A little stress can be a good thing – challenge, stimulation and incentives to improve performance can all be positive.
But too much of a good thing can lead to distress – and this can have many negative consequences, for individuals as well as teams and organisations.
Learn to identify your personal stress threshold, your triggers and signs of distress, and learn the optimal moment to implement your personal stress management strategy. Techniques and behaviours can be learned which halt the escalation of stress, and begin the return to a calm centred focus.
I have co-facilitated stress management programmes for professionals in the most stressful workplaces and seen the benefits to organisations in terms of consolidated and improved staff morale, better staff-manager relations, enhanced communication and emotional articulacy, better handling of staff health and wellbeing issues, improved staff retention and reduction in staff sick leave and even turnover.
If you have worked 14 – hour double nightshifts at Heathrow’s immigration control, supervised suicidal or violent detainees, or tried to contain and teach a class of thirty adolescents, many of whom are refugees who don’t speak English, all in your first months as a teacher;
or if you have tried to counsel and support the family and friends of a child who has committed suicide, or been a part of a child protection team of social workers at the forefront of abuse cases;
then you will know the benefits of knowing how to handle the stress of your work, of how to contain and discharge those feelings of helplessness, lack of control, anger, sadness or fear which threaten to throw you off balance…and of being able to sustain performance while feeling well supported within a caring team.
Teachers, counsellors, social workers and immigration officers are only some of the clients I have worked with over the years, and some of these situations I have worked in myself.