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How to deal with stress at work

Working without regular breaks, and running only on adrenaline is not doing you any favours. Wellness expert, Jody Shield, says it’s time to rethink the working day and see that your business does the same…
How to deal with stress at work
January 1, 2017   |    Jody Shield

Stress at work is becoming a global issue and is it any wonder? The world is getting faster and faster; we’re more connected than ever and our minds are drowning in content.

Every minute, Facebook users share 2.5 million posts, and Instagrammers upload almost 220,000 photos. We sleep with our phones under our pillow, and check our work emails at 3am. We’re spinning so many plates at the same time.

Almost 10 million working days are lost to stress each year (which equates to an average of 23 days per person). In 2014/15, a diagnosis of stress accounted for 35% of all work-related ill health, and 43% of all working days lost due to illness. Evidence suggests that these problems are only getting worse.

The stress epidemic means we need more effective ways to clear our busy brains, calm our emotions, and heal our bodies. It’s no wonder then that meditation, yoga, mindfulness, acupuncture, emotional freedom technique and other forms of alternative therapy are now becoming a staple of modern life. Three million adult colouring books were sold in the UK alone last year to help manage stress and anxiety. Healthcare professionals continue to prescribe alternative therapies as the best way to help combat stress. In fact, a GP surgery in Manchester is now prescribing yoga for patients and even has plans to create its own studio on site, so that it can host classes.

BURN OUT

As for me, I worked in advertising for 10 long years, so I experienced first-hand the stresses and strains of the corporate world. As a business director, I looked after major clients and brands. However, because of the work-hard, play-hard mentality, I completely burned out and found myself in bed for two weeks with chronic stress and exhaustion.

Shortly afterwards, I went on sabbatical to south America, a trip which radically changed my life. Now I’m a motivational speaker, a meditation ambassador for Lululemon UK, and an intuitive healer working with private clients and groups. I use pioneering healing techniques, life-changing coaching and intuitive insight, to help heal your modern woes.

When I launched my business three years ago, I was surprised by the number of people who didn’t even know what meditation was. People, especially professionals, were often reluctant when I mentioned what I did, or anything to do with stress at work, and only a small number would come to my sessions.

In the last year that has increased to 50-80 people each month, and I’m regularly being contacted by mainstream press to be featured or give quotes on alternative healing, meditation and the work I do.

This has proven to me that there is a new demand for knowledge about this kind of work, and a rise in mainstream awareness, reflecting a growth in the number of people who are more curious and open to giving it a try.

With one-foot still in the corporate world, I now also work with global brands such as Nike, Stella McCartney, Swarovski, FremantleMedia, Live Nation, Clarins, and I run meditation sessions, self-development workshops and talks at international conferences. Big and small businesses alike are now realising the need for wellness programmes. Repeated employee surveys have revealed disgruntled employees, citing stress and anxiety as the causes.

TRIGGERING ISSUES

In order to sustain and grow your business, you have to invest in your people and build stronger teams from the inside out.

Employees can struggle with many issues in the workplace: lack of confidence, exhaustion, fear of public speaking, and so on. But behind that you’ll find emotional blockages, negative or limiting beliefs. These are usually from old trauma and past events, both of which you won’t usually remember. This is where someone like me can help.

Once an employee has been able to address some of their historical issues, which work may be triggering, there is a greater sense of flow and energy amongst the team, and a sense of increased connection and support.

I’ve learned how important it is for leadership teams to be behind all wellbeing programmes that are offered in companies. If this doesn’t happen, employees can sense the lack of enthusiasm and won’t be motivated to join. When those in senior roles are behind the incentive, and come along, it sends a positive message to the rest of the company who feel more inclined to turn up.

Ultimately, a business is an expression of the people behind it, and they are the fuel that powers it forward. Smart businesses understand the value of this. Richard Branson always says: ‘Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business’.

Do you want more Balance in your life?

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