Stress, Anxiety or Burnout?

You have a demanding job requiring many hours, or you have several jobs that you need to run between. You also have a partner and maybe a couple of children (very reasonably) all who want some piece of your time. Your parents, who are still living in the family home, are starting to display possible signs of dementia and you are trying to work out how to get your father to stop driving before he kills someone – like your mother.

Your sleeping is affected, and you are propping yourself up with too much alcohol or other sugary stimulants. You’ve not made it to a morning run or bike ride for months. After another fight with your spouse, you finally get to see a psychologist saying “I am stressed. Burnout. So anxious.”



As the world opens back up and people return to offices, and all the many different types of social events, we have the opportunity to interact directly with each other, not mediated by technology. This opens the way for some ‘old-fashioned’ conversations. The ability to initiate and sustain conversations is an art and a science that can be learnt and developed.

Additionally with the rise of loneliness, being able to build meaningful connections with others through conversations is a little like being vaccinated against loneliness and all the well-evidenced physical and mental health ills associated with loneliness.

So, what does the science say about having conversations?



What irony is it that in the poem “Mending Wall” where poet Robert Frost questions the wisdom behind the importance of good boundaries at all, he coined the proverb: “Good fences make good neighbours”.

Boundaries are a life enhancing system enabled by “yes’ and “no‟.  Boundaries are stop signs and borders you install to protect yourself that make it clear to yourself and all around you that you own your life, can make good choices, and pursue the authentic expression of who you are in the way you live, love, give and relate.

Boundaries are a limit you set between yourself and people when thoughts, activities and events are not in your best interest.



What is Assertiveness?

The ability to express your thoughts without sacrificing your rights sounds simple, but in practice lies at the heart of many communication and interpersonal struggles in the workplace. Assertiveness awareness and training was once at the forefront of organisational psychology research and despite falling out of vogue still offers itself as a valuable tool for any employee.


What is Wisdom?

Being wise, or at least being seen to be wise, can be a much desired, yet unobtainable, goal in life. And it would seem that it gets easier to be wiser in age than in youth.

Wisdom seems to involve an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding, as well as a tolerance for the uncertainties of life. Wise people also have an awareness of how things play out over time, and wisdom confers a sense of balance and ability to not be overwhelmed in challenging circumstances.


A Good Apology

It can be difficult to make a genuine apology. Our natural defence mechanisms often encourage us to deny we have done anything wrong. At times we may think admitting our fault will make things worse. Actually, research suggests an effective apology can improve the situation. An effective apology contains six elements. Next time you are in a n position where you need to apologise, try incorporating these six elements to craft an effective and genuine apology.


Self-Regulation and Coregulation in the Workplace

You’ve probably heard of emotional regulation or self-regulation – the ability to exert control over one’s own emotional state. Self-regulation might involve rethinking or reappraising challenging situations to reduce anger or anxiety, masking disappointment or sadness, or focusing on reasons to feel happy or calm. Adults are expected to behave in a manner that is socially acceptable, so the ability to manage one’s own emotions is very important. People with poor emotional regulation may find themselves saying or doing things they later regret, which can have a negative impact on both personal wellbeing and social relationships. While regulating your own emotions appropriately is essential for healthy functioning, regulating the emotions of others can be just as important in building strong, positive relationships.


Workplace investigations to understand your Complex Workplace Challenges

You have a complex people problem in your workplace that you do not know what to do about. You are sure you do not have all the facts. You just know that unacceptable behaviours are occurring beyond the measurement of your existing systems checks and balances. You decide to get in an organisational psychologist to conduct a workplace investigation so you can understand the problem, and get guidance on what to do with the present situation, and how to ensure you can fix tour culture and systems to prevent it occurring again..

You would choose an organisational psychologist for a workplace investigation because you want someone who will work sensitively and ethically with your organisation (and budget) to investigate and develop an industrially robust report. And someone who will ask intelligent questions, and not make the problem worse.

An organisational psychologist will design a process that will engage staff in the investigation process and deliver a quality report that includes recommendations for workplace change, and not simply the finding of innocence or guilt.


Managing Change in the Workplace

Change management is a systematic approach for managing the transition or transformation of an organisation’s goals, processes, or technologies. The purpose of change management is to implement strategies to carry out, control, and help people adapt to change. Change management models provide a framework for changing attitudes and behaviours alongside processes and equipment.

There are several models that help us think about change. Two popular models are:

  • Kotter’s 8 Step Model
  • The ADKAR Model


Anxiety Management Toolkit

For some people anxiety is a daily experience, whereas for others it can be situational or occasional. Whatever your experience of anxiety, it helps to have a toolkit of skills and behaviours that you use to moderate your experience of anxiety.