Fifteen years ago, I would have told you to get out of my office (get out of my face) and stop wasting my time. 10 years ago, I would have called “bulls-” on this malarkey. Today, the image above calms me. And I’ve come to believe that I need this…It’s good for me. It’s good for the team around me. (But let’s not get too excited. I’m a toddler here. I’m on the 3rd step of a 107 step program.) And since it has now been endorsed by the Truth, the Wall Street Journal, I’m in. (:) Lao Tzu (604 BC – 531 BC): “A Journey of a Thousand Miles Takes a Single Step”…Time to take that step…
wsj.com: To Cut Office Stress, Try Butterflies and Meditation? (Some excerpts below)
- Some 70% of Americans know the feelings: Some time during the workday, the stomach tightens. The heart races. Palms grow damp, breathing becomes shallow.
- Job Pressures are the No. 2 cause of stress after financial worries…
- More employers are trying to help…efforts include “mindful communication” and “cognitive behavioral training” as well as office designs featuring leafy plant covered walls.
- Such stress-busting attempts may have some rolling their eyes (DK: Note to self – used to be me), but research shows they can actually change the way the brain and body react to stressors.
- Employees were coached on accepting daily hassles without judgment. If stuck in traffic…they were encouraged to appreciate the sights, sounds and smells around them without stressing out.
- To reduce the stress of boss interactions, they were also taught mindful communication – visualizing themselves in the meeting while focusing on breathing, paying attention to what is being said, and asking questions rather than blaming, criticizing or becoming defensive.
- Another tactic involves training employees to screen out negative thoughts and focus on hopeful or positive aspects. (Employees) were encouraged to identify a compelling life purpose, such as being a good parent or staying healthy into retirement, and ask themselves throughout the day whether their actions were helping or defeating that purpose.
- Coaching asked employees how they talked and thought about themselves, exploring whether negativity and self-criticism where holding them back. Some workers carried an index card through the workday, making a mark every time they noticed themselves saying or thinking something negative. They also did exercises to replace negative thoughts with hopeful ones.
- Research shows that exposure to nature can help lower blood pressure, pulse rates and levels of stress hormone cortisol. Natural light streams…outdoor cafes at the edge of a meadow of wildflowers…(watching) butterflies “really does change your mind…and alleviates pressure.”
Image Source: i-managed