Powerful Employee or Powerful Human Being?
Practices such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness and acupuncture have all been well documented for their benefits in reducing stress and improving health. And indeed, to see how effectively this can translate to the workplace check out this government commissioned research by Pricewaterhouse Coopers which highlights the commercial benefits of wellness initiatives at work – for example that for each £1 spent, there has been a recovery of £4.17 in programme benefits.
However, the most common context in which we usually have these practices in our lives has been outside the work environment, and more often than not we’ve also been using the practices as a way of counteracting and balancing stress that our jobs have actually been creating.
So there’s often a strange irony for me when I treat and teach people in corporate positions who are walking through my door wracked with stress and the many corresponding complaints that it creates in the body-mind; fatigue, insomnia, digestive problems and strained relationships.
Why is it a strange irony? Because these are the same people who have a great deal of power to create a great deal of change and actually bring some of these practices into the workplace itself! It’s obvious when they look in the mirror they need change AND often they also have a great deal of power at work to also make it happen!
And you know what – one of these people will likely be you. You will either be the employee who doesn’t want to buffer the same amount of strain anymore from work but hasn’t really spoken up about it, or you’re in a position at work to influence the delivery of wellbeing activities, but again hasn’t really spoken up about it OR felt the need to.
Powerful Employee v/s Powerful Person
So what goes wrong? Well sometimes being a powerful employee and being a powerful person who seeks all their basic needs to be met – and then some enrichment on top – are two different things. And this is where by introducing holistic practices into your lifestyle and work you start to create some real change. Why? Because you will no longer be willing to both sacrifice your own health at work to the same degree, nor, if you are in the position to make changes at work will you be willing to turn a blind eye to being able to help yourself and those around you. (The mechanisms of this are because the holistic practices actually make you more whole – they literally pull you back into your senses by making you more bodily aware and thus increase your connection to your own feelings and thus natural empathy for others too)
And these two roles of powerful employee or powerful person needn’t be exclusive polarities. It’s not about being a power hungry one dimensional iron clad boss or being a hippy, it’s about being a human being and bringing that to your work, so your work becomes an extension of your humanity rather than some compartmentalised part of your life which just creates strain.
So, time for that conversation with your boss about that wellness initiative? Or time for you to introduce that wellness initiative to your employees? To see how I can help, please visit here