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Challenge Stressors Versus Hindrance Stressors, and Resources to Overcome Stressors




Stress is a forceful condition in which an individual is challenged with an opportunity, demand, or resources related to what the individual yearns and for which the outcome is viewed to be both uncertain and important (5).

Beneficial Stress Versus Harmful Stress

Stress is generally discussed in a negative framework. As a matter of fact, it is not automatically bad in and of itself, and it also has a positive value (6). It is favorable when it offers promising advantages.  Contemplate, for example, the outstanding performance of an athlete or stage performer gives in an adverse situation (1) .Such individuals often use stress positively to rise to the occasion and perform at their best (1).  Similarly, many professionals view the pressure of difficult assignments and deadlines as positive challenges that improve the quality of their work and satisfaction that they get from their job (1).

Challenge Stressors Versus Hindrance Stressors

Recently, researchers have argued that challenge stressors – or stressors associated with: (1) time emergency, (2) pressure to complete work, and (3) workload ; function entirely differently from hindrance stressors- or stressors that prevent an individual from achieving his/her goals. Although research is just commencing to accrue, early evidence proposes challenge stressors produce less stress than hindrance stressors (7). There is also evidence that challenge stressors improve job performance in an accommodating work environment (7); whereas hindrance stressors decrease job performance in all work environments (10).

A meta-analysis of responses from more than 35,000 individuals demonstrated that many hindrance stressors were all constantly negatively associated with job performance (7). Examples of hindrance stressors are ((1) & (2)):


  1. Red tape
  2. Office politics
  3. Misunderstanding over job responsibilities
  4. Role ambiguity
  5. Role conflict
  6. Role overload
  7. Job insecurity
  8. Environmental uncertainty
  9. Situational constraints
  10. Extreme job demands
  11. Disagreements with teammates
  12. Disagreements with supervisors
  13. Incapable authority to carry out task
  14. Lack of training essential to perform the job
  15. Nonproductive meetings
  16. Time-consuming meetings
  17. Commuting and travelling schedules


Resources to Manage Stressors

Oftentimes, stress is associated with demands and resources. Demands are pressures, uncertainties, obligations, and responsibilities that individuals face in the workplace (1).  Resources are elements within an individual’s command that he/she can use to find solutions to the demands (1). Research suggests sufficient resources help diminish the stressful nature of demands when demands and resources correspond (9). For example, when an individual takes a test at school or undergoes his/her annual performance review at work, he/she feels stress because they confront opportunities and performance pressures (9). A good performance review may give rise to a promotion, greater responsibilities, and a greater salary (9). On the contrary, a poor review may hinder an individual from securing a promotion (9).  An extraordinarily poor review might even cause  the individual to be sacked (9).To the extent that the individual can apply resources to the demands on him/her, such as placing the exam or review in perspective, being prepared, or obtaining social support; he/she will feel less stress (9). If emotional demands are stressing, having emotional resources in the form of social support is remarkably essential (9). In the case that demands are cognitive, as information overload; then job resources such as information or computer support become more significant (9).

Practical Ways to Overcome Stress:

  1. Determine the source of the stress (3).Rather than feeling like you’re unsuccessful every day, pinpoint what you’re actually stressed about (3). Is it a particular undertaking at work, an approaching exam, an argument with your boss (3)? By being precise and identifying the stressors in your life, you’re one step closer to becoming organized and taking action (3).
  2. Recognize what you can control- and work on that (3).While you can’t control what your in-laws mention, what your boss does, or recession and inflation; you can control what you spend your time on, what you spend your time on, how you perform work, and the   and your response (3). For example, if the scope of a work project is causing you stress, discuss it with your supervisor or divide the project into step-wise tasks and deadlines (3). Stress can be immobilizing. Doing what’s within your capabilities enables you to progress and is empowering and galvanizing(3).
  3. Do what you are passionate about and enjoy (3).It is much simpler to manage stress when the rest of your life is filled with activities you enjoy (3).Even if your job is significantly stressful, you can search for one or more hobbies that improve your life (3). What are you enthusiastic about (3)? If you are unsure, try different activities to find something that is very useful and rewarding (3).
  4. Get moving. Move your body often – don’t sit in excess of an hour (4).Physical activity has a key role in diminishing and precluding the effects of stress, but you don’t have to be an athlete or spend hours exercising to experience the benefits (4).Any type of physical activity can help alleviate stress and eliminate tension, anger and frustration (4). Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and make you feel good, and it can also be utilized as a useful distraction to your quotidian anxiety (4).

Although the utmost benefit comes from exercising 30 minutes or more, you can begin with small sessions and increase your fitness level slowly (4).  Short 10-minute periods of activity that raise your heart rate and make you sweat can help to alleviate stress and provide you with more vitality and positive expectations and beliefs. (4). Even very small activities can accumulate throughout the day. (4). The first step is getting up and moving (4). Here are some simple ways (4):

  • Listen to some music and dance.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Walk or cycle to the supermarket
  • Instead of using an elevator at work or home, take the stairs.
  • Park your car as far away as possible, and walk the rest of the way.
  • Select an activity you enjoy, so that there is a higher probability you will continue practicing this activity.


  1. Robbins, S.P., and Judge, T.A. (2011).Organizational Behavior. 14/E. New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education, Inc.
  2. Mills, H., Reiss, N., and Dombeck, M, M. (2008, June 30). Types of Stressors (Eustress Vs.Distress). Retrieved October 17, 2016 from:
  3. Tartakovsky, M. 10 Practical Ways to Handle Stress. Retrieved October 28, 2016 from:
  4. Stress Management: Tips for Getting Your Stress Under Control For Good. Retrieved October 28, 2016 from:
  5. Schuler, R.S. (1980) .Definition and Conceptualization of Stress in Organizations. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance.  For a revised review of definitions, see Cooper, C.L., Dewe, P.J., and O’Driscoll, M.P.  (2002) Organizational Stress: A review and Critique of Theory, Research, and Applications . Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage
  6. See, for example, Cavanaugh,M.A., BoswellW.R.,Roehling,M.V., and Boudreau, J.W (2000). An Empirical Examination of Self-Reported Work Stress Among U.S. Managers. Journal of Applied Psychology, February ,pp.65-74
  7. Posakoff,N.P., LePine, J.A., and LePine,M.A. (2007) Differential Challenge- Hindrance Stressors Relationships with Job Attitudes,Turnover Intentions, Turnover, and Withdrawal Behavior: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology 92, no.2 , pp.438-454; and LePine,J.A., LePine,M.A., and Jackson,C.L. (2004). Challenge and Hindrance Stress: Relationship with Exhaustion, Motivation to Learn, and Learning Performance, Journal of Applied Psychology, October.pp.883-891
  8. Gilboa, S., Shirom, A., Fried, Y. and Cooper, C. (2008).A Meta-analysis of Work Demand Stressors and Job Performance: Examine Main and Moderating Effects. Personnel Psychology 61, no.2 ,pp.227-271
  9. Van Yperen,N.W. and Janssen,O.(2002) Fatigued and Dissatisfied or Fatigued but Satisfied ? Goal Orientations and Responses to High Job Demands. Academy of Management Journal,December,,pp.1161-1171;and Van Yperen,N.W. and Hagedoorn, M. (2003). Do High Job Demands Increase Intrinsic Motivation or Fatigue or Both ? The Role of Job Control and Job Social Support. Academy of Management Journal, June,pp.339-348
  10. Wallace,J.C., Edwards,B.D., Arnold.T., Frazier,M.L., and Finch,D.M. (2009). Work Stressors, Role-Based Performance, and the Moderating Influence of Organizational Support. Journal of Applied Psychology,94,no.1,pp.254-262

                    By: Sara M.F.M. Abu-Youssef, MSc. Equivalency, Business Administration Department, Faculty of Commerce, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt, and

              MBA, Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport, Alexandria, Egypt

    Edited By: Mona Timor Shehata




How did the International Certification from the HRCI change your career?



Testimonials from Certified HR Professionals in the Middle East

Journalism: Menna Hamdy

Mostafa Gallal (PHRi, Egypt) – Recruitment Manager at Al Ezz Dekheila Steel

“The most important thing about the certification content is that it helps us to understand the HR science from a global perspective. In addition, to updating us about the new HR trends.

Most of us don’t practice at work all the HR functions, so it allows me to learn about all the HR functions.

Being certified gave me the opportunity to take a role in many projects, as well as participating in many events that added a real value for me.

My mindset started to think about top management decisions and how I can solve the regular issues that happens between top management and unions. I learnt that when proposing any new idea, I should take into consideration how to apply it in a way that fits my company culture

I would advise HR professionals when approaching their HRCI Certifications content study; to try to understand the practical way of each module, and to get acquainted with the HR Expressions and abbreviations as they are very important; they have to study them very well.”

Ezzddin Malek (SPHRi – PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at Misr Capital S.A.E

“I acquired my PHRi and SPHRi certifications in 2017 and it gave me an edge to make 2 steps up in my career from senior HR specialist in 2017 to Head of HR in a multinational company within just 2 years and I was chosen by HRCI to be an exam development panelist since 2018.”

Mina Adel (PHRi, Egypt) – HR Manager at IRAM JEWELRY

“Knowing the latest internationally applied methods of human resource management and being a certified practitioner from the premier human resources certification institute (HRCI) made me qualified to undertake larger tasks and assume advanced responsibilities in the field of human resources”

Mohannad Albashabsheh (SPHRi- PHRi, Jordan) – HR & Training Section Head in JBC

“Practicing HR Professionally is an outstanding responsibility. Being SPHRi certified facilitated for me the knowledge, skills, attitude and resulting power to be successful HR Professional”

Dana Hasan (PHRi, Jordan) – TA, LD Section Head

“I have got my first HRCI certification in 2014, then I got my recertification in 2017 as PHRi. Getting such certification helped me to grow in my HR career, stand as a distinguished HR professional in international and multinational companies. 

One of the main reasons that enabled me to work for big companies and be a business partner is having a professional certification.

I advise each professional: Invest in yourself, strengthen your experience with knowledge”

Mariham Magdy (PHRi, Egypt) – HR, Strategy and Management Consultant & Trainer

“As an HR Trainer & Consultant I believe that one of the most important benefits of the International Certification by the HRCI is how efficiently it builds the mind-set of the HR professionals acquainting them with the technical know-how for HR, spoken and standardized in an international language.

The HRCI exerts sound efforts to provide learners with valuable framework that can help them understand technically correct the processes of the different HR functions.

The HRCI Certification enabled me to understand the HR science from an international perspective, which gave me confidence in my work as an HR practitioner and Trainer.

The knowledge learnt throughout the certifications content designs for us a reliable road-map for the right steps to follow for decision making in HR.

I strongly recommend the certification for each professional aiming to progress his/her career in the HR field. Take a step today that you will thank yourself for it tomorrow”

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Interview with Eureka (ICS Learn Student) Customer Service Agent – Qatar Airways



Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

1. HR Revolution Middle East: Welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s a great pleasure to have the opportunity to make this interview with you.

What special recommendations would you share with CIPD students to encourage them to progress in their study?

ICS Learn Student:

Going through a period of change is very challenging and emotionally draining with the end outcome almost always unforeseeable. Everything seems to be unpredictable, but that is okay! Take some time to adapt to this new situation, accept it as positive reinforcement to yourself. Add value to yourself. Break through the situations in life. Continuing to learn will bring you academic and professional value to be the person whom you always want to be.

2- HR Revolution Middle East: How did the online set-up provided by ICS learn supported you to finish your CIPD Certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As a CIPD student, I am very glad that I choose ICS Learn as my platform. The online set-ups are very easy to go through and convenient to manage time. Especially as I am a full-time worker, it is very challenging to manage time for study or attend classes. However, ICS Learn supports you with recorded classes and fast responsive tutor support. That connection always made me feel that I was in a live classroom.

3- HR Revolution Middle East:  To what extent do you believe that the CIPD has helped you to progress on your professional path and opened new doors for different career opportunities?

ICS Learn Student:

CIPD is an internationally recognised professional body. Most employer’s value and recognize the professional certification of CIPD. Being a CIPD Member gives professional values to my CV, especially in the field of Human Resources Management.

4- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your HR practice at your organization changed after acquiring the CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

My organization recognized me as an HR student as I am successfully achieving my professional qualifications with CIPD. I feel more confident as they look at me as someone whom they can rely on professionally at any given task.

5- HR Revolution Middle East: What special support have you received from your Tutors at ICS Learn that evidently helped you to finalize your certification?

ICS Learn Student:

During my study period, the support that I received from all ICS Learn tutors is special. Personalized feedback with regards to any assessments helped to achieve pass grades. I highly appreciate that all my tutors are available to answer or clarify any inquires related to my assignments or theoretical doubts in the one-to-one online chat forum.

6- HR Revolution Middle East: The online administrative support is one of the most important things an online global learner need, how was it flexible to proceed with such important certification through the online platform of ICS Learn?

ICS Learn Student:

ICS Learn is one of the best and most recommended online learning providers. The online admin support is a click away as we all are connected in different time zones in the world. That is very important as an online global learner. They do not only support academically but also technically. As a path connecter to the CIPD body, ICS Learn have a very professional admin team.

7- HR Revolution Middle East: How did your problem-solving techniques changed in dealing with HR challenges after finalizing your CIPD certification?

ICS Learn Student:

As an HR student, a CIPD qualification will enrich you with academic techniques. I have improved lots of skills that are helping me to handle challenges in a patient and professional manner. All the studies are practical scenarios rather than theoretical ones which allows me to improve as an individual and improve my behaviours as a people person.

8- HR Revolution Middle East: What would be your next academic degree in mind after the CIPD?

ICS Learn Student:

I would like to do a master’s degree in Human Resources Management.

9- HR Revolution Middle East: Do you believe HR/L&D professionals shall create communities of practice to encourage one another in finalizing their CIPD certifications and nurture the profession that way?

ICS Learn Student:

Yes, I do believe so. Being connected to a community that is driven by the same goals and targets is encouraging. It also helps to build confidence and practice some of the professional behaviours by supporting each other. Sharing each other’s knowledge and giving feedback and different viewpoints always achieves a better outcome.

10- HR Revolution Middle East: What are the needed competences for an HR professional to excel in his/her CIPD studies?

ICS Learn Student:

The field of HR is dynamic and our ability to process and understand it requires self-motivation. Growing in your job means being receptive to new ideas, wherever they may come from. HR professionals who never stop learning are well-positioned to translate well thought out industry trends and data into actionable insights. CIPD is the perfect gateway to our dream career. They support choosing the right course to up-skill your HR practice and stay motivated remotely.


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تعاون بين شباب السودان ومصر لتنظيم النسخة الثامنة لتيدكس ودمدني بالسودان



شباب من مصر والسودان يترجموا التعاون بين البلدين الشقيقين في المشاركة في تنظيم النسخة الثامنة لمؤتمر تيدكس ودمدني بالسودان.

يعتبر شهر مارس بكل عام بمدينة ودمدني السودانية شهر مختلف ومتميز وذلك لأنه على مدى 7 أعوام متتالية يشهد على تنظيم حدث لمؤتمر تيدكس العالمي، وجاءت النسخة الثامنة التي كانت بيوم 27 مارس 2021 نسخة متميزة ومنفردة بجمال أفكارها ومشاريعها وتنظيمها الذي تم الأشراف عليه من البلدين الشقيقين، وكانت المشاركات شاملة لكل المجالات التي تهدف لتنمية المجتمع والفرد ونذكر منها:

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم وكيف استطاعت أن تتجاوز كل تلك الصعاب بإرادة قوية حتى تم تسميتها باسم صاحبة الإرادة وتعتبر ياسمين الآن من الشخصيات الملهمة في السودان.

تحدث محمود منسي (جمهورية مصر العربية) على أعادة بناء الدول والمجتمعات بعد الثورات وجاء الموضوع مناسباً للمرحلة التي يمر بها السودان الشقيق وأستطاع محمود إلهام الشباب السوداني لأخذ دور في بناء البلد وذلك بتفاعلهم مع موضوعه.

تحدث كذلك أحمد رجب (جمهورية مصر العربية) على فكرة رقصة التانجو وعلاقتها بالإدارة والقيادة داخل المؤسسات.

وكذلك سها هيكل (جمهورية مصر العربية) وجهت رسالة توعوية للمجتمع لتغير نظرته تجاه الفنيين باعتبارهم شريحة مهمة في المجتمع، وأن محاربة العنصرية والتمييز في شتى مجالات العمل.

بينما وعد عصام (جمهورية مصر العربية) تحدثت عن الصعوبات التي تواجه طلاب الثانويات خصوصاً في تعلم اللغة الإنجليزية وكيفية التغلب عليها بنصائح سهلة بسيطة ومباشرة ووضحت وعد أن اللغة عبارة عن مهارات تكتسب وتمارس.

ياسمين يوسف (جمهورية السودان) تحدثت عن تحديها للإعاقة ووقوفها ضد المجتمع ودفاعها عن حقوقها في التعليم

ومن المشاركين كذلك من البراء عثمان (دولة الأمارات العربية المتحدة) الذي تحدث عن تجربته مع الاكتئاب وكيف استطاع تجاوزه بتوجيه طاقته تجاه ممارسة هوايته وهي الموسيقى وكيف أن ممارسة الموسيقى تساعد على التوازن النفسي.

فاطمة أحمد (جمهورية السودان) التي دعت للمحبة والسلام وتقبل الاّخر لبناء سودان جديد مستعرضة تجربة رواندا.

وكذلك تحدثت ماب خالد (جمهورية السودان) على أهمية التوعية بالعلاج النفسي وتجربتها في إقناع الحكومة لتضمين العلاج النفسي في التأمين الصحي وتوعية المواطنين بالصحة النفسية.

وعن السياحة تحدث بشغف محمد مجذوب (جمهورية السودان) وعن تاريخ السودان الذي يمتد ل 7000 سنة وعن حضارة الفراعنة داعياً الحكومة للترويج للسياحة في السودان معتبرا مؤتمر تيدكس مدني مؤتمراً يساهم في دفع عجلة السياحة بالبلاد وذلك للمشاركة الكبيرة من المتحدثين والجمهور من المناطق المختلفة.

وتحدثت أصغر المشتركات أسيل يوسف (جمهورية السودان) عن إمكانية استغلال الموهبة لمصدر دخل وتنميتها بالممارسة داعية شباب جيلها لحذو طريقها وختمت خنساء سيربال (جمهورية السودان) المؤتمر بحديثها على دور الممرض في المنظومة الطبية.

بالإضافة إلى الإعلامي إيهاب مجدي من مصر معد ومقدم فقرات برنامج المؤتمر، بالمشاركة مع الإعلاميين السودانيين خالد علي وآية عابدين.

وبختام المؤتمر قدم محمود منسي درع الأكاديمية العربية للعلوم والتكنولوجيا والنقل البحري للمنظم د. وائل العائد الذي شكر بدوره الأكاديمية العربية على دورها الكبير في إنجاح المؤتمر باعتبارها الشريك الأساسي وشكرها للمنحة التي تم تقديمها للمؤتمر وقام كذلك بتوجيه الشكر لكل الجهات التي ساهمت في إنجاح المؤتمر:

السيدة مونيكا وحيد، ممثل شركة تاركو للطيران مكتب مدني

HR Revolution Middle East

مجلة ثورة الموارد البشرية لتغطيتها أخبار المؤتمر والمشاركين

المعهد العربي لإعداد القيادات

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