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Definitions/Terms

This is a list of useful definitions and terms related to counseling stress and burnout. If you have any suggestions for additions or revisions to the list, let us know via the “Contact” link in the sidebar.

  • Adrenaline – a white to brownish crystalline compound, C9H13NO3, isolated from adrenal glands of certain mammals or synthesized, and used as a heart stimulant, vasoconstrictor, and in the treatment of asthma.
  • Burnout – physical and/or mental exhaustion, especially as a result of being overworked or from dissipation.
  • Combative strategy – a plan of action devised to fight or eliminate stress in an individual.
  • Diaphragmatic breath – a deep breath that employs the diaphragm to a greater degree than is usually done in normal breathing. Often used in series to reduce tension, anxiety, and/or stress.
  • EAP – Employee Assistance Program.
  • Empowerment – the delegation, authorization, or granting of power or rights to an individual or group.
  • Ergonomics – the study of how a workplace and the equipment used there can best be designed for comfort, safety, efficiency, and productivity.
  • Fatigue – physical and/or mental weariness or exhaustion resulting from exertion.
  • Intervention strategy – a plan of action devised to change a situation or condition that is causing stress in an individual.
  • Job stress – stress that occurs in the workplace.
  • NIOSH – National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related illness and injury.
  • Organizational change – a fundamental reorientation in the way an organization operates.
  • Preventative strategy – a plan of action devised to prevent a situation or condition from occurring in the future.
  • Relaxation exercises – techniques designed to reduce stress and/or restore energy to the body.
  • Stress – an unpleasant state of emotional and physiological arousal that people experience in situations that they perceive as dangerous or threatening to their well being.
  • Stress management – the use or change of conditions and/or characteristics in an organization or person to minimize stress.
  • Stressor – an activity, experience, or other situation that causes stress.
  • Time management – the use or change of a system and/or characteristics in an organization or person to maximize efficiency and productivity.
  • Workaholic – somebody who displays a compulsive need to work hard, usually for very long hours.
  • Worker characteristics – individual traits of a worker. Stressful worker characteristics are an example of self-imposed stress.
  • Working conditions – circumstances and/or environments present in a workplace. Stressful working conditions are an example of situational stress.
  • Workload – the amount of work assigned to a person or a group, and that is to be done in a particular period.
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