Stress? What stress?

I attended a great event this week – were you aware it was Stress Awareness Day? The event was run in conjunction with the Stress Management Society (, and here is a snapshot of the key learning points.

What is stress? Have you found that we tend to relate stress to our emotions, and how it makes us feel? In fact, stress is actually a physical thing – it gets our heart beating faster, makes us sweat, heats our bodies up and so on.

We all know the ‘fight or flight’ scenario, and how our ancestors developed this response to enable their survival. It seems that these days, when we’re not often faced with man-eating animals, we’re getting stressed (ready to fight or flee) in situations where we can’t effectively use that response. This means that stress becomes counter-productive, and in these situations we need to find ways to either ‘lighten the load’ or give more support (coping strategies).

From a facilities management point of view, we’re particularly interested in risk management, because our organisations can be liable for putting increasing pressure onto individuals and teams. We should also be looking at how our workplaces can be more effective if we teach people how to cope with pressure. Dame Carol Black suggested that every £1 invested in wellbeing brings a return in productivity terms of between £3 and £6.

One of the main messages from the experts is that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. And, to use my own favourite saying, one I use often with my coaching clients:

‘Fit your own mask first before helping others’.

If you’d like to talk about how coaching can help your own work-life balance or stress management, please contact Liz Kentish, The FM Coach on Tel: 01778 561326 / 07717 870777 or email:

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