Workplace Stress: The real causes and what you can do about them

Hi there, I’m Julia Wellstead and I teach
the Human Givens College ‘Workplace Stress’ course. My own working life has
been very rich and varied – I started as an NHS nurse, then moved into the
publishing world, ended up in retail, did some environmental research all the way
somewhere, and came circling right back into the NHS system and was a nurse
again before taking on the human givens post-grad diploma and becoming a
psychotherapist running my own practice and consultancy and I now also teach. So
that’s my rich and varied career so far and of course is still evolving. Because
of that I’ve seen a lot of workplace stress, I’ve seen it in the flesh, I
understand it, I’ve seen people have to take time off work or even give up work
through stress. And I was really keen with my knowledge of the working
environment plus the human givens approach to kind of marry the
two and develop a course where I could really help people to see what’s really
going on with workplace stress and how we can change it for the better. Because
at the nub of the matter is that work is really important to us. It takes up a
huge part of our lives for most of us, and in fact if we don’t work that’s a
very significant thing as well. But for most of us our working lives take up a
significant part of our life, and we need it to be a place – and it can be a
place where we get a lot of our essential emotional needs met. Now the
best case scenario, that’s what happens. Worst case scenario, we get none of those
needs met and we get very distressed and stressed and end up with things falling
apart a bit. And of course a lot of us are in the middle of there somewhere.
So I really want to look at how that can be the best working environment for us.
And see that our working lives are working for us. That’s the main question,
is your working life working for you? So to look at the structure of the day a
bit: we begin by ‘let’s got a baseline’ What does it mean to be human? What does
it mean to be a healthy human? And how do we achieve that? So we’re looking at the human
givens approach to our needs and our resources but with the onus on how can
we look at that within the working environment. So with that baseline in
place, then have a look at what can go wrong, and an in-depth look at stress
specifically, what causes it and what in turn prolonged and unsolved stress can
cause in terms of mental and physical illness, and how that alters how we live
and diminishes our lives and our fulfillment. So that’s the first bit in
the morning and then with that on board, that knowledge, that baseline of what it
is to be human, we can start to look at the working environment and how can
we get a really healthy working environment where we can get our net
needs met and work to our full potential and feel fulfilled and run successful
businesses or organizations or whatever it is we’re doing. Now if that’s all
sounding a little bit ideal don’t worry because immediately after
lunch we’ll look at some really practical stress-busters and how to
survive in that non-ideal working world that most of us are in. So looking
at how to be resilient to challenge, and open to change, because change is
inevitable, and also ready to take up the unexpected. Ready though flexible
for the unexpected when it happens, when it inevitably happens. So we look at
those very practical pragmatic things. And then to end the day I really want to
pull it all together I’ll teach a six step framework approach
to how to run a successful working environment how to make things healthier
for everybody and how it’s all relationship based – it’s all about
relationships. And then in the final part of the day what we want to look at is
bringing all that together so that you can take that information and knowledge
away with you into your own working environment. So
we’ll have a group discussion where we can all have our input and I love this
bit of the day and I’ve a really good discussion how is this going
to work in practice for you in your situation, because without that it’s all
just knowledge on a bit of paper isn’t it? We need to apply it get it right in
there so you can go into your workplace the next day or the next week knowing
how to make some changes. I love teaching this day it’s a very
exciting day we always get lots of people from different working
environments and whether you’re a chief executive or a newbie, whether you’re in
the healthcare system and helping other people with their workplace problems, or
whether you’re a sole trader working as a practitioner in either in healthcare,
in psychotherapy or in something else entirely, we all need to know this – how to
make our working environment healthy for all of us. So I love teaching this day
it’s usually a very vibrant energetic day lots of chat and I’m especially
excited that this May I’m going to be teaching it in my own home city of
Edinburgh so I do hope you can join me. Thank you very much for listening.

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