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Stressed? Anxious? How to be more resilient

Work-related stress led to 9.9 million lost working days in 2014-15 and the main factors cited were workload pressures like tight deadlines. It’s a picture that will be familiar to many in internal communicators – and the pressure to ‘do more with less’ has increased... InsideOut talks to psychotherapist Rebecca Howard about how to be more resilient.

The NHS issued 53 million prescriptions for antidepressants in 2013 – up a quarter on the previous three years – and 440,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety were reported in 2014/15.

Surgeries are increasingly becoming full of people with chronic unexplained pain, stress, mental health, psychological and musculoskeletal illnesses. A third to half of all patients suffer from symptoms that have no identifiable pathology or cause, and according to the World Health Organisation stress is a global epidemic.

The chances are, if you’re feeling overworked, it won’t change soon – but psychotherapist Rebecca Howard says you can change your mindset.

“I don’t think there’s a solution to extract stress from modern-day life,” she says bluntly. “I can’t reduce the stress, that comes from companies wanting to perform better, or huge change in the workplace, or the drive to do more with less.

“But you can shift your thinking to create a different response to stressful situations.”

As CEO at Cynergy and Shinymind, Rebecca has worked on resilience with clients from the NHS, Welfare to Work and many education establishments, and says: “Being resilient is not about meditation, sleeping, eating well and exercising – although they are all absolutely good for you. “It’s about helping people understand they can be resilient even in tough times. It’s not something we are born with, like charisma, it’s an active choice to have it or not.”

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How to be resilient: 10 life hacks to help you beat stress

Modern women are, we’re often told, stressed. We’re engaged in a juggling act: still shouldering the majority of the domestic responsibilities, while trying to hold down careers.

Even when it comes to our mental health, we can’t escape the gender gap. Studies – such as that done by Oxford University in 2013 – say the stress we’re put under as a consequence, could be why women experience more mental health problems than men. National mental health surveys show that psychological disorders are 20 to 40 per cent more common in women. While Health and Safety Executive (HSE) research over the three year period from 2012-2015 showed that women are almost 60 per cent more likely to suffer from work-related stress than men.

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Therapy in the boardroom – Exploring the case for therapy as a performance and profit improver in business

Rebecca is giving 10 women leaders and entrepreneurs the chance to take part in her research, and places are available to any woman in business, anywhere in the country, who is serious about accessing transformational coaching to accelerate her business growth or career.

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Female Entrepreneurs: It's not about perfection, fear of failure or acting like a man

Women's perceptions of their ability and skills to set up and run a business are lower than that of men - GEM 2012 Women's Report - and that's not just the UK but worldwide - so what exactly is going on? Why do women across the globe believe they are less capable than men? These limiting beliefs are stopping our progress, holding us back from accessing a career of self employment which research shows gives women more flexibility, balance and confidence. Not to mention the additional 1 million female entrepreneurs that would bring an additional £60 billion in to the UK coffers if we were to encourage women to set up businesses at the same rate as men.

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Psychotherapy is taking its rightful seat in the boardroom

No longer perceived as the domain of the weak, or those who have problems, psychotherapy is being embraced by the strong and the courageous in business who want to get ahead. Savvy entrepreneurs, senior leaders and CEOs are turning to psychotherapeutic 'profit' coaching so they can develop a winning mindset.

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