Newsletter 65 – May/June 2012

Newsletter 65 – May/June 2012

Posted by Jan Lawrence

Welcome to the latest edition of In Equilibrium

On this, the 123rd day of 2012, we thought we’d begin with a few facts and figures of how the 2nd May has gone down in history:

  • in 1536 Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, was arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft;
  • in 1997 the Conservative Party, who had been in power for 18 years, lost the general election which was won by the Labour Party in a historic landslide victory;
  • in 1975 the English footballer David Beckham was born, whilst in 1519 the Italian inventor and painter Leonardo da Vinci died;
  • and in 1974 the filming of “Jaws” began in Martha s Vineyard

Anyway, back to the present and the highlights of our latest edition include:

  • An article by consultant, Carol Taylor, which looks at the importance of the venue when planning training courses
  • A stress tip which is simple to put into practice
  • Some practical suggestions from Dr David Mason Brown for anyone who suffers from presentation anxiety
  • Step by step advice if you would like to learn how to become more optimistic

In Equilibrium News

Inspiring Venues – our consultant, Carol Taylor, recently had the refreshing experience of presenting a taster session for a client in the stunning surroundings of the Eden Project in Cornwall.  It led to her writing a short piece for our website about the importance that a venue can play in the training process.

Resilience Training in Practice – we thought you may be interested to read about the impact our resilience training has had for a UK Council with over 10,000 employees.  Our workshops were run as part of their overall Change Support Programme and have been very popular with both staff and managers.  The recent blog article (see link above) provides a summary of the feedback results together with access to the full report on the resilience training impact.

Managing Difficult People – is a course which is always of great interest up and down the country.  So we are delighted to welcome a new consultant, Lucinda Brown Douglas, whose main interests in group work are dealing with difficult behaviour and assertiveness.  Lucinda encourages people to be creative with their solutions and to help them feel better about themselves. Her profile is available on our website

Stress Management Tip

In this edition we become aware that the on-set of longer days and colourful spring gardens is a good time to be grateful.
Read our stress tip here

Ask The Expert

We answer a question from someone who suffers from terrible nerves prior to making presentations and who feels that their performance suffers because of them.


“I regularly have to attend a departmental meeting at which I quite often have to give a presentation.  As the meeting approaches, I find I am increasingly suffering from anxiety with symptoms ranging from a dry mouth, to “butterflies” in my stomach and palpitations.  I know that the way I feel is affecting my performance and that I do not convey my material as well as I could.  I also worry about the physical effect these symptoms are having on my body.  I wonder if you could give some advice or offer some techniques to help me overcome my nervousness?”

In Equilibrium Consultant, Dr David Mason Brown, offers some practical tips to help tackle this common problem.
Read his answer here
If you found our answer helpful, you may be interested in the following course: Lifestyle Management
Dr David Mason Browns profile is available here

Amanda’s Column

Amanda discovers a similarity between computers and children.
Read Amanda’s column here


Learning to become more optimistic
Follow our short four step exercise to help develop a more positive attitude
If you find this exercise beneficial you may be interested in our Developing Personal Resilience course

Wellbeing Podcasts
The Mental Health Foundation has a series of free audio podcasts available on their website which have been designed to help you relax and improve your sense of well-being. They include an introduction to Mindfulness and the benefits it can bring, entitled “What is Mindfulness?” as well as a 10 minute practice exercise.

Alcohol Self-assessment
A useful self-assessment tool can be found on the NHS choices website.  It asks some simple questions about your drinking habits in order to find out what kind of relationship you have with alcohol.


“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”
Abraham Lincoln
16th President of the United States
(1809 – 1865)

“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are”
Marcus Zusak
Author (from “I am the Messenger”)
(1975 –  )

News from the Outside

Improving Productivity through Employee Health
A recent seminar tried to identify the fact from the fiction of this debate and looked at both the employer and employee roles in relation to health and productivity.

Insight into Ill-treatment in the Workplace: patterns, causes and solutions
This 4 year study used first hand experience, witness testimony and interviews to illustrate how toxic workplace ill-treatment can be for both individuals and organisations.  The report identifies who is most at risk, the type of organisation where ill-treatment is more likely to be found and suggests some solutions to help minimise it.

Stress Increases 40% during Recessions
In a study carried out by Nottingham and Ulster Universities, thousands of civil servants in Northern Ireland were surveyed before the recession in 2005 and again during the recession in 2009.  The findings illustrate the importance of focusing on the mental health of workers during turbulent economic times.
The full study is available here
Details of our Mental Health Awareness course are available here

… and finally …

Text Messages Boost Happiness
Why don’t you quickly send a text to a member of your family or a good friend? Why? Well, new research suggests it will have clear mental health benefits … click on the link above and find out more. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter.  We are always delighted to hear from our readers, so if you would like to share your comments or suggestions with us, please don’t hesitate to contact us.