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Personal Stress Mastery
Thursday, June 16, 2011 (All day)
Crewe YMCA

On Thursday, 16th June a free Stress Mastery Workshop took place at Crewe YMCA which encouraged local individuals to take control of external pressures in their personal and professional lives.  The event, organised by Chris McCormack at Open Minds, was oversubscribed within days of being advertised.  Hope Street Centre therapists, Maurice Tomkinson and Tianne Croshaw, led workshops on the day, along with local Personal Centred Counsellor, Joanne Bishop. Read on for a full account of the day's events.

The event was free to delegates, and aimed to provide practical support and information to individuals who might be experiencing stress within their personal or professional lives.  It became fully booked up within a matter of days, suggesting that there are many people within the community who currently feel that they are under pressure and need some support in learning how to manage it.

Maurice Tomkinson began by giving a short overview of stress and the effects upon the mind and body, as well as the health implications of prolonged periods of stress.  Following this short introduction, delegates were then given a choice of attending two out of three workshops, which covered Personal Stress Mastery by Tianne Croshaw, Workplace Stress Mastery by Maurice Tomkinson and Stress for Carers by Joanne Bishop.  These sessions ran for an hour each and allowed time for group discussion, the sharing of experiences, and for delegates to explore together the strategies which they could implement in order to manage their own stress levels.

As a delegate, I attended the Personal Stress Mastery and Workplace Stress Mastery workshops.  My role does not involve caring for others and therefore I felt that the first two would be more beneficial.  I found both sessions interesting and informatve – and very different in their approaches. 

During the Personal Stress Mastery Workshop, Tianne led a short meditation session and the group to focus inwards in order to access awareness of themselves and the inner resources they already have to take control of stressful situations.  If there was one message that I took away, it was that we have a choice about how we respond to the things that happen to us.

Afterwards, I attended the Workplace Stress Mastery Workshop.  Maurice took a different approach, in that he facilitated a group discussion by asking delegates to explore what causes workplace stress, what we do to create our own stress and then to discuss what we could do differently in order to better manage it.

Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive, with many delegates reporting that they felt uplifted, positive and hopeful.  Delegates also felt that they would have liked more time to explore some of the issues raised in more detail.