How Coaching Can Help Reduce Stress - By Bev James

How Coaching Can Help Reduce Stress - By Bev James

18/05/2018 12:00:00 by Bev James

During Mental Health Awareness Week, this year’s theme has been about the effects of stress.

Stress can touch us all at varying points in our lives and in very different ways, so we’ll only be focussing on, how coaching could help reduce stress, in relation to work. Start by asking yourself one question, do you feel like you have to check emails, when you’re not at work? Do you have a fear that you’ll miss something, if you don’t check your emails? If you answered yes to either of those questions, coaching may be able to help you tackle that.

Stress is something that 85% of us in the UK experience regularly, so much so that some of use it as a throwaway comment, “How’s work?” “Oh, you know stressful”, it seems that it has become so ingrained in some of us, that we don’t realise that when you break down, stress is actually a collection of “ifs”. Here is an “if” in action:

If I don’t answer this email, my boss is going to think I’m lazy and maybe he/she will have a low opinion of me which might cost me my job.

Sound familiar? If you were to break it down further so that “if” would in fact be “fear”.

Fear can be a good thing for us humans, fear is what triggers our reflexes and stops us from walking onto a busy road, and when used effectively it gives us that motivation to go above and beyond. However, it can have a negative effect on us, and can trigger mental health issues when those fears are not confronted.

It seems that in some workplaces, people are rewarded for being stressed. It’s like there’s an understanding that the more stressed you are, the harder you’re working.

Well scientifically, that’s not true. When we’re stressed, we prevent our brains from working efficiently and actually hamper our growth. Studies have shown that “stress interferes with memory, concentration, judgement and decision making.” This was further backed up the Centers for Disease Control saying that stress “is the single highest cause of worker absenteeism, double that of all other illnesses and injuries.” In conclusion, the more stressed we are, the less we achieve.

This is where coaching could help. The role of a coach is to, help others to bridge the gap between, where you currently are, to where you would like to be. A coach achieves this by, supporting and encouraging you to fulfil your potential, achieve your goals and make the most of your life, so you can see where the link is here.

Having a coach can help you take back control. The coaching relationship creates a zone, that allows you to take stock of what’s happening to you and allows you, to come up with ways to reclaim your sense of calm. These are tailor made approaches, because well, we’re all different aren’t we? We all have our own way of recognising and dealing with stress. A coach will help you figure out the right approach for you. 

Coaching is also a safe space where you’re encouraged to explore different approaches to find the best approach for you. This is through self-awareness and by increasing your self-awareness and practicing some new techniques, (for example, goal setting, addressing limiting beliefs etc.) you can forge new neurological pathways in your brain, that will lead to new responses when those tingles of stress arrive.

Find out more about coaching by visiting The Coaching Academy Website here:

If you’re seriously overwhelmed by stress, please get in touch with Mind. Mind is a charity that provides advice and support, to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.  Find out more about them here:

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