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Three Basic Premises of Stress
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Navy Counselor 1 & C (Recruiter) - Military manual for recruiting
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Hans Selye
for  those  who  were  already  at  their  peak  level  of arousal  or  who  needed  to  reduce  their  level.  They listened  to  soft  music,  meditated,  and  relaxed  to maintain  or  reduce  their  stress  level.  They  still  didn’t win  the  Super  Bowl  that  year,  but  their  performance and  overall  emotional  health  were  improved. Premise Number Two “The formula for success looks an awful lot like the  formula  for  a  nervous  breakdown.” WATCH  OUT  FOR  THE  EXTREMES.–  This premise is saying that the very things that have made us successful can be our downfall if they are carried to  an  extreme.  We  have  all  put  in  some  of  those 30-hour  days  to  get  ahead.  How  many  of  those 30-hour days can we string together before we become overwhelmed  and  exhausted?  We  must  sometimes recognize the need for moderation even in the ideals that have made us successful. EFFECTS   OF   STRESS   ON   MENTAL CONCENTRATION.–  Our mental health depends upon  our  ability  to  manage  our  levels  of  stress. Figure  3-4  depicts  the  effects  of  stress  on  mental concentration.  Too  little  arousal  or  stress  and  we become easily distracted. We need the motivation to concentrate  effectively.  Too  much  arousal  or  stress and we start to miss relevant cues. The sense of being overwhelmed  may  overshadow  important  details. Mental  concentration  can  affect  every  part  of  a recruiter’s  life.  Let’s  think  of  how  it  may  affect  an interview  situation. Too  little  arousal  may  make recruiters  appear  disinterested  in  the  prospect  or  lose their train of thought, resulting in a rambling interview without a sale. Recruiters with too much arousal or stress  may  be  so  “hyped”  that  they  miss  buying signals, alienate the prospect, and lose the sale. We need to train our recruiters to manage their stress levels   so   they   can   maintain   balanced   mental concentration. Premise Number Three “You are a carrier.” You must accept the fact that you create, absorb, and carry stress. Understanding this  can  put  you  on  the  road  to  effective  stress management. WE CREATE OUR OWN STRESS.– Besides  the external  sources  of  stress  we  encounter  every  day,  we create a host of internal stress. We may set high goals and  expectations  for  ourselves  that  motivate  us  to more   successful   performance. Our   habits   and behaviors  can  create  stress.  Procrastination  and  lack of  planning  are  examples  of  behaviors  that  will needlessly  add  to  our  stress  level. WE   ARE   BOTH   A   STRESSOR   AND   A STRESSEE.– We carry stress to others through our actions  and  words.  Have  you  ever  had  a  bad  day, gone  home  and  snapped  at  your  spouse,  lost  patience with the kids, or generally “kicked the cat”? These are  examples  of  being  a  negative  stressor. As  a positive  stressor,  you  may  have  urged  a  recruiter toward his or her professional goal or ignited a young sailor’s motivation to improve his or her skills. We also absorb the stress of others. When people we care about have problems, we feel their anxiety. In some cases, this can be positive. Carried to extremes, it can become overwhelming. We must guard against taking too many “monkeys on our back.” STRESS RESPONSE To  understand  how  stress  affects  people  and  why it may help, look at figure 3-5. The model shows that sources  of  stress  are  affected  by  the  differences between   people. Those modified stressors result in some  sort  of  mobilization  that  produces  performance. Either the performance is optimum when the stressors are well managed or there is interference when the stress  is  allowed  to  conflict  with  the  performance. Signs  and  symptoms  of  stress  may  be  produced  in either case. Learning to perform even in the presence of the signs and symptoms of stress is a goal of stress management. Figure 3-4.—Effects of stress on mental concentration. 3-14

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