Stress is an individual’s physiological response to an internal or external stimulus that makes the body to respond as if one is in danger. “The fatigue occurs when one has to handle more than they are used to.” (Williams, 1998, p. 135) According to the way Robert is behaving and coping with life, it is eevidentthat he is having psychological stress. He may not be able to get rid of it but applying strategies to cope with stress can help reduce it. At the age of 29, Robert is in dilemma and this has affected his professional career. As a professional rugby player, his performance has diminished drastically and he is considering retiring. Though his performance is deteriorating at an alarming rate, his coach and fellow team members still believe his performance can improve. Robert is worried about how to keep up with the pace for his ability is on the way down. He needs to be equipped with effective techniques on how to cope with or alter psychological stress if at all he wants to continue with his career. “Stress can be managed but management becomes effective only when one utilizes strategies to deal or change stressful situations” (Cox, 1990, p. 37). Robert must first of all accept that he is psychologically stressed and then learn ways to get stress under control. He needs to find out the cause of his stress, look for ways to minimize the amount of stress in his l,ife and adopthealthyh ways to relieve stress. After realizing what is causing his stress and how much, then Robert needs to take steps to reduce it or find ways to manage it. The events in life that may have caused Robert to be stressed may include; job stress whereby he may be working for long hours or his effort is not being appreciated. Financial stress for the issue of lacking money is a major source of stress and conflict among individuals. Relationship stress is a result of how he lives and interacts with other people in his social life. These people sometimes can be the real cause of stress in our daily life and we need to realize how we can cut down the stress in our relationships. Traits and attitudes on how he perceives the world can have an impact on his experience of stress. The action that he should take is to keep a stress journal. It is from the journal that he will be able to identify the cause of his stress. To reduce the stress, he should learn better how to manage his time and this involves making a schedule. Find better ways to manage stress if the past did not work out and think of those that can work better. He should also take good care of himself and this “entails eating well, avoid smoking, reduce alcohol consumption and get plenty of rest.” (Robert H, 2001, p.. 193). This will help in improving his performance. Learn to forget things that he cannot change and stop worrying but rather engage his mind with new ways of thinking. The team members, family members, and friends can help him manage stress if only he is open and frank to them about his problems. According to Elizabeth Scott, (2001, p. 79), different ways to manage stress can be adopted but one should keep an open mind to know the techniques that prove to be effective. Some of the techniques and practices to manage the stress that Robert can try include but are not limited to.
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To create lower-stress lifestyles then one needs to practice over and over again breathing exercises, meditates, listening to music, progressive muscle relaxation, and reframing with a sense of humor. If practiced regularly they are fast-acting in reducing the level of stress. The technique will help to reduce job stress and this means he will start enjoying every moment of his career.
Take care of himself
Sometimes stress may compel us to neglect our bodies and this can lead to even more stress. For Robert to lower the stress and improve performance, he should take care of himself by eating healthy, having enough sleep, exercising, healthy sex life as well as engaging himself with activities of his hobbies during his leisure time. This mainly will reduce relationship as well as job stress. By so doing, his performance will be boasted.
Maintaining the right attitude
Robert’s psychological stress has to do with his attitude and the way he perceives matters of life. Therefore he should be encouraged to be optimistic, be in control, try not to be a perfectionist, forget stressful situations, not to be angry, be happy but not worry, share the experience with his team members and learn tips on how to have fun. Avoiding pessimism will help Robert maintain a stress-relieving attitude. Traits and attitude stress can be minimized if one acquires a positive attitude towards his character.
Creating the right atmosphere
The environment we live in may trigger our stress levels and therefore it calls for change to reduce the stress level. Changing of atmosphere consequently helps in improving performance and Robert can adopt several ways to reduce his stress; he should operate in a soothing environment, listen to music in a quiet environment, aromatherapy and create a home where there will be no disturbance. This will reduce job stress and also in a way reduce financial stress.
Resource for busy people
As a professional rugby player, Robert is a busy person with more activities in his life and less time for stress management. He can efficiently manage stressors in his life as well as eliminate the causes of his stress if he manages time well, create more time, prioritize vital events. By so doing, he will accomplish a lot in less time without any fatigue or stress. Consequently, job stress will be a thing of the past.
There are certain routines that Robert can adopt that can help him to suffer from stress. Healthy habits can make it easier to manage stress if one makes them part of his/her life. He should make sure that he adopts better sleeping habits, identify and choose the right habit and make sure that in the morning when his mind is fresh to engage in more difficult tasks. This will boost his performance for this will reduce job stress.
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Robert’s life has been affected in many ways by the stress both emotionally and physically. After identifying the effects then he can know how to safeguard his health and happiness. He should scrutinize the cascades of physical changes and deal with them at an early stage. His body could have been affected in different ways which may include; increase in blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, psychosomatic illness, heart disease as well as weight gain or loss. “Mental and emotional effects of stress are associated with anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, mental impairment, psychosomatic illness, and emotional eating.” (Ari Kiev, 2007, p. 376). The behaviors of Robert were affected by stress and learning how to deal with or manage it can help him become or live a healthier lifestyle. Some of the behaviors that may exhibit include; poor sleep, an imbalanced lifestyle, and burnout. We find that people are affected by stress differently, and everyone is prone to stress uniquely.
To summarize, the ability of a person to accomplish a task, the work, the difficulty, and the effort required need to be integrated. If the capacity of a person is low than his/her work then he/she may experience burnout. To improve performance, then one must reduce stress by learning the cause of stress and take the necessary steps. The more one becomes enlightened about stress and performance the better one can manage and alter stressful situations.
- Ari Kiev, (2007) Mastering Trading Stress: Strategies for Maximizing Performance (New York: John Wiley and Sons)
- Cox, R. (1990) Sport Psychology: Concepts and applications. (Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Publishers)
- Davis, J.O. (1991) ‘Sports injuries and Stress management: An opportunity for research’ The Sport Psychologist, 5,
- Elizabeth Scott, (2001) Stress and Human Performance, (New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates)
- Murphy, S. (1995) Sport Psychology Interventions. Champaign, (Illinois: Human Kinetics).
- Robert Hockey, (2001) Stress and Fatigue in Human Performance. (New York: Wiley)
- Williams, J.M. (1998) Applied Sport Psychology: Personal Growth to Peak Performance (3rd ed.) Mountain View, (California: Mayfield Publishing)