Is work making us mentally ill ?

February 2012

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure, It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most.  As you let your light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same, Liberated from your fear, your presence liberates others.  Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech 1994

Looking at our emotional health at work, I was intrigued by a recent UK study by Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD)

on supporting mental health in the workplace.  In 2011, they commissioned YouGov to survey over 2000 employees to identify their experiences & attitudes about the degree of mental health at work. 26% reported mental health difficulties, with women higher than men. Rates were also higher in the 35 to 44 year age group.

CIPD also cite the CAUSES of mental health problems

4 simple steps to remind yourself to self-nurture – you deserve it!

Isn’t it time – for you?

January 2012

I was enjoying walking by the ocean, golden sands, gentle lapping waves, emerald-azure waters, I could be feeling absolutely amazing or I could be lost within my dark thoughts. Then I was contemplating what does the internal landscape really look like & how do we take care of ourselves. Maintaining a feel-good factor is quite an art, even an ongoing okayness can be tricky. Our runaway thoughts are compelling & addictive as they fuel the epic 3D stories & tales – current & past.

Before we can say Jack Robinson (and who the hell was he anyway?) we have entered the dragon’s lair, fears, anxieties, self-recriminations, resentments emerge from the dragon’s fire & we spiral down. So many of our feelings especially anxieties, reside in the gut /sacral centre, yet somewhere within us we have the capacity to ease this fire & nurture ourselves, when we start to feel bad.

4 easy steps to self-nurture

How to Live in the Moment?

 January 2012

How much do we long for the ability to sustain a wonderful sense of feeling good? The short-lived highs of a new technological gadget or a fashion scoop hardly touches the pleasure centre spot. We search for greater meaning. So really appreciating the simple things in life, feeling a good aspect in every person we encounter, is an art which needs practice.

 Living in the moment..

Psychologists & counselors are moving strongly into mindfulness based therapies as a way to help people become much more present emotionally & mentally. http://www.actmindfully.com.au

If we can live each day as if it has great meaning, like its our last, would we hold a different point of view on the road rage or the argument with the spouse? What really matters to us?

Bridging the gap between Wellbeing and Distress

For my beachside holiday reading over Christmas & New Year I enjoyed perusing Dr Russ Harris’ new book The Reality Slap – How to find fulfillment when life hurts (see www.actmindfully.com.au) which looks at how events in life such as crisis & disasters shock us, causing a huge slap in our reality awareness, especially events like death, divorce, bankruptcy, redundancy, disability, serious illness or injury.

The recent earthquake & aftershocks in Christchurch is a prime example, following on from the previous shakes. These life events can affect us to such a degree that the gap between what is happening/happened & what we desire or need in order to feel OK looks like a huge gulf. Even Christmas & New Year experiences of family dramas or existential aloneness can trigger so much distress in us, that we find it hard to engage with everyday life. In these troubled times, Russ’s book helps us to develop self-compassion. He uses ACT (acceptance & commitment therapy) – ACT mindfulness  to deal with these major losses.
I was then reflecting on how exactly do we manage this reality slap.
How can we bridge the gap between feeling normally OK with inner WELLBEING & dealing with the distress of having our world turned upside down?
The 2 worlds can seem to be universes apart.

Here are 7 ways to bridge the gap

Developing Inner Super-Vision at Work

 

Have you ever wondered why it is that some work interactions and events can trigger big emotional responses such as over-reactions, misunderstandings, injustices, defensiveness or emotional shut down, retaliations?

From my client work through EAP schemes over the years I am amazed at the amount of bullying that exists in organisations – hierarchical, horizontal, group peer pressure & so on. I wonder why it is becoming so common place when we all have  the right to a nurturing and supportive organisational culture instead of one which is harmful & anxious.

I found December’s HRINZ meeting with Laura Crawshaw, Boss Whispering Institute – Intervening With Abrasive Leaders, very interesting in its perspective of providing group feedback to the ‘bully’ focused on interpersonal behaviour that causes emotional distress in coworkers sufficient to disrupt the organisational functioning, without the need for formal investigations & defences. see http://www.bosswhispering.com/

For coworkers who find themselves in a difficult relationship environment or victim mode, there is a better way to be – develop the inner super-visor.

How To Restore The 4 Enriching Ingredients Of HOPE

HOPE = Happiness Optimism Passion Equanimity

Life on planet earth is meant to be a rich playing field & bountiful source of human emotional growth & learning, that’s why we have enormous emotional capacity. But how do we find our way through the maze of emotional deadends & blocks without getting exhausted or emotionally wrung out?

As a counselling psychologist in practice for the last 20 years in the UK & NZ, I have heard the most amazing rationales & compelling stories to explain emotional unhappiness & disturbance.

 

When life becomes all too much, we struggle to make sense of the huge array of emotions within us & in others around us