Its interesting isn’t it when an article comes out that tells you that you are not alone in how you feel?

According to a new Pulse survey of 441 GPs, one in 8 have sought help for stress in the past year. Respondents to the survey blamed Government policy and changes to the GP contract as significant factors in exacerbating their difficulties. A previous Pulse investigation found that 43% of GPs are classified as being at a very high risk of developing burnout, and the majority do not feel they are achieving much in their role.

Having talked to a number of GPs on our workshops over the last few months, many have said that they are finding it more and more difficult to cope with the workload, pressures, patient demands and the moving goalposts. Some have lost touch with why they went into the profession in the first place and were stressed and frustrated about everything!

Sometimes that’s the problem isn’t it? The lack of control, the feeling like EVERYTHING is just too hard?

Now I know I’ve talked about this before on our blog but I wanted to remind you of just one way that you can help yourself.

Defining where that stress is coming from can be the 1st step to really empowering yourself by allowing you to find ways to manage the areas that are within your control.

This exercise can really help you concentrate on the things you can change:

Draw a triangle like the one on this page (in NLP we call these the Neurological Levels of Change).

Looking at your work-life specificallyneurological levels

Look at environment – Look at where you are, the facilities, who you are with, your consulting room – are there things here that are causing you stress? If so write them down

Look at behaviours – what do people really see , how do you act, what do you do? – is there something about your behaviour that is causing you stress? If so write it down.

Look at skills and competence – what skills, strategies/ action plans do you have. Are you lacking in skills and competencies that may be causing you stress? If so write it down

Look at beliefs and values – what beliefs do you have about yourself, about others, about the world in general that relate to your work? Is there something evident that is contradicting your beliefs and values? Or perhaps you may notice that one of your beliefs is misplaced? If so write it down.

Look at Identity/ Mission – who are you or what role do you play. Is that really the identity you want or is there something else?

Look at Purpose – for the larger system – what is your purpose or impact you wish to have?

Spend some time in this last section and really think through the purpose that you want. What impact do you want to have?

Now look back again at identity/ mission. Allow your purpose to assimilate into your identity/ mission and ask yourself what is really the identity that you want to have to meet your purpose

Now look back again to beliefs and values – Allow your new identity and purpose to really assimilate into your beliefs and values. Ask yourself whether your beliefs are supporting you in achieving your identity and purpose. Are they in alignment with your identity and purpose? What could you take on that would be more in alignment?

Look back again at skills and competence. Allow your (adjusted) beliefs and values and the other higher levels to really assimilate into your skills and competences. Do you need to develop new skills, strategies or action plans?

Look back again at your behaviours. Allow your skills, values, identity and purpose to really assimilate into your behaviours. Does something need to change in your behaviours?

Finally look back again into your environment. Allow the above neurological levels to really assimilate and ask yourself if you need to make any changes to your environment that are within your control?

Now look up through the levels again and notice the alignment or maybe you still need to tweak the alignment and if so at what level? Now take all of these newly aligned neurological levels on board and know what needs to change. Now you can concentrate on specifics and look to make the changes that you can control. The ‘big picture stress’ is no longer that big picture is it?

NLP has many other tools to help you manage that stress and bring about a calm, positive and productive state. We have a new workshop coming up soon that will teach you much more to enable yourself to be in the emotional state that empowers rather than restricts you. Watch this space for details!!!