Corporate Social Responsibility and Stress Reduction

Blog by Deborah Rozman, President and CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. (dba HeartMath Inc.)
Apr 13, 2011 8:17 PM ET
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HeartMath Blog by Deborah Rozman, President and CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. (dba HeartMath Inc.)

April 16th is National Stress Awareness Day and April is National Stress Awareness Month, and most of us are experiencing increasing stress levels. It seems obvious that corporate social responsibility has to involve responsibility for personal and business stress levels. Here are just some of the reasons why:   ·         Chronic stress exacerbates health, communication and performance problems ·         Employees with high stress have 46% higher health costs (JOEM 2009) ·         61% of the workforce is impacted by chronic stress, resulting in $300 billion of lost productivity (HERO).   I’m President and CEO of Quantum Intech Inc. (dba HeartMath Inc.) and I will be writing a series of blogs to share the importance of health and stress reduction as a key component and metric of corporate social responsibility (CSR).   I’ve been a psychologist, author, co-founder of two non-profit organizations and serial entrepreneur of for-profit businesses with social missions since 1978. Interestingly, I did not know about CSR-focused companies or the social capital market until I attended the 2008 SoCap conference. What a heart-warming, eye-opening experience that was for me. Heart-warming in that I connected with so many entrepreneurs and investors with whom I resonated on a deep level. We all had been involved in organizational missions that care for people and the planet for many years. It was eye-opening because I did not realize there was a nascent movement (at that time) of investors who cared as much or more about their money creating a social return on investment as a financial return as I did.   I also found tremendous receptivity and need among the entrepreneurs and investors for my company’s health technology. HeartMath empowers stress reduction and behavior change. Our mission is to facilitate a fundamental shift in health, well-being and consciousness globally.   “Quantum Intech looks at a variety of symptomatic health problems endemic to modern U.S. lifestyles – such as stress, anxiety, fatigue, and chronic disease markers – and instead of just addressing these symptoms, as most companies do, HeartMath addresses the systemic root causes with a simple set of solutions.” —Heather Van Dusen, Certification/Community Development Director, B-Lab   As CEO of the American Psychological Association Norman Anderson presented in the APA’s 2010 Stress in America survey, he said, “Stress could easily become our next public health crisis." The APA’s survey showed many Americans were caught in a vicious cycle of managing stress in unhealthy ways, but lacked both the willpower and the time to change.   In honor of National Stress Awareness Day, I want to share one of HeartMath’s proven stress reduction techniques that you can use right away, called “Notice and Ease™” that helps you identify and neutralize stressful emotions and attitudes that drain energy. By noticing and admitting what you are feeling – anxiety, frustration, tension, etc. and gently focusing on your heart and relaxing as you breathe – you can e-a-s-e out a lot of the stressful feelings. Here are the steps.   Step 1. Notice and admit what you are feeling.   To gain more insight about your emotions, you will need to become more aware of what you are feeling. Noticing and admitting what you are feeling requires slowing down and taking stock. Periodically, throughout the day simply pause and notice how you feel. It takes only a few seconds to ask, "What am I feeling right now?"   Step 2. Try to name the feeling.   Simply by naming the feeling to yourself, whatever it is – worry, anxiety, frustration, hurt, resistance or even a vague disturbance – will help you admit what you are feeling. Being honest about naming what you are feeling helps regulate your emotional energy, slowing down the emotional energy running through your system and giving you more power.   Step 3. Tell yourself to ease…as you gently focus in your heart, relax as you breathe and e-a-s-e the stress out.   As you tell yourself to ease in your heart, relax and ease the stressful emotion out, feel as if the unwanted emotion is leaving your system. Don’t force it out; ease it out. Befriend the reaction by holding it in your heart, then let the feeling ease out of your system. Use the Notice and Ease™ tool for one minute often through your day. Keep using Notice and Ease™ tool for one minute or longer, until you feel something lighten up, even if you don’t get an immediate, complete release. Quite often you can experience so many feelings within just five minutes. Don’t let this confuse you. Don’t even try to figure out why. Just keep practicing the Notice and Ease™ tool until your energies come back in balance. Then listen to the intuitive guidance of your heart on what to do next.   Click here for more free HeartMath stress solutions.   Deborah Rozman is President and CEO of Quantum Intech, Inc. (dba HeartMath Inc.) and serves on the advisory board of the Institute of HeartMath. Quantum Intech, with its scientifically validated HeartMath® programs, is a world leader in personal and organizational stress reduction. HeartMath provides individuals and businesses with a set of tools, methods and technologies to empower themselves to navigate through stressful, changing times. HeartMath programs have enabled organizations to achieve a 2:1 ROI in lowered health costs within one year – while at the same time increasing employee satisfaction and performance. The aggregate savings – and additional returns from enhanced performance – add up fast, creating a significant value proposition for companies and society as a whole.   Quantum Intech also has a strong reputation as a socially responsible company with a triple bottom line mission in partnership with the 501(c)3 non-profit stress research organization, Institute of HeartMath, which provides HeartMath’s stress solutions to the underserved, including schools, community service organizations and veterans.