Help your people
1. Be aware and reflective
Be aware of individual triggers for stress/anxiety. Understand how past experiences and individual temperaments affect responsiveness. Balance expectations/hopes with realistic goals when it comes to work promotions/bonuses.
2. Work to live, not live to work: be mindful
A consistent, regulated pace of life tends to alleviate anxiety/stress. Be aware of and practice observing moments without judgement. Take brief breaks from work and move away from the work desk to enjoy lunch. Workplaces could incorporate ‘mindfulness spaces’. Leave work on time and behind you. If working from home, adhere to time/space boundaries. Identify what helps you relax and slot it into your daily schedule.
3. Keep active and organised
Physical activity releases the ‘feel-good’ chemical Seretonin, helping anxiety and mood. Run up the stairs. Consider an activity ‘away-day’ from work to bond with colleagues and boost Seretonin. Plan ahead, keep to schedules- simple strategies can contain anticipatory stress/anxiety.
4. Be creative
Scanning studies on brain regions shows that when specific overlapping areas light up in response to music/ artwork, it is experienced as pleasurable/rewarding. Music and art in personal lives/environments promote mental health and recovery from illness. Creative arts can reduce the impact of illness and pain. Group Art programs at work can promote socialisation and innovation. Our research suggested that a combination of globally applicable music and well- evidenced therapeutic techniques may be a useful adjunct for emotional processing in milder forms of anxiety, depression, adjustment and emotional dysregulation- the basis for my novel self-guided, music-based therapeutic technique called 'CAPE: Creative Arts for Processing Emotions', intended to incorporate emotional well-being into one’s existing lifestyle.
5. Sharing and giving
Connective experiences like team-building / community development work release the feel-good hormone Oxytocin- great for socialisation, confidence, self-worth and emotional support. Join that team activity/start fund-raising for your local charity!