Stress Relievers! - [website] Email Print
Published: 2nd of Jun 2017 by: Carolyn Kessler

So I’ve just finished reading about an office in Japan where people are encouraged to bring their cats to work. Being an animal nut myself, I love the idea of integrating these great stress relievers into our work life.

I know the creator of Garfield has his employees bring their cats to work. This prompted me to research the concept more thoroughly. I’m pleased to say that it would appear this is by no means a unique situation.

Charities, who take well socialised animals to visit residents in old age homes and children in hospitals so they can interact by cuddling and petting the furry stress relievers, have reported some interesting findings.

The feedback from the hospitals has been that on the day the animals have been to visit the children, these little patients require less pain medication, eat better and sleep better. Ditto the old age homes where they also report that lots of conflicts between residents get resolved quite naturally during and/or after these visits.

We were involved with a home where cerebral palsied and profoundly disabled children were living and at our year end Christmas parties for the kids, we brought ponies in. None of the children were physically able to sit on the animals, but our resident horse whisperer, Kara, would hold the children above the animals’ backs and you could actually see their stiff limbs relax.

So there’s no question that the many animal therapies out there can go a long way to helping people negotiate an increasingly stressful world.

On our Stress and Time Management course we get to explore the causes of stress in the workplace. There is no doubt that a huge amount of the stress we endure could be resolved by communicating and actually connecting with our fellow colleagues on a human level.

When we step out of the rigid boxes in which we place ourselves and others, we find that most people have the same anxieties we suffer from - the same hopes, dreams and desires to which we aspire. It’s impossible to achieve a connection without communicating in a manner which encourages the other party to feel safe enough to lower their defences.

This vulnerability is exactly what animals promote in us because we know we are completely safe and unjudged. Our Conflict Prevention and Resolution course deals specifically with how important it is to move into a place where we can actually identify what it is within us and the other person that has led us to a stalemate. It comprises structured methodologies whereby we can move into an honest, open and less judgemental space, thereby encouraging solution based thinking. But it is a skill, we need to learn it, practise it and internalise it.

This take me back to the concept of connection – connecting is integral to gaining understanding and is most often dependent on whether or not we’re feeling safe enough to be vulnerable. Maybe we should take a lesson from our four-footed friends and see others through a less biased and judgemental prism?

Many of our courses centre on developing and understanding yourself and communicating effectively: Conflict Resolution, Stress and Time, Self-Mastery, Communication Excellence and Assertive Communication - to name but a few.

Staff Training is a soft skills training provider. Contact us at 0861 996 660.

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