“It’s a sicky feeling,” said Emma, “That’s what it feels like”.
“Yeah, the pressure makes me anxious,’ agreed Jane. “Everything is so stressful.”
I was sitting with a group of twelve youngsters (aged 15-17). They were all at school and they all saw that life was stressful.
They had already discussed what stress had meant to them (see the spider diagram) and it seemed to me that they were swimming in a pool of stress.
As a wellbeing coach I’m fascinated in conversations about mental health. This conversation with these students was part of some research I’m doing in the run up to a conference on Young People and Mental Health
Over the past few weeks and months I’ve been in primary schools, secondary schools at a 6th form College and speaking to various charities and organisations, children, teachers and workers about mental health and resilience. I’ve been pretty shocked at the stats of mental health and I see that something needs to be done.
What I’ve noticed from my research, both with the students and teachers, is that stress is commonplace. Stress has become normal.
Children and adults blame stress on workload, expectations, exams, observations, peer pressure …. and so the list goes on. Everyone has a different idea as to why we’re so stressed – and everyone has different answers. We need, mindfulness we need yoga we need to ban mobile phones, we need to work harder, work less, do exercise…..
It’s more simple than that.
What I see is that we’ve lost sight of what it is to be human. We have forgotten that we all have a silent, deep core of resilience and peace that naturally nourishes us.
Instead of touching base with this deeper intuition we have mistakenly become hypnotised by the busy, whirring, urgent tailspin of thoughts, beliefs and fears that restlessly inhabit our heads. Rather than see the ‘stressful’ feelings as a warning sign that we need to take a mental break, we get busy trying to fix things which ironically makes life more exhausting.
Have you ever run, or sprinted and become breathless? Breathlessness is a normal, healthy response to running. It is the same with our minds, when our heads are over-worked they become breathless too. We’re not designed (as humans) to occupy a whirring, busy mind of stress for prolonged periods of time. It’s unhealthy. The feeling of stress is letting us know it’s time to mentally catch our breath.
As a wellbeing coach, my mission is simple. My role is to point people back to the nourishing centre of peace and stillness within. The best gift we can give another human being is to help them see beyond their agitated stories to a deeper truth.
Our young people don’t need tools and strategies, they need to be heard. They need to be reminded about who they truly are. Would you like to join me in listening to them? If yes, would you like to become a Wellbeing Ambassador
? We’re offering a sponsored training which is free (worth around £500 per person) with experts in the field of health and education.
If you’d like to learn about being a Wellbeing Ambassador
then follow this link. This will be perfect for people that are keen to support others by providing a space to deeply listen.
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About Liz Scott & Stuart Newberry
Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are Coaching Skills trainers and 3P practitioners. They help develop coaching cultures within schools and organisations. Liz & Stu use their understanding of the 3Ps within their training and are experiencing great successes and results in the organisations they are working in. Download an Introduction to the Three Principles here. Want to de-stress in just 28 days? Recharge on the Run is a FREE audio series (delivered to your inbox daily) that will help you discover your inner peace of mind. Find out more about Liz & Stu at Liz Scott Coaching and Training