Many people have a tendency to think about stress as a universally negative response to events in their lives
However, the situation is, as ever, more nuanced, with the stress response playing a fundamental role in keeping us safe from danger. So, what is it that’s going on at a neurological level when we encounter situations that are stressful, even when the danger lies more in our perception of a situation than in any substantive reality?
The fact that we all experience stress differently, often being stressed by different situations or to differing degrees than others around us, is evidence of the subjective nature of stress. It’s very often our patterns of thinking and any tendency to ruminate that leads us into the experience of chronic stress, and to the negative physical and emotional consequences that can follow.
However, it is possible for each of us, in ways that are individual to ourselves, to make use of tools and techniques in a manner that enhances our capacity to experience less stress, and to recover more quickly when we do experience it. This ability to build resilience is inherent in all of us, and while when we’re particularly stressed it can seem that we are powerless, this is rarely the case. By drawing on our own experience, as well as on the insights of others, we can develop the specific approaches that work for us, giving us more choice, more control, and more peace.
While this course focuses on our individual experience of stress, and on how we can alter our thinking and our behaviours in ways that allow us to experience less of it, it’s important to recognise that others have their part to play too. Organisations, and the managers and leaders within them have a responsibility to create and maintain a climate in which extreme, or “toxic stress” is not experienced. They can, and should, work in ways that engender a climate of psychological safety, characterised by both trust and challenge, not trying to avoid stress but, as a community, recognising and accepting its place in personal and organisational growth. And as for organisations, so too for families and indeed anywhere in which one human being connects with another.
Who is the course for?
- Leaders and managers
- Learning support assistants
- Parents and carers
- Anyone interested in better understanding their own experience and in learning how to have more control in their life
What will you cover?
- What do we mean by 'stress', is it necessarily a bad thing, and why do we each experience it differently? We’ll explore the neurological processes at work, and consider how patterns of thinking and rumination can lead us to experience stress.
- What mechanisms do we apply when looking to cope with stress, and why is it that some people appear better able to manage than others? How, in practical ways, can we develop the capacity to experience life from a more empowering and less stressful perspective?
- The more resilient we are, the better equipped we are to both experience events as less stressful, and to cope with and recover from stressful events when they do occur. What strategies are proven to be beneficial in building our capacity for resilience, and which ones might you choose to apply?
- This course will have allowed and encouraged you to explore your own experience of stress. However, change, if that is what you seek, requires a commitment to action. So, what is it that you have chosen to do from this point forward?