If you didn’t already know, April is Stress Awareness Month and it’s actually been taking place since 1992. We see this as a great opportunity for raising awareness as well as considering what triggers it and what steps can be taken to relieve it.
Most people will experience stress at some point in their life, however if it’s continuous or severe, the effects can be detrimental for both the mind and body. Stress can be caused by a sudden traumatic event or even just the expectations of daily life. We speak to one of our expert trainers and psychotherapists, Esther and here’s what she had to say...
"April is stress awareness month, although my view is that we should be kind enough to ourselves all year! Being kind to ourselves means beginning to train our minds to notice the signs that tell us that stress is on the horizon, so we can take action to manage it before it engulfs us. Below I offer a couple of tips that can help.
Easier said than done I know, especially during a busy working day! However, it’s important to periodically pause and check in with yourself. I have a discreet noise on my phone that can randomly sound (with a gentle bell every couple of hours) to encourage me to stop, breathe and take stock of how I am doing and whether my thoughts are taking me away from what actually is going on. This need only take a nanosecond and can get me back on track.
What is that (I think I hear you saying...)?! It is an incredibly useful acronym that can be used in the classroom, office, in staff meetings, out loud or as your inner voice. It stands for Feet On Floor Bottom On Chair. When my thoughts take me away from what it is I’m supposed to be doing (which is often down an unhelpful path), just feeling the ground beneath my feet and the solidity of the chair beneath my bottom grounds me and brings my mind back. Clients and patients of mine have been helped tremendously by using this acronym. Successful examples include during exams, interviews, tricky meetings and social occasions when anxiety looms.
And finally, a word about a positive side of stress. Some stress is not only necessary but can be useful – it can show that we care about something and can propel us forward. However, we need to be in control of it rather than the other way around."
If you'd like a session on Stress Management delivered to your staff, let us know!
I'm Jemima, founder of Olive Branch Consultancy and passionate about delivering excellence with sensitivity and care.