- New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 13: Coping with Stress through Reason
13 Coping with stress through reason Edwin A. Locke Stress is actually a form of emotion, an automatized response to the perception of threat. Emotions are the result of automatic, subconscious appraisals of objects or situations (Locke, 1976). The stress situation There are ﬁve core elements involved in stress. 1. An important value is perceived as threatened. The value may be one’s own selfesteem (as could be threatened by the loss of one’s job or a personal rejection), one’s own physical survival and well-being (as in the case of a soldier in battle) or a valued other person or object (as in the possible loss of one’s spouse due to illness or the failure of one’s business). There is a perceived need for action to protect or gain the value. If one is fully convinced (including at the subconscious level) that no action is possible, one feels passive resignation and sadness (or depression) rather than stress. There is uncertainty about being able to take the relevant action. One may not know which action to take or may not feel conﬁdent in being able to carry it out. There may also be uncertainty about when and where the threat will manifest itself, making action planning diﬃcult. If an individual is totally certain that he can take the action needed to deal with the potential threat at hand (for example, give a public talk), there is no stress. Implicit in the experience of stress is an element of conﬂict....
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