If we take Dr Richard Lazarus' definition: ' Stress arises when individuals perceive that they cannot adequately cope with the demands being made on them or with threats to their well-being.' (Lazarus and Folkman, 1984).
So this means that it is the perception, the thoughts and beliefs that we have about the situation that causes the stress. This is good news as that means we can do something about it. I am looking forward to doing talks in the next couple of months to businesses about stress and work life integration in order to help people to increase their wellbeing in this area. The aim is to have a level of pressure or motivation that assists your performance but that you can manage stressors so your wellbeing is still at a good level.
I was thinking about other areas that could benefit from work with managing stress and thought back to my student days (dark and misty past) and remembering how stressful it could be at times. We know that student counselling services and pastoral care is on the agenda for those in full time education, however I can't remember this so much from the late 80s when I went to Uni. There was an article last year by the BBC that stated that there were rising numbers of students struggling to cope with campus life and an increase in the demand for counselling. In this article back in Sept Ruth Caleb, chair of Universities UK's mental well-being working group, said that counselling services are facing an annual rise in demand of about 10%. She estimated that the use of counselling usually ranges between 5% and 10% of students, depending on the university, which would suggest at least 115,000 students are seeking help.
Since attending training at the Centre for Coaching, London in stress management, this an area in which I can really help people. If there are ways in which we can support others to cope effectively with stress, then it is important that we get this on the agenda and raise awareness. Giving people an insight into how to cope effectively with stress is the start of this process.
I am running Mariposa Coaching Masterclasses in stress management at the Coaching Room, Bristol, BS481UE and for local businesses. If you fancy a masterclass or some coaching in Bristol in this area have a look at www.mariposacoaching.co.uk/masterclasses or pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.