Stress in the city. We all know it exists but no-one wants to admit to being stressed to the point of not being able to cope. Case in point the story of the investment banker who claimed bosses told him to suck it up after complaining of suidal worries as reported in the Telegraph
This is the latest in a series of incidents, we only hear of the high profile cases such as the banker who beat his two-year old daught to death.
With the long work hours in the city, it is a given that people will get stressed. Getting stressed to the point of not being able to cope is something that most city workers would not feel comfortable admitting to.
For all the knowledge available about mental health, not being able to cope with stress is still seen as a sign of weakness in the city. With the sums of money city workers get paid we are expected to shoulder on and put up with the high pressure long-hour environments.
In addition the large sums of money that workers are responsible further adds to the stress. Most city workers would never find the same level of renumeration anywhere else in the working world and the fear of that loss of income keeps people feeling trapped in their jobs and unable to talk about stress for fear of talking themselves out of a job.
Without an outlet to express and deal with these common issues stress anxiety and worry builds up.
Now anyone outside the industry would say just resign. However when you are caught in the depths of chronic stress. The fight and flight response in our brain is in charge. Our reptilian brain takes over while the critical higher mind takes a back seat. We become more aggressive more paranoid, more extreme in our thinking and our sense of perspective goes out of the window.
This is why it is easy for stress to build up and lead to suicidal thoughts.
So how do we deal with the problem of stress. The wall of machoism is pretty huge to defeat and I don’t think we should even try. It’s time to acknowledge that in the city we see stress as a sign of weakness.
So let’s stop talking about stress. Let’s talk about managing personal energy. Energy management borrows from elite sport science, neuro-science and eastern disciplines and is focused on success rather than the negative connotations of stress. It is currently being championed by the Harvard Business Review who have a number of articles on the subject.
We all need personal energy and like elite athletes, the higher the demand in terms of work hours the more we can benefit from advanced energy management techniques.
This would get everyone engaging and talking about energy. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to become more effective, have more energy, more time and reduce stress. Perhaps if we shifted focust the city would be a better place to work.