Wellbeing and mental health at work is becoming essential concerns for both organisations and individuals and many are seeking solutions to reduce stress at work.
In the corporate world, the pressure is constant. Employers and employees not only have to perform but most of the time they also feel they have to excel and be fast. The number of complaints is growing: too much stress, intense tiredness, physical tensions, burn-out, sleep disorders, lack of concentration but also loss of motivation and confidence…
Stress is taken more and more seriously by organisations, as it can affect the workplace in a variety of ways, such as absenteeism, difficult interpersonal relationships, lack of efficiency and productivity. And for staff, it’s becoming survival to achieve a more sustainable work-life balance and improve their physical and mental health.
I was not always a Sophrologist. I started my career in Legal & Business Affairs in Paris and then in London, in the media industry. I was at the forefront witnessing (and experiencing) the requirements to perform at a high level, and face work pressure and challenges on a daily basis, with long hours and few breaks. Such a rhythm requires a constant high level of energy. It is hardly sustainable and it quickly became obvious to me that having strategies and tools to cope better with work stress was a priceless asset to my personal life.
Naturally, when I became of Sophrologist, I decided to use all my experience in the corporate world to develop tailored stress management programs for both individuals and organisations to help establish healthy boundaries and improve workplace wellness.
HOW CAN SOPHROLOGY HELP WORK-RELATED STRESS?
For those not yet familiar, let’s take a look at what is Sophrology. Sophrology was invented in the 1960s by a neuro-psychiatrist and it is a unique blend of Eastern practices and Western science designed to help relax and positively deal with life’s challenges. It combines simple relaxation, breathing, visualisation and gentle movement to balance the body and mind, build resilience, and bring awareness and positivity into daily life.
Sophrology is widely used on the continent. Some insurance companies in France and Switzerland even include it in their scheme, as it is now proven it can really help people with stress-related symptoms. And in the past decade, Sophrology has now naturally made its way into the workplace: it is notably used in resilience programs, as well as for burnout prevention and recovery, sleep problems and to reduce stress at work, just to name a few examples.
At BeSophro, we are a team of experts in work-related stress, passionate about Sophrology and dedicated to our clients and their physical and emotional health. Over the years, we have worked with a number of executives and leaders, supporting them to perform at their best in the most relaxed, safe and comfortable work environment possible. Our solid experience and our knowledge of the business world have allowed us to create effective solutions for our corporate clients to avoid stress.
3 STEPS TO HELP REDUCE STRESS IN THE WORKPLACE:
At BeSophro, our stress management programs are built around 3 key points:
UNDERSTANDING THE MECHANISMS OF STRESS:
Understanding the physiology of stress and what is at play when under stress and feeling overwhelmed is the first step in building awareness, in order to better implement solutions. It is also about understanding the differences between acute and chronic stress, as well as the gap between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ sources of stress.
Stress does not always have negative effects – it’s time to fight stress and use it to our advantage instead.
RAISE AWARENESS AMONGST CO-WORKERS AND ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES TO HELP RELIEVE STRESS:
When implementing an employee assistance program to support them with work-related stress, it is essential to have a global approach and encourage employees to take part.
We always assess in depth the needs of our clients and discuss simple health and lifestyle tips that are easy to apply. It can be as simple as taking regular breaks, learning “quick fix” stress solutions, improving time and quality of sleep, cutting down screen time, learning to set priorities and develop healthy responses, preventing musculoskeletal problems and so on.
PRACTISING SIMPLE, 10-MINUTE EXERCISES ON A DAILY BASIS TO MANAGE WORK STRESS
The time of practice is a time to pause, recuperate, calm the mind and lower muscular tensions. Sophrology exercises combine deep breathing techniques, dynamic relaxation and positive visualisation.
Depending on the aim, the practice can also be theme-based, such as learning how to relax and let go; managing stress in a work environment; increasing confidence; improving focus and motivation, and regaining energy and balance.
Audio guides and exercises are given to our clients so that they can practice at their own pace when they need it most. Repetition will allow a gentle shift and a safe transformation towards improved mental health.
HOW DOES SOPHROLOGY HELP RELIEVE WORKPLACE STRESS?
Sophrology is a very simple, practical and yet powerful approach with many benefits. It will allow staff, managers and leaders under pressure to:
- Improve wellbeing and physical health;
- Learn how to relax, calm the mind and let go;
- Support recuperation and restful sleep;
- Feel more focused rather than feel overwhelmed
- Improve concentration and memory;
- Perform well and improve productivity;
- Gain clarity on career goals and priorities;
- Deal positively with any stressful situation and emotions, learn how to respond positively rather than react;
- Prevent burn-out, tiredness, lack of vigilance and other stress-related symptoms;
- Promote self-awareness and positive communication;
- Increase confidence and feel empowered (self-esteem, assertiveness, public speaking);
- Build motivation and creativity;
- Achieve work-life balance and establish clear boundaries.
HOW TO IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH AT WORK WITH SOPHROLOGY
There are several ways to implement Sophrology at work to help manage stress:
- One-Off seminars: In-depth presentation of the method, where it comes from and how it works. Presentation and Sophrology practice on stress management and how to find solutions for stress NOW!
- Group staff training programs: Such training programs include a short theoretical part, with a synthesis of the available information on the covered topics (stress management, general wellbeing at work, assertiveness and confidence, restful sleep, increasing energy and vigilance, how to focus better, etc…) and a moment of practice with the teaching and practice of some key sophrology techniques. The training can be organised as an intensive course [over half days or days, depending on the needs] or shorter sessions over several weeks.
- One-to-one tailor-made sessions and leadership programs: either available to all staff or to leaders, one-to-one sophrology consultations onsite to address any specific concern or issue.
“Over the years, Sophrology has proven to be a fantastic support to help staff, managers and leaders to cope better with the high demands and expectations of the business world. The strength of Sophrology is to show them efficient strategies to respond to various sources of stress, but it also encourages them to build resilience and helps them alleviate symptoms of stress.”
Sophie became a Sophrologist following a successful career in the media industry, during which she gained a deep understanding of what it is to be under pressure in a competitive professional environment. Through her gentle and caring approach, Sophie creates a safe space for her clients to explore their inner resources and reveal their potential, allowing a gentle transformation at their own pace.
Her primary focus is on stress management, tailored wellbeing solutions, sleep disorders, chronic stress and fatigue and burnout. She also works with children and teenagers for exam preparation, as well as offering pre and postnatal Sophrology services. Sophie regularly holds BeSophro workshops and classes for corporate, charities and schools. She is fluent in French and English.
For more information, please get in touch with the BeSophro team: [email protected]