Learning to beat stress

beat-stress-at-work

Emma Mitchell Leadership and Management DirectorToday’s blogpost is by Leadership and Management Director, Emma Mitchell, a People Development professional with 2 decades plus experience of training and coaching business professionals from many sectors. Her focus is developing people and maximising their potential for leadership through coaching and training facilitation.

Real Bread Week, starts this weekend on 24th February, is the annual celebration of supporting your local independent real bread bakery and baking your own.

At 10Eighty we believe in lifelong learning and the value of learning new skills. Making bread is a great stressbuster too. With nothing more than flour, water, yeast, a little salt and a bit of kneading, anyone can turn out a loaf to be proud of; sourdough is easy but takes a bit longer.

The process of kneading and working the dough is soothing and therapeutic. Frustrated with a project? Mad at your manager? Fed up with a drama-queen co-worker? Take out all your frustrations out on the bread dough and when you are done, you will feel better and you will have hot, fresh bread.

Don’t think baking is the answer? There are plenty of ways to address stress.

Connect and share

At 10Eighty we value networking and collaboration but know that stress can make the friendliest person want to hide under the duvet. Don’t shoulder the burden. Someone to share your problems is a huge help in offloading stress. Talking will help you work through the tension, will distract you from the immediate frustrations and irritations of the situation, and you may well find a resolution by talking through your options. If you feel stressed out, take some time to call a friend or meet up with someone you can talk to. Sometimes if we can just get out and escape the stress for a while, we can establish a better state-of-mind to deal life.

Learning a new skill really is good for you. So if not baking what about tango, or chess, or carpentry? Learning is good for your health – reading reduces stress levels, learning offsets cognitive decline and improves memory function. The habit of learning, of being interested in the world around you, indulging your curiosity and maintaining an open-minded attitude to new ideas and ways of doing things will all enhance your creativity, agility and employability.

You can learn almost anything via YouTube and TEDTalks will inform you about an astonishing range of topics and specialist subjects.

Share and enjoy

An important thing to remember about learning at work is the value of knowledge sharing. Try to encourage others to learn at work as well. You could do a presentation to your peers about what you’ve learnt, or share your own advice on continuous learning. Or you take in some home-made baked goods and boost your popularity with colleagues.

Small creative tasks make people feel better. According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology people who frequently take a turn at small, creative projects report feeling more relaxed and happier in their everyday lives. The researchers followed 658 people for about two weeks and found that doing small, everyday things like cooking and baking made the group feel more enthusiastic about their pursuits the next day.

In addition to feeling happier, people who worked on small creative projects every day also felt they were “flourishing” – a psychological term that describes the feeling of personal growth.

It’s Friday, resolve to spend some time over the weekend making something, doing something different, or learning something new. Give yourself space to flourish!

Photo by Nadya Spetnitskaya on Unsplash

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