Changing Lanes

  Our lives are made up from a range of experiences and it is these experiences that give us our belief system. For instance and keeping it simple, as a child if you burned yourself on the stove, you learnt very quickly to keep away from it if you did not want to feel pain. In my NLP training courses, I teach my students that it is human nature to move towards pleasure and away from pain. So this experience was an easy one to learn as it follows the natural habit of human nature. 
During our lifetime, we will be party to many learning experiences which will shape as a person and form our own belief system and these experiences give us the reasoning behind why we act in a certain way. Over time the way in which we behave is built in to us subconsciously in that eventually we do not really think about acting before we do it. Think about people eating popcorn at the cinema and reaching the bottom of the box and finding it all gone and asking ourselves how did that happen so quickly?? So as we are all driven towards pleasure, the subconscious behaviour is not always a positive one i.e. over-eating, binge drinking, gambling etc.

For example, some smokers tend to lack confidence in themselves. The act of smoking puts them at ease and gives them back their self-esteem in social situations. The smoker would need to understand why they lack confidence. Did they have a controlling parents? or is smoking their subconscious act of rebellion against their parents?

It is when an experience creates un-helpful or negative behaviour that we then find ourselves in a downward spiral which culminates in low self esteem and low mood and eventually pain that we try to move ourselves from but the vicious circle of negative self-talk and thinking prevents change from happening.

Once we really understand why we act in a certain way and what our triggers are, we can consciously change this until it becomes subconcious behaviour. It just takes a little conscious work on our part for a period of time until the message becomes part of our make-up. Some people can do this on their own and others seek alternative therapies such as hypnotherapy.

By using hypnotherapy as a tool this can also help us to effectively re-program the thinking behind the behaviour and change it to a more positive behaviour or thought. The technique of hypnotherapy is the art of taking a client into a deep relaxed state to the point where the therapist can access the client’s subconscious mind and talk to it to remove the unwanted behaviour and replace it with something else.

It’s like changing lanes when driving, if the direction in which you are going is not going to reach your destination you need to mirror, signal, maneovre in order to change lanes. Once you understand the reason behind your behaviour and recognise the triggers you can take back control and change that behaviour to reach your goal.

Our new NLP Practitioner courses teach this technique as well as a range of other useful tools that can help people to make long and lasting changes to their lives. If you wish to learn more about a career in Life Coaching, NLP or Hypnotherapy call us today on 01462 431112 or visit our website at www.lifepractice.co.uk

STRESS!! What Stress??

The statistics of work related stress

The prevalence rate for work related stress in all industries was 1220 cases per 100,000 people employed averaged over the three year period 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2014/15 (Health & Safety Executive 2015). When we break this down into categories of occupation we found that the professional occupations category has significantly higher rates of work related stress than the rate for all occupations.

For the same three year period as mentioned above, the professional occupations category had 1930 cases per 100,000 people employed, compared with 1220 cases averaged for all occupational groups, a statistically significantly higher rate. If we break this down further it appears that health professionals, teachers and nurses have the highest rates of stress within this category with rates of 2500, 2190 and 3000 cases per 100,000 people employed over this period.

When looking at the statistics between gender, it seems that work related stress in males was 590 cases for males and 920 cases for females per 100,000 people employed, with the 34-44 and 45-54 years ranges having significantly higher rates than the average across all persons.

Causes of workplace stress

The predominant cause of work related stress from the Labour Force Survey (2009/10-2011/12) was workload. Examples of this are:

  • tight deadlines
  • too much work/pressure/responsibility
  • a lack of managerial support
  • organisational changes at work,
  • bullying
  • role uncertainty (lack of clarity about job/uncertain what meant to do.)

Stress at work icons set

Research has indicated around 12 million adults see their GP each year with mental health problems. Most of these include anxiety and depression with much of it being stress related.  Work related stress accounts for 35% of work related ill health and 43% of days lost, in 2014/15.

These figures are alarmingly high and small changes can have big effects on individuals and across companies. As coaches we work on the basis that if one is going to overcome a problem or challenge first one has to understand it. Then with that knowledge one can implement the appropriate changes to improve the situation they may find themselves in.  This is appropriate to anyone at work from whichever background or level they are at.

What is Stress?

It is important to understand Stress has different effects on different people, depending on how we react to certain situations and challenges in our every day lives. It can easily be defined as the way you feel when you are under to much pressure and are unable to cope.

It is suggested a certain amount of stress is good for us as it keeps us challenged and motivated and helps our overall performance. However, too much pressure can lead to stress.

Stress has many causes and is common at both home and at work and with the world around us becoming faster paced and more competitive the pressures of life can creep up on us when we least expect it. So, it is important we continue to ensure we get the right balance in our lives and keep things in the right perspective, and ultimately retain control.

Too much pressure or stress can result in a negative impact on our health both physically and mentally. The main symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, sweats, feeling sick, butterflies, panic attacks and an overall feeling of a loss of control.

The impact of long term stress can be even more severe affecting our ability to function normally in our everyday lives.

That’s why it’s important to recognise the signs early and immediately consult with your GP and make the appropriate and required changes in your life to regain and retain a healthy mind and physical wellbeing state.

Our conscious mind can only cope with an average of seven pieces of information at any one time. Too many things going on for too long can create overload and pressure and result in our struggle to cope. It is easy to see how we become stressed isn’t it?

The chemistry in the body changes fundamentally every time one reacts stressfully. Stress starts in the brain because of the way in which we perceive a situation as requiring our immediate attention i.e. a hostile reaction from a colleague, an exam, a financial crisis, a marriage break up, an impossible deadline and a loved ones death. Everyone’s resilience levels are different. It is down to an individual’s experiences as to how resilient there are against these stresses.

When the body prepares for “fight or flight” it is ready for a short burst of heightened activity. In today’s society, many factors can trigger this response, but few can be dealt with by a short burst of activity. Stress situations are often continuous so stress responses are semi-permanently on red alert, the physical release is unacceptable so the responses are suppressed – a situation which cannot be maintained safely for too long.  The stress build up eventually explodes internally, knocks the body systems out of balance and causes extreme physical and mental exhaustion.

Here comes the science part…

When we are stressed deep inside your brain lays the hypothalamus which triggers the pituitary gland which releases hormones to trigger the adrenal glands. These glands release an output of adrenaline and nor-adrenaline into the bloodstream. It is these stress chemicals which induce physiological changes designed to improve performance. This is the “fight or flight” effect and the following reactions are carried out:

  1. Blood supply to the brain is increased – improves judgement & decision making
  2. Heart speeds up and fuel is released into the bloodstream from glucose
  3. Fats and stored blood sugar provide extra energy
  4. Blood vessels dilate in some areas i.e. the skin to make it available for use in other areas like the muscles
  5. Air passages relax and breathing rate improves
  6. Blood pressure rises
  7. Digestion and excretion are not considered high priorities in a “dangerous situation”; adrenaline causes vascular constriction, which reduces the flow of blood to the stomach and intestine

Long term adrenal stimulation with no discharge of energy will deplete essential vitamins and minerals from the system, namely, vitamins B & C which are vital to the functioning of the immune system. If these are depleted this could cause lower resistance and susceptibility to diseases such as ME. Blood pressure can also be affected and cause a build up of fatty substances on blood vessel walls, as well as, damaging the functioning of the digestive system.

When a person faces continual or repeated stress, the response system enters the chronic phase during which resistance declines below normal and eventually that person becomes exhausted.

stressanatomy.jpg

 Ways in which to tackle stress – Five top tips

  1. Mind Workout

Commence a mind workout everyday. Daily mind exercises can help you re-balance your life and regain control of your thoughts and feelings. Quiet meditation at home using deep breathing techniques or a yoga class twice a week can help re-balance you internally. Mindfulness is also proving to be a very popular and effective tool for combating stress and is mow more prevalent within workplace settings.

  1. Diet

Try to cut out any sugary, processed or refined foods. It is these we crave and run for when we need to find comfort, however, the comfort is short lived and once your blood sugar level has risen sky-high it dips just as fast and the cravings return an hour later and the cycle begins again.

Being aware of what you eat is incredibly important in helping to overcoming stress and a diet of fish, white meat, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and pulses can give your body all the necessary nutrients required to retain balance and harmony. If possible avoid stimulants like coffee, chocolate and alcohol and also too much refined and processed foods or sugar as these can only upset the balance.

  1. Exercise

When we exercise our body releases endorphins which in turn combat stress hormones that are released into the body when we are stressed. Think of this as your endorphins putting out a fire. A fire caused on the inside by all the stress feelings and overload experienced every day.

A recommended minimum of forty minutes cardiovascular exercise everyday will keep an equilibrium even if it is just a short walk to work and back. Small changes such as walking or cycling to work. Many people use their lunch hour as a time to get some exercise and go for a stroll, apart from the fact that it breaks up the working day and gives your body a break from work. To make it more fun create a lunchtime walking group or diarise “walking meetings” instead of sitting indoors. For those of you who prefer exercising alone there are some great apps around that measure your steps and even work with your music library on your phone along with motivational prompts from the start to the finish of the jog.

  1. Sleep

Sleeping problems are common with stress. Ensure you have a consistent bedtime routine and go to bed at the same time every night. If you have worries or problems on your mind at night keep a notepad and pencil by the bed so consciously you are in control as you know you can write them down and forget about them if you need to. Avoid cat napping during the day, and try not to become too obsessed with how much sleep you have had.  If you have a bad night, draw a line under it and go to bed earlier the next night after a hot bath and relaxing your body through reading a book or listening to some calming music. It is suggested that we only really need a minimum of 4 hours sleep per night to function normally. We have convinced ourselves we need 6 or 8 hours. Take the pressure off yourself.

  1. Goal setting

Sometimes, we lose our way in this busy world and our aims and objectives become confused or unclear. By writing down your goals and actions with a timeline this will give you focus and a process to follow and implement. Ensure you keep a diary so you can monitor any symptoms of stress physically and mentally, then apply the above and make the appropriate small changes and take back control.

Building a case for wellbeing in the workplace

In order for a company to embrace wellbeing it needs to bring it into their company values. Managers need to encourage, support, sponsor and lead all wellbeing at work initiatives first in order to thread it into their companies culture.  They need to lead from the front. Managers can create the right environment for their staff by offering flexible working hours, manageable workloads, regular lunch breaks without looking upon this as a weakness.  Managers must recognise the signs and symptoms of work related stress and have a process by which to approach their staff sensitively and supportively.  Give your staff a voice and more autonomy and ensure that objectives are realistic, timely and consistent.

As a Manager, if you notice these symptoms in your staff and are not sure how to engage with them appropriately our Happiness by Design at Work programmes would work for you and your organisation.

Remember: If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Download our brochure today 

or call the Life Practice on Tel: 01462 431112

How well is your workforce?

  
Right now 1 in 6 workers in the UK is dealing with anxiety, depression or stress.Mental health problems alone among workers cost the UK economy over £26 billion every year. This does not include physical health problems which adds considerably to the cost and sickness days away from work.

We spend the majority of our time working so it is vital that the place in which we work is a happy and supportive one and where we feel valued. Whether you are a part of a team, Line Manager or Senior Partner the support that you offer your staff is key to performance. The culture of the workplace in recent years has begun to change as companies are recognising that mental and physical health does impact on their bottom line. If you look after staff wellbeing then staff morale and loyalty, innovation, productivity and profits will rise.

Research studies show that companies that are rated “the top 10 Best places to work” are more profitable than those that are not. This is down to the supportive environment within their organisations and how the company make their employees feel valued and supported by providing resources such as Resilience Training, Wellbeing workshops and teaching them effective communication skills.

Findings from 56 studies on work site wellness programs that were published in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed an average 27 percent reduction in sick leave absenteeism, 26 percent reduction in health care costs, and 32 percent reduction in workers’ compensation and disability management cost claims.

So where does a company start with wellness?

You need to start at the top and work down. A supportive corporate culture includes not only a commitment to the wellness program from senior management, but also extends to the mid-level and front line managers best positioned to affect program success due to their day-to-day contact with employees. It is, thus, important to align their management and performance goals with the health and wellbeing of the people who report to them.

It is also important for Managers to recognise the environmental context which includes influences external to the workplace, such as the home setting, friends and social networks, and the policies and resources of the local and national community. Although workers spend a significant amount of their time in the employment setting, these other factors can also affect their need for and success in a wellness program.

So how does a company motivate their staff to change?

Once again when influencing and promoting change in a work place it needs to start from the top down so firstly, Senior Executives could implement initiatives or form a working party within their organisation to investigate what their employees would like to see or what challenges they face.

Whilst keeping within HR regulations, a Health related questionnaire could be developed for all employees to complete which would give the company insight into their variety of needs and therefore support to be offered. Here are some other examples for introducing wellness into an organisation:

  • By delegating and giving more autonomy to staff, chosen staff members could set up a health and wellness in the workplace committee and have them take responsibility for implementing the selected ideas for health promotion activities
  • Designate a wellness coordinator for implementing action plans
  • Allocate a budget for health and wellness in the workplace activities
  • Develop good employment practice and policies, eg, communication systems; training and personal development; supervision, appraisal and mentoring; attendance / absence management; equal opportunities; return to work/rehabilitation for people with illnesses or disabilities; time off for career responsibilities (children, other dependents); job sharing; flexi-time and flexible hours / days; dealing with harassment and bullying; grievance procedure; disciplinary procedure
  • Include health and wellness in the workplace activities in manager’s objectives

It is a good idea but these things cost money.There are many ways in which companies have incorporated Wellness into their organisations which come with relatively little cost. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cross-department teams could earn points over a 12-week period by doing healthy things like drinking a certain amount of water or going for a walk on their lunch breaks
  •  Subsidising healthy options in vending machines with junk food options. For instance, charge more for a cupcake and less for an apple.
  • Set up a walking club before or after work.
  • Conduct meetings whilst walking.
  • Start a pedometer challenge with a goal of 10,000 steps a day.
  • Provide a safe place to store bikes in the office.
  • Encourage employees to take the stairs.
  • Buy healthy food for meetings instead of junk food.
  • Health and wellness seminars / discussions – with guest speakers
  • Awareness raising, workshops, training sessions on health topics
  • Offer lactation rooms for working mothers

Once you have management fully on board, it’s time to market the program to employees. Posters, emails and newsletters can spread the word. Even inject a little fun into the project and utilise photos of executives displaying bad posture or holding up an apple to advertise wellness events. Prize incentives can also be offered when running a challenge.

At the Life Practice we offer Wellness at Work programs to help companies promote health and wellbeing within their organisation. We offer a range a programs to suit all budgets. Call us today for more information Tel:  01462 431112 or Visit our website

It’s never too late to score the winning goal

IMG_2055Throughout life we experience many different situations and scenarios which create a change to be forced upon us; reaching a certain age; getting made redundant, breakdown of a relationship or suffering a bereavement

Whatever the scenario, these situations provoke different emotions and often they don’t serve us in a positive way. We start an inner dialogue with ourselves.

Our inner self talk could be a number conversations like:

  • I’m not attractive enough to date again
  • I’m too burnt out to try for a promotion
  • I’ve never been ambitious
  • I’m too old for that

The emotion attached to these scenarios maybe a sense of loss; a door closing; giving up trying, poor motivation or the end of something great.

We learn from our mistakes

But it doesn’t have to be looked upon in this way, my advice is to think of life as a set of experiences and from each experience we will learn something new. It may be good, bad or indifferent but ultimately, we will learn something new which is the key point (90% of what we learn, we learn from our mistakes).

Re-frame your thinking

By being empowered with more knowledge and wisdom when we are faced with a new experience we should re-frame our thinking in that it is only temporary, nothing ventured nothing gained, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s not permanent or forever, it is just a new path that I am following and let’s see which direction this takes us.  This way you instantly reduce the stress of the expectation of the new phase and can allow yourself to embrace the future without fear.

Every stage of life has its own rewards and success and happiness comes quite often from looking back and reflecting on what you learned and how you can take that learning into the next phase of your life and use it for your own self development.

Whatever stage of life you are experiencing, it is never too late to score the winning goal.

If you are struggling with an experience in your life and need support, we are here to help. Call the Life Practice on 01462 431112 to speak to one of our qualified therapists .

Do you have a “Me” Day

I have to admit I was feeling slightly smug leading up to the Christmas period when everyone around me seemed to be coming down with a nasty virus. However come Christmas night it finally got hold of me and I spent the next three weeks quite literally in bed with aches, pains, copious amounts of catarrah and eventually pleurisy. Not like me at all as I never get ill, in fact  I can’t remember the last time it happened. As a Nutritional Therapist my diet is clean and I do generally look after myself but I guess I had been working quite hard and had been rushing around a fair bit leading up to the Christmas crazy season and my immune system was a little under par.

During these three “ill” weeks I couldn’t work, be a Mum or anything at all useful at home or work so I gave into the fact that I had to rest and recuperate. On reflection during this time I looked back on my 2014 and decided that I had been burning the candle at both ends and working far too hard and not allowing enough “Me” time.  I spent my days looking after others in the clinic and at home but had forgotten to look after number one. So as I lay there feeling sorry for myself I started to put some changes were in place for 2015.

I started with booking myself some pampering in the form of a Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial at the Vanity Beauty Academy in Hitchin. It sounded like something that would revive my zombie-like body and give me back my “mojo”.

Vanity Beauty Academy is housed in a beautiful listed building in Sun Street and comprises of lots of nooks and cranny type rooms where there are different treatments available from facials, tanning, body massage, eye and nail treatments to waxing and pamper parties for all ages. They set the atmosphere beautifully with classical music in the background with subtle aromas enveloping your senses.

On arrival I was met by the lovely Laura who talked through the treatment and asked me a little bit about my skincare routine and what my expectations were. She gave me a choice of an additional shoulder or scalp massage for which I chose a scalp massage as I had never experienced that before other than at the hairdressers. It was amazing!

During the treatment I was transported into a world of relaxation and sheer indulgence. I found myself drifting off into my own happy thoughts and eventually settled somewhere between nothingness and oblivion. It was exactly what I needed. My skin felt amazing, even some of my fine “laughter” lines had reduced which is worth it’s weight in gold and my confidence immediately lifted.

So I have made a pact with myself that I will allow myself one indulgence a month in order to keep stress at bay and create an air of calm within. After all it is something that I recommend to all my stressed clients that visit my clinic and I really should practice what I preach. It is little treats like these that keep us balanced and in check and ultimately make us better people to spend time with and be around. Stress is “so” last year.

For information on Vanity Beauty Academy email: enquiries@vanitybeautyacademy.com or call 01462 438883 or visit their website

Written by: Karen Shields, Nutritional Therapist at the Life Practice UK, 107 Bancroft, Hitchin, Herts SG45 1NB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you S.A.D? Seasonal Affective Disorder

It’s that time of year again as the nights draw in and the clocks come forward an hour. We will be preparing for longer nights and shorter days. Many of us take this seasonal change in our stride but 15% of us suffer terribly with the condition otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Woman Stretching in Bed with a Man Sleeping Beside HerSAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of depression that affects approximately 1 in 8 people every winter between September and April, in particular during December, January and February.

It is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight in winter. The hormone melatonin is produced by the pineal gland at night and it aids sleep, natural sunlight suppresses the production of melatonin and improves immune function. Therefore, during the winter months when natural sunlight is at its lowest SAD can occur.

For many people SAD is a seriously disabling illness, preventing them from functioning normally without continuous medical treatment. For others, 1 in 50, it is a mild but debilitating condition causing tiredness, lethargy, sleep and eating problems. It is commonly known as “the winter blues”.

Symptoms of SAD

Many of people are puzzled year after year when every winter they seem to feel tired, lethargic, and suffer a loss of enthusiasm or energy. A great deal of those people do not realize that they are experiencing the symptoms are SAD, instead they believe that it is the feeling of the lazy days of summer disappearing and the grey days winter are approaching.

The main recognisable symptoms of SAD are the following:

  • Sleep problems, with sometimes a desire to oversleep, or alternatively a trouble in sleeping with disturbed sleep and early morning awakening.
  • Lack of energy and a feeling of fatigue affecting normal daily functioning.
  • Weight gain and overeating. This involves a craving for carbohydrates like bread and potatoes and a craving for sweet foods and junk food.
  • Feelings of gloom or depression, guilt and a loss of self esteem or interest in normal activities.
  • A lack of interest in going out and socializing. Deliberately avoiding social contact with friends and family.
  • Feelings of anxiousness, stress and irritability. A general lack of patience.
  • Low sex drive and physical contact with their partner.
  • Extreme mood changes, with sufferers literally surfing a wave of emotional changes many times a day.

How Can We Overcome SAD Syndrome?

Firstly visit your GP. This should always be your first option as your GP will always be able to check your symptoms in order to confirm SAD and recommend all the appropriate treatments and medical options.

Light Therapy

By exposing patients to very bright light (at least ten times the intensity of ordinary domestic lighting) for up to four hours per day (average 1-2 hours) light therapy has been shown to be effective in up to 85 per cent of diagnosed cases.

Some light boxes emit higher intensity of light, up to 10,000 Lux, which can cut treatment time down to half an hour a day. Light boxes have to be bought from specialist retailers and are priced around £100

It is important to understand light is measured by what we call Lux. To get this in perspective a candle gives out 1 Lux, a household light bulb 350 Lux, and the sun in the summer gives out 100,000 Lux. Even on a winters afternoon the winter sun can give out as much as 30,000 Lux.  Have you ever wondered why you feel better when the sun shines?

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, counseling or any complementary therapy which helps the sufferer to relax, accept their illness and cope with its limitations are extremely useful.

Integrated mind therapies, inclusive of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Hypnotherapy have also proven to be very effective.

Five further Steps to being free from S.A.D

  1. Ensure you walk for a minimum of one and a half hours outside every day. This could be to work or school or even during your lunch breaks. Even in the winter you can be exposed of up to 30,000lux. Get and stay outside as regular and often as you can
  2. Keep the wearing of sunglasses to a minimum but do not stare at the sun.
  3. Ensure you have a weekly exercise program. Ensure you include a minimum of 4 weekly cardio vascular activities.
  4. Be conscious of your diet and ensure you keep carbohydrates to a minimum, eating balanced meals every day with fruit, vegetables and grains such as brown rice. Avoid refined sugar as this can cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels which can greatly affect your mood. By eating healthily you can maintain a healthy gut, also known as the second brain, for its serotonin producing capabilites.
  5. A mixture of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D3, 5HTP and a vitamin B complex may help to create a natural serotonin boost and raise our mood naturally.  Always obtain health supplements from a registered Nutritional Therapist after a consultation. Some other medications like antidepressants can contraindicate supplements such as 5HTP and can cause more damage than good so it is important to speak to a specialist first.

To summarise, get outside in the sunshine as much as possible as it will drive your endorphin production (the bodies natural opiates) which in turn combats adrenaline and reduces mood related problems. You will get your light relief and mood relief twice from two different external factors.

Visit the Life Practice Nutrition website for further details about our Registered Nutritional Therapist and services offered.

Visit the Life Practice main website for information on our Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, NLP and Life Coaching services

Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people, how can employers support

ladybusAccording the latest report by the government’s Chief Medical Office, Professor Dame Sally Davies, 1 in 4 people will suffer a Mental illness in their lifetime. Around 70 million working days are lost because of stress, anxiety and other mental health conditions each year, a rise of a quarter since 2009. Last year this amounted to a cost of up to £100 billion to the economy.

In her report, Dame Sally called on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the NHS watchdog, to weigh up the costs of allowing workers with depression or anxiety to be fast-tracked for treatment, however, this costs money which we know the NHS simply do not have.

Yes, NHS spending needs to increase from the current 13% of the budget that it spends on Mental Health care but employers can help prevent many work related stress disorders from overcoming their employees by ensuring that they have relevant systems in place first, and this may prevent conditions such as anxiety rearing themselves to the surface in the first place.

Of those employees receiving medical care from the NHS they say that it is good but is not the reason they work well. The reason they work well is because of their employer who supports them.

consultationAt Life Practice group of clinics we see many individuals sent to us by their employers looking for help with Mental illnesses such anxiety, depression, panic attacks, social anxiety and executive burn-out otherwise known as “adrenal fatigue”. When assessing these individuals we find that many of them have been on a slow spiral downwards for several months before they have sought help. The reasons behind their ill health vary from difficult relationships at work, feeling undervalued as an employee, lack of support, lack of self-esteem and confidence, lack of fulfilment, the list goes on. With others their illness has stemmed from an external source within their family such as bereavement, divorce or an ill family member requiring care.
We believe that employers could do far more to support their employees by offering Mental Health Awareness days and regular confidential Mental Health assessments via qualified external sources in order to combat this alarming rising figure.
They could also have in place a protocol for any of their employees struggling with their Mental Health by offering flexible working hours, or part-time working post-illness which could be a key way to prevent sufferers from having to take too much time off work.

Quite often anxiety and depression leaves sufferers feeling helpless, out of control and without any direction of how to get better. By offering a confidential service whereby our clients can talk openly about all areas of their lives, personal and working, we can then ascertain what areas are causing the imbalance and set about agreeing a goal and action plan. This may include helping them to approach their employer about their issues and worries and making suggestions of perhaps re-structuring their week in order to cope with the job at hand, identifying any areas of training that may be required and teaching them to communicate effectively with their team.

Jubilant BusinesswomanWith a plan of action, this offers the individual a feeling of control over the situation which immediately creates optimism for the future ahead. Professor Dame Sally, says that employers can make a significant difference to the health of their staff. “They can make it by actually talking about it, knowing how their people are, whether they have ill health, supporting them by giving them flexible working if they need it, by reducing stigma.”

With figures from the report stating that an estimated 60 to 70 per cent of people with common mental health disorders were in full time work suggests that no company in England is without this problem within their work force. Employers have a duty of care to their employees and must treat their mental health the same as their physical health.

The Life Practice runs clinics and Mental Health Awareness Days & Stress Management Workshops across the country: Brighton, Cambridge, Harley Street, Hitchin, St. Albans & Liverpool. Call our Head Office today to find out more information Tel: 01462 431112