Movement, Mindset and Mindfulness
Ideas and tips
I love stress. It’s brilliant. And not just because much of my work is based on stress. Let me explain.
Now first, I acknowledge that stress can be painful and toxic. And it can cause physical, mental and emotional problems. Just to clarify, I do not love that people are in pain and suffering due to stress.
I also recognise that life tends to chuck a load of stressful stuff at us and, sometimes, we just can’t change what’s going on. For example, bereavement, broken relationships, toxic work environments; I do not love the painful curveballs that life throws our way.
However, some stress can have benefits. Without any stress, life can get boring. Indeed, a lack of stress can be toxic. I’ve counselled people who are signed off work due to workplace stress only to find that being at home with nothing to do is more stressful. A certain amount of stress can keep life interesting. Useful stress, I do like.
However, the thing I really love about stress is it can help us to find treasure in life that we might have not found otherwise.
If my teenage years were less stressful, I may not have found the inner wealth of yoga. Had I not had an extremely stressful life event in my early 20s, I would not have found a career I love in counselling. If I had not had a stressful job, I would not have discovered the wonders of office yoga. Had I not found motherhood so stressful at first, I might not have appreciated the benefits of practicing mindfulness (sometimes) in every day moments and built up skills in asking for help and self-care. Not that I would have chosen for any of these painful things to happen. However, stress can have hidden benefits.
I see so often in stressful situations people find hidden coping skills in themselves and come out stronger. Indeed, what I often see in my clients, is that even when they can’t do anything to change stressful situations, they can change how they feel within them, and in doing so, they often find super-powers that they never knew existed. The super-powers of changing our inner state to change our outer state. Therein, lies the treasure of stress.
And for that reason, I have grown to love stress.
Sign up to Office Om's mailing list for offers, tips and techniques to help you manage stress and increase wellbeing.
Do you ever come home with tight shoulders, headaches or feel a bit grumpy? Well I’ve been there. I was working long hours, putting myself under huge pressure to exceed targets, then studying and extra voluntary work as well. I had pains in my neck, shoulders and wrists from sitting at the computer all day and was not in a good mood. Meanwhile, I was having one lovely calm hour a week in a yoga class which made me feel brilliant, but only for a little while. And I didn’t connect the two. Until, someone suggested to me moving more at work. Ding – an idea - I Googled ‘Office Yoga’ and found out it really was a thing.
This idea lived in my head for years before I began to manifest it into real life, putting it on pause whilst I became a mother. Then, after the birth of my third child, it seemed totally the right time to bring my fourth baby, Office Om, into the world too. I ran my first workshop this time last year and this blog post is to celebrate. Since then, I’ve run workshops for various organisations, such as The Intellectual Property Office, Cardiff University, Admiral and Natwest Bank. I’ve had loads of positive feedback with 100% of participants to date saying they’d recommend Office Om to colleagues.
It’s exciting to see the power of wellbeing interventions to reduce stress and help people thrive, particularly at a time when so many people and organisations are investing in their own wellbeing. I’ve got so many ideas of how I’d like Office Om to grow and I’m really excited for the next stage of the journey. And yes, I still get tight shoulders, headaches and get a bit grumpy sometimes, but now I have a whole toolkit of things that help.
If you’d like to see where Office Om goes next, please click on this link to join the mailing list and follow Office Om on Twitter (@OfficeOm) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/officeom). Thanks so much for being with me at this stage of the adventure.
Founder of Office Om, BACP registered counsellor, Yoga Alliance 200hr trained yoga teacher, Mental Health First Aid instructor and promoter of making daily life just that little bit better.