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Stress awareness: stress reduction for business owners

October 11, 2010

Ball pools - good for relaxation!

November 3rd, 2010 is National Stress Awareness Day

Join us for a day-long innovation and wellness workshop that will give you an opportunity to learn more about how stress impacts you and your workforce, and to try out a number of stress reduction techniques that will be introduced to you by experts in their fields. 

In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: they must be fit for it, they must not do too much of it and they must have a sense of success in it.  (John Ruskin, 1871).

Under Health & Safety law there is a clear obligation on employers to consider all components of workplace health, including mental health.  As an owner manager you are therefore responsible for your workforce.  You are also responsible for your own physical and mental well-being.  Mental health is ‘the emotional and spiritual resilience which allows us to enjoy life and to survive pain.  It is a positive sense of wellbeing and an underlying belief in our own and others’ dignity and worth’ (Health Education Authority, 1997).  It is therefore at least as important as physical health and safety.

A struggling business or a failure does of course cause stress: but there is also some evidence that stress might also contribute to business failure.  Research has found that business owners who do not deal with stress also fail to act in ways that navigate their businesses through tough times.  By avoiding stressors they cap the growth of their companies.  If you have been through the LEAD programme, then you will be familiar with thinking about how your behaviour effects the growth and success of your business.  Join us on November 3rd for a different take on this subject. 

We have lined up four experts to inform and instruct attendees on a broad range of stress-related areas.  It is easy to read a book advising that we all need to eat well, exercise more, and relax.  But sometimes knowing where to begin is the hardest part.  Come on this workshop and, in addition to an informative and energising day, you will take away a set of new ideas and practices to incorporate into your own lifestyle.  These things will also be applicable to your workplace, your colleagues and employees, and your wider life.    And there is no need to wait until the New Year to consider some healthy new practices! 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

We will start the day with a morning of movement and activity.  The usual caveats apply of course, but for many people the following warning is more appropriate:

Before beginning a program of sedentary living and isolation from the natural world, see your physician, your therapist and your insurance agent. While you’re at it, check with your family and friends. You are about to embark on a perilous lifestyle that is dangerous not only to yourself, but also to those around you. (Frank Forencich, 2010)

Steve Cody is an ex UK Forces physical training instructor now working freelance in the UK and in the United States.  Steve works with students, busy executives, boot camp attendees, and as personal trainer to household-name celebrities.  Steve will explain, demonstrate, and take you through a number of exercise routines that can be beneficially fitted into the busiest lifestyle.  This will not be a ‘boot camp’ session, but will leave you re-energised to improve or adopt your own healthy exercise habit.

Chris Shaw is a Tai Chi and Qigong teacher based in South Cumbria.  As well as training and teaching at the highest levels in a range of Chinese ‘internal’ martial arts, Chris is experienced in working with novices in corporate and classroom settings, delivering health and wellbeing training to a range of organisations in the North West of England.  On November 3rd, Chris will introduce a range of simple movement practices that can invigorate, energise and reduce stress.  Easy to learn, these movements have proven health benefits and can easily be adopted for personal use. 

After a break for lunch, we will address the mental aspects of well-being from two different approaches. 

Donna Burden is a former psychiatric nurse and is currently acting as mental health adviser and specialist in conflict resolution to a range of UK corporations.  Donna will give an overview of key concepts and points to consider in regard to your own, and your employees’, mental well-being.  Drawing on her background knowledge of the practical application of psychology, Donna will look at mindset and thought patterns which can be counter-productive, or which can be applied to bolster our mental health. 

Jan Goss has over a decade’s experience as a mindfulness meditation practitioner and teacher.  Jan will guide the group through a mindfulness meditation practice and show how this can be incorporated into daily life.  Jan will also discuss how the concept of gratitude can make you happier.  Workshop attendees will leave with an MP3 recording of a guided practice that can be used in their own private time. 

Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence. (Eckhart Tolle)

Our venue of November 3rd will be Forrest Hills, a pleasant rural environment adjacent to the University campus and easily accessed from the A6 and M6.  The day will run from 09.15 to 17.15, and participants should wear comfortable clothing suitable for performing some moderate exercise.  A warm layer is also recommended for outdoor activity. 

The price for the workshop is £75.00.  LEAD graduates or current participants will benefit from a reduced price of £50.00, and members of Lancaster University’s GOLD programme will be charged £40.00.  This fee covers the workshop, all refreshments, and take-home items including an audio file and workbook. 

To register, please email me, Magnus George, on  I can also answer any questions that you have about the workshop and its suitability for you.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2010 09:20

    This is the kind of thing I try to teach people. Can I expect a sequel?

  2. November 1, 2010 17:28

    Thanks for your interest. My research focuses on this area, and I am keen to develop a range of provision too. That might be explicit ‘events’ like this, but more often some activities inserted into more traditional management development work that we run. It partly depends on feedback. I’ll know better after Wednesday.

  3. November 17, 2014 15:17

    Asking questions are actually good thing if you are not
    understanding something entirely, but this piece of writing
    offers nice understanding even.

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