The Ministry of Transport and Works’ Social Committee recently hosted an Open Forum on Stress Management at the Ministry’s offices on Maxfield Ave, Kingston. The session was conducted by Mr. Gregory Bryan, Trainer at the Tax Administration Services Department (TASD), a department in the Ministry of Finance. The session was geared towards empowering participants on how to recognize, manage and avoid stressful situations, which can affect one’s mental, physical and emotional health. Mr. Bryan noted that there are two components of stress- the stressors (agents or factors which produce stress) and the response (the individual’s reaction to the stressors). He further explained that the stressors could include everyday occurrences such as traffic jam, financial problems, illness or injury, divorce or separation.

He cautioned that persons ought to be mindful of some of the reactions to stressful situations, which could include heart racing, stiff neck, backache, headache, moodiness, frustration, aggression, absenteeism, defensiveness and overreaction to situations. Mr. Bryan explained that stress could lead to health effects and could affect the cardiovascular system, metabolic system, nervous system and the immune system, and could result in coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, depression, insomnia and ulcers.

However, he noted that managing stress is critical to one’s health, and highlighted the

A-B-C approach that can be taken towards this end: 
Avoid it-remove yourself from the stressful situation
Alter it-remove the source of the stress by changing something
Accept it-equip yourself physically and mentally for coping with stress 
Build resistance-increase mental, physical, social and spiritual capacity to tolerate stress 
C-change perception-improve self-image. Correct unrealistic expectations and irrational beliefs