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Oliver James & Bupa Global share tips on making health, success and happiness top of your agenda for 2016.
The New Year is a natural time to reassess your life. Often, though, we focus only on physical fitness when we do this – losing weight, giving up bad habits or joining a gym. But let’s face it, around a third of our lives is spent at work, and how stressful it is, is one of the biggest contributors to our health and wellbeing.
Not only could managing and avoiding stress improve your professional and home life, but it could also help you to live longer. As part of Bupa Global’s commitment on delivering longer, healthier, happier lives, we caught up with leading psychologist Oliver James who told us that the consequences of stress can be very serious indeed:
“There’s very good evidence to show that if you suffer depression or anxiety as a result of stress, it shortens your life. It makes you more prone to heart attacks and other illnesses. And when you’re home you’re more likely to be short-tempered, and you’re more likely to struggle with personal relationships.” (For more information on this, you can read official government findings on the impact of stress at www.hse.gov.uk/stress)
“The fundamental problem is that the vast majority of us now work in sectors where it's really difficult to measure the contributions you're making within your organisation,” Oliver believes. “Whereas, once, you needed to make 100 dolls a day to be paid a certain amount, in this environment, you have to be evaluated by your boss's personal, subjective judgement of the value of your contribution.”
Office politics, and the stress which comes with it, is one consequence of this subjectivity, as people attempt to influence their bosses’ estimation of their contribution.
Oliver James's top ten tips for workplace wellbeing
- Meditate, do yoga or other exercise
- Practise mind control – just get up 10 minutes early to find the time
- Improve your ability to read others’ moods and body language
- Good communication skills are office gold and will make your life easier
- Mirror your boss’s behaviour – but do it subtly
- Flattery will indeed get you everywhere
- Make sure your manager knows your contribution
- Don’t worry about others’ pay – just make sure you get a fair share
- You need to stay calm, even when others are losing their heads
- Develop a work persona: the grown-up, calm version of yourself