Work-Related Stress: How CBT, EMDR and Mindfulness Can Help
Most of us get stress out at work at some time. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It may be a particularly busy time of the year, or you may have a boss who seems far too demanding.
Work-related stress can, unfortunately, get out of hand pretty quickly and then it becomes a significant problem for the individual involved.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, in 2018, 12.9 million working days were lost to work-related stress. It has become a significant issue over the last few decades, and not enough is being done in the workplace to make things much better.
Work-related stress is an even bigger issue in a bustling city like London. Not only do you have the struggle of getting to and from work and earning a salary that gives you a decent standard of living, but you’re also probably exposed to high-pressure work environments, whether you are an executive working on the Stock Exchange floor or a health practitioner delivering care in a local hospital.
Consistent work-related stress has all sorts of knock-on effects. You may start drinking more to ease the pressure. Your sleep will undoubtedly be disrupted. You could get angry or irritable more than usual. Your relationships may suffer, and your self-esteem can drop like a stone as you try to cope with the constant pressure of delivering results.
We often have a ‘suck it up and get on with things’ approach to stress. In the short term, this usually works. In the long-term, however, it can be damaging to your mental health. If you are struggling with work-related stress, it’s essential to do something about it.
The good news is there is a range of therapeutic approaches that should reduce the impact of stress and help you find more productive ways of moving forward.
Can CBT Help With Work-Related Stress?
Talking therapy is a great way to look at those things that trigger your stress and give you the tools to find strategies that allow you to cope. We often get in the position where we can’t see the wood for the trees and CBT is one way to improve the clarity of thought and action.
What is CBT?
CBT works to challenge unhelpful beliefs and thoughts and then put in alternatives that make a difference to the way we think and feel. Work-related stress is sometimes seen as something we have to cope with, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for better strategies.
How Does it Work?
With a qualified therapist, you will talk through your problems at work and how these are impacting your health and wellbeing. For example, our emotions can be a significant driving force and may influence how we think about a particularly stressful situation. CBT helps you reframe what success looks like and what it means.
CBT isn’t just about delving into our thought patterns. It aims to provide practical solutions wherever possible. That may include behavioural changes such as learning to prioritise your worktime better or implementing strategies for getting a better night’s sleep.
EMDR and Stress
EMDR or eye movement desensitisation reprocessing has been used a lot in the treatment of PTSD and for other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. It can have a role to play in helping individuals to cope with work-related stress but much depends on the circumstances.
What is EMDR?
EMDR uses a bi-lateral stimulus while someone recalls a traumatic or troubling memory. This stimulus most often involves getting the individual to track a finger movement with their eyes while recalling the event. Therapists can use other stimuli such as sound or alternate tapping of the hands.
It sounds simple, but the research indicates that EMDR can have quite profound effects.
How Does it Work?
What this does, scientists think, is help diminish the intensity of the traumatic emotions and this improves the processing of the event by the brain, allowing individuals to challenge or change their view of what they mean. This can help improve emotional health and make the individual more resilient.
Reducing Work-Related Stress with Mindfulness
Another effective strategy for dealing with work-related stress is mindfulness. While this takes some time and effort to learn to practice correctly, it has been shown to lower stress levels in individuals and provides a life tool that can be called upon at any time.
What is Mindfulness?
Many medium-sized and more significant business that is concerned about wellness in the workplace has begun to introduce mindfulness courses for their employees and popularity is increasing. The evidence suggests that mindfulness certainly acts as a buffer against the damaging effects of stress and allows individuals to maintain control.
Mindfulness is a way of observing yourself in a non-judgemental way. It allows you to keep track of your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
How Does it Work?
We all too often rush through life without paying attention to what is going on with our bodies and minds. Mindfulness gets us to step back and view ourselves as objectively as possible. By doing this, we are able better to understand our emotions and regulate them, feel more centred and less stressed out.
This kind of attentional control has also proved useful in regulating problem behaviours such as drinking too much or eating unhealthily, both of which generally compound stress levels. Mindfulness can also lower your stress levels before bedtime so that you get a better night’s sleep.
Find a Therapist Near Me
Work-related stress is a problem that many of us face, especially in busy, bustling cities like London. At the Positive Mind Practice, we have qualified therapists on hand to help you cope with stress better and find the solutions that work for you.
Letting stress at work get out of control will eventually cause issues with your physical and mental health, so it’s essential to do something about it. If you feel that you’re continually stressed out and don’t know what to do next, contact our expert team of therapists and book an appointment today. The perception of our customers is the reality of our business & we struggle hard, to make them outlandish.