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Woman overwhelmed with stickies

At the start of the year we tend to have fresh goals, mindsets and motivation for new plans and life changing health habits!

Taking care of the mind and staying positive is more than just as 'wish list' or new year resolution, it's a daily commitment, as we found out from business psychologist Josephine Calabrese . We asked her to take us through her practice and take on finding relief from the overwhelm of life!

1. Would you say we as a society are more stressed today?

Yes and no. There is more information available to us. Awareness about stress has been raised by the government, policies have been implemented and research has been funded to protect individuals from the negative effects of stress at home and work. At least in the western world we have access to free health services, the nutrition quality of an average meal has improved, funds have been invested in parks, fitness centres and security measures have increased. There is more social mobility now than it used to be in the past. But, although our standard of life has improved in so many ways, there is a strong pressure to perform, competition is high, companies need to continually evolve, cost of living is getting higher and higher, we often struggle to juggle pressures of work with demands of children and family. Terrorism has become a constant threat even in traditionally peaceful countries.

2. Wow, that's true. How do you help people feel better in your area of work?

I’m a business psychologist specialised in well-being, performance and leadership. Clients may come to see me for different reasons, they can have tough decisions to take, career change, conflict at work, time management, feeling overwhelmed. I apply the latest research to my interventions, which can be under the form of one or more training sessions, coaching sessions, coaching and training together or even designing an e-learning package for a big company like the NHS.

3. What motivates you to do what you do?

Let’s put it this way. I have seen the negative effects of a negative mind-set and stress in both my family life and work life. I have been on the receiving hand of dysfunctional management styles, worked in company ridded with staff discontentment, presenteeism, lack of cohesiveness in the teams, office politics. I have experienced how a job and life can be much more happier if we affect few variables like management style, our lifestyle, learning new skills and so on. All this gave me the determination to willing to change things for the better. I decided to ‘be the change’ I wanted in society and at work.

4. So, what's the main thing people need to be aware of?

A good mind-set will affect our ability to take sound decisions, to pursue our goals, to enjoy our money and life. More and more companies are investing in programmes to enhance resilience of their employers as well-being is strongly linked to retention of staff, absenteeism and productivity, not to mention a happier family life.

5. How can people gain a better mindset and perspective in the challenges of life?

In times of challenges it is very important to be connected to our needs, desires and strengths and long term goals at the same time. Don’t struggle alone, make sure you confide in people who will build you up and help you as much as possible. Get yourself a good coach, get someone who can support you impartially and is trained to unlock your inner strength and potential.

6. Tell us about the impact you've seen in your/ this practice?

I have literally seen people’s life transform and flourish after few coaching sessions. The most striking impact of my intervention can be seen in strong underachievers. In particularly I had a client who was feeling so defeated by her lack of confidence that she wasn’t even sure she wanted to invest her time in working with me. After each session I used to notice subtle changes in her body language, tone of voice and speech content (more geared towards action and less self blaming). Until a day I bump into this energetic, smiley individual who comes and vehemently articulates her enthusiasm for my impact in her life. I was shocked, it took me few seconds to recognise her, but I was so proud, so proud of her.

7. What do you think about the recent attention drawn to mental health by politicians and celebrities?

I think it is great, for once politicians got something right! Jokes aside, it is very refreshing to have positive role models out there. On the other side new trends in dieting and beauty regimes have taken hold not because they are particularly healthy, but because have been endorsed by celebrities. I guess we assume that if a rich and influential person chooses a particular treatment or diet, that must be the best or at least it must be good for me too. Unfortunately, that cannot be further from the truth.

8. A bit about you! How do YOU get into a good headspace daily?

I pray and meditate on bible verses, practice mindfulness , eat healthy and exercise regularly. I review my goals and priorities regularly and focus on what is important.

Sounds great! Think we'll be trying some of those also! Thanks for taking time out with us.

Josephine's top tips feature in the Refresh Box.

Josephine Calabrese is the CEO of JC Training and Coaching. To get in touch with her check

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