Today’s corporate world is governed by the mind - what if we also considered the importance and power of the body?
By Marie Simonsen, Executive Master HEC Paris, Executive Coach & Certified EMDR and TRE Practitioner
Today’s corporate world is governed by the mind, the part of the human brain that makes thoughtful decisions based on rational, analytical thinking. But what about the body? Why is our body not taken into account when it comes to corporate governance?
Job-related stress contributes to 550 million workdays lost annually, and the World Health Organization estimates that $1 trillion is lost in productivity each year as a result. In other words, stress is omnipresent in today’s corporate world. Leaders are making decisions in hyper aroused states which in reality means that the decisions made, reflect the inner state of the leader often synonymous with pressure and stress – so how can we then expect the outcomes to be calculated?
Human beings don’t respond to what happens in the present moment but we respond to our perception of reality, thus the past. Past experiences are stored in our bodies and act as the blueprint of how we respond to the outside world. Employees come to the workplace with their history and their life experiences. Today’s workforce is constantly under pressure to work harder, better and smarter with annual targets increasing year by year. Time is a finite resource thus there are limits to how many working hours we can fit into the week. With the increasing pressure and rising conflicting priorities with our personal lives the body responds in an unconscious way. Stress hormones get accumulated in our bodies and our emotional brain will take the lead in our decisions. As a consequence, our decisions are no longer rational and proactive but reactive and based on old patterns.
Interventions that attempt to resolve stress -induced behaviors cannot be rectified with the use of traditional crisis intervention techniques that depend on logical cognitive processing because stress behavior is an illogical, instinctual response not under control of the rational brain.
Humans are animals after all, but as opposed to animals, homo sapiens has developed cultural codes for what is perceived as acceptable and non-acceptable behavior. In the professional sphere we will often prioritize how we are perceived by our superiors and colleagues instead of focusing on our internal well-being. Animals, unlike humans have not repressed their natural ability to discharge excess energy during stress. They still allow their bodies to shake out the tension of a stressful experience and then move on unencumbered with their lives.
The tremor mechanism is the natural mechanisms of the body to release deep muscular tension and discharge high levels of chemicals. Benefits can be reduced blood pressure, deep muscle and emotional release and re-establishment of the bio-chemical levels in the body. TRE (Tension and trauma releasing exercises) invented by David Bercelli, is an innovative series of easy exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. TRE helps to discharge the high levels of anxious energy that is activated in the body. Once the high energetic charge in the body is reduced, the emotional parts of the brain no longer perceive reality as dangerous and thus allows for a reflected and rational response.
Introducing bodywork such as TRE to the corporate world may therefore represent many benefits to today’s workforce. Once the bio-chemical pollution caused by stress has been reduced, skills and behavioral development along with cognitive work and innovation can and will take place. The individual is no longer acting from his emotional brain but rather the neo-cortex, the rational brain.
Would it be too unconventional to offer employees the possibility to shake of their stress and tension at the workplace?
And what if a team meeting was concluded by a collective tremor session for a more balanced and happier workforce?
Wouldn’t it be both innovative and visionary if companies dedicated rooms specifically for tremoring and emotional releases?
And what if the mind-body connection allowed leaders to truly connect to their hearts and their inner sensations and as a consequence lead to holistic decisions that would be beneficial in the long term for both the employees and the business?
Introducing new behaviors and new thinking is difficult but without risk taking there is no win either.
Will you be the next leader to challenge the status quo?