Health Matters At Work: The Case For Creative Stress Management
Employees are often left to deal with stress and health issues in their own time and at their own expense. Fortunately, some employers are beginning to understand the real cost of stress and ill health in terms of absenteeism, turnover, productivity and profit and are waking up to the fact that health matters at work .
The Return On Investment Of Creative Stress Management
Some companies are now attempting to ‘upgrade’ their health culture. This is partly as a result of recent legislation requiring them to take responsibility for employee health, and partly because they recognise the value of investing in their most important asset – their workforce! In fact, one study showed that the likely annual return on investment from implementing health promotion programmes – which improve health and work performance – was conservatively estimated to be £3.73 for every £1 spent (VieLife 2005).
We are often unaware of how stressed we are, because stress affects our nervous system which is also responsible for our perception. Stress breeds stress. It leaves us less inclined to listen to, and take care of, our health needs. When you’re stressed the last thing you need is another ‘to-do’ list. This is compounded by the feeling of having to ‘squeeze’ health-related actions into our already busy lives. If we see work as a major stressor we often resent it occupying time and mind-space in our personal lives too. A common reaction to stress is to ignore it and find ways to switch off – sometimes with the help of other stressors such as alcohol, junk food, TV etc.
Although we may recognise the physical effects of stress, what is not so easy to perceive is the effect that chronic stress has on our body-mind energy system, before the physical symptoms ever manifest. However, it is at this energy-level that we have a tremendous opportunity to prevent illness and disease and transform health.
To maximise potential and performance a solid foundation of health is a necessity, not a luxury. Reducing chronic stress is the first step for health creation and the key to accessing the vast resources and capabilities of the brain – essential for increased, long-term performance and productivity. It’s important to begin releasing stress as soon as possible and for both employers and employees to work in partnership.
The work environment offers a wonderful opportunity to learn and regularly use creative stress management solutions for the following reasons:
- Both employer and employee stand to gain from doing so. Some of these benefits are measurable eg quality of life, economic, satisfaction levels, emotional health, reduced illness etc.
- Many of us spend a large part of our day at work so any techniques we are able to use while working will have more impact.
- Most work environments provide lots of stress-provoking situations, so there is ample opportunity and motivation to test stress management tools and become adept at using them.
- When the company and workforce partner to implement health-promotion initiatives it offers a powerful force to create the desired shift in health-culture and healthy life-style choices.
- The workplace can provide a supportive environment through the organisation and work colleagues – who can act as buddies and mentors.
It is vital to have creative stress management and health solutions which are practical and effective and can be used throughout the day. It also makes a huge difference when the organisation we work for supports us in both dealing with stress and promoting health. The latter is more likely to happen if the techniques are cost effective and scientifically validated and offer a good return on investment.
Many of the approaches on this website meet the above requirements. They can be used throughout the busiest working day and are presented in a format to encourage you to use them: for example as eBooks, eCourses, follow-up support emails, video tutorials and health ‘events’ such as the Body-Mind Energy Workout Challenge (coming soon) that you can participate in.
The approaches I use in one-to-one, group sessions and workshops combine neuro-kinesiology, meridian energy therapies, energy psychology, neuro-linguistic programming and solutions focus. They reprogramme stress responses, diagnose and change the beliefs and emotions behind an issue or problem. By working holistically on the body-mind energy system and emotional health the whole person – body, mind and emotions – are aligned. In other words you become 100% ‘behind’ the change and congruent with it.
I believe that in the future the energy psychologies and meridian therapies are going to revolutionalise the area of stress management, health and performance. Three approaches I particularly like and have found extremely effective for clients in an out of the workplace are EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), PSYCH-K® and PER-K® (psychological and performance kinesiology) and EmoTrance. This is because they are simple to learn and use, can be used in all areas of life and quickly help to shift perception, emotions and pain.
Practical advice and sessions are tailored to the individual and, where appropriate, the organisation’s needs. For more information about Creative Stress Management sessions and workshops for yourself or your organisation visit my corporate site www.HealthAndVitalityAtWork.com.