Negative stress has unpleasant consequences for them, their families and for the organizations they serve.


Effects on the Individual

The impacts of distress on individuals are of following types:

  • The subjective or intrapersonal effects of stress are feelings of anxiety, boredom, apathy, nervousness, depression, fatigue, and anger. Sometimes experiencing the stress may cause aggressive behaviors on the part of the individual.
  • The cognitive effects include poor concentration, short attention span, mental blocks and inability to make decisions.
  • The physiological effects can be seen in increased heart and pulse rate, high blood pressure, dryness of throat, and excessive sweating.
  • The behavioral effects arc manifest in such things as accident proneness, drinking, excessive eating, smoking, impulsive behaviors, depression, and withdrawal behaviors.
  • The manifest health effects could be stomach disorders, asthma, eczema, and other psychosomatic disorders. In addition, the mental health, i.e. the ability lo function effectively in one’s daily life, will also decline as excessive stress is experienced.


Consequences for the Family

Negative stress, which is handled by individuals in dysfunctional ways, such as drinking or withdrawal behaviors, will have an adverse effect on their home life. Spouse abuse, child abuse, alienation from family members, and even divorce could result from dysfunctional coping mechanisms.


Consequences to Organizations

The adverse consequences on an organization include low performance and productivity, high rates of absenteeism and poor decision-making. It also leads to lost of customers because of poor worker attitudes, increased alienation of the worker from the job, and even destructive and aggressive behaviors resulting in strikes and sabotage. The stresses experienced by employees who take on critical roles and are responsible for safety can sometimes be detrimental to the public. For instance, the stresses experienced by a train driver or railway guard, or that of an airline pilot, navigator, or air traffic controller may result in serious accidents. Needless to say that the costs of employee stress to the organization in terms of lost profits, poor image and loss of future business are enormous.

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