Stress is a natural part of human life, it is the body ‘s instinctual reaction, from thousands of years of evolution, to the many stressors in our everyday environment. Stress can be positive, negative, direct, or indirect. An example of positive stress could be pressure to perform that could be used as motivation to achieve a goal. Negative stress could be discovering that a close relative or family member has died. Direct stress involves the individual directly, such as a personal feud. Indirect stress does not directly involve the person, for example, terrorism against the United States indirectly adds stress to Americans traveling by plane. Stress comes from internal factors and external factors as well. An example of internal factors would be something administrative, or anything within the department, usually out of people’s control. External factors are things outside of the job, it could be societal expectations or their gender role. Whether positive or negative, internal or external, it is vital that the strain is handled in a positive matter for both the individual and their surrounding environment. Everyone experiences stress at different levels, depending on various factors such as economic status, occupation, gender roles, societal expectations, and ethnicity.
Individuals employed with law enforcement are likely to suffer higher levels of stress than other occupations. Their lives are constantly threatened by criminals, high speed car chases, and other standards of the job. Unfortunately, some police use negative coping methods such as drinking, domestic violence, and/or suicide, hurting themselves and those around them. Stress is inevitable, however, by understanding what causes stress and how the body reacts, it will be much easier for you to create effective programs that help coping with those issues experienced from the job.
Police officers face higher than normal amounts of stress in their everyday lives. Regardless of station size or service area, all law enforcement officers are subject to gross amounts of stress from nearly the moment they enter the profession
The main reason causes stress is that officers can encounter violent criminals and crime scenes during their daily work. Additionally, the police possess a great amount of discretion that requires them to make tough decisions about arresting certain individuals or even using deadly force. Furthermore, the nature of law enforcement organization is often identified as a primary source of work related stress in that it is characterized by strict rules and a rigid chain of command. As a police officer, it is their job to put their life on the line and protect citizen’s safety, and it will put enormous amounts of strain on their shoulder. There is also a physical and emotional conflict that occurs. Under highly emotional circumstances, officers must exercise extreme restraint when excited, they must remain calm when nervous. This process is fighting their natural instincts to run.
By recognizing stress and learning how to deal with it, we can prevent a lot of issues. Here are few advices. Having excellent physical health can make a huge difference for a police officer. Choosing to be healthy is the best weapon against the negative influences of stress. Once a commitment is made to fight back against the negative factors of stress, life becomes healthier and more enjoyable. Having various exercise plan, meditation/ relaxation programs, and classes about nutrition will create a more efficient and healthy lifestyle. Besides, talk with your family about your strain. Family is always your best support, talk with your parents or friends.