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From stress to wellbeing and job satisfaction
· In this talk Helen Eriksen identifies the psychological factors behind stress, and why we are often much too slow in recognizing stress. Despite the serious nature of the talk Helen succeeds in delivering a humorous and uplifting message, which motivates the participants to take subsequent action.
· Helen starts with the circumstances and working conditions that the participants actually meet at their workplace. Her point of departure is that we cannot solve the challenges of the new paradigm with the basic assumptions of the old
paradigm. In this context it is often the assumptions that create stress. Stress in itself is an expression of a healthy system, which reacts to increasingly strong warning signals by stating that there is a need for adjustment. Our ability to manage stress depends on how we interpret the warning signals in practice, and how aware we are of what they are actually trying to tell us. Often we just continue to do more of the same, which is when it all goes wrong.
· Stress prevention has to do with awareness of behaviour. Each of us needs to be aware of our behaviour, so we can act more consciously when we see the warning signals lighting up – both in ourselves and in others.· “If I can’t manage this then I’m not as good as the others. I’m about to lose my grip. I can’t put up with it but the others can”. Such assumptions can cause cracks to appear in the employee’s professional identity and self-identification. Here, bringing awareness to the situation could make a big difference. Awareness of what it really is that is the cause and effect, what needs to be adjusted internally and externally to oneself. Many people are not conscious of these things and they therefore end up in negative spirals where they continue to do more of the same.· Among other topics, the talk gives action-orientated answers to questions like:* Why is it so difficult to admit to ourselves that we are stressed?
* How do we create more wellbeing and increased quality of life?
* What is the connection between the body and psyche in relation to stress?
· Back in 1994 Helen Eriksen personally experienced burnout from work-related stress, as a consequence of a huge workload. Experiences from that stress management process are reflected in the practical nature of the talk.