We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.
April is National Stress Awareness Month and too often many of us separate our personal stress levels from our social or environmental mission. We may think that chronic stress in the name of mission is a worthwhile sacrifice. But it’s easy to see in others how today's increasing stress levels both create dysfunction and compromise effectiveness. If we are personally and socially responsible, we cannot ignore our own stress and health.
One of the things that impressed me about the people at RSF Social Finance is their extraordinary care for their mission and for the people and organizations with whom they work. Equally compelling is their care for themselves and each other. You can feel the culture of care when you step into their offices.
There are many extraordinarily caring people in the CSR and social capital movements. One of the challenges for those who deeply care about people and the planet is what HeartMath researchers call “overcare” – when care turns into stress-producing worry, anxiety and angst, taking a toll on our clarity, health and effectiveness.
With the increasing frequency of global stress events and the ongoing global stress waves broadcast by the news and media, it’s important that those of us in CSR care for ourselves and our co-workers as much as we care for our mission or we will compromise our social impact.
Don Shaffer, president and CEO of RSF Social Finance, says, “I feel we are at an inflection point in society at large. There is an incredible amount of uncertainty in the present and about the future. There is an unusual combination of factors going on now that are important in enabling people to see deeper into the very things that are most stressful right now, whether the economy, retirement savings, climate change and so on. More people are able to see solutions by looking into the depth of the problem. I feel that what Quantum Intech/HeartMath is doing with stress reduction is part of what’s opening the field or opening a channel for people to be able to make progress in that path from being stressed out, uncertain, and anxiety-filled to a new level of personal and social responsibility. With HeartMath, I can take a step-by-step methodological approach to my own psycho-spiritual-biological health and see how that relates to the broader community and societal health. I don’t think we’ll ever come across an educational company as unique as Quantum Intech/ HeartMath and it’s definitely something we feel strongly about.
“This is a unique time we are in, and because of the depth of the anxiety level, a broader number of the population is able to think about more radical and more far reaching solutions and HeartMath is able to be a bridge to that," Shaffer continues. "HeartMath can speak in terms of biological health to spiritual health to community health. That’s a pretty big 'Wow' factor to me that HeartMath is taking that on and doing it in a disciplined way. I can’t think of any other organizations I know of that are looking at health in such a holistic, far-reaching way. And I feel the world consciousness is more ready for it now than perhaps at any time leading up to now.”
Stress researcher and HeartMath Founder and Chairman Doc Childre writes, “It’s more important now than ever to practice the caring maintenance of our personal energy balance, to learn how to shift from fear to calm and poise when responding to stressful events and news reports. This helps to prevent energy drain and increases the effectiveness of our outgoing care. When our emotions are exhausted, agitated or frayed, it compromises our personal mental and physical system and diminishes our effectiveness. It’s harder to prevent emotional drain at times when you’re personally connected to a stressful event, but there are important actions you can take in the moment while you are experiencing the stress.”
Here are three tips:
It’s worth taking time out on occasion to consciously breathe the feeling of calm and restoration into your system. Doing this from your genuine heart feelings restores emotional resilience, which is especially needed when giving care and support to others. Use any restoration techniques that work for you. The important thing is: remember to do it. Self-care is an essential component in global care.
Many people are sensitive to the increasing stress energetics on the planet, the frequency of stress waves and amplification of stress waves by the media. You may find yourself more impatient, short-tempered or anxious. Practice increasing your compassion for yourself and others.
Make a commitment to “clear as you go,” which means try to resolve judgment, blame and miscommunications, so they don’t occupy your mind, fester in your emotions, and drain your energy. Practice heart-connected communication. Speak from your heart honestly. Listen from your heart without judgment. These are heart-based actions that have proven effective in minimizing distortion, stress and dysfunction. Keep practicing them until they become new habits of care.
Deborah Rozman is President and CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. (dba HeartMath Inc.) and serves on the advisory board of the Institute of HeartMath. Quantum Intech, with its scientifically validated HeartMath® programs, is a world leader in personal and organizational stress reduction. HeartMath provides individuals and businesses with a set of tools, methods and emWave technologies to empower themselves to navigate through stressful, changing times. HeartMath programs have enabled organizations to achieve a 2:1 ROI in lowered health costs within one year – while at the same time increasing employee satisfaction and performance. The aggregate savings – and additional returns from enhanced performance – add up fast, creating a significant value proposition for companies and society as a whole.
Quantum Intech also has a strong reputation as a socially responsible company with a triple bottom line mission in partnership with the 501(c)3 non-profit stress research organization, Institute of HeartMath, which provides HeartMath’s stress solutions to the underserved, including schools, community service organizations and veterans.