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  • Tara Foulkes

Hypnotherapy can help you and your employees manage stress and increase productivity in the workplac

Hypnotherapy can be used as a tool to manage stress in the workplace, along with reducing fatigue, negative mood and improving work satisfaction.

In these times of increased workloads with reductions in staffing teams, hypnotherapy in the workplace can be a relatively low-cost solution by providing employees with hypnotherapy audios to listen to both at work during break times and outside of work as required.

This enables them to feel in greater control, more valued by their employers by giving them the opportunity de-stress therefore, they are better able to manage their work commitments.

A study on ‘Power Break’ (Kennedy & Ball, 2007) conducted in a call centre in Australia, turned the idea of power naps on its head. It replaced the idea of naps with 2 x 10-minute hypnotherapy audio sessions. They examined the effect of hypnorelaxation on 75 men and women each day over a four-week period on fatigue, mood, physical health symptoms and work satisfaction. The results showed that the programme significantly reduced fatigue, negative mood and physical symptoms and improved satisfaction with work.

Taking “power naps” to reduce fatigue in workers in situations where performance and vigilance must be sustained for long periods of time and sleep deprivation may be present has been advocated (Takahashi & Arito, 2000) (Reyner & Horne, 1997). However, in many places of work this is simply not possible, plus, many employers may not be particularly happy about napping on “their” time!

Horne and Reyner (1996) demonstrated that sleepiness and accidents on a driving simulator were reduced following a 15-minute nap. There is also the added complication of getting the nap time right in accordance with peoples own circadian rhythm patterns (Rosa, 1993).

Fatigue can be difficult for workers, such as, shift workers, NHS staff or long-distance truck drivers, but also for workers who are required to sit staring at computer screens for long periods, which is often compound by poor diet and inactivity. The culture of working through lunch and break times also adds to the fatigue of workers as they often do not have the opportunity to switch off.

In relation to the power break programme, 79.68% were compliant with the programme, this figure was reduced due to annual leave entitlements. 81.4% found they were moderately or strongly satisfied with the programme with 86% wanting to continue with the programme following the experiment. They found that depression and anxiety scores decreased significantly, along with anger and hostility scores.

Workers reported that they felt better able to deal with increased calls better, not getting as stressed. They commented that they found that their memory, focus and confidence were all vastly improved enabling them to feel better equipped to assist and respond to customers and more confident in their own abilities to solve customer problems. Some negative comments were recorded, such as, knowing the audio off by heart and the man’s voice become annoying, preferring a women’s voice.

Overall it was reported that the PowerBreak programme reduced fatigue, negative mood, physical symptoms and improved work satisfaction.

Another study which took place in Latvia on workers in a sewing factory over a 9-month period, investigated hypnotherapy interventions on workers in a sewing factory. They had complained of pain in their wrists and joints because of their jobs due to high work pace, lack of control over work and insufficient co-worker support.

The candidates took part in 12 x 60-minute sessions over a period of 3 months. Another group were taught self-hypnosis and asked to practice individually every day for 10-15 minutes using a CD with a self-hypnosis induction and suggestions. The results of this intervention concluded that “in general the employees suffered from psychosomatic chronic pain, caused by psycho-emotional and psychosocial factors, such as, negative life events, psycho-traumatic interpersonal relationships in the workplace, mood disorders and frustration with work performance” (Roja, Kalkis, Roja, & Kalkis, 2013).

Employees found that their self-esteem increased, they mastered the ability to relax and to overcome negative stress situations. They found this increasingly important with employees with 8-15 years’ service who suffered from low self-esteem and poor ability to tolerate negative life and work stress due to their increased time in the role.

Overall, they found that both Cognitive hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis contributed to the reduction of chronic pain intensity, psychogenic tension and muscle fatigue. They also found that those who took part in the programme found that their quality of life substantially increased and started actively participating in social activities, such as, family life, outdoor activities and active working hours (Roja, Kalkis, Roja, & Kalkis, 2013).

An older study which took place in 1989 entitled self-Hypnosis and meditation for stress Management found no statistically significant difference between the two measures used, however, they used it for relaxation, refreshing from prolonged work sessions, aiding sleep onset, stress reduction and gaining perspective on issues or problems. (Soskis, Orne, Orne, & Dinges, 1989)

Another way in which hypnotherapy in the workplace has been found to be successful, relates to how hypnosis can help women succeed in competitive environments in the workplace. A study conducted by Hornyak, (2004) discussed the nature of competition in the workplace, whereas many men seem to relish at the chance of competition, women can find competition a terrifying experience. Eichenbaum and Orback (1987) propose that feelings of competition in women stem from undermining feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

When hypnosis was used with a client experiencing difficulties in the workplace due to competition with a colleague, it was uncovered that this stemmed back from the competition she faced as a child with her older sister, this was desensitised and management techniques were installed along with assertiveness techniques. The hypnotherapy intervention enabled those involved in the study to re-align their perspective on competition and enhance their ability to respond in competitive settings.

As you can see hypnotherapy can be used in a wide variety of settings and can be adapted to suit the needs of the business and the employees. It can support employees through difficult periods of change management, increase team performance, reduce stress, reduce pain and fatigue or to increase self-esteem.

If you would like to find out how hypnotherapy can help you and your business please get in touch, I would love to come and meet you to discuss in more detail.

Thank You for reading today, if you like what you see please share.

Email me at i look forward to hearing from you.

#Stress #Workplace #Mentalhealth


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