing Stress And Maintaining Motivation
In addition to the benefits of maintaining good health, there are other strategies that help in maintaining motivation and handling stress. Most of these strategies are simple ones that promote personal responsibility and a positive life outlook. Perhaps the most effective strategy, though one that is often difficult to put into practice, is shifting from a pessimistic to an optimistic point of view.