Stress management standards have been established by certain government and workplace bodies. If you live in the United Kingdom, you can find stress management standards for United Kingdom businesses. In the U.S., you can find United States stress management standards. But stress management standards of United Kingdom companies as well as United States stress management standards are probably of limited value to individuals.
Individuals need personal stress management standards. What are your personal stress management standards? May we suggest three possible inclusions?
Identify and Measure Stressors
Personal stress management standards should require early identification of a stressor. Know the unusual demand that is being made on you. Name it. Clarify in your mind exactly what about it represents an unusual demand. Look at it carefully and determine if it is what you first thought it was.
Example: Your job requires that you handle all data entry for a large department. The job has been challenging, but you have managed to stay on top of it. Now, you have been asked to edit a monthly in-house newsletter. Your immediate reaction is that the demand is too great, but is it? What do your personal stress management standards tell you?
Personal Stress Management Standards of Assessment
Personal stress management standards must dictate the outcome. Ask yourself questions such as these:
- What, exactly, will the position demand?
- Do I have the necessary skills?
- If I lack skills, will provision be made for me to acquire them?
- Is this work achievable within the hours to which I agreed?
- Does it seem fair to add it without increasing compensation?
- Can I cope with the added workload and time constraints?
- Can I control whether or not I do this? Do I have a choice?
- Will I get any support if I accept the task?
- Will I have to deal with colleague jealousy?
Personal Stress Management Standards of Communication
Your personal stress management standards should provide ways for you to communicate with those in charge. Personal stress management standards should also make provision for communicating with family about unusual demands.
Personal Stress Management Standards of Response
If you have read other articles on this website, you will recognize that the unusual demand made upon you is not stress. You response to that demand is stress – positive, beneficial stress or negative, detrimental stress.
Be sure, in drawing up personal stress management standards, that you define what type of response is acceptable.
Important: Your personal stress management standards are probably more important, in the long run, than either United States stress management standards or the stress management standards of United Kingdom companies. Take time to spell them out for yourself.