Combatting stress in a competitive world

Now back from the States, I found myself walking in Richmond Park for the first time in about 10 years. South west London used to be my home and I would spend many joyful hours with my dog, running cycling and walking, a great decompression at the end of the working day.

Being here again felt nostalgic and good, with friends and in a familiar space. At first all was well, however, very quickly I started to feel anxious, energetically anxious, on edge, my gut told me something was wrong. Though oddly, on the surface, Richmond Park was still the same.

I am fortunate that I do not to suffer with anxiety, as many people nowadays do, so it seemed even more unusual, and disturbing. There were many people in the park with it being a weekend, cyclists speeding by, young mothers running with small babies in pushchairs, joggers sprinting by and riders criss-crossing the pathways. It was the hive of activity and why not? People need to breathe, outdoor pursuits are essential, natural and understandable. So where was this anxiety of mine coming from?

Energetically my body was on edge, I could sense people at my back pressuring and pushing, at any moment I felt under attack. Maybe that cyclist won’t be able to stop in time?  Am I holding this jogger up? Should I step out of the way for the lady with the pushchair?  My conversation with my friends was very stilted and distracted.

We then bumped into an old acquaintance who happened to be walking in the park, “Be very careful” she said. “Be careful of what”? I enquired.

“The deer”, she said, “I was attacked for no good reason recently by a deer, I was not with my dog, just out on my own when the front feet of a deer came from nowhere and struck my back.”

Wow, I instantly knew what was happening! Stress and pressure cause unnatural behaviour.

The deer are under so much more pressure than they were when I lived there 10 years ago, activity levels have soared, and the deer numbers have increased and there is very little sanctuary.

The penny had dropped, I was picking up a similar feeling to the deer. Because we are animals, (just a different species) we are feeling stress too, our body is absorbing information all the time which informs us sometimes unconsciously of pressure and stress.

Energy is everything. We live in an ‘always on’ society, and although we know that up to 93% of communication takes place non-verbally, it is rarely commentated on. What you notice in any company are levels of energy associated with different projects and people. Do you know what kind of energy you are bringing to the team? Are you aware of the shadow of the leader? Can you see how a bad or toxic shadow can lead to a huge energy drain that affects human and company resources?

Tuning into our unconscious and listening to our gut means we can ask ourselves, how are we feeling energetically? How can we combat this increasing stress in a competitive world?

Understanding our Natural Intelligence could be a starting point.