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PROJECT

ON

STRESS MANAGEMENT IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY

By

Natasha Devika SriRam (09/MHRM/22)

&

Ishbeer Kaur Virdi (09/MHRM/13)

Of

Madras School of Social Work

A project report submitted to

Faculty Of Human Resource Management

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of

MASTER OF ARTS IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

UNIVERSITY OF MADRAS

February 2010

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CERTIFICATE

This is to certify that the project report on the “STRESS MANAGEMNT” is a bonafide
project work done by Ms.Natasha Devika SriRam and Ms.Ishbeer Kaur Virdi , full time
students of the Department of MA.HRM, Madras School of Social Work in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Arts in Human Resource
Management of the University of Madras during the year 2010-2011

………………. …………………….. ……………….

Project Guide Head of the Department Principal

Of MA.HRM

Internal Examiner External Examiner

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DECLARATION

We, Ms.Natasha Devika SriRam and Ms.Ishbeer Kaur Virdi hereby declare that the report
fulfills all the requirements for the award of the degree in Masters in Human Resource
Management and is a record of original work done by us during the period of February 2011,
under the guidance and supervision of Professors Mr.John Paul & Mr.SivaPragasam

…………………… ……………………..

Signature of the Faculty Guide Signature of the Candidate

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We offer our special thanks and prayers to God Almighty for showering his blessings on us
and bestowing us with the skills and abilities to carry out this study.

We cordially thank Madras School of Social Work for giving us the opportunity to undergo
our project work.

We thank the principal Dr.Mrs.Fatima Vasanth for her support.

We thank Mrs. Jeyanthi Peter, Head of the Department of MA.HRM for her inspiration and
guidance throughout the course of our study in the institution.

We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to our faculty guides Mr. John Paul & Mr.
Sivapragasam who guided us throughout the project.

We also acknowledge all the staff of MA.HRM department for their valuable guidance.

Last but not the least we also extend our gratitude and thanks to our families and friends who
have been a constant source of encouragement and support.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

S.NO CONTENTS PG. NO.

LIST OF TABLES
LIST OF CHARTS
1 INTRODUCTION 8

2 INDUSTRY PROFILE 16

3 SCOPE & OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY 20

4 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 21

5 REVIEW OF LITERATURE 22

6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 37

7 DATA ANALYSIS & INTERPRETATIONS 42

8 FINDINGS 66

9 SUGGESTIONS 67

10 CONCLUSION 69

11 BIBLIOGRAPHY 70

12 ANNEXURE 72

LIST OF TABLES & PIE CHARTS

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PAGE
NO. TITLE
NO.

1 AGE OF RESPONDENTS 42

2 GENDER OF RESPONDENTS 43

3 WORK EXPERIENCE OF RESPONDENTS 44

EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION OF
4 45
RESPONDENTS
RESPONDENTS WITH DIFFICULTY IN
1.1 46
SLEEPING
RESPONDENTS WITH DIFFICULTY IN
1.2 47
CONCENTRATING

1.3 RESPONDANTS WITH FINANCIAL PROBLEMS 48

1.4 RESPONDENTS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE 49

1.5 RESPONDENTS AND FREQUENCY OF ANGER 50

1.6 RESPONDENTS WITH JOB PESSIMISM 51

RESPONDENTS WITH SLOW RECOVERY


1.7 52
DURING ILLNESS

1.8 RESPONDENTS WHO FEEL ISOLATED 53

1.9 RESPONDENTS WITH NO CONTROL OF LIFE 54

1.10 RESPONDENTS WITH BAD EATING HABITS 55

RESPONDENTS WHO OVER REACT TO


1.11 56
CONFLICTS
RESPONDENTS WHOSE WORK EXCEEDS
1.12 57
ONE'S CAPACITY
RESPONDENTS CAUGHT BETWEEN FAMILY
1.13 58
AND WORK PRESSURE

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RESPONDENTS WHO FEEL UNDER - PAR AT
1.14 59
THE BEGINNING OF A WORK DAY
RESPONDENTS WHO SHY AWAY FROM
1.15 50
SOCIAL CONTACT WITH COLLEAGUES
RESPONDENTS WHOSE APPEARANCES ARE
1.16 61
COMMENTED UPON
RESPONDENTS WITH NO TIME FOR
1.17 62
THEMSELVES
RESPONDENTS WHO FEEL
1.18 MISUNDERSTOOD/ UNAPPRECIATED BY 63
OTHERS
RESPONDENTS WHO ARE COPERS FOR
1.19 FAMILY/ COLLEAGUES WITH NO SUPPORT 64
FOR THEMSELVES
RESPONDENTS WHO TAKE A DAY OFF JUST
1.20 TO RECUPERATE EMOTIONALLY, 65
MENTYALLY & PHYSICALLY

INTRODUCTION
20TH century has been regarded as the period of incredible change in human history.
Philosophers and scientists have been various names to this period. Peter Drucker has called

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it “The Age of Discontinuity”, John Galbraith has called it “The Age of Future Shock” and
Hari Albrecht called it “The Age of Anxiety”.

Stress has become the 21 century buzz word, from the high pervading corporate echelons to
the bassinets of teaching infants’ nurseries we find this world liberally used. Stress is part of
modern life. Various events in life cause stress, starting with the birth of a child and enduring
with the death of a dear one.

Urbanization, industrialization and the increase scale of operations in society are some of the
reasons for rising stress. It is an inevitable consequence of socio-economic complexity and to
some extent, its stimulant as well. People experience stress as they can no longer have
complete control over what happen in their lives. The telephone goes out of order, power is
shut down, water supply is disrupted, children perform poorly at school etc, we feel frustrated
and then stressed.

The word stress is derived from a Latin word “stringere”, meaning to draw tight. From the
view point of physical sciences, the phenomena of stress are evident in all materials when
they are subjected to “force, pressure, strain or strong-front”. Every material steel, rock or
wood has its own limit up to which it can withstand stress without being damaged. Similarly
human beings can tolerate certain level of stress. Stress is highly individualistic in nature.
Some people have high levels of stress tolerance for stress and thrive very well in the face of
several stressors in the environment. In fact, some individuals will not perform well unless
they experience a level of stress which activates and energizes then to put forth their best
results.

For every individual there is an optimum level of stress under which he or she will perform to
full capacity. If the stress experience is below the optimum level, then the individual gets
bored, the motivational level of work reaches a low point and it results to careless mistakes,
forgetting to do things and thinking of things other than work during work hours and also
leads to absenteeism which may ultimately lead to turnover. If on the other hand, stress
experience is above the optimum level, it leads to too many conflicts with the supervisor or
leads to increase of errors, bad decisions and the individual may experience insomnia,
stomach problems, and psychosomatic illness.

The present world is fast changing and there are lots of pressures and demands at work.
These pressures at work lead to physical disorders. Stress refers to individual’s reaction to a
disturbing factor in the environment. It is an adaptive response to certain external factor or
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situation or what can be called environmental stimuli as reflected in an opportunity,
constraint, or demand the outcome of which is uncertain but important. In short stress is a
response to an external factor that results in physical, emotional, behavioral deviations in a
person.

Stress is an all pervading modern phenomenon that takes a heavy toll of human life. Different
situations and circumstances in our personal life and in our job produce stress. Those can be
divided into factors related to the organization and factors related to the person which include
his experience and personality traits. Job related factors are work overload, time pressures,
poor quality of supervision, insecure political climate, role conflict and ambiguity, difference
between company values and employee values. Person related factors are death of spouse, or
of a close friend, family problems, change to a different line of work, prolonged illness in the
family, change in social activities, eating habits, etc.,

Personality traits are ‘Type A’ personality. They are impatient, ambitious, competitive,
aggressive, and hardworking. They set high goals and demands of themselves and others.
And they are particularly prone to stress inducing anticipatory emotions such as anxiety.

REMEDIES TO REDUCE STRESS

There are two major approaches to reduce stress. They are,

• Individual approaches
• Organizational approaches

INDIVIDUAL APPROACHES

An employee can take individual responsibility to reduce his/her stress level. Individual
strategies that have proven effective include, implementing time management techniques,
increasing physical exercise, relaxation training, and expanding the social support network.

 Time management
Many people manage their time very poorly. Some of well known time management
principles include,

o Making daily list of activities to be accomplished


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o Scheduling activities according to the priorities set
o Prioritizing activities by importance and urgency
o Knowing your daily cycle and handling the most demanding parts of your job.
 Physical exercise
Practicing physical exercises like aerobics, brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and riding a
bi-cycle.

 Relaxation training
Relaxation techniques such as meditation, hypnosis and bio-feedback. The objective is to
reach in state of deep relaxation, where one feels physically relaxed, somewhat from
detached from the immediate environment. Fifteen or twenty minutes a day of deep
relaxation releases tension and provides a person with a pronounced sense of peacefulness.

 Social support
Having families, friends or work colleagues to talk provides an outlet, when stress levels
become excessive. So expand your social support network that helps you with someone to
hear your problems.

ORGANIZATIONAL APPROACHES

Several of the factors that cause stress particularly task and role demands and organizations
structure are controlled by management. As such they can be modified or changed. Some of
the strategies that management want to consider include improved personal self section and
job placement, use of realistic goal setting, redesigning of jobs, improved organizational
communication and establishment of corporate wellness programmes.

Certain jobs are more stressful than others. Individual with little experience or an external
lower of control tend to be more proven to stress. Selection and placement decisions should
take these facts into consideration. Goal setting helps to reduce stress. It also provides
motivation. Designing jobs to give employees more responsibility, more meaningful work,
more autonomy, and increased feedback can reduce stress, because these factors give the
employee greater control over work activities and lessen dependence on others.

Increasingly formal organizational communication with employees reduces uncertainty by


reducing role ambiguity and role conflict. Wellness programs like employee counselling form
on the employee’s total physical and mental condition. They typically proud work ships to

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help people quit smoking, control alcohol usage, eat better and develop a regular exercise
program.

Another remedy for reducing stress is cognitive restructuring. It involves two step
procedures. First irrational or maladaptive thought processes that create stress are identified.
For example Type A individuals may believe that they must be successful at everything they
do. The second step consists of replacing these irrational thoughts with more rational or
reasonable ones.

One important remedy to reduce stress is the maintenance of good sleep. Research conducted
on laboratory specimen to have met with startling discoveries. Sleep starved rats have
developed stress syndrome. The amount of sleep one requires varies from person to person
and is dependent on one’s lifestyle. The American National Sleep Foundation claims that a
minimum of eight hours of sleep is essential for good health. Generally studies shows that
young adults can manage with about 7-8 hours. After the age of 35, six hours of sleep is
sufficient whereas people over 65 years may just need three or four hours.

TYPES OF STRESSES

The different types of stress are as follows:

Mechanical

• Stress (physics), the average amount of force exerted per unit area.
• Yield stress, the stress at which a material begins to deform plastically.
• Compressive stress, the stress applied to materials resulting in their compaction.

Biological

• Stress (biological), physiological or psychological stress; some types include:


• Chronic stress, persistent stress which can lead to illness and mental disorder
• Eustress, positive stress that can lead to improved long-term functioning
• Workplace stress, stress caused by employment

Other

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• Stress (game), card game
• Stress (linguistics), phonological use of prominence in language

STRESS IN MECHANICAL TERMS :

Stress (physics)

Stress is a measure of the average amount of force exerted per unit area. It is a measure of
the intensity of the total internal forces acting within a body across imaginary internal
surfaces, as a reaction to external applied forces and body forces. It was introduced into the
theory of elasticity by Cauchy around 1822. Stress is a concept that is based on the concept of
continuum. In general, stress is expressed as

Where,

is the average stress, also called engineering or nominal stress, and

• is the force acting over the area .

Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is stress that lasts a long time or occurs frequently. Chronic stress is
potentially damaging. Symptoms of chronic stress can be:

• upset stomach
• headache
• backache
• insomnia
• anxiety
• depression
• anger

In the most severe cases it can lead to panic attacks or a panic disorder.

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There are a number of methods to control chronic stress, which include, exercise, healthy
diet, stress management, relaxation techniques, adequate rest, and relaxing hobbies.

Ensuring a healthy diet containing magnesium may help control or eliminate stress, in those
individuals with lower levels of magnesium or those who have a magnesium deficiency.
Chronic stress can also lead to a magnesium deficiency, which can be a factor in continued
chronic stress, and a whole host of other negative medical conditions caused by a magnesium
deficiency.

It has been discovered that there is a huge upsurge in the number of people who suffer from
this condition. A very large number of these new cases suffer from insomnia.

In a review of the scientific literature on the relationship between stress and disease, the
authors found that stress plays a role in triggering or worsening depression and
cardiovascular disease and in speeding the progression of HIV/AIDS.

Compressive stress:

Compressive stress is the stress applied to materials resulting in their compaction (decrease
of volume). When a material is subjected to compressive stress, then this material is under
compression. Usually, compressive stress applied to bars, columns, etc. leads to shortening.

Loading a structural element or a specimen will increase the compressive stress until the
reach of compressive strength. According to the properties of the material, failure will occur
as yield for materials with ductile behavior (most metals, some soils and plastics) or as
rupture for brittle behavior (geometries, cast iron, glass, etc).

In long, slender structural elements -- such as columns or truss bars -- an increase of


compressive force F leads to structural failure due to buckling at lower stress than the
compressive strength.

Compressive stress has stress units (force per unit area), usually with negative values to
indicate the compaction. However in geotechnical engineering, compressive stress is
represented with positive values.

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STRESS IN BIOLOGICAL TERMS:

Stress is a biological term which refers to the consequences of the failure of a human or
animal body to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats to the organism,
whether actual or imagined. It includes a state of alarm and adrenaline production, short-term
resistance as a coping mechanism, and exhaustion. It refers to the inability of a human or
animal body to respond. Common stress symptoms include irritability, muscular tension,
inability to concentrate and a variety of physical reactions, such as headaches and accelerated
heart rate.

The term "stress" was first used by the endocrinologist Hans Selye in the 1930s to identify
physiological responses in laboratory animals. He later broadened and popularized the
concept to include the perceptions and responses of humans trying to adapt to the challenges
of everyday life. In Selye's terminology, "stress" refers to the reaction of the organism, and
"stressor" to the perceived threat. Stress in certain circumstances may be experienced
positively. Eustress, for example, can be an adaptive response prompting the activation of
internal resources to meet challenges and achieve goals.

The term is commonly used by laypersons in a metaphorical rather than literal or biological
sense, as a catch-all for any perceived difficulties in life. It also became a euphemism, a way
of referring to problems and eliciting sympathy without being explicitly confessional, just
"stressed out". It covers a huge range of phenomena from mild irritation to the kind of severe
problems that might result in a real breakdown of health. In popular usage almost any event
or situation between these extremes could be described as stressful.

GOOD STRESS V/S BAD STRESS:

Stress has often been misunderstood to be negative, with few people acknowledging the
importance and usefulness of positive stress. In our everyday lives, stress is everywhere and
definitely unavoidable; hence our emphasis should be on differentiating between what is
good stress, and what is bad. This will help us to learn to cope with negative stress, and
harness the power of positive stress to help us achieve more.

There are 4 main categories of stress, namely eustress, distress, hyper stress and hypo stress.
Negative stress can cause many physical and psychological problems, whilst positive stress
can be very helpful for us. Here’s how we differentiate between them.
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EUSTRESS
This is a positive form of stress, which prepares your mind and body for the imminent
challenges that it has perceived. Eustress is a natural physical reaction by your body which
increases blood flow to your muscles, resulting in a higher heart rate. Athletes before a
competition or perhaps a manager before a major presentation would do well with Eustress,
allowing them to derive the inspiration and strength that is needed.

DISTRESS
We are familiar with this word, and know that it is a negative form of stress. This occurs
when the mind and body is unable to cope with changes, and usually occurs when there are
deviations from the norm. They can be categorized into acute stress and chronic stress. Acute
stress is intense, but does not last for long. On the other hand, chronic stress persists over a
long period of time. Trigger events for distress can be a change in job scope or routine that
the person is unable to handle or cope with.

HYPER STRESS
This is another form of negative stress that occurs when the individual is unable to cope with
the workload. Examples include highly stressful jobs, which require longer working hours
than the individual can handle. If you suspect that you are suffering from hyper stress, you
are likely to have sudden emotional breakdowns over insignificant issues, the proverbial
straws that broke the camel’s back. It is important for you to recognize that your body needs a
break, or you may end up with severe and chronic physical and psychological reactions.

HYPO STRESS
Lastly, hypo stress occurs when a person has nothing to do with his time and feels constantly
bored and unmotivated. This is due to an insufficient amount of stress; hence some stress is
inevitable and helpful to us. Companies should avoid having workers who experience hypo
stress as this will cause productivity and mindfulness to fall. If the job scope is boring and
repetitive, it would be a good idea to implement some form of job rotation so that there is
always something new to learn.

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INDUSTRY PROFILE

HISTORY OF BANKING

Modern Western economic and financial history is usually traced back to the coffee houses of
London. The London Royal Exchange was established in 1565. At that time moneychangers
were already called bankers, though the term "bank" usually referred to their offices, and did
not carry the meaning it does today. There was also a hierarchical order among professionals;
at the top were the bankers who did business with heads of state, next were the city
exchanges, and at the bottom were the pawn shops or "Lombard"'s. Some European cities
today have a Lombard street where the pawn shop was located.

After the siege of Antwerp trade moved to Amsterdam. In 1609 the Amsterdamsche
Wisselbank (Amsterdam Exchange Bank) was founded which made Amsterdam the financial
centre of the world until the Industrial Revolution.

Banking offices were usually located near centers of trade, and in the late 17th century, the
largest centers for commerce were the ports of Amsterdam, London, and Hamburg.
Individuals could participate in the lucrative East India trade by purchasing bills of credit
from these banks, but the price they received for commodities was dependent on the ships
returning (which often didn't happen on time) and on the cargo they carried (which often
wasn't according to plan). The commodities market was very volatile for this reason, and also
because of the many wars that led to cargo seizures and loss of ships.

MAJOR EVENTS IN BANKING HISTORY

 1602 - First joint-stock company, the Dutch East India Company founded.
 1720 - The South Sea Bubble and John Law's Mississippi Scheme, which caused a
European financial crisis and forced many bankers out of business.
 1781 - The Bank of North America was found by the Continental Congress.
 1930-33 In the wake of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, 9,000 banks close, wiping out
a third of the money supply in the United States.
 1986 - The "Big Bang" (deregulation of London financial markets) served as a
catalyst to reaffirm London's position as a global centre of world banking.
 2008 - Washington Mutual collapses. It was the largest bank failure in history.

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HISTORY OF BANKING IN INDIA
The first bank in India, though conservative, was established in 1786. From 1786 till today,
the journey of Indian Banking System can be segregated into three distinct phases. They
are as mentioned below:

• Early phase from 1786 to 1969 of Indian Banks


• Nationalisation of Indian Banks and up to 1991 prior to Indian banking sector
Reforms.
• New phase of Indian Banking System with the advent of Indian Financial & Banking
Sector Reforms after 1991.

Phase I

The General Bank of India was set up in the year 1786. Next came Bank of Hindustan and
Bengal Bank. The East India Company established Bank of Bengal (1809), Bank of Bombay
(1840) and Bank of Madras (1843) as independent units and called it Presidency Banks.
These three banks were amalgamated in 1920 and Imperial Bank of India was established
which started as private shareholders banks, mostly Europeans shareholders.

In 1865 Allahabad Bank was established and first time exclusively by Indians, Punjab
National Bank Ltd. was set up in 1894 with headquarters at Lahore. Between 1906 and 1913,
Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Indian Bank, and Bank
of Mysore were set up. Reserve Bank of India came in 1935.

During the first phase the growth was very slow and banks also experienced periodic failures
between 1913 and 1948. There were approximately 1100 banks, mostly small. To streamline
the functioning and activities of commercial banks, the Government of India came up with
The Banking Companies Act, 1949 which was later changed to Banking Regulation Act 1949
as per amending Act of 1965 (Act No. 23 of 1965). Reserve Bank of India was vested with
extensive powers for the supervision of banking in india as the Central Banking Authority.

During those days public has lesser confidence in the banks. As an aftermath deposit
mobilisation was slow. Abreast of it the savings bank facility provided by the Postal

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department was comparatively safer. Moreover, funds were largely given to traders.

Phase II

Government took major steps in this Indian Banking Sector Reform after independence. In
1955, it nationalised Imperial Bank of India with extensive banking facilities on a large scale
specially in rural and semi-urban areas. It formed State Bank of india to act as the principal
agent of RBI and to handle banking transactions of the Union and State Governments all over
the country.

Seven banks forming subsidiary of State Bank of India was nationalised in 1960 on 19th July,
1969, major process of nationalisation was carried out. It was the effort of the then Prime
Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. 14 major commercial banks in the country was
nationalised. Second phase of nationalisation Indian Banking Sector Reform was carried out
in 1980 with seven more banks. This step brought 80% of the banking segment in India under
Government ownership.

The following are the steps taken by the Government of India to Regulate Banking
Institutions in the Country:

• 1949 : Enactment of Banking Regulation Act.


• 1955 : Nationalisation of State Bank of India.
• 1959 : Nationalisation of SBI subsidiaries.
• 1961 : Insurance cover extended to deposits.
• 1969 : Nationalisation of 14 major banks.
• 1971 : Creation of credit guarantee corporation.
• 1975 : Creation of regional rural banks.
• 1980 : Nationalisation of seven banks with deposits over 200 crore.

After the nationalisation of banks, the branches of the public sector bank India rose to
approximately 800% in deposits and advances took a huge jump by 11,000%.
Banking in the sunshine of Government ownership gave the public implicit faith and
immense confidence about the sustainability of these institutions.

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Phase III

This phase has introduced many more products and facilities in the banking sector in its
reforms measure. In 1991, under the chairmanship of M Narasimham, a committee was set up
by his name which worked for the liberalisation of banking practices.

The country is flooded with foreign banks and their ATM stations. Efforts are being put to
give a satisfactory service to customers. Phone banking and net banking is introduced. The
entire system became more convenient and swift. Time is given more importance than
money.

The financial system of India has shown a great deal of resilience. It is sheltered from any
crisis triggered by any external macroeconomics shock as other East Asian Countries
suffered. This is all due to a flexible exchange rate regime, the foreign reserves are high, the
capital account is not yet fully convertible, and banks and their customers have
limited foreign exchange exposure.

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SCOPE & SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The world today is fast changing and every individual faces a lot of pressure and demand at
work. These pressures at work lead to mental and physical disorders. Stress refers to an
individual’s response to a disturbing factor in the environment and the consequences of such
a reaction. This study will help organizations know what causes stress and how to reduce the
same in employees since it is a well known fact that a healthy and sound employee is a
productive employee.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

Primary objective:

• To undergo an in-depth study about the existence of stress among the employees of
the BANKING INDUSTRY Post - Recession.

Secondary objective:

• To identify the factors causing stress among the employees.


• To find out the level of stress among the employees of different age groups.
• To study about the effects of stress on employees in BANKING INDUSTRY.
• To identify the coping strategies to manage stress.

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LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

In spite of the precautions, vigilance and scrupulousness taken by the investigator to make the
study objective, it cannot be denied that there are certain limitations.

• The questionnaires were filled be 30 employees working in various bank.


So the scope of sample findings was less.

• The questionnaire was filled by 30 employees of different designations. So


the point of view of employees differs as per their designations.

• The employees from whom the questionnaires are filled are in a heavy
workload so some of the questionnaires filled by the employees who are in
stress cannot be called reasonable.

• The responses of the employees cannot be accurate as the problem of


language and understanding arises. (These problems are not in all cases.)

• As the study was done within a limited time, investigator could not select a
sufficiently large sample for the study.

• The employees were reluctant to give correct information.

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REVIEW OF LITERATURE
A review on the previous studies on stress among the employees is necessary to know
the areas already covered. This will help to find our new areas uncovered and to study them
in depth. The earlier studies made on stress among the employees are briefly reviewed here.

The research study of Jamal. M* finds that job stressors were significantly related to
employees’ psychosomatic problems, job satisfaction, unproductive time at the job, and
absenteeism. Type A behaviour was found to be an important moderator of the stress
outcome relationship.

Hans Selye was one of the founding fathers of stress research. His view in 1956 was
that “stress is not necessarily something bad – it all depends on how you take it. The stress of
exhilarating, creative successful work is beneficial, while that of failure, humiliation or
infection is detrimental.” Selye believed that the biochemical effects of stress would be
experienced irrespective of whether the situation was positive or negative.

The most commonly accepted definition of stress (mainly attributed to Richard S


Lazarus) is that stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that
“demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.”
In short, it's what we feel when we think we've lost control of events.

Brief. A. P. and J. M. Atieh*, argues that it is not safe to assume that job conditions
that have an adverse impact on affective reactions to the job will also have a negative impact
on overall subjective well-being.

Fienmann views stress as a psychological response state of negative effect


characterized by a persistent and a high level of experienced anxiety or tension.

* Jamal M. “Job stress-prone Type A behaviour, personal and organizational consequences”,


Canadian Journal Administration Sciences, 1985. pp 360-74.

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* A. P and J. M. Atieh, “Studying job stress: Are we making mountains out of molehills?”
Journal of occupational behavior, 1987 pp115-26.

Hans Seyle, the endocrinologist, whose research on General Adaptation Syndrome


(GAS), for the first time, revealed how human beings adapt themselves to emotional strives
and strains in their lives. According to him emotional stress occurs in three important stages.
1. Alarm reaction stage 2. Resistance stage 3. Exhaustion stage.

Alarm reaction is caused by physical or psychological stressors. Resistances are


brought about by ACTH hormone of the body. Exhaustion follows when ACTH dwindles as
a result of continual stress. (ACTH-Aprinocorticotropic)

According to Stephen .P. Robbins*, stress related headaches are the leading cause of
loss of work time in U. S. industry.

Cooper and Marshall* visualize stress as characteristics of both the focal individual
and his environment. They designate the internal and external consultive forces as ‘pressures’
or ‘stressors’ and the resulting stalk of the organism on stress.

Recent research into the interaction between the mind and body show that we may
place our body on stress ‘alert’ quite unconsciously, because of our psychological and
emotional attitudes to stress. Anticipatory emotions like impatience, anxiety, and anger can
produce the same nerve impulses and chemical reactions as being faced with a concrete
challenge. So when faced with a stressful situation, we must either use up the energy created
by the body to challenge or learn how to “turn off”, the response using a conscious relaxation
technique.

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*Stephen Robbins, “Organizational Behavior”, Prentice Hall, U.K, 1989 pp 499-501.
*Cooper. C. L. and Marshall. J, “Understanding Executive Stress”, The McMillan Press Ltd,
1978 p 4.

WHAT IS STRESS?

Stress is a dynamic condition in which an individual is confronted with an opportunity,


demand or resource related to what the individual desires and for which the outcome is
perceived to be both uncertain and important. This is a complicated definition.

Stress is not necessarily bad in and of itself. Although stress is typically discussed in a
negative context, it also has a positive value. It’s an opportunity when it offers potential gain.
Consider for example, the superior performance that an athlete or stage performer gives in
“clutch” situations. Such individuals often use stress positively to rise to the occasion and
perform at or near their maximum. Similarly, many professionals see the pressures of heavy
workloads and deadlines as positive challenges that enhance the quality of their work and the
satisfaction the get from their job.

But it is different in the case of bank employees. The bank employees are the people who also
have to achieve the certain target and so for the non achievement of target the employees
remain stressed and tensed. The employees who have the simple table work also have to face
the problem of stress. Due to recession the banking sector is also facing the problem of
employee cut-offs and so the work load of the existing employees increases and the feel
stressed.

Stress refers to the strain from the conflict between our external environment and us, leading
to emotional and physical pressure. In our fast paced world, it is impossible to live without
stress, whether you are a student or a working adult. There is both positive and negative
stress, depending on each individual’s unique perception of the tension between the two
forces. Not all stress is bad. For example, positive stress, also known as eustress, can help an
individual to function at optimal effectiveness and efficiency.

Hence, it is evident that some form of positive stress can add more color and vibrancy to our
lives. The presence of a deadline, for example, can push us to make the most of our time and
produce greater efficiency. It is important to keep this in mind, as stress management refers to
using stress to our advantage, and not on eradicating the presence of stress in our lives.

24
On the other hand, negative stress can result in mental and physical strain. The individual will
experience symptoms such as tensions, headaches, irritability and in extreme cases, heart
palpitations. Hence, whilst some stress may be seen as a motivating force, it is important to
manage stress levels so that it does not have an adverse impact on your health and
relationships.

Part of managing your stress levels include learning about how stress can affect you
emotionally and physically, as well as how to identify if you are performing at your optimal
stress level (OSL) or if you are experiencing negative stress. This knowledge will help you to
identify when you need to take a break, or perhaps seek professional help. It is also your first
step towards developing techniques to managing your stress levels. Modern day stresses can
take the form of monetary needs, or emotional frictions. Competition at work and an
increased workload can also cause greater levels of stress. How do you identify if you are
suffering from excessive stress? Psychological symptoms commonly experienced include
insomnia, headaches and an inability to focus. Physical symptoms take the form of heart
palpitations, breathlessness, excessive sweating and stomachaches.

What causes stress? There are many different causes of stress, and that which causes stress is
also known as a stressor. Common lifestyle stressors include performance, threat, and
bereavement stressors, to name a few. Performance stressors are triggered when an individual
is placed in a situation where he feels a need to excel. This could be during performance
appraisals, lunch with the boss, or giving a speech. Threat stressors are usually when the
current situation poses a dangerous threat, such as an economic downturn, or from an
accident. Lastly, bereavement stressors occur when there is a sense of loss such as the death
of a loved one, or a prized possession.

Thus, there are various stressors, and even more varied methods and techniques of dealing
with stress and turning it to our advantages. In order to do so, we must learn to tell when we
have crossed the line from positive to negative stress.

STRESS AND DECISIONMAKING, PERCEPTION, AND COGNITION


Stress can affect an individual’s decision making process and ability to make effective
judgments. For example, Easterbrook proposes a “cue utilization model” and argues that
when exposed to stressors, individuals experience “perceptual narrowing” — meaning that
they pay attention to fewer perceptual cues or stimuli that could contribute to their behaviour

25
or decision. Peripheral stimuli are likely to be the first to be screened out or ignored. Decision
making models proposed by Janis and Mann support this hypothesis and suggest that under
stress, individuals may make decisions based on incomplete information. Friedman and Mann
suggest that when under conditions of stress, individuals may fail to consider the full range of
alternatives available, ignore long-term consequences, and make decisions based on
oversimplifying assumptions. Furthermore, the individuals may suffer from performance
rigidity as a result of their reduced search behaviour and reliance on fewer perceptual cues to
make decisions. Research on decision making under stress supports these theoretical models.
Observe the decision making processes of individuals under time pressure. We find that
individuals under time pressure tend to focus their attention only on a few salient cues.
Larsen finds that, like other types of stressors, sleep deprivation can reduce an individual’s
ability to reason, to analyze complex situations, and to make effective decisions.

Sleep-deprived (stressed) individuals in his study were more likely to obey orders without
thinking and to ignore cues that implied the presence of something unusual. Stress can also
contribute to performance decrements by slowing cognition and individual information
processing. Stress can be looked at as a form of “task overload” (e.g., asking an individual to
perform more than one task under a time constraint) and it is seen that the addition of
multiple required tasks reduces the quality of individual performance and increases the
magnitude of the performance decrement as compared with the case in which the individual
has only one task to perform.

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Stress management is the need of the hour. However hard we try to go beyond a stress
situation, life seems to find new ways of stressing us out and plaguing us with anxiety
attacks. Moreover, be it our anxiety, mind-body exhaustion or our erring attitudes, we tend to
overlook causes of stress and the conditions triggered by those. In such unsettling moments
we often forget that stressors, if not escapable, are fairly manageable and treatable.

Stress, either quick or constant, can induce risky body-mind disorders. Immediate disorders
such as dizzy spells, anxiety attacks, tension, sleeplessness, nervousness and muscle cramps
can all result in chronic health problems. They may also affect our immune, cardiovascular
and nervous systems and lead individuals to habitual addictions, which are inter-linked with
stress.

26
Like "stress reactions", "relaxation responses" and stress management techniques are some of
the body's important built-in response systems. As a relaxation response the body tries to get
back balance in its homeostasis. Some hormones released during the 'fight or flight' situation
prompt the body to replace the lost carbohydrates and fats, and restore the energy level. The
knotted nerves, tightened muscles and an exhausted mind crave for looseness. Unfortunately,
today, we don't get relaxing and soothing situations without asking. To be relaxed we have to
strive to create such situations.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF STRESSORS

As mentioned previously, stressors can come in a variety of forms, including extreme heat or
lighting, lack of sleep, risk of injury or death, or time pressure. The description of stressors
and their impact on behaviour is an open-ended task, and current research considers an
increasing number of events and conditions to be stressors. Although stressors can be
• physical (biological or chemical demands on the body) or
• cognitive (threat of death, personal assault)
in form, they are always external and produce similar physiological responses within the
body. These physiological effects, defined as a stress response, can include increased blood
pressure, dilated pupils and increased heart rate.

RECOGNIZING A STRESSOR

It is important to recognize whether you are under stress or out of it. Many times, even if we
are under the influence of a stressful condition and our body reacts to it internally as well as
externally, we fail to realize that we are reacting under stress. This also happens when the
causes of stress are there long enough for us to get habituated to them. The body constantly
tries to tell us through symptoms such as rapid palpitation, dizzy spells, tight muscles or
various body aches that something is wrong. It is important to remain attentive to such
symptoms and to learn to cope with the situations.

We cope better with stressful situation, when we encounter them voluntarily. In cases of
relocation, promotion or layoff, adventurous sports or having a baby, we tend to respond
positively under stress. But, when we are compelled into such situations against our will or
knowledge, more often than not, we wilt at the face of unknown and imagined threats. For

27
instance, stress may mount when one is coerced into undertaking some work against one's
will.

WORKPLACE STRESS

Workplace stress is the harmful physical and emotional response that occurs when there is a
poor match between job demands and the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker.
Stress-related disorders encompass a broad array of conditions, including psychological
disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder) and other types of
emotional strain (e.g., dissatisfaction, fatigue, tension, etc.), maladaptive behaviors (e.g.,
aggression, substance abuse), and cognitive impairment (e.g., concentration and memory
problems). In turn, these conditions may lead to poor work performance or even injury. Job
stress is also associated with various biological reactions that may lead ultimately to
compromised health, such as cardiovascular disease.

Stress is a prevalent and costly problem in today's workplace. About one-third of workers
report high levels of stress. One-quarter of employees view their jobs as the number one
stressor in their lives. Three-quarters of employees believe the worker has more on-the-job
stress than a generation ago. Evidence also suggests that stress is the major cause of turnover
in organizations.

Health and Healthcare Utilization

Problems at work are more strongly associated with health complaints than are any other life
stressor-more so than even financial problems or family problems. Many studies suggest that
psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process
increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. On the basis of research by the National Institute
for Occupational Safety and Health and many other organizations, it is widely believed that
job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper-extremity musculoskeletal
disorders. High levels of stress are associated with substantial increases in health service
utilization. Workers who report experiencing stress at work also show excessive health care
utilization. In a 1998 study of 46,000 workers, health care costs were nearly 50% greater for
workers reporting high levels of stress in comparison to “low risk” workers. The increment
rose to nearly 150%, an increase of more than $1,700 per person annually, for workers
reporting high levels of both stress and depression. Additionally, periods of disability due to

28
job stress tend to be much longer than disability periods for other occupational injuries and
illnesses.

CAUSES OF WORKPLACE STRESS

Job stress results from the interaction of the worker and the conditions of work. Views differ
on the importance of worker characteristics versus working conditions as the primary cause
of job stress. The differing viewpoints suggest different ways to prevent stress at work.
According to one school of thought, differences in individual characteristics such as
personality and coping skills are most important in predicting whether certain job conditions
will result in stress-in other words, what is stressful for one person may not be a problem for
someone else. This viewpoint leads to prevention strategies that focus on workers and ways
to help them cope with demanding job conditions. Although the importance of individual
differences cannot be ignored, scientific evidence suggests that certain working conditions
are stressful to most people. Such evidence argues for a greater emphasis on working
conditions as the key source of job stress, and for job redesign as a primary prevention
strategy. Personal interview surveys of working conditions, including conditions recognized
as risk factors for job stress, were conducted in Member States of the European Union in
1990, 1995, and 2000. Results showed a trend across these periods suggestive of increasing
work intensity. In 1990, the percentage of workers reporting that they worked at high speeds
at least one-fourth of their working time was 48%, increasing to 54% in 1995 and to 56% in
2000. Similarly, 50% of workers reported they work against tight deadlines at least one-
fourth of their working time in 1990, increasing to 56% in 1995 and 60 % in 2000. However,
no change was noted in the period 1995–2000 (data not collected in 1990) in the percentage
of workers reporting sufficient time to complete tasks. A substantial percentage of Americans
work very long hours. By one estimate, more than 26% of men and more than 11% of women
worked 50 hours per week or more in 2000. These figures represent a considerable increase
over the previous three decades, especially for women. According to the Department of
Labor, there has been an upward trend in hours worked among employed women, an increase
in extended work weeks (>40 hours) by men, and a considerable increase in combined
working hours among working couples, particularly couples with young children.

SIGNS OF WORKPLACE STRESS

29
Mood and sleep disturbances, upset stomach and headache, and disturbed relationships with
family; friends and girlfriends or boyfriends are examples of stress-related problems. The
effects of job stress on chronic diseases are more difficult to see because chronic diseases
take a long time to develop and can be influenced by many factors other than stress.
Nonetheless, evidence is rapidly accumulating to suggest that stress plays an important role in
several types of chronic health problems-especially cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal
disorders, and psychological disorders.

PREVENTION

A combination of organizational change and stress management is often the most useful
approach for preventing stress at work.

How to Change the Organization to Prevent Job Stress

• Ensure that the workload is in line with workers' capabilities and resources.
• Design jobs to provide meaning, stimulation, and opportunities for workers to use
their skills.
• Clearly define workers' roles and responsibilities.
• Give workers opportunities to participate in decisions and actions affecting their jobs.
• Improve communications-reduce uncertainty about career development and future
employment prospects.
• Provide opportunities for social interaction among workers.
• Establish work schedules that are compatible with demands and responsibilities
outside the job.
• Discrimination inside the workplace. (e.g. nationality and language )

St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company conducted several studies on the effects of
stress prevention programs in hospital settings. Program activities included (1) employee and
management education on job stress, (2) changes in hospital policies and procedures to
reduce organizational sources of stress, and (3) establishment of employee assistance
programs. In one study, the frequency of medication errors declined by 50% after prevention
activities was implemented in a 700-bed hospital. In a second study, there was a 70%
reduction in malpractice claims in 22 hospitals that implemented stress prevention activities.
In contrast, there was no reduction in claims in a matched group of 22 hospitals that did not
implement stress prevention activities.
30
COPING WITH STRESS AT WORK PLACE

With the rapid advancement of technology, the stresses faced at work have also increased.
Many people dread going to work, hence the term “Monday Blues”. What is the reason for
this? There is partly the fear from being retrenched in bad times, leading to greater job
insecurity on the part of those who remain. Undoubtedly, occupational stress is one of the
most commonly cited stressors faced by people all over the world.

Stress refers to the pressure and reactions to our environment which results in psychological
and physical reactions. Whilst some stress is good for motivation and increasing efficiency,
too much stress can result in negative impacts such as reduced effectiveness and efficiency.
More and more people are feeling isolated and disrespected at work, and this has led to
greater occupational stress. Many companies have taken to consulting experts and
professionals on ways to increase connectedness and motivation of their employees.

Some companies organize parties and make their employees feel valued at work. These are
measures to motivate employees and help them to feel secure at their jobs, translating into
greater productivity. However, not all companies have such measures in place, and some
have not gotten it quite right. Hence, it is up to you to make sure that you can cope with stress
at your workplace, and use it to help you work better. Here are 3 simple steps to help you
with coping with stress in the workplace.

Step 1: Raising Awareness

Help yourself to identify when you are facing rising levels of stress, tipping the scales from
positive to negative. This is important, as being able to identify signs of being stressed can
help you to take steps to ensure that your overall quality of life does not drop. If left
unacknowledged, the problem will only snowball, leading to disastrous consequences to your
health and overall wellbeing.

You can identify if you are feeling stressed by checking if you have any physical or
psychological reactions, such as excessive sweating or heart palpitations, or the onset of
headaches, irritability or the need to escape. If you experience any of these reactions, identify
if you are feeling any overwhelming negative emotions, and if you are constantly worried.

Step 2: Identify the Cause

31
You need to be able to analyze the situation and identify what is causing the rise in stress.
These stressors can be external and internal. External stressors refer to things beyond your
control, such as the environment or your colleagues at work. Internal stressors refer to your
own thinking and attitude. Often, we only start reacting to stress when a combination of
stressors working together exceeds our ability to cope.

Keep a diary or a list of events that have caused you to feel strong negative emotions, or that
are likely stressors. This will help you to identify the causes of your stress. Whilst it is not
always possible to eradicate them, we can change the way that we cope with it.

Step 3: Coping with Stress

In order to deal with the situation that is causing you stress, you need to calm your mind and
body so as to stave off the reactions and cope with it in a positive way. This can be through
different methods, such as taking time off. If a situation is triggering your stress and you are
unable to calm down, remove yourself from it. Go outside and take a walk to calm down.
Alternatively, you can try implementing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. If it is
an internal stressor, stop your thought process until you are able to deal with it logically.

The key to making these 3 steps work for you is to practice them. These are not instantaneous
solutions, and you need to condition your mind and practice them so that you can implement
it when you are feeling stressed.

REDUCING STRESS

1. Job analysis:

We have all experienced that appalling sense of having far too much work to do and too little
time to do it in. We can choose to ignore this, and work unreasonably long hours to stay on
top of our workload. The risks here are that we become exhausted, that we have so much to
do that we do a poor quality job and that we neglect other areas of our life. Each of these can
lead to intense stress.

The alternative is to work more intelligently, by focusing on the things that are important for
job success and reducing the time we spend on low priority tasks. Job Analysis is the first
step in doing this.

32
The first of the action-oriented skills that we look at is Job Analysis. Job Analysis is a key
technique for managing job overload – an important source of stress.

To do an excellent job, you need to fully understand what is expected of you. While this may
seem obvious, in the hurly-burly of a new, fast-moving, high-pressure role, it is oftentimes
something that is easy to overlook.

By understanding the priorities in your job, and what constitutes success within it, you can
focus on these activities and minimize work on other tasks as much as possible. This helps
you get the greatest return from the work you do, and keep your workload under control.

Job Analysis is a useful technique for getting a firm grip on what really is important in your
job so that you are able to perform excellently. It helps you to cut through clutter and
distraction to get to the heart of what you need to do.

2. Rational & positive thinking:

You are thinking negatively when you fear the future, put yourself down, criticize yourself
for errors, doubt your abilities, or expect failure. Negative thinking damages confidence,
harms performance and paralyzes mental skills.

Unfortunately, negative thoughts tend to flit into our consciousness, do their damage and flit
back out again, with their significance having barely been noticed. Since we barely realize
that they were there, we do not challenge them properly, which means that they can be
completely incorrect and wrong.

Thought Awareness is the process by which you observe your thoughts and become aware of
what is going through your head.

One approach to it is to observe your "stream of consciousness" as you think about the thing
you're trying to achieve which is stressful. Do not suppress any thoughts. Instead, just let
them run their course while you watch them, and write them down on our free worksheet as
they occur. Then let them go.

Another more general approach to Thought Awareness comes with logging stress in your
Stress Diary. When you analyze your diary at the end of the period, you should be able to see
the most common and the most damaging thoughts. Tackle these as a priority using the
techniques below.

33
Here are some typical negative thoughts you might experience when preparing to give a
major presentation:

• Fear about the quality of your performance or of problems that may interfere with it;

• Worry about how the audience (especially important people in it like your boss) or the
press may react to you;

• Dwelling on the negative consequences of a poor performance; or

• Self-criticism over a less-than-perfect rehearsal.

Thought awareness is the first step in the process of managing negative thoughts, as you
cannot manage thoughts that you are unaware of.

Rational Thinking

The next step in dealing with negative thinking is to challenge the negative thoughts that you
identified using the Thought Awareness technique. Look at every thought you wrote down
and challenge it rationally. Ask yourself whether the thought is reasonable. What evidence is
there for and against the thought? Would your colleagues and mentors agree or disagree with
it?

Looking at the examples, the following challenges could be made to the negative thoughts we
identified earlier:

• Feelings of inadequacy: Have you trained yourself as well as you reasonably should
have? Do you have the experience and resources you need to make the presentation?
Have you planned, prepared and rehearsed enough? If you have done all of these,
you've done as much as you can to give a good performance.

• Worries about performance during rehearsal: If some of your practice was less
than perfect, then remind yourself that the purpose of the practice is to identify areas
for improvement, so that these can be sorted out before the performance.

• Problems with issues outside your control: Have you identified the risks of these
things happening, and have you taken steps to reduce the likelihood of them
happening or their impact if they do? What will you do if they occur? And what do
you need others to do for you?
34
• Worry about other people's reactions: If you have prepared well, and you do the
best you can, then you should be satisfied. If you perform as well as you reasonably
can, then fair people are likely to respond well. If people are not fair, the best thing to
do is ignore their comments and rise above them.
• When you challenge negative thoughts rationally, you should be able to see quickly
whether the thoughts are wrong or whether they have some substance to them. Where
there is some substance, take appropriate action. However, make sure that your
negative thoughts are genuinely important to achieving your goals, and don't just
reflect a lack of experience, which everyone has to go through at some stage.

Positive Thinking & Opportunity Seeking

By now, you should already be feeling more positive. The final step is to prepare rational,
positive thoughts and affirmations to counter any remaining negativity. It can also be useful
to look at the situation and see if there are any useful opportunities that are offered by it.

By basing your affirmations on the clear, rational assessments of facts that you made using
Rational Thinking, you can use them to undo the damage that negative thinking may have
done to your self-confidence.

Continuing the examples above, positive affirmations might be:

• Problems during practice: "I have learned from my rehearsals. This has put me in a
position where I can deliver a great performance. I am going to perform well and
enjoy the event."

• Worries about performance: "I have prepared well and rehearsed thoroughly. I am
well positioned to give an excellent performance."

• Problems issues outside your control: "I have thought through everything that might
reasonably happen and have planned how I can handle all likely contingencies. I am
very well placed to react flexibly to events."

• Worry about other people's reaction: "Fair people will react well to a good
performance. I will rise above any unfair criticism in a mature and professional way."

Make sure that identifying these opportunities and focusing on them is part of your positive
thinking.
35
3. LAUGHTER

During stress, the adrenal gland releases corticosteroids, which are converted to cortical in
the blood stream. These have an immunosuppressive effect. Dr. Lee Berk and fellow
researcher Dr. Stanley Tan at Loma Linda University School of Medicine have produced
carefully controlled studies showing that the experience of laughter lowers serum cortical
levels, increases the amount and activity of T lymphocytes—the natural killer cells. Laughter
also increases the number of T cells that have suppresser receptors.

What Laughter Can Do Against Stress And Its Effects?

•Laughter lowers blood pressure and reduces hypertension.


•It provides good cardiac conditioning especially for those who are unable to perform
physical exercise.
•Reduces stress hormones (studies shows, laughter induces reduction of at least four of
neuroendocrine hormones—epinephrine, cortical, dopac, and growth hormone, associated
with stress response).
• Laughter cleanses the lungs and body tissues of accumulated stale air as it empties more air
than it takes in. It is beneficial for patients suffering from emphysema and other respiratory
ailments.
• It increases muscle flexion, relaxation and fluent blood circulation in body.
• Boosts immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells, disease-fighting
proteins called Gamma-interferon and disease-destroying antibodies called B-cells.
• Laughter triggers the release of endorphins—body's natural painkillers.
• Produces a general sense of well-being.

36
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Research is defined as human activity based on intellectual application in the investigation of


matter. The primary purpose for applied research is discovering, interpreting, and the
development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge on a wide
variety of scientific matters of our world and the universe. Research can use the scientific
method, but need not do so.

Research methodology is a way to systematically solve the research problem. The research
methodology in the present study deals with research design, data collection methods,
sampling methods, survey, analysis and interpretations.

APPROACHES TO RESEARCH

Descriptive approach is one of the most popular approaches these days. In this approach, a
problem is described by the researcher by using questionnaire or schedule. This approach
enables a researcher to explore new areas of investigation.

RESEARCH DESIGN

A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a
manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.

• A well structured questionnaire is framed.


• Data is collected from the employees in the BANKING INDUSTRY.
• Findings are made and necessary suggestions and recommendations are given.

DATA SOURCES

There are two types of data collection namely primary data collection and secondary data
collection.

PRIMARY DATA

The primary data is defined as the data, which is collected for the first time and fresh in
nature, and happen to be original in character through field survey.

37
SECONDARY DATA

The secondary data are those which have already been collected by someone else and have
been passed through statistical process.

DATA COLLECTION METHOD

The data collection method used in this research is questionnaire method. Here the data are
systematically recorded from the respondents.

RESEARCH TOOL

A structured questionnaire has been prepared to get the relevant information from the
respondents. The questionnaire consists of a variety of questions presented to the respondents
for their despondence.

SAMPLING

Sampling is that part of statistical practice concerned with the selection of individual
observations intended to yield some knowledge about a population of concern, especially for
the purposes of statistical inference. Each observation measures one or more properties
(weight, location, etc.) of an observable entity enumerated to distinguish objects or
individuals. Survey weights often need to be applied to the data to adjust for the sample
design. Results from probability theory and statistical theory are employed to guide practice.

SAMPLE UNIT

The employees of the BANKING INDUSTRY are the sample unit in the survey.

SAMPLE SIZE

The sample size chosen for this study is 30 as instructed by the department since it is a MINI
RESEARCH PROJECT.

SAMPLING METHOD

Sampling methods are classified as either probability or non probability. In probability


samples, each member of the population has a known non-zero probability of being selected.
Probability methods include random sampling, systematic sampling, and stratified sampling.
In non probability sampling, members are selected from the population in some nonrandom

38
manner. These include convenience sampling, judgment sampling, quota sampling, and
snowball sampling. The advantage of probability sampling is that sampling error can be
calculated. Sampling error is the degree to which a sample might differ from the population.
When inferring to the population, results are reported plus or minus the sampling error. In
non probability sampling, the degree to which the sample differs from the population remains
unknown.
In this research, the sampling methods used are Random sampling, Convenience sampling and
Snowball sampling

 Random sampling is the purest form of probability


sampling. Each member of the population has an equal and known chance of
being selected. When there are very large populations, it is often difficult or
impossible to identify every member of the population, so the pool of available
subjects becomes biased.

 Judgment sampling is a common non-probability


method. The researcher selects the sample based on judgment. This is usually an
extension of convenience sampling. For example, a researcher may decide to
draw the entire sample from one "representative" city, even though the
population includes all cities. When using this method, the researcher must be
confident that the chosen sample is truly representative of the entire population.

 Snowball sampling is a special non-probability method


used when the desired sample characteristic is rare. It may be extremely difficult
or cost prohibitive to locate respondents in these situations. Snowball sampling
relies on referrals from initial subjects to generate additional subjects. While this
technique can dramatically lower search costs, it comes at the expense of
introducing bias because the technique itself reduces the likelihood that the
sample will represent a good cross section from the population.

STATISTICAL METHODS USED

 Percentage analysis
 Pie diagrams

39
PERCENTAGE ANALYSIS:

Percentage refers to a special kind of ratio. Percentages are used in making comparison
between two or more series of data. Percentage is used to describe relative terms the
distribution of two or more series of data.

No. of Respondents

Percentage of Respondents = ------------------------ X 100

Total Respondents

40
41
DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE

1.AGE PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS


TABLE 1
AGE

Frequency Percent

Valid 25 – 30 6 20.0

30 – 35 14 46.7

35 – 40 10 33.3

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:

42
Maximum respondents were in the age group of 30 – 35.

2.GENDER PROFILE OF THE RESPONDENTS

TABLE 2
GENDER

Frequency Percent

Valid MALE 15 50.0

FEMALE 15 50.0

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
There are equal number of male & female respondents.

43
3.WORK EXPERIENCE OF RESPONDENTS

TABLE 3
EXPERIENCE

Frequency Percent

Valid < 5 YEARS 9 30.0

5 - 10 YEARS 17 56.7

> 10 YEARS 4 13.3

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
More than 50% of the respondents had a work experience of about 5 – 10 years.

4.EDUCATIONAL QUALIFICATION OF RESPONDENTS


44
TABLE 4
QUALIFICATION

Frequency Percent

Valid UG 21 70.0

PG 9 30.0

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
70% of the respondents are PG qualified with an MBA or equivalent degree.

Q1. Do you suffer with difficulty in sleeping?

45
TABLE 1.1
RESPONDENTS WITH DIFFICULTY IN SLEEPING

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT AL 8 26.7

RARELY 8 26.7

SOMETIMES 7 23.3

OFTEN 5 16.7

VERY OFTEN 2 6.7

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
From the above table, it is understood that 26.7% of the employees rarely have any trouble in
sleeping ,23.3% find it difficult sometimes ,16.7% face the problem very often and 6.7% of
the employees find extreme difficulty in sleeping.
Therefore, it is observed that for most parts,the employees do not have any problems with
sleeping.

Q2. Do you find it difficult to concentrate?

46
TABLE1.2
RESPONDENTS WITH DIFFICULTY IN
CONCENTRATING

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 5 16.7

RARELY 11 36.7

SOMETIMES 10 33.3

OFTEN 4 13.3

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
It is clear that 16.7% of the employees have absolutely no difficulty in concentrating,36.7%
of them rarely have a problem ,33.3% sometimes and only a small group of 13.3% find it
difficult to concentrate at work.
Therefore, it can be said that mostly the employees have no trouble in concentrating at work.

Q3. Do financial problems get you down?

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TABLE 1.3
RESPONDANTS WITH FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 10 33.3

SOMETIMES 12 40.0

OFTEN 8 26.7

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
The table shows that, 40% of the employees feel that financial problems put them down
sometimes, 30% felt that it did not affect them at all and 26.7% of them felt that very often it
caused them problems. Therefore, it is identified that financial trouble does put down people
sometimes.

Q4. Do you find yourself 'self-medicating' with additional alcohol, nicotine


or other substances?

48
Table 1.4
RESPONDENTS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 7 23.3

RARELY 3 10.0

SOMETIMES 5 16.7

OFTEN 8 26.7

VERY OFTEN 7 23.3

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
This table indicates that 26.7% of the employees ‘‘self medicate’’ quite often, 23.3% resort to
alcoholism etc very frequently to relieve stress while 23.3% of them do not resort to
substance abuse at all . It shows that most employees give into excessive alcoholism or some
other forms of self medication most times to reduce stress

Q5. Do you get angry quickly?

TABLE 1.5
49
RESPONDENTS AND FREQUENCY OF ANGER

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 10 33.3

SOMETIMES 12 40.0

VERY OFTEN 8 26.7

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
40% of the employees claim that they sometimes get angry often while 33.3% feel that they
do not get angry very often. Also 26.7% of them say that they get very angry most of the
time.
Therefore, it is inferred that most of the employees are relatively calm and get angry only
sometimes.

Q6. Do you find you are prone to negative thinking about your job?

50
TABLE 1.6
RESPONDENTS WITH JOB PESSIMISM

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT AL 10 33.3

RARELY 13 43.3

SOMETIMES 7 23.3

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
The table clearly shows that the employees have no negative thoughts about their job since
40% of them feel that it happens only rarely and 33.3.% say that it never happens.
Therefore, the rate of job pessimism or negative thinking about one’s job is very low.

Q7. When you have been ill with relatively minor illnesses, does it take you
a long time to recover?

51
Table 1.7
RESPONDENTS WITH SLOW RECOVERY DURING ILLNESS

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 11 36.7

RARELY 11 36.7

SOMETIMES 8 26.7

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
From the table, it is seen that most of the employees (36.7%) recuperate pretty quickly from
an illness while only 26.7% of them say that sometimes a long slow recovery period is taken.
It is inferred that most of the employees get back to their feet pretty soon after an illness and
do not stay in bed for excessive periods of time.

Q8. Do you feel you are isolated, with no-one to talk to?

52
TABLE 1.8
RESPONDENTS WHO FEEL ISOLATED

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 14 46.7

RARELY 10 33.3

SOMETIMES 6 20.0

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
This table shows that majority of the people do not feel isolated or lonely. 46.7% of them do
not feel any isolation while 33.3% say it happens rarely.
Therfore,it is seen that most of the employees have someone to talk to and relate with and are
not isolated or alone.

Q9. Do you feel out of control and as if you're not in the driving seat of
your life and health?

53
TABLE1.9
RESPONDENTS WITH NO CONTROL OF LIFE

Frequency Percent

Valid RARELY 12 40.0

SOMETIMES 12 40.0

OFTEN 6 20.0

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
This table shows that most of the employees have control of their lives and are in the driving
seat of their own lives while only 20% felt that they are being controlled by others and not
themselves.

Q10. Do you 'snack' instead of eating 'wholesome' meals?

54
TABLE 1.10
RESPONDENTS WITH BAD EATING HABITS

Frequency Percent

Valid SOMETIMES 9 30.0

OFTEN 12 40.0

VERY OFTEN 9 30.0

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
The values in the table clearly indicate that all the employees indulge in snacking rather than
in consumption of wholesome nutritious meals due heavy work pressure ,time constraints
and job demands.

Q11. When conflict arises at work or at home, do you tend to over-


react?

TABLE 1.11
55
RESPONDENTS WHO OVER REACT TO
CONFLICTS

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 9 30.0

RARELY 13 43.3

SOMETIMES 8 26.7

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
It is seen that most people do not over react to conflicts either at home or at work. Only
26.7% of them tend to over react in some situations.

Q12. Do you feel that there is more work to do than you


realistically have the capacity to do?

56
TABLE 1.12
RESPONDENTS WHOSE WORK EXCEEDS ONE'S
CAPACITY

Frequency Percent

Valid RARELY 2 6.7

SOMETIMES 11 36.7

OFTEN 12 40.0

VERY OFTEN 5 16.7

Total 30 100.0

:
INFERENCE:
The table shows that most of the employees feel that their job demands and requires more
than what they are actually capable of doing. In most cases, their workload exceeds their
capacity. Only a small group (6.7%) felt that it was not so.

Q13. Do you feel caught between the pressures of responsibility


for family and work life?

57
TABLE 1.13
RESPONDENTS CAUGHT BETWEEN FAMILY
AND WORK PRESSURE

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 3 10.0

RARELY 5 16.7

SOMETIMES 14 46.7

OFTEN 6 20.0

VERY OFTEN 2 6.7

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
From the table it is seen that 46.7% of the employees feel that sometimes they are trapped
between the pressures of home and work ,20% feel caught often and 16.7% felt that it
happened very rarely.

Q14. Do you feel under – par at the beginning of the day?

58
TABLE 1.14
RESPONDENTS WHO FEEL UNDER - PAR AT
THE BEGINNING OF A WORK DAY

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 4 13.3

RARELY 16 53.3

SOMETIMES 8 26.7

OFTEN 1 3.3

VERY OFTEN 1 3.3

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
The table clearly shows that 53.3% of the employees rarely feel under-par even at the
beginning of a working day and only a handful of employees (3.3%) actually feel under-par
on working days.

59
Q15. Do you shy away from social contact with colleagues and
friends?

TABLE 1.15
RESPONDENTS WHO SHY AWAY FROM
SOCIAL CONTACT WITH COLLEAGUES

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 18 60.0

RARELY 9 30.0

SOMETIMES 3 10.0

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE :
It clearly shows that majority of the employees are actively sociable and do not shy away
from social contact especially with colleagues.

60
Q16. Do other people comment on your not taking care of your
appearance?

TABLE 1.16
RESPONDENTS WHOSE APPEARANCES ARE
COMMENTED UPON

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 16 53.3

RARELY 12 40.0

SOMETIMES 1 3.3

OFTEN 1 3.3

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
From the table and the pie chart, it is clearly understood that most of the employees are well
dressed and maintain a certain level of grooming and therefore are not commented upon for
shabby appearances by their colleagues.

61
Q17. Do you claim you have no time for hobbies and interests?

TABLE 1.17
RESPONDENTS WITH NO TIME FOR
THEMSELVES

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 1 3.3

RARELY 1 3.3

SOMETIMES 11 36.7

OFTEN 10 33.3

VERY OFTEN 7 23.3

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
The pie chart and table values clearly indicate that most of the employees are so busy and
caught up with work pressure that they barely have any time for themselves. They have
almost no time for their hobbies and self interests.

62
Q18. Do you feel misunderstood or unappreciated by your
colleagues, friends or family members?

TABLE 1.18
RESPONDENTS WHO FEEL MISUNDERSTOOD/
UNAPPRECIATED BY OTHERS

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT AL 17 56.7

RARELY 7 23.3

SOMETIMES 6 20.0

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
Here again, most of the employees are satisfied and not misunderstood or unappreciated by
their colleagues or family members. Only 20% feel that at certain times they are
misunderstood.

63
Q19. Do you feel you have to be the 'coper' for the family or for colleagues,
with no option for seeking support for yourself?

TABLE 1.19
RESPONDENTS WHO ARE COPERS FOR
FAMILY/ COLLEAGUES WITH NO SUPPORT
FOR THEMSELVES

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 1 3.3

RARELY 12 40.0

SOMETIMES 12 40.0

OFTEN 5 16.7

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
Here there are 2 strong groups- one group(40%) feel that very rarely do they have to be
copers for everyone else with no support for themselves while the other group also of 40%
feel that sometimes they have no one to seek support from.

64
Q20. Would you take a sick day, not because you feel ill but
overwhelmed, just to keep your 'head above water'
emotionally, mentally and physically?
TABLE 1.20
RESPONDENTS WHO TAKE A DAY OFF JUST TO
RECUPERATE EMOTIONALLY, MENTYALLY &
PHYSICALLY

Frequency Percent

Valid NOT AT ALL 6 20.0

RARELY 1 3.3

SOMETIMES 12 40.0

OFTEN 10 33.3

VERY OFTEN 1 3.3

Total 30 100.0

INFERENCE:
The chart and table indicate that many employees call in a sick day at work not because they
are really sick but because they are too overwhelmed and need time to recuperate
physically,mentally and emotionally.

65
FINDINGS

1. Most of the respondents have many years of long association with the
organisation

2. Most of the employees feel that they have no time for themselves and
their personal lives because of work overload.

3. The respondents are sociable and have no problems interacting with their
colleagues.

4. Employees’ are satisfied with the working conditions.

5. Role overload is the major cause of stress.

6. The respondents face a moderate level of stress

66
SUGGESTIONS

 The employees must give importance to time management techniques there by they
can complete their work within the specified time.

 Many tasks can be delegated to subordinates without losing effectiveness so that we


can reduce the overload of work.

 Introduce Flexi time

 Organisations must introduce recreational zones within the premises for the
employees to unwind.

 Adopt the work to home transition strategy. It means instead of carrying the pressures
of the work to home, the suggestion is to start the unwinding process during the work
day and enter the home in a relaxed and peaceful mind.

 Counseling the employees when they face problems, because counseling is the
discussion of a problem that usually has emotional content with an employee in order
to help the employee cope better.

 The organization must introduce Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and stress
control workshops accordingly to the level of employees, because there is a strong
relation between the level of stress and level of employees. EAP includes counseling
employees who seek assistance on how to deal with alcohol and drug abuse,
managing personal finances, handling conflicts at the work place, dealing with marital
and other family problems, and coping with health problems.

 Engaging the bored employee in aerobic exercise, because it stimulates the brain and
the body. Also the employee must practice meditation and yoga regularly.

EMPLOYEES’ SUGGESTION TO REDUCE STRESS

This project consists of the information about the employees, working in the banking
industry, who are undergoing stress. So considering this factor, the topic becomes one of the
most important part of the project as it consists of the opinion of the employees who work in

67
the banks. The response of employees from major banks in the city was marvellous as they
gave their valuable opinion about reducing stress as a result of the last question included in
the questionnaire. The opinion of the employees were as follows:

• “Just smile away” An employee- HDFC Bank


• “Just believe in yourself and just do what your heart wants” An employee-
HDFC Bank
• -“Talking to family member “- Watching TV or listening good music, -
Going for a walk or long drive” An employee- HDFC Bank
• “Believe in God” An employee- Bank of Baroda
• “Respect yourself and give time to yourself” An employee- CitiBank
• “Working in environment welfares, lot of positive attitude. Positive attitude is
only that reduces stress and achieves success. Most of the people frustrate due to
lack of positivity and stress level climbs up due to that. So get positive attitude about
work, about life, and forget the stress” An employee- CitiBank
• “We should do such activities from which we get happiness and also make
others happy. Pass your time with your close friends and relatives.” An employee-
ICICI Bank
• “Play and watch cricket” An employee- ICICI Bank
• “Listen music and spend time with family” An employee- Deutsche Bank
• “Get adjusted with others, Find and spend time for prayer, Study the
scriptures, See oneness in all, All are manifested of the supreme GOD” An
employee- Deutsche Bank

68
CONCLUSION

Stress in the work place has become the black plague of the present century. Much of the
stress at work is caused not only by work overload and time pressure but also by lack of
rewards and praise, and more importantly, by not providing individuals with the autonomy to
do their work as they would like.

Organization must begin to manage people at work differently,improve physical work


environment, treat them with respect and value their contribution. If we enhance the
psychological well being and health of the employees,the organizational revenue increases
and there is employee retention as well.. Because it is said that,

“A Healthy Employee is a Productive Employee”

69
BIBLIOGRAPHY

BOOKS

1. Jamal M. “Job stress-prone Type A behaviour, personal and organizational


consequences”, Canadian Journal Administration Sciences, 1985. pp 360-74.

2. A. P and J. M. Atieh, “Studying job stress: Are we making mountains out of


molehills?” Journal of occupational behavior, 1987 pp115-26.

3. PaulHersey, Kenneth H. Blanchard, Dewey E. Johnson –“Organizational Behavior”,


Prentice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd, 1998.
4. Stephen P. Robbins, “Organizational Behavior”, Prentice Hall, U .K. 1999.
5. Cooper. C. L. and Marshall. J, “Understanding Executive Stress”, The McMillan Press
Ltd, 1978 p 4.

6. K. Aswathappa, “Organizational Behavior”,Himalaya Publishing House

WEBSITES

1. http://www.lifepositive.com/Mind/psychology/stress/stress.asp
2. http://www.medicinenet.com/stress/article.htm
3. http://helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm
4. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_management_relief_coping.htm
5. http://stress.about.com/
6. http://www.studygs.net/stress.htm
7. www.wikipedia.com
8. www.finance.indiamart.com

70
71
QUESTIONNAIRE

NAME: AGE:

GENDER: QUALIFICATION:

1 Do you suffer with difficulty in sleeping?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

2 Do you find it difficult to concentrate?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

3 Do financial problems get you down?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

4 Do you find yourself 'self-medicating' with additional alcohol, nicotine


or other substances?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

\ 5 Do you get angry quickly?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

72
6 Do you find you are prone to negative thinking about your job?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

When you have been ill with relatively minor illnesses, does it take you a long time
7
to recover?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

8 Do you feel you are isolated, with no one to talk to?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

Do you feel out of control, as if you are not in the driving seat of your life and
9
health?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

10 Do you snack instead of eating “wholesome meals”?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

11 When conflict arises at work or at home, do you tend to over-react?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

73
Do you feel that there is more work to do than you realistically have the capacity to
12
do?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

13 Do you feel caught between the pressures of responsibility for family and for work?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

14 Do you feel 'under par' even at the beginning of a working day?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

15 Do you shy away from social contact with colleagues and friends?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

16 Do other people comment on your not taking care of your appearance?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

17 Do you claim you have no time for hobbies and interests?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

74
Do you feel misunderstood or unappreciated by your colleagues, friends or family
18
members?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

Do you feel you have to be the “coper” for your family or colleagues with no option
19
for seeking support for yourself?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

Would you take a sick day not because you feel ill but overwhelmed, just to keep
20
your “head above water” emotionally, mentally & physically?

a. Not at all b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often

e. Very Often

21 Kindly give us your suggestions, if any, to manage stress _____________

75