ANXIETY – the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 15th to 21st May

If you’ve noticed that you’re more anxious recently, then you are not alone.  The last three years have seen a global rise in anxiety and anxiety disorders, and this is hardly surprising.  Our daily life has been infused with uncertainty, with the fallout of the pandemic, war in Europe, cost of living crisis and ongoing environmental issues all placing an endless strain on our resilience and resources.

For many, anxiety has begun to play a larger role in their lives.  The emotional side of anxiety – feelings of fear, sadness, frustration and isolation amongst others – increasingly shape our decisions, thought processes and emotional responses.  And the impact is not only personal, as it can spill over into our professional lives, affecting our ability to focus and work effectively.  The added pressure of struggling to meet our professional responsibilities can feed into and exacerbate the anxiety.

It is imperative, for our own mental wellbeing and for our ability to engage professionally, to find effective ways to reduce anxiety. But this can be both daunting and challenging. When we are anxious, our response is often to engage in a struggle with it, a struggle that includes various understandable but unsatisfactory responses such as distraction, suppression and denial.  This struggle can leave us feeling exhausted and even make the anxiety worse.

Although it may seem counter intuitive, to manage anxiety, we have to get to know it better, to understand what it is trying to tell us.  Psychologist Prof. Mark Williams argues that we must “befriend our anxiety”, seeing it not as the enemy to defeat, but something that wants attention, to be cared for.  This approach can give us back a sense of agency and control in the face of the overwhelm that anxiety brings with it.

Managing anxiety can be challenging so getting professional support is a good step. Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy are all clinically proven ways of managing and reducing anxiety. With professional support we can discover how to relate differently to the emotions, sensations and thoughts that shape and sustain our anxiety. We can learn how to ride out the waves of anxiety rather than be pulled under by them, and over time we learn to develop the resilience we need to calm down more easily from anxiety.

These three tips can help you begin your journey of facing anxiety and flourishing.

1. Talk: Anxiety can make us feel isolated, creating the sort of social and behavioural retreat that deepens the experience of anxiety. Communicating about how you are feeling, particularly the emotions that are triggering the anxiety such as fear, anger, frustration, shame, guilt, confusion etc, can often help us to “contain” the anxiety more easily. If you have a friend or loved one who is a good listener, they could be a helpful person to talk to. Professional support is also really helpful – Try your organisation’s counselling support service.

2. Thoughts are not facts: Anxiety is often fuelled by negative thoughts like “catastrophising” or abusive self-talk – thoughts that can keep us locked into mental scenarios that serve only to make us feel worse. If we can take a mental step back and see our thoughts as just opinions rather than facts, it can help us be less caught up in the thought processes that sustain our anxiety. A professional can help you to understand how your thoughts might be triggering your anxiety, and teach you to relate to your thoughts in a less alarming way.

3. The breath is your ally: When anxiety strikes, we can feel overwhelmed.  A simple tip to slow the “stress response” is to consciously focus full attention on the breath. Concentrate your breath on the area of your body where you feel the anxiety most intensely (eg chest, belly, shoulders) and for a few moments, purposely slow and deepen both the in breath and the out breath. Doing so stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, sending a “stand-down” signal to the alert centre of the brain!

Anxiety workshops, courses and sessions for your employees:

From Anxious to Calm workshop – 60 minute group workshop

Mindfulness for Anxiety workshop – 60 minute group workshop

Facing Anxiety and Flourishing course – 4 x 60 minute group course

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy course – 8 x 60 minute group course

Confidential One to One Counselling – Anxiety counselling with our specialist mental health therapists

Book us to run an anxiety workshop, course or session

If you’d like to book us to run a workshop, course or session please enter your details below or contact us for more information.

Reducing Conflict At Home

As home-working continues indefinitely for those who are able to work from home, many people are citing increasing pressures and conflicts in their relationships at home, with tempers flaring between partners, and towards children, and tensions running far higher than usual.

Our one-hour workshop for up to 100 employees per session – “Reducing Conflict At Home” – looks at a range of practical tips and techniques for resolving conflict in personal relationships, helping everyone stay grounded and calm.

Topics include:

  • Patterns of behaviour to avoid
  • Managing emotions and self-regulating
  • Identifying the unmet need
  • Observing rather than evaluating – for conflict-free interactions
  • Resolving conflict mindfully

This one hour session is presented by one of our highly experienced mental health professionals – a fully qualified BACP-accredited psychodynamic counsellor, occupational psychologist, cognitive behavioural therapist, mindfulness teacher and MHFA instructor.

The session is highly interactive and can be presented via Skype, Zoom, Webex, Blue Jeans, GoToWebinar or the video conferencing tool of your choice.

For more information on this or our many employee mental health workshops and sessions, please contact us at [email protected] or visit our website

Mental Health Awareness Week

This year’s mental health awareness week will take place from Monday 18th May to Friday 22nd May.  The two suggested themes this year are Sleep, and Kindness.

We are fortunate here at Wellbeing Partners to have fully-qualified specialists in both these topics, and have exceptional, solutions-focused, one hour workshops, available via a range of virtual platforms such as Zoom, Webex, Skype, GoToWebinar etc for your employees to participate in:

Sleep: Our team of specialists includes highly experienced, registered sleep therapists* who present the fantastic one hour workshop “How to Improve Your Sleep” for up to 100 participants.

This session will provide your employees with the many evidence-based tools, tips and techniques for improving sleep naturally over the long term, along with a range of quick fixes that will get your team sleeping better immediately. All participants will also receive a free redeem code for our app which includes a range of specialist applied relaxation techniques for improving sleep. We also provide confidential one to one sessions with any employees who are having any type of sleep issue.

Kindness: Kindness and self-compassion are key components of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Our team of fully-qualified, registered and highly experienced MBCT facilitators* are specialists in helping employees to learn and experience the art of skilfully handling negative thinking patterns, cognitive distortions, low self-esteem, harmful self-talk, stress, anxiety and depression. Our one hour “Introduction to Kindness and Self-Compassion” workshop and our “30-minute mindfulness meditation sessions” are recommended for 25 participants but available for up to 100, and include a free redeem code for our app for all participants, which includes a range of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy practices.

We also provide confidential one to one sessions with any employees who are struggling with any type of mental health issue.

Some of our other one hour workshops include:

  • How to Improve Your Mental Health
  • Regulating Anxiety
  • Introduction to Mindfulness I & II
  • Reducing Stress and Enhancing Resilience
  • Children’s Mental Health
  • Men’s Mental Health
  • Digital Detox
  • Mental Health Training for Line Managers (2 hours)
  • Half Day Mental Health First Aid (4 hours)

For more information about our workshops and sessions, please contact us on [email protected]

* There are many providers out there who claim to be sleep specialists, mindfulness experts, or have solutions to anxiety and related issues, but who are not qualified, registered mental health professionals or fully qualified mindfulness facilitators. At Wellbeing Partners, our specialists and therapists are fully qualified mental health professionals (BSc BA, PDip, MSc), and are registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Our mindfulness teachers are qualified to Masters degree level (MSc) in evidence-based forms of mindfulness and registered with the Mindfulness Association. Please do not accept anything less than fully qualified practitioners to work with your employees on these very sensitive topics.











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