How have you been managing stress? For those of us still working, are you using the pressure that may come with this positively? How can we help our employees cope better LONG TERM?
In keeping with national stress awareness month, We held a Q&A session with the Managing Director of BMC Global Services and author of Succeed Under Pressure, Professor Rakesh Sondhi.
Q. What is stress and its key signs?
A. Stress is created by external pressures and is therefore unique to everyone. How we can handle pressure is important and key to being able to keep stress levels healthy. You will feel overcome, panic and could also feel your heart rate increasing. This will lead to an inability to focus.
Q. So in that case Rakesh, do you believe we can adopt a mindset to be able to combat stress and what are the ways in we can do this?
A. It is important to see pressure in the workplace from a positive perspective and to welcome this as a challenge. We can learn optimism, for example stating that bad events are temporary as oppose to permanent. Being authentic and accepting who you are and knowing the extent of your capabilities will help you welcome a reasonable challenge set.
Q. Often we are told to look at what we have and be grateful which helps put challenges into perspective. Is there a term for this?
A. There is, appreciative inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry is focusing on outcomes and our strengths. This works by us appreciating what we have, dreaming big, determining what this means to us and then achieving our goals with the right attitude and application.
Q. What can we do to help ourselves physically in developing this way of thinking and handle pressure and stress physically Rakesh?
A. The right amount of sleep is very important as is the type of food that we eat. It is important to keep our appetite in control. Good appetite and exercise produce serotonin and dopamine, which helps stress levels also, by keeping us happy. Practicing meditation and mindfulness helps us to keep our challenges in context and a relaxed state of mind optimised for performance.
Q How is exercise factored into this?
A. Exercise is very important as we know. Exercise reduces stress, improves self-confidence, boosts brain power, sharpens memory and increases your energy to help you get more done. It also produces endorphins which helps you feel good and we can show you how to exercise without putting any extra time aside!
Q Engineering and manufacturing features as one of the 10 most stressful sectors for employees in the UK, does this surprise you?
A. That is probably correct. If you look at the high demands on resources, time and margins it is a pressurised sector to work in for employees at all levels of management. This accompanied by shift patterns often required by engineers and the effect this has on the body and mind. We also must consider the evolving role of the supply chain and the management of this which is becoming increasingly demanding.
Q What role does leadership have in helping our employees?
The role of leadership is critical in order to:
Q Is there a simple framework which we can takeaway and take with us to help day to day both professionally and in our personal lives?
A. Yes, we here at BMC Global Services have created the GREAT framework.
Gratitude - By practicing gratitude as often as possible, our bodies produce dopamine which is a happy and positive neurotransmitter.
Reframing - Reframing situations allows you to see situations from multiple perspectives which helps you remain calm and balances your mood.
Exercise - Exercise reduces stress, improves self-confidence, boosts brain power, sharpens memory and increases your energy to help you get more done.
Appetite - Appetite for the right amount of appropriate foods is crucial
Teamwords -The use of appropriate and positive teamwords can enhance social bonding and produces oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, for both parties.
For more information on BMC Global Services visit – www.bmcglobalservices.com or contact the team on - 0115 841 3820.