It struck me recently while speaking to HR directors at various companies that whilst many now have a Stress Strategy in place, they mostly tend to be reactive. There may be a helpline to call, or someone that you can talk to when feeling under pressure or stressed and these are to be applauded. However, very few companies have a proactive stress strategy… 
 
One of the problems with reactive stress strategy is that it relies on a couple of assumptions that people… 
Know when they are stressed 
Are able to admit they are stressed 
Know who to talk to 
Are comfortable talking to a stranger 
For some people, the mere mention of the fact that they may be stressed will cause them to clam up as they may feel that this implies that they can’t cope with their job. For some (particularly men) they may feel it is a sign of weakness and so will ignore all the warning signs and refuse to get help. 
 
The other problem is that whilst talking to someone may help rid them of that particular stress related problem, it doesn’t help them to cope when something else happens that causes them stress. 

How many days of sickness does your company lose through stress? 

This is why I believe that a proactive stress strategy is essential in any business. This involves giving people techniques that they can use to de-stress (often mindfulness based), creating an “anchor” to help them when stressed and also powerful re-framing ideas that can turn around the way they deal with their everyday problems. 
 
I run a 1 or 2 hour Stress Busting and Reslience Workshop which is suitable for up to 30 people where they will learn all of the above and more. As a proactive stress strategy it has the following benefits: 
Cost Effective as it suitable for up to 30 people at once 
Easily rolled out for the whole workforce 
No-one has to admit they are stressed 
A relaxing and fun session that everyone will enjoy 
It gives everyone the strategies to cope with any type of stress before it happens, whether at home or at work and build resilience. At the beginning of the session the attendees are told that this workshop won’t take away the causes of stress. Instead, it will allow them to manage their own stress levels and re-structure the way they think about stressful situations. It will also give them powerful techniques that they can use at any time they are stressed to calm down. One of the most important exercises taught is a meditation technique that they can practice at home for 10 minutes a day. This will increase everyone’s resistance to stress and could also lead to increased productivity at work. Each attendee receives comprehensive workshop notes and a CD with the mindfulness exercises and a special stress hypnotherapy track. 
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