In today’s world it’s easy to feel like we cannot manage our daily tasks. Stressful situations can manifest themselves both in our professional and personal life and without the right tools it’s difficult to overcome them efficiently. In this course the participants had the opportunity, through theory and practical activities, to learn new strategies to help them cope with stress.
The new edition of the course “Stress and Conflict Management: the way to resilience and satisfaction” took place in Bologna from 11/09/2022 to 17/09/2022. In this course we welcomed a special group from Ländliche Erwachsenenbildung in Niedersachsen e.V in Germany: Jörg, Simone, Oxana, Kathrin, Sonja, Heide, Heike, Lenka, Janina, Maria, Benita, Ulrike, Luise, Anke, Manuela, Jutta and Lea.
On the first day participants reflected on the meaning of the word stress by brainstorming in groups. We learnt more about the stressors from our daily life (either physical, environmental, family-related or work-related) and we managed to distinguish between positive stress (Eustress) and negative stress (Distress). By sharing examples participants realized how adequate amounts of Eustress can indeed lead to positive outcomes in our lives and push us towards our goals.
During this course the participants learnt about a series of strategies, both cognitive and behavioural, designed to overcome stressful situations. These strategies can be used both for our personal lives and in the workplace. Participants learned through exercises in pairs to block and reframe their negative thoughts and to accept that it is normal to make mistakes, or even better, “to have human moments”. We also experienced throughout the week guided visualizations, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation.
Later we focused on topics such as time management. Learning how to plan our daily tasks and activities is vital in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Participants had the chance to learn practical strategies and to play a game in teams that showed them the importance of planning and defining roles.
Another topic that was discussed during the course was empathy, which is a fundamental skill when it comes to dealing with conflicts. It is not always natural to come up with an empathic response, but this type of attitude can be practiced and learnt. Learning about different types of responses gives us the opportunity to reflect more on the way we behave in our daily lives and to manage conflicts more responsibly. In order to solve conflicts it is also necessary to know how to communicate effectively and assertively. The participants discovered the different communication styles and were asked to do a group activity in which each member had to contribute in resolving a conflict.
Lastly, participants reflected on their own personal values and on how sometimes our actions do not align with them. Being able to understand our own needs and to communicate them effectively is the first step to lead a stress-resilient lifestyle.
Since participants came from different professional backgrounds, it was an opportunity for them to confront themselves with each other and learn from their shared experiences. More importantly, this course showed them that not only they have the tools for dealing with stressful situations, but that sometimes there can also be a positive outcome.
Discover more about this course here
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