Stress – Why we need to go back to basics
With the rapid increase of organisations investing in different workplace wellbeing initiatives, it’s crucial to know where to invest your time, energy and money.
However where organisations may be investing in anything from origami to management mental health training, what’s often lacking is giving employees the foundation of knowledge, when it comes to the neuroscience of stress – that initial, basic awareness of what actually creates stress in the first place.
Stress, isn’t an uncommon term. Stress is a term that has been used commonly, especially when it comes to work-related stress.
We have a secret to share with you here! Understanding stress from a neuroscience perspective, there isn’t actually such a thing as work-related stress! That’s because there is nothing on the ‘outside’ creating stress on the inside.
You may hear a lot about different stress triggers such as ‘my job is stressful‘, or ‘this project is stressing me out‘ or even ‘my manager is stressing me out!‘.
Any number of things in our external environment that we contribute to how we are feeling in the moment.
You may even hear people say ‘today is going to be really stressful’. However that’s just not true! You cannot base your feelings on things that haven’t even happened yet. All you can feel is right here, right now in this present moment.
When people say that the day is going to be stressful, or even that some furture event or meeting is going to be stressful, all they are doing is projecting what they think the day’s going to be like.
And all that is ever going to create is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Stress is only generated from the perceptual maps and models that we carry around inside our neurophysiology, which boils down to your thoughts.
The one thing that is creating any feelings of stress are thoughts in the moment. And when we get tangled up in our thoughts, it creates feelings that feel, at the time, very real.
However, when you recognise that, and understand whats happening, then you can untangle yourselves from that. You can take yourselves back to your natural state of well-being.
Because the truth is we are wellbeings!. So it’s not about how do we create wellbeing in the workplace. It’s more about what are we doing as individuals to take ourselves away from that natural place of wellbeing? What are managers doing to take people away from well-being? What are organisations doing that take people away from wellbeing?
Therefore when it comes to stress, you can have the coolest workplace wellbeing initiatives out there, but unless people really understand the neuroscience of stress, unless they understand the way that the mind works, then the wellbeing initiatives are unlikely to create the level of impact you could otherwise create on all levels of the organisation.
Managers on our management mental health training share that the impact the training has is first and foremost to themselves. Many managers describe how they are blown away when they start to understand the stress response, and gain the insight that they have been living in the stress response and didn’t know it!
That’s sadly very common. Because in today’s world, we’ve adjusted to this way of living life, this always ‘switched on culture’.
Even when people are sitting at home and watching a nice movie, they are usually also on their phone having a look at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and looking at emails!
When we’re constantly switched on our minds are overstimulated. We experience a mental exhaustion, mental fatigue, because more often than not, people don’t know how to just be.
People are scared to be around their own thoughts therefore they’re constantly looking to distract themselves, which again, creates stressful thinking.
Therefore to ensure that your workplace training and wellbeing initiatives have the fundamental impact that they can have on;
- Reducing customer complaints
- Time Management
- Project Management
- Harmony of relationships
Start by going back to basics!