Stress Awareness Month and the Mindfulness Antidote to Stress

Stress places huge demands on people’s physical and mental wellbeing and effects behaviour, performance, and interpersonal relationships both at work and home. This knock-on effect means that employers need to play a role in helping their employees balance their work and personal responsibilities building resilience to life’s many challenges so that they can perform at their very best both individually and organisationally. 

The UK Health and Safety Executive, Labour Force Survey, state that in 2019/20, 17.9 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. These figures could be even higher for 2020/21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the CIPD and its own 2020 Health and Wellbeing at Work survey in partnership with SimplyHealth,  more employers are addressing stress as an issue, however,  a third of professionals who report stress-related absence has increased over the past year, say that their organisation is choosing to ignore the issue and is taking no steps to address it at all. 

There are many routes to encouraging wellbeing and everyone ultimately can find their own recipe, not least using the suggestions of the CIPD and the very wise words of how to seek help from The Mental Health Foundation if you find yourself ‘in extremis’ such as dialling 999, calling your GP, or the NHS 111 or the Samaritans etc.

Positive Consultancy Ltd however, focuses on Resilience Workshops and the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme (Gold Standard).

“Mindfulness should no longer be considered a ‘nice-to-have’ for executives. It’s a ‘must-have: a way to keep our brains healthy, to support self-regulation and effective decision-making capabilities, and to protect ourselves from toxic stress.” (Harvard Business Review). 

This programme has been shown through evidence-based research, to not only build people’s physical resources but also to build people’s emotionally intelligent resources and develop resilience to life’s ups and downs, providing a strong foundation for a creative, more productive, high performing yet healthy workplace culture. It is considered a real and plausible antidote to stress. Some of its benefits might include: 

  • Learning to reduce stress
  • Minimizing burn-out
  • Improving focus and concentration and moving away from distractions
  • Enhancing resilience and agility when dealing with change or difficulty
  • Reducing reactivity 
  • Regulating emotional response
  • Developing head space for creativity
  • Encouraging a more collaborative and engaging work environment
  • Improving interpersonal communications
  • Reducing conflict, taking wiser decisions
  • Promoting more effective and compassionate leadership
  • Helping improve mental and physical wellbeing, e.g., sleeping better, increasing your immune system, lowering blood pressure, managing pain better etc. 

Lead Trainer, Bonnie Roberts, from Positive Consultancy Ltd runs workshops in Stress Reduction and Resilience through Mindfulness & Meditation for businesses, organisations, groups and individuals. More information can be found here. Her next Online, public Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course begins on May 6 (7 – 9pm) and May 7 (10 – 12pm). Details can be found here.  

Next BLOG: Bite-Sized Antidotes to Stress – watch this space. 

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