Reduce Your Work Stress & Burnout Risk Using ACT!

Reduce Your Work Stress & Burnout Risk Using ACT!

Work related Stress

  • Reduce Your Work Stress & Burnout Risk Using ACT!

Do you know someone in a high stress job, with difficult hours, systems, customers, colleagues and red tape?

These challenges mean that anyone can be susceptible to burnout, so is there anything we can do to help you to help yourself to lower their stress levels?

As accredited members of The Stress Management Society and Mental Health professionals we can help you to help yourself, to help others. One of the key parts of stress are the psychological effects of working with difficult clients, customers, friends, work colleagues and even family. In particular “stigmatising attitudes” are particularly difficult for those suffering from mental health or addiction issues. If we could decrease these psychological effects for individuals in the work place we could also decrease their stress, and degrees of burnout, resulting in increased performance and motivation.

There has been a number of evidence-based studies comparing the impact of ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy), in using the model in executive coaching and training for work life balance, burnout and stigmatizing attitudes amongst employees and executives.

The ACT intervention significantly reduced stress with one on one follow-up sessions and burnout through group work and seminars. In addition, reductions in sick leave, absenteeism and poor performance significantly exceeded those attained ACT training and coaching.

Studies have showed, amongst those significantly stressed, ACT significantly decreased levels of stress and burnout, and increased general mental health compared to a waiting list control.

The specific ACT intervention the study used was six 2-hour group sessions. The intervention included information about stress and relevant lifestyle factors (e.g. work-life balance, sleep, and exercise), behaviour change strategies, communication and assertiveness skills, and training in ACT techniques for managing stressful thoughts and feelings, values clarification, and mindfulness practice.

In short, the just 12 total hours of intervention covered:

-information about stress, sleep, exercise, behaviour change strategies in communication and assertiveness. ACT skills defusion, acceptance, values focus and mindfulness.

 Here are some stress tips that we use.

Keep in mind that stress isn’t a bad thing.

Stress motivates us to work toward solving our problems. Reframing thoughts to view stress as an acceptable emotion, or as a tool, has been found to reduce many of the negative symptoms associated with it. The goal is to manage stress, not to eliminate it.

Talk about your problems, even if they won’t be solved.

Talking about your stressors—even if you don’t solve them—releases hormones in your body that reduce the negative feelings associated with stress. Time spent talking with friends and loved ones is valuable, even when you have a lot on your plate.

Prioritize your responsibilities.

Focus on completing quick tasks first. Having too many “to-dos” can be stressful, even if none of them are very big. Quickly knocking out the small tasks will clear up your mind to focus on larger responsibilities.

Focus on the basics.

Stress can start a harmful cycle where basic needs are neglected, which leads to more stress. Make a point to focus on your basic needs, such as eating well, keeping a healthy sleep schedule, exercising, and other forms of self-care.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

People who are overinvolved in one aspect of their life often struggle to deal with stress when that area is threatened. Balance your time and energy between several areas, such as your career, family, friendships, and personal hobbies.

Set aside time for yourself.

Personal time usually gets moved to the bottom of the list when things get hectic.

However, when personal time is neglected, everything else tends to suffer. Set aside

time to relax and have fun every day, without interruptions.

Keep things in perspective.

In the heat of the moment, little problems can feel bigger than they are. Take a step back, and think about how important your stressors are in a broader context. Will they matter in a week? In a year? Writing about your stressors will help you develop a healthier perspective.

What are you doing for Mental Health Awareness Week?

What are you doing for Mental Health Awareness Week?

 Mental Health Awareness Week is rapidly approaching (from the 14th to 20th of May). The focal point for this year is Mental Health in the workplace - highlighting Mental Health, particularly in the workplace is a force for change. A recent study from the Mental Health Foundation found 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace and it is a known fact that stress is a huge contributing factor in mental health issues.

As specialists in transforming organisations into mentally healthy workplaces, as members of The Stress Management Society we can assist your organisations journey through not only providing workshops and training, increasing employee motivation and happiness levels, but also by ensuring everyone within your organisation feels valued and supported through promotional tools.

So, what can we do to reduce the pressures people are facing in the corporate and professional environment and how can we ensure that they are freely able to discuss their mental health?

The perfect way to communicate about mental health, raising awareness of the issue, exploring the causes and cures of Mental health, would be by creating desk drops, or using other promotional materials to help promote mental health throughout the week of May. We can help you create Stress Mood Cards, which can be branded with your organisations details, colours and logos and can include details such as your EAP.

Research has shown that company branded Stress Mood Cards generate 3 times more awareness than conventional branded marketing products, so they are a great way to link a mentally healthy workplace with your brand and effectively engage employees. These portable, pocket sized stress testing products can be branded with your logo, wellbeing messages and relevant support resources to create a memorable campaign. With prices starting as low as 0.23p per card depending on quantity, The Stress Management Society’s Mood Cards offer the best value in the market.

You can find out more information, request some samples or order the cards today by emailing louisa@stress.org.uk.

We can also help you implement Mental Health First Aid within your organisation and provide workshops surrounding Managing a mentally healthy workplace. Developing your senior management teams, managers and employees is critical if you want to establish mentally healthy workplace, so contact us or direct to info@stress.org.uk if you would like to know more.

Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month

It's here! April signals Easter, the start of Spring…and of course Stress Awareness Month.

You may have already prepared communications, arranged lunch and learns, and planned activities to maximise the awareness of this important topic.

But if you have been tied up with the new financial year or distracted by the Easter break, there is still time to incorporate some stress-busting and awareness-raising activities in your organisation.

Raise awareness

• Add a banner to the homepage of your company Intranet, or on the front page of a newsletter for Stress Awareness Month. If you do not have time to write content you can simply create links to existing resources such as your company EAP scheme, wellbeing pages or helpful websites such as www.stress.org.uk.

• Ask your managers to talk about Stress Awareness Month in their regular team meetings and encourage employees to share tips and coping mechanisms.

Encourage employees to be more active

• Challenge employees to arrange one standing or walking meeting during the month - this could be a team meeting or one-to-one.

• Bring in a fitness instructor to provide a free group session for staff. Yoga works well for this.

• If you have partnerships or employee benefits with a gym, physio or health centre, request a free trial during the month to encourage more employees to use it.

Get social

• Encourage team lunches or a night out. Alternatively pick a week where employees are encouraged to eat breakfast together - provide smoothies/fruit/cereal as an incentive to get people together.

• Walk the floor and encourage your managers to do the same - a break away from your desk is a de-stressor in itself, and by taking a few minutes to meet and talk to other employees you can brighten their day too.

Pay it forward

• Helping others makes us feel good too. Encourage employees to 'pay it forward' this month by inviting someone new for lunch, donating to charity, organise a cake sale, setting up a gratitude jar, simply smiling more or paying a complement to a colleague.

Try something new

They say a change is as good as a rest so try a few spot changes during the month such as:
• Leave some adult colouring sheets and pens on the tables in the staffroom/canteen.
• Move around the furniture in communal areas to encourage people to sit somewhere new.
• Play music in the office or in the staffroom/canteen.
• Dedicate one of the meeting rooms to become a relaxation/meditation room for the month - add beanbags, cushions and low lighting.

Accredited Member of The Stress Management Society

Accredited Member of The Stress Management Society

Mindworks are now proud accredited members of The Stress Management Society. Ian and Lesley are Cognitive Behavioural Coaches and ACT Trainers (Acceptance Commitment Therapy), where Ian is using his experience and background of working within a Community Mental Health Team to form a private practice.

As mental health & wellbeing professionals they work within a strict ethical framework as a member of the www.associationforcoaching.com/  plus accredited members of The Stress Managment Society. http://www.stress.org.uk/join-us/meet-the-members/

They use video conferencing within the Zoom Community, used as a secured telehealth platform for virtual consultations via video or voice call nationally, providing quality and affordable health and wellbeing care online.

(Phone & Skype consultations are also available, in addition to face to face sessions if local)

FREE Initial phone consultations are available to see if we can work together to help you improve your life and understand your daily stresses and struggles that you may inevitably experience from time to time.

They would introduce you to our ground-breaking approach called Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) which has been proven scientifically with years of evidence, showing that it helps people struggling with stress, anxiety, anger, depression and relationship difficulties or, those who just wanting to find a more rich and meaningful life.

 

http://www.stress.org.uk/join-us/meet-the-members/

How to Stop Struggling and Start Living….

Struggling? Feel that you are drowning, sinking, in a dark deep pit?

Have you heard of ACT? (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) It is a ground-breaking evidenced based approach, using Mindfulness skills to overcome stress, anxiety anger and depression. It doesn't matter whether you are lacking in confidence, low self-esteem, facing a long term chronic illness, stressed or trying to get work life in balance, trying to lose weight or stop an addiction, experiencing difficult relationships, all these life events are normal, but using ACT can help you build a more rich, full filling and meaningful life.  Using ACT, you would learn how to:
  • Reduce stress, worry, cravings and anxiety
  • Rise above your doubts, fears, concerns, loneliness and insecurity
  • Deal with those unhelpful thoughts, painful feelings and emotions more effectively
  • Develop self-acceptance, self-awareness and self-compassion and compassion towards others
  • Let go of self-sabotaging habits, recognise the happiness myths and do what works and is helpful
  • Create a happier life to the full, by keeping to your values and being committed to action.
So, are you ready to stop reacting to life's events, situations and people around you and ACT on your values and commit to action? Mindfulness is not about long hours of meditation, it has been said that even the great Zen master can't stop unhelpful and negative thought coming into the mind. ACT is about accepting that these thoughts are normal, natural and only human. Such as why me? I'm not good enough, I've useless. why does this always happen to me, I can't be bothered doing anything, why does everything go wrong etc. etc. We can get 'hooked' into these thoughts and feelings, fused with them, locked on, believe in them, entangled and act on them. But we don't have to, they are a normal reaction based on thousands of years of evolution since primitive man. We are conditioned to respond to the 'fight or flight' response and even 'freeze' in the event of danger and today it's only perceived danger but our brain still tries to protect us from threats, things that drives us and actions that are not always helpful and workable towards that what we want, a rich more meaningful life. ACT is accepting even your feelings and emotions as only human, such as feeling anger, sorry, guilt, sadness, worry, anxious, panic and even loneliness.  What do we try to do, push them away, bury them, run from them and even try to change them. But, does that work? Or do they just come back, sometimes with a vengeance, like pushing a beach ball unto the water, it just pops back up. What we do using ACT we accept them, make room for them, sit with them and just let them be, by being mindful of the here and now, in the moment and recognising that they will pass. Accepting these thoughts and feelings are only normal for us humans is the first step, next is not distract or try to change them, but to commit yourself to action that is in line with your values which are important to you, are your hearts desires and that you stand for, wanting to be remembered for. Towards move that are workable actions and effective in achieving your hearts desires and this will defuse your thoughts and feelings by separating them, distance yourself from them and untangle yourself so as not to be too wrapped up in them resulting in being able to carry on with life and still have the thoughts and feeling in the background without being hooked into them. Learning cognitive defusion helps you defuse painful and unpleasant thoughts, self-limiting beliefs and self- criticism and have less influence over you. Expanding and making room for your painful thoughts and feeling and allowing them just to be and let them flow through you without being swept away by them, being connected fully in the present instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future together is known as Mindfulness. these skills can be taught through ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy or Acceptance Commitment Training) as it is known in the corporate world and in Executive Coaching.
How to Stop Struggling and Start Living

How to Stop Struggling and Start Living

How to Stop Struggling and Start Living....

Do you feel that you are drowning, sinking, or in a dark deep pit?

Have you heard of ACT? (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) It is a ground-breaking evidenced based approach, using Mindfulness skills to overcome stress, anxiety anger and depression.

It doesn't matter whether you are lacking in confidence, low self-esteem, facing a long term chronic illness, stressed or trying to get work life in balance, trying to lose weight or stop an addiction, experiencing difficult relationships, all these life events are normal, but using ACT can help you build a more rich, full filling and meaningful life.  Using ACT, you would learn how to:

  • Reduce stress, worry, cravings and anxiety
  • Rise above your doubts, fears, concerns, loneliness and insecurity
  • Deal with those unhelpful thoughts, painful feelings and emotions more effectively
  • Develop self-acceptance, self-awareness and self-compassion and compassion towards others
  • Let go of self-sabotaging habits, recognise the happiness myths and do what works and is helpful
  • Create a happier life to the full, by keeping to your values and being committed to action.

So, are you ready to stop reacting to life's events, situations and people around you and ACT on your values and commit to action?

Mindfulness is not about long hours of meditation, it has been said that even the great Zen master can't stop unhelpful and negative thought coming into the mind. ACT is about accepting that these thoughts are normal, natural and only human. Such as why me? I'm not good enough, I've useless. why does this always happen to me, I can't be bothered doing anything, why does everything go wrong etc. etc.

We can get 'hooked' into these thoughts and feelings, fused with them, locked on, believe in them, entangled and act on them. But we don't have to, they are a normal reaction based on thousands of years of evolution since primitive man. We are conditioned to respond to the 'fight or flight' response and even 'freeze' in the event of danger and today it's only perceived danger but our brain still tries to protect us from threats, things that drives us and actions that are not always helpful and workable towards that what we want, a rich more meaningful life.

ACT is accepting even your feelings and emotions as only human, such as feeling anger, sorry, guilt, sadness, worry, anxious, panic and even loneliness.  What do we try to do, push them away, bury them, run from them and even try to change them. But, does that work? Or do they just come back, sometimes with a vengeance, like pushing a beach ball unto the water, it just pops back up. What we do using ACT we accept them, make room for them, sit with them and just let them be, by being mindful of the here and now, in the moment and recognising that they will pass.

Accepting these thoughts and feelings are only normal for us humans is the first step, next is not distract or try to change them, but to commit yourself to action that is in line with your values which are important to you, are your hearts desires and that you stand for, wanting to be remembered for. Towards move that are workable actions and effective in achieving your hearts desires and this will defuse your thoughts and feelings by separating them, distance yourself from them and untangle yourself so as not to be too wrapped up in them resulting in being able to carry on with life and still have the thoughts and feeling in the background without being hooked into them.

Learning cognitive defusion helps you defuse painful and unpleasant thoughts, self-limiting beliefs and self- criticism and have less influence over you. Expanding and making room for your painful thoughts and feeling and allowing them just to be and let them flow through you without being swept away by them, being connected fully in the present instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future together is known as Mindfulness. these skills can be taught through ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy or Acceptance Commitment Training) as it is known in the corporate world and in Executive Coaching.