This past year, you may have found that managing stress at work has been no easy feat. The pandemic has been a stressful experience no matter who you are.
But if you are a frontline worker, then you have seen the brunt of the pandemic up close. This is true whether you have been working in a healthcare facility or at a grocery store.
Also, as many organizations contemplate returning to the office, employees may also be experiencing stress as well.
Managing stress at work has always been a challenge. But EMDR therapy can help. Even if you are not at the therapists’ office you can still get the benefit of EMDR.
Here’s how you can use EMDR for stress at work.
Using the “Butterfly Technique” for EMDR
When managing stress at work a quick go-to method is the “Butterfly Technique.” It simulates that bilateral sensation that you would experience in a therapy session. Here’s how it works.
- Find someplace where you can sit and focus for a few minutes.
- Put your hands on your chest with your fingers pointing towards your collarbone.
- Interlock your thumbs. Your hands should now look like butterfly wings.
- Tap your fingers together back and forth.
- Tap for 30-45 seconds
- Check and see if it’s helping your body and your mind feel better.
At the same time that you are tapping, you can begin recalling positive memories or experiences which you find soothing and calming.
If you have memories of workplace experiences that are causing you stress, I recommend that you bring these into EMDR therapy. These techniques can be quite potent. It’s important that if you find yourself starting to unearth old troubling memories, ask your EMDR therapist for some guidance.
Be Specific When Recalling the Memory
If you do work with a memory, I recommend that you only work with mildly stressful memories. As you recall the distressing thought or memory, try to be specific. Focus on what in particular is causing your stress. For instance, it might be a song that you heard on the radio that is connected to a traumatic memory from work. When you are focusing on the memory, allow yourself to feel it in its entirety.
One of the advantages of EMDR is that you don’t have to talk about what you are feeling. Rather, just stay with the experience as you engage the technique. This is helpful as you don’t have to use extra energy coming up with the words to accurately describe what’s happening.
Managing Stress at Work with Mindfulness
One important aspect of EMDR is that it incorporates mindfulness as part of the methodology. In fact, as you begin participating in EMDR with your therapist, they teach you these techniques at the office. That way, you have a solid foundation for how to use these skills when you experience stress at work. These include breathing techniques and meditation to help you stay in control.
When the Stress is Too Much
A concern for frontline workers is that they have been exposed to a tremendous amount of stress. That stress, left unchecked, can be overwhelming. The intention of EMDR is to focus on a specific memory associated with that stress. Still. if that becomes too much to handle don’t hesitate to stop the EMDR session.
Focus instead on the self-soothing techniques that you learned in session. The same is true if you are an employee returning to the office. You have also had to cope with a lot of stress over the last year. The thought of returning to work might feel intimidating. Using both a tapping technique combined with stress management may prove beneficial.
Talking to Your EMDR Therapist
It’s important that you are connected to a qualified professional during this time. Knowing how to manage stress at work is important. However, it’s also critical that you have the opportunity to process that stress with a therapist trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches. This will help resolve any lingering thoughts or memories associated with the stress. Check this other post out iif you want to learn what happens in an EMDR session. And read more here, if you are wondering what EMDR can be used for.
Managing stress at work has taken on a whole new meaning during the pandemic. Your therapist can help ensure your stress doesn’t become toxic. Discuss whether using EMDR for stress management can help you cope and recover well. Supportive counseling often makes all the difference. I’m here to help. Find out more about EMDR therapy and contact me soon for a consultation.