How to deal with stress, anxiety and worry
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What's your song?
Husband don't know what he's done, Kids don't know what's wrong with mum
She can't say, they can't see, Putting it down to another bad day
Daddy don't know what he's done, Kids don't know what's wrong with mum
So this is how it feels to be lonely
This is how it feels to be small
This is how it feels when your word means nothing at all
(The Inspiral Carpets, 1990)
It is an interesting phenomenon that many music lovers (of which I am one) are drawn towards up-tempo tunes which are combined with lyrics from the darker side of the human psyche. But a song is just a song, isn’t it?
Well maybe not. History provides countless examples of talented performers who used songs as a way of communicating some inner turmoil. Sadly, lots of these great musicians that many of us will have enjoyed listening to, didn’t live long and fulfilled lives.
Stressed, anxious, worried?
A recent PWC survey of 2,000 British workers in junior and senior roles has found that 34% of us are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress and that mental health problems affect one in six of us on a weekly basis. The blurring of the line between work and home life is clearly a factor, with smartphones increasing the pressure to reply to texts, emails, and calls while away from our desks. It is like being permanently on call and for many this can feel like we are always under pressure, struggling to escape the everyday stresses of work.
Another factor is that many management and leadership development programmes (assuming you are lucky enough to be offered one) often fail to equip people to deal with the source of our stresses and anxieties.
Imagine for one minute you are a songwriter with the ability to clearly articulate your inner fears, thoughts and emotions – what would your song be? What about your work colleagues, what songs would they write? And if they did, who would be listening?
This blog is not about helping you become the new Bob Dylan, Carole King or in contemporary terms Ed Sheeran. What interests me are people’s personal stories, the experiences that make us what we are. I know a great many people, myself included, who have found valuable insight and inner strength by taking time to understand their own story.
Your amazing mind!
The human mind is a fascinating thing because as well as being our most valuable tool to combat our stresses, it can also be our biggest culprit in creating the stress or anxiety we feel. Neuroscience is helping us to appreciate the extent to which our unconscious mind drives much of what we do every minute of every day.
In 1981, when unemployment was a big issue in the UK, UB40 released the single “I am a One in Ten” to highlight the percentage of the workforce claiming benefit. They wrote;
- “I am a one in ten, a number on a list”
- “I am a one in ten, even though I don’t exist”
- “Nobody knows me, even though I am always there”
- “A statistic, a reminder”
- “Of a world that doesn’t care”
In 2017 one of our big issues is our well-being, and the statistic is 1 in 3, but the song remains the same!
At Zentano, we do care and we are not ashamed to admit that at some points in our lives we have been the 1 in 3. We also understand that every 1 in 3 is a person not a statistic.
So, what can I do?
How can you help yourself or your colleagues? The starting point is to raise awareness, be curious rather than judgmental and ask some basic questions such as;
- What is frustrating me and why?
- What impact is that having on my well-being?
- Where do I want to be in the future?
- What is my motivation for making a change?
- Who can help me?
I would also advocate that you write the answers down and find time for reflection.
Over the next few weeks we will be blogging on a variety of topics in support of the launch of our HIGH-PERFORMANCE THINKING programme, subtitled “How to press the reset button on your brain”. We hope you find the blogs helpful and thought-provoking. Please get in touch if you would like more details about how we can help you understand your story. You never know, you may even be able to write your own song!
If you want to know what self-awareness and deeper personal insight can do for you, for me the following famous lyrics from Katrina and the Waves sum this up;
“I am walking on sunshine, and don’t it feel good”