Wellbeing at work
A paper published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in October 2015 reported that work-related stress in 2014/15 accounted for 35% of all work-related ill health cases and 43% of all working days lost due to ill health – a total of 9.9m working days lost to this condition. The damage to both individuals and organisations underlying these stark statistics has lead many organisations, both large and small, to make serious efforts to manage stress in the workplace.
The workplace is an ever-changing environment, though, so stress factors are always going to be present in one form or another – it is how we deal with them that will ultimately make a positive difference to individuals and organisations. Live Mindfully Ltd believe that teaching employees how to use a balanced blend of mindfulness and resilience techniques can help them manage change, reduce stress and anxiety and dramatically improve working life, to the benefit of both employees and employers.
And we are in a position to know; as well as being highly experienced mindfulness coaches, each of our trainers has spent significant amounts of time – 20 years or more – working in high-pressure corporate environments. You can read more about stress in the workplace, and our approach to combating it, below – or get in touch with us now to talk about an introductory training session for your workplace.
How stress builds up
We each have our own inbuilt defence system called the ‘fight or flight response’ which has served us well in our evolutionary progress, helping us survive attacks from wild predators, for example. In today’s world, most of us are lucky enough not have to deal with physical danger; we do not face many problems where fighting or fleeing would be the most appropriate action to take. However, we do have different challenges and our bodies react in the same time-honoured way to these threats by releasing adrenaline and raising cortisol levels. Since the physical action that would use these hormones up is usually not an option, the levels tend to build up in our bodies over time if we don’t do something about it. A certain amount of stress can be helpful – to motivate us and achieve deadlines, for instance – but too much and over a prolonged period of time can lead to serious problems if left unchecked.
Dealing with stress in the workplace
The workplace is an ever-changing environment and how we manage the resultant challenges, difficulties, increasing workloads, goals, colleagues etc – as well as our own drive and expectations – determines not just our state of health but our efficiency and levels of performance. To perform well in the workplace and respond flexibly we need to be emotionally resilient, so that we recover from setbacks or difficulties without mentally holding onto situations and becoming stressed – and perhaps carrying that stressed mental state into the next meeting or into our interactions with clients or colleagues.
It can be helpful to have both personal and corporate drive to help us reach our goals; however, we need to balance that drive with some time where we can step back and see more clearly what is going on, internally as well as externally, so that we can take better care of ourselves and the organisations we work for.
The trainers at Live Mindfully Ltd have all worked in high-pressure corporate environments and understand the dangers of stress in the workplace – both for individuals and for organisations. This is why our mindfulness in the workplace courses and workshops include both mindfulness and resilience training.
So how can mindfulness and resilience training help?
Combining mindfulness and resilience techniques has a powerful and positive effect on our ability to manage stress in the workplace. Live Mindfully Ltd’s workplace training courses help people to:
- Concentrate and focus on what they are doing in the present moment.
- Manage stress and anxiety in both their professional and personal lives.
- Pause, take a step back and respond more effectively to difficult situations.
- Manage their own and their colleagues’ reactions to change, recognising and balancing acceptance of what can’t be changed with the action needed to implement what does need to be changed.
- Recognise how their moods, judgements and comparisons may affect their communications – and then take action to engage with others in a more compassionate way.
- Empathise with themselves and with others, building a strong sense of working together as a team.
- Achieve a better work-life balance.
- By being more self-aware, balance inner reflection with outer action, choosing the best course of action in any situation based on awareness, compassion and wisdom.