Problem Solution Essay about Stress

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In recent years, there has been an increased interest in using mindfulness in organizations to improve employee’s general health (Virgili, M., 2015). Many studies have carried out relatively short-term mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, lasting only a few weeks, however, few have investigated whether it could be a long-term solution for chronic stress triggered by the workplace. Shorter studies such as those by Jenson E. Reiser et al. (2016), Christopher Nyi Nyi Bu et al. (2019), and Maryanna D. Klatt et al. (2008) lasted six weeks before collecting results from their participants. Longer studies such as Sarah Sallon et al.’s (2017) lasted up to 8 months before the collection and comparison of results. Improperly managed stress could cause a variety of medical, psychological, and behavioral health issues (Quick, J.D., et al, 1987). Since mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, it may be able to help employees manage their stress and subsequent health. Using mindfulness for a longer period of time appears more effective than short-term interventions with respect to workplace stress reduction.

Many short-term mindfulness-based stress reduction studies have been conducted, often exhibiting a self-reported decrease in stress symptoms, as is shown in the experiments conducted by Reiser et al. (2016) and Nyi Nyi Bu et al. (2019). The study by Nyi Nyi Bu et al. (2019) presented results that showed a decrease in self-reported stress levels at the end of the six-week program compared to the initial reports from participants. Similarly, the experiment by Reiser et al. (2016) evaluated stress and job satisfaction in teachers before and after the six-week program. The results from this study suggested that after six weeks of mindfulness, the mean value for job satisfaction increased for individuals who attended all sessions (Reiser, J.E., et al., 2016). However, Reiser et al. critique that aside from the job satisfaction results, the differences in stress levels between those who attended all sessions and those who didn’t were virtually negligible (Reiser, J.E., et al., 2016). So, although these studies recorded self-reported decreased stress levels and increased job satisfaction, there is no evidence to suggest that this helped the health of participants in any way.

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In support of this statement, a different six-week study from Klatt, Buckworth & Malarkey (2008) measured the salivary cortisol levels, the body’s main stress hormone, and recorded no difference in levels before and after the intervention. This demonstrates that the improvements, if any, after six weeks were psychological, not physical. These six-week studies show a trend suggesting that observable health benefits from mindfulness-based stress reduction take longer than six weeks to present themselves.

In contrast to this, a longer program was studied by Sarah Sallon et al. (2017) on hospital staff, which looked at both psychological and physical benefits. The results from this study gave more precise improvements from the participants than the six-week counterpart studies, reporting that participants showed a decrease in headaches, insomnia, overeating, anxiety, muscle tension, tiredness, heartburn, lower back pain, stomach problems, depression and irritability (Sallon, S., et al., 2017). With these concise results, it is clear that the longer program had more effect in reducing stress when considering both psychological and physical health improvements.

Since Sallon et al.’s (2017) results show extensive physical and psychological benefits from reducing chronic stress, there may be positive knock-on effects for working environments, as well as healthcare systems. For example, decreased headaches, heartburn, lower back pain, and stomach problems may lead to reduced absences and interruptions while working. High stress levels among healthcare workers have also been linked with an increase in medical errors and absenteeism, along with decreased patient satisfaction (Regehr, C., et al., 2014), so stress reduction may help to prevent these issues, resulting in improved healthcare system for the general public.

From a comparison of these studies, the hypothesis that mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques require a longer time of practicing in order to relieve chronic stress can be supported, where mindfulness must be continued for more than six weeks. Since the studies from Reiser et al. (2016) and Klatt et al. (2008) showed minimal improvement in mental stress reduction and cortisol levels after a six-week program, it can be concluded that mindfulness takes longer than six weeks to have an effect. As the 8-month study from Sallon et al. (2017) shows, a longer program presents prominent improvements over a wide range of health aspects, both physical and mental.

References

    1. Klatt, M. D., Buckworth, J., & Malarkey, W. B. 2008, Effects of Low-Dose Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR-ld) on Working Adults, Health Education & Behavior, 36(3), 601–614. Available from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1090198108317627 (Accessed on November 12th 2019)
    2. Nyi Nyi Bu, C., Cotzias, E., Panagioti, M., 2019, Mindfulness Intervention for Foundation Year Doctors: a Feasibility Study, Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 5(1), 1-8. Available from: https://doaj.org/article/b6a8f7d5dc1f47e9b52fbfc7f496e579 (Accessed on 31st October 2019)
    3. Quick, J.D., Horn, R.S., Campbell Quick, J., 2008, Health Consequences of Stress, Journal of Organizational Behavioural Management, 8(2), p. 19-36. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J075v08n02_03 (Accessed on 13th November 2019)
    4. Regehr, C., Glancy, D., Pitts, A., LeBlanc, V.R., 2014, Interventions to Reduce the Consequences of Stress in Physicians: A Review and Meta-Analysis, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 202(5), p.353-359. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/jonmd/Abstract/2014/05000/Interventions_to_Reduce_the_Consequences_of_Stress.1.aspx (Accessed on 13th November 2019)
    5. Reiser, J.E., Murphy, S.L., McCarthy, C.J., 2016, Stress Prevention and Mindfulness: A Psychoeducational and Support Group for Teachers, The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 41(2), 117-139. Available from: https://www-tandfonline-com.jproxy.nuim.ie/doi/full/10.1080/01933922.2016.1151470 (Accessed on: 27th October 2019)
    6. Sallon, S., Katz-Eisner, D., Yaffe, H., Bdolah-Abram, T., 2017, Caring for the Caregivers: Results of an Extended, Five-component Stress-reduction Intervention for Hospital Staff, Behavioural Medicine (Washington DC), 43(1), 47-60. Available from: http://fh6xn3yd3x.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fsummon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Ajournal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Caring+for+the+Caregivers%3A+Results+of+an+Extended%2C+Five-component+Stress-reduction+Intervention+for+Hospital+Staff.%28Report%29%28Author+abstract%29&rft.jtitle=Behavioral+Medicine&rft.au=Sallon%2C+Sarah&rft.au=Yaffe%2C+Hila&rft.au=Katz-Eisner%2C+Deborah&rft.au=Bdolah-Abram%2C+Tali&rft.date=2017-03-01&rft.pub=Taylor+%26+Francis+Group+LLC&rft.issn=0896-4289&rft.eissn=1940-4026&rft.volume=43&rft.issue=1&rft.spage=47&rft.externalDBID=n%2Fa&rft.externalDocID=A484552546¶mdict=en-US (Accessed on 31st October 2019)
    7. Virgili, M., 2015, Mindfulness-Based Interventions Reduce Psychological Distress in Working Adults: a Meta-Analysis of Intervention Studies, Mindfulness, 6(2), p. 326-337. Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12671-013-0264-0 (Accessed on 13th November 2019)
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Problem Solution Essay about Stress. (2024, January 04). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/problem-solution-essay-about-stress/
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