In “Staying Cool On The Job” Maureen Farrell writes of stress and actions people take to combat it.

She writes: Indeed, most scientific research shows job-related stress is most severe when people have high demands and little control, or perceived control, over the forces at play.

According to Peter Schnall, director of the Center for Social Epidemiology at the University of California, Irvine, the greater your feeling of control, the lower your overall work-related stress level will be.

What actually happens in a stress situation? When faced with challenges, real or perceived, the brain prepares the body for defensive action—the fight or flight response by releasing stress hormones, namely, cortisone and adrenaline. These hormones raise the blood pressure and the body prepares to react to the situation.

In the fight response mode, the stress hormones in the blood get used up, resulting in reduced stress effects and symptoms of anxiety. In the flight response, the hormones and chemicals remain unreleased in the blood stream for a long period of time. This results in stress related physical symptoms : tense muscles, unfocused anxiety, dizziness and rapid heartbeats.

All of us come across innumerable causes of stress in day to day life. If not released, stress gets accumulated. Subsequently, it compels the mind and body to be in an almost constant alarm-state in preparation to fight or flee. This state of accumulated stress can increase the risk of both acute and chronic psychosomatic illnesses and weaken the immune system of the human body.

Stress levels were perhaps much less in those days, but long ago Thomas Jefferson did say
” Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”